Questions tagged [comparaison-de-langues]

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50
votes
5answers
11k views

Where did French's silent ending consonants come from?

The abundance of silent ending consonants in French totally separates its pronunciation from the other Romance languages-- neither Spanish, nor Portuguese, nor Italian, nor Latin have that feature (I'...
21
votes
5answers
14k views

Pourquoi « comment vous appelez-vous », et pas « quel est votre nom » comme en anglais ?

We know that when French people want to know someone's name, ask “Comment vous appelez-vous ?”. However this literally means “How do you call yourself?”. Why they don't use something like “quel est ...
9
votes
3answers
253 views

Sujet+pronom à la place du sujet seul

J'entends souvent une forme plus longue, moins élégante du type : ma famille, elle a ... plutôt que ma famille a ... Savez-vous pourquoi elle est utilisée ? Porte-t-elle un nom ? S'agit-il d'...
7
votes
3answers
400 views

In dialogue, how do we separate the speaker's from the narrator's voice?

I am reading Le Comte de Monte Cristo, and the following sentence completely stumped me. I had to obtain an English translation to work out what it was saying. — Oui, dit la marquise, sans que ce ...
4
votes
1answer
12k views

When do we use plus-que-parfait?

I don't really understand plus-que-parfait. When do we use plus-que-parfait? And if you compare it with English, what tense is that?
55
votes
13answers
17k views

What languages are perceived as classy or fancy to French speakers?

In English, this might be demonstrated by using the word boutique rather than shop, or by saying au contraire rather than on the contrary, because to English speakers French is commonly perceived as ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Does 'bon marché' have the same connotation of “low quality” as 'cheap' in English

Somehow bon marché and économique sound positive to me, as some kind of praise. In English cheap has a connotation of not good. It can be used for an expensive thing but not well made. Am I just ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the difference between “concurrence” and “compétition”, and why?

It always confounded me why Russian language borrowed the Western word “concurrence” (конкуренция) to mean “competition”. English concurrence means “coincidence” or “agreement” more often than not, ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

What's so great about French profanity?

I'm not a French speaker, but I find myself with a question about the French language. I have recently encountered multiple independent sources (movies, books, etc) in which French-speaking characters ...
4
votes
4answers
259 views

« Social engineering » : « piratage » et/ou « fraude » ou autrement ?

Comme équivalent de social engineering, le Grand dictionnaire terminologique (OQLF) donne « piratage/fraude psychologique » et déconseille le calque ingénierie sociale qui ne rendrait pas adéquatement ...
2
votes
4answers
928 views

“He was like” vs “il était genre” similarities and differences

What are the similarities and differences between the Americanism 'He was like...' And the French expression 'Il était genre...'? They both introduce citations.
4
votes
2answers
104 views

« An unexpected shout-out to Halifax's historic north end […] » : nuances dans l'expression de l'hommage ?

Dans un article en langue anglaise sur le dévoilement du nouveau billet de 10 $ de la Banque du Canada à l'effigie de Viola Desmond incluant une représentation artistique d'un plan d'archives du North ...
4
votes
3answers
416 views

The French spoken in Canada vs. the French spoken in France

What are the differences between Canada's French and France's French? Should I study a little bit of both? Are there some words or expressions from one that might not be understood by the other? ...
1
vote
2answers
328 views

Le « langage de programmation exotique » : mais encore ?

On a le langage de programmation exotique et on indique que l'adjectif exotique est employé afin de « distinguer ces langages de ceux communément utilisés dans l'industrie. » (Wikipédia) Le TLFi parle ...