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EDIT: After reading an answer that explained why I had difficulty with the subtitles, I'm editing my question's title so that it's more useful to people when they search French.SE, so that they can find the useful information about gemination in the answer.


In this youtube video, in the first fifteen seconds, the auto-generated subtitles give:

Ça a été sans aucun doute leur sujet des derniers mois, les pitbulls. Dans le coin droit, on trouve des gens qui les aiment tellement qu'ils sont prêts menacé de mort ceux qui s'y opposent. Parce que la meilleure façon de convaincre les gens que ton chien pas dangereux, c'est de leur montrer que toi, tu de l'est encore plus.

I'm having trouble understanding "tu de l'est encore plus".

Some thoughts I have when trying to understand this:

  1. I can't figure out what the l' replacing?
  2. If I try to make the clause simpler, I might try to remove the l'. Then I get "tu d'est encore", instead of the es that I would expect (as in, "tu d'es encore"). So it seems that the "tu" has no conjugated verb attached to it; but it seems that the "tu" does require a conjugated verb -- where it is!?
  3. Perhaps the auto-generated subtitles meant "tu es" instead of the "tu est" that they gave. I still have never seen a construction like "Tu d'es + encore plus" or "Je de suis + encore plus" before.

Questions:

  1. Can you help me understand the structure of "Tu de l'est encore plus", and its meaning? What is the l' replacing?
  2. Can you give me other example sentences with the same or a similar structure?
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    Mon oreille formée au français hexagonal entend « toi, tu l'es encore ». Je pense que la façon dont les Québécois prononce le son d'attaque [l], de façon beaucoup plus dure qu'en France, fait que tu entends ce qui te parait un [d] qui s’introduirait avant le [l]. « L' » est un pronom personnel qui remplace « être dangereux ». There are more mistakes in the transcript : "...prêts à menacer de mort..." and ".. convaincre les gens que ton chien est pas dangereux..". Proper grammar should be * n'est pas dangereux*, lots of people just drop the ne but est must be there.
    – None
    Jun 12, 2021 at 12:46
  • @None This is a good warning to me, now, that Youtube's auto-generated subtitles aren't trustworthy, and that if I am confused when following them, maybe it's the transcript that is wrong! (I rely heavily on subtitles; my ears still cannot follow spoken French, whether it's Québecois French or Standard French)
    – silph
    Jun 12, 2021 at 12:53
  • Never trust youtube's auto-generated subtitles! You will find that movies are a better way to train your ear, with the subtitles in the foreign language as well. There can be mistakes but very few, they're more approximations due to the human transcriber than real mistakes. Yes, French is a very difficult language to understand because it not pronounced as it is written! Mind you, same with English!
    – None
    Jun 12, 2021 at 13:26
  • Most movies actually have the closed captions in good French since they just reproduce what is said (most of the time) and are based on the scripts. So unless an actor says something slightly different, they are accurate. I have never seen "auto-generated" closed captions. That said, anything auto-generated for speech will have mistakes in any language. I suggest you watch movies or series in French with the closed captions turned on.
    – Lambie
    Jun 12, 2021 at 16:36
  • @Lambie The only reason I think that my French is improving at all, is that I've been watching Quebecois TV during the pandemic, which (on official websites -- not youtube) has word-for-word subtitles. I don't think I could learn languages in the pre-Internet era, without media to watch, tbh
    – silph
    Jun 12, 2021 at 16:40

1 Answer 1

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The person definitely says:

Toi, tu l'es encore plus.

You tube has been confused because the L is geminated, i.e. pronounced twice, one after tu and the second one in l'es:

/twa tylle ɑ̃kɔʁ plys/

This particular duplication of a consonant is not Québec French specific. It might also be heard in Paris area and other francophone regions, possibly more often in careful speech in my opinion although some studies seem to tell it's more related to the français populaire.

Gemination is standard in the third person singular il l'est and elle l'est and allows to distinguish these forms from il est and elle est. I believe this regular gemination somewhat influenced the way the first and second persons are pronounced, despite the lack of ambiguity between j'ai / je l'ai and tu as / tu l'as.

You can read here the abstract of a paper about this phenomenon called gémination des proclitiques.

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    @Lambie Not at all. The recommendation is to answer in French to a question asked in French and in English to a question asked in English. You can of course also answer in your native language if you are not comfortable with the language used in the question. What doesn't make sense is to reply in French to a question asked in English when your own language is also English. When an answer is made in the "wrong" language by mistake, the best practice is to edit your answer with the translation in the other language. Thanks for asking.
    – jlliagre
    Jun 13, 2021 at 22:57

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