51 votes
Accepted

Where did French's silent ending consonants come from?

This is a huge question. If someone has the time to give a more thorough overview, I invite them to, but here's a quick set of points to consider. Most of these end consonants are no mystery: they ...
  • 17.2k
41 votes

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

I'll add my two cents from a translation angle, even though I don't have a solid answer. This is an excellent question from the point of view of a translator, because it gets at an issue translators ...
  • 17.2k
36 votes
Accepted

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

I really don't think there's an equivalent. French has a particular status for other countries, but I can't see a language that would be the same for French. Not at the same level at least. Maybe ...
21 votes

Where did French's silent ending consonants come from?

In addition to Luke's answer, here are some comments about each of your examples: Temps was often written tems, tens or even tans in Old French. When French spelling was standardized, the variant ...
  • 135k
20 votes

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

Probably Latin. Some examples of Latin words or phrases that a native French speaker could use to sound posh: ab abrupto instead of abruptement ad honores instead of pour l'honneur ergo instead ...
  • 384
18 votes

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

There is no such language in France. I think we need to take a step back: Why is French perceived as "fancy" or "classy"? From the Wikipedia History of French: Modern French article: From the ...
10 votes
Accepted

Qu'a l'accent français de si caractéristique ?

En plus de la prononciation des th et des r et du mauvais placement de l'accent tonique, l'accent français se caractérise souvent aussi par: la non distinction des voyelles longues: (beach/bitch, ...
  • 135k
10 votes

What's the difference between "bougie" and "chandelle" in French?

None already explain the technical and etymological difference. The main difference is that in European French, or at least in France, chandelle is mostly used nowadays in set expressions, some of ...
  • 135k
9 votes

What's the French equivalent of "like" when used in the sense of "hedging"?

The problem here is that this usage of "like" is very common in English, but has no exact equivalent in French. It is mostly heard, rather than read, because it expresses something different according ...
  • 295
9 votes

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

This is a multi-part question, and I'm mostly going to focus on your second question about which variety you should aim to learn, and broaden it to include how one could go about learning Canadian ...
  • 561
9 votes
Accepted

Does “comme on était à New York” mean “since” or “as though”?

Comme has several meanings in French, but not the second one of your question which would require si, as already stated by petitrien. In the expression "Comme on était à New York", it can mean: De ...
  • 135k
9 votes
Accepted

Comment transposer l'emploi des « crickets » signifiant le silence ou l'absence de communication ?

En restant autour des insectes : On entendrait une mouche voler Sinon : Silence radio Un ange passe…
  • 135k
8 votes

What's the French equivalent of "like" when used in the sense of "hedging"?

You could say "genre" in french slang : "c'est genre à 2 miles d'ici" or "j'ai mangé genre 5 livres de viandes". It would fit with the original sense you mean. Note that in France, we would say "...
  • 5,951
7 votes

« Chasser » vs « pourchasser »

En effet, "pourchasser" indique une intensité supérieure à "chasser". chasser décrit un acte plutôt passif mais néanmoins méthodique chasser le gibier dans la pratique: chasser n'importe quel ...
7 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't dialogue use any identifying punctuation in French?

I'm not a historian of both French and English typography, but having read quite a bit of French and English literature and knowing a bit of typography in multiple languages, I can tell you that ...
  • 304
7 votes

Les francophones comprennent-ils d'autres langues sans avoir à les apprendre?

Bien que le vocabulaire soit relativement proche de l'italien, l'espagnol ou du catalan, le français est trop différent en rythme et accent tonique pour qu'il y ait une intercompréhension naturelle ...
  • 135k
7 votes
Accepted

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

What are the differences between Canada's French and France's French? Written and formal types of French are very similar. There are only a few cosmetic and vocabulary differences that do not prevent ...
  • 135k
7 votes
Accepted

Différence entre « proof of concept » et « prototype »

Selon moi, un prototype est plus avancé en termes de réalisation qu'un proof of concept. Si j'avais à trouver une expression analogue en français, je dirais plutôt étude de faisabilité. Si j'avais à ...
  • 7,666
7 votes

Sujet+pronom à la place du sujet seul

En partant du commentaire de Stéphane Gimenez, j'ai pu trouver une origine à la dislocation, nom de la construction syntaxique exposée dans la question. Mr Grevisse l'a définie en 1993 : un terme ...
7 votes

What's the difference between "bougie" and "chandelle" in French?

If we look at modern dictionaries chandelle and bougie are indeed sometimes given as synonyms and used as such by lots of people. Nevertheless the use of the word varies according to French speaking ...
  • 56.9k
6 votes

What's so great about French profanity?

No, there's nothing inherently special about French profanity. It's just a reference to the fact that many people consider French to be one of the most beautiful languages, and therefore even its "...
  • 4,546
6 votes

How to avoid repeating the verb in yes/no answers?

Short answer: no, they don't exist. You have two ways of answering a question : Answer shortly: Oui/D'accord/OK (informal) Non/Pas maintenant/'Peux pas (informal) Use a verb You have to ...
  • 4,445
6 votes

What's the French equivalent of "like" when used in the sense of "hedging"?

I understand your question and I would say that where I live, in Québec(french-Canada), it would be translated as the following : «C'est genre à deux miles d'ici.» or «C'est comme à deux miles d'ici.» ...
6 votes

French and English pronunciation of [ε]

[ɛ] is not a diphthong (what you call a "double vowel") it is a mid-open front vowel. On the wiktionary you can listen to the word tête and have the IPA phonetic transcription besides. Moreover for ...
  • 56.9k
6 votes
Accepted

« [...] to set our own clear and sovereign course / [...] d’établir clairement notre propre orientation souverainiste » : comparaison etc. ?

Question fort intéressante pour le traducteur que je suis (quoique je travaille présentement principalement du japonais à l'anglais). Jusqu'au point où le traducteur remplace clear par clairement et ...
  • 371
6 votes

Transition du s latin au é en français moderne en début de mot

Le E(S) à l'initiale de mots français a trois raisons possibles : le préfixe français ES dérivé du préfixe latin EX (ébahi) le préfixe latin EX transformé selon les habitudes de la prononciation ...
  • 8,985
6 votes

Are Catholics in Quebec offended by Quebecois swear words?

Most swear words and taboos in any language come from body parts and functions, family/hierarchy, sex, and religion. Steven Pinker gives particular attention to le sacre tabarnak, câlisse, ostie ...
  • 1,735

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