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(I find comments on Reddit and Youtube to be very difficult to understand; and even DeepL and dictionaries don't always help me.)

On this reddit page, one comment has the following:

Voyez, tant dit qu'ici on nous enforce dans la gorge le mantra voulant que nous soyons tous Québécois/Canadiens,

which DeepL translates to:

You see, while the mantra that we are all Quebecers/Canadians is rammed down our throats here,

That is, DeepL tranlated "tant dit que" to just "while". I'm having trouble understanding this. What does "tant dit que" mean? Is there a way I could have guessed this or researched this myself?


(Optional extra information)

Here is what I've tried in order to understand "tant dit que":

  • WordReference does not have an entry for "tant dit que". The closest thing is "tant .. que" which is something completely different.
  • I tried googling ["tant dit que"] (with the quotations marks), hoping that a page that explains regionalisms might appear, but no such result appeared.
  • I tried understanding the words separately. So, "tant" = "so much" (as in, expressing a large amount of something). So, "tant dit que" = something like "a lot said that", which doesn't make meaningful sense to me, and is nowhere close to deepL's "while".
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Honestly, tant dit que looks like a misspelling of tandis que.

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  • welp! this is exactly the kind of thing that I couldn't search up for, and also is something that seems to require fluency in the language to figure out! maybe once i improve my vocabulary, i might start understanding reddit better! also: good for DeepL for actually figuring out that "tant dit que" is a misspelling of "tandis que"!!
    – silph
    Aug 3 at 2:53
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    Those of us who don't spend our time on French internet forums reading poorly written French can be baffled by these things when we encounter them. Most recently it took me ages to figure out that "aussi non" is a widespread error for "ou sinon", complete with a change in pronunciation. No idea if "tant dit que" has any currency.
    – Anonymous
    Aug 3 at 3:01
  • it comforts me to know that even fluent speakers of French also have this problem! :)
    – silph
    Aug 3 at 3:02
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    The problem comes up when your job is to translate this kind of stuff into English. Otherwise you think, "I'm not going to bother reading this."
    – Anonymous
    Aug 3 at 3:08
  • This can be an automated closed caption program issue.
    – Lambie
    Aug 3 at 16:41
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Anonymous got it right.

Note that this error is very rare but there are a few occurrences elsewhere, for example in this forum.

Si on prend le végétarisme par exemple. Nous somme tous deux végétarien pour des raisons éthiques. Mais tant dit que moi, j'en aurais rien à foutre du jugement d'autrui (vous savez les jeunes : "T'es végétarien t'es sérieux ?!") mon frère aura tendance à masquer cette convictions devant les fan-boy du KFC et par contre le crier devant les membres de PETA. Tu vois ce que je veux dire.

It is interesting to note that DeepL finds the correct translation on the first try despite the wrong spelling while Google translates suggests the incorrect "as long as", sticking to tant and ignoring dit. DeepL result is probably due to a combination of several approaches. The first one must be based on a list of commonly misspelled words, but I rather suspect a second one where the software converts the word sequences into their phonetic equivalent and searches what words are most likely to be used at the given location.

There is also a very questionable expression in this sentence on nous enforce dans la gorge. Despite the English verb "to enforce" etymology, enforcer ceased to be part of the French vocabulary many centuries ago. Maybe that was a mixup of enfoncer and forcer or an anglicism, but DeepL got the idea again.

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  • @escarlateadamantine Ah, ça explique pourquoi je n'ai pas trouvé d'exemples d'usage probants. C'est presque dommage car je trouve que le verbe enforcer mériterait peut-être de renaître. J'ai du mal à traduire enforce the rules autrement que par "fait respecter les règles". Mais ce serait probablement pas une si bonne idée car enforcer une loi, ça voulait dire enfreindre un loi dans le temps...
    – jlliagre
    Aug 3 at 22:49
  • Ouais, il pense peut-être à force down our throat donc il y a confusion ou influence, peut-être que c'est par là que ça va renaître ahaha. Oui, faire appliquer les règles ; est-ce que ça va jusqu'à mettre en application je sais pas Je pense à Judge Dredd. À cause de la morphologie du verbe, je pense à The Enforcer avec Eastwood. Ah, le cinéma. Aug 3 at 23:03

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