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The following is spoken by a social worker who works for the DPJ ("Directeur de la protection de la jeunesse") in Québec.

(Note: I'm copying a large excerpt, partially for context, and partially because I will ask other questions about the exact same excerpt in other posts.)

Dans le passé, au début du placement, on supervisait les visites, on a levé la supervision, parce que c'est les parents qui ont des super belles compétences parentales, capacités parentales dans un moment présent avec l'enfant, un trois heures avec leur enfant, ils sont super adéquats, mais c'est souvent avec leur entourage, ce qui se passe autour d'eux, qu'ils vont finir par être envahis, pis ça fait en sorte qu'ils ne sont peut-être plus aussi adéquats qu'ils devraient l'être avec leur enfant ou à être exposée à des choses qu'elle devrait pas.

The bolded sentence has an l' and à that I don't understand:

ça fait en sorte qu'ils ne sont peut-être plus aussi adéquats qu'ils devraient l' être avec leur enfant ou à être exposée à des choses qu'elle devrait pas.

DeepL translates this as:

and that means that they may not be as adequate as they should be with their child or exposed to things that she shouldn't be.


My confusions:

Confusion 1)
I cannot figure out what the l' is referring to, and the sentence would seem to be correct if the l' was deleted; it would still mean "as they should be"

Confusion 2)
I cannot figure out what the à is for. It seems that there are some extra words that would need to be added to the English translation, for it to make sense:

  • and that means that they may not be as adequate as they should be with their child or [that the child may be] exposed to things that she shouldn't be.

If I try to add words to the French in the same way, I can't figure out what I would add that would use "à être":

  • Ça fait en sorte que [..] ou [que l'enfant [??] ] à être exposée à des choses qu'elle devrait pas.

Sadly, "que l'enfant à être exposée" doesn't make sense, but I'm not sure what other words I could have put in, instead.


Questions:

  1. Is it true that the l' could be deleted? What is it referring to / why is it there?
  2. Why is the à there? What words could be inserted directly before it, to make the sentence make sense?
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  • ça fait en sorte qu'ils ne sont peut-être plus aussi adéquats qu'ils devraient l'être avec leur enfant ou à être exposée à des choses qu'elle devrait pas. so that makes it so they no longer measure up as much as they should with their child or to [stopping] the child's being exposed to what she shouldn't be. The to is a mistake in French and English but that is how the social worker expressed it. This happens a lot in "connected speech". Not every is exactly as it should be. People just speak. We all do this kind of thing when speaking.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 17:53

2 Answers 2

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The l is a pronoun that refers to être adéquats. I'm not sure removing it breaks some rules but that l' seems fine.

The end of the sentence, if correctly transcribed, is not directly related to what precedes. No surprise you (and DeepL for that matter) are confused. The "subject" of être exposée à ce qu'elle ne devrait pas is a little girl, likely leur enfant so ou à wasn't indeed the right connector to use, ...et elle va être exposée... would have made more sense.

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  • (i'm starting to realize that spontaenous speech ... is very difficult for me. natives would have no problem "hearing" "elle va étre exposée" instead of "à étre exposée". in contrast, i'm still so dependant on correct grammar to help me parse a sentence, that such small incorrect "mistake" throws me off completely!)
    – silph
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 2:39
  • The video is geoblocked in France but I found it elsewhere. It's difficult for me to clearly hear what is said but that doesn't sound like the transcription. That seems closer to où elle va être confrontée à des choses qu'elle devrait pas. Too bad the camera no more shows her lips when she says it.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 2:59
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    In spoken Québec French, the pronoun elle is often reduced a single a while in France, that would be closer to an è.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 3:09
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    I listened more carefully with a headset and now I hear où elle va être exposée, not confrontée. I believe there is another probable subtitle mismatch: ...dans un moment présent avec leur enfant, trois ans avec leur enfant... I'm not completely sure about ans because I'm less used to the Québec French accent, but that would make more sense than heures.
    – jlliagre
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 9:25
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    If that's three years, that means "after spending three years with their child, the parents are super skilled".
    – jlliagre
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 9:49
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Le l’ remplace effectivement l’adjectif adéquate et on ne peut pas le supprimer sinon la phrase devient incorrecte.

Concernant le à, c’est incorrect mais il s’agit ici du langage parlé dans un style assez familier.

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