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 ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
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42 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 ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
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35 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 ...
Teleporting Goat's user avatar
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 ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
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 ...
KPM's user avatar
  • 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 ...
Matthieu M.'s user avatar
11 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 ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
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 ...
Anonymous's user avatar
  • 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 ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
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…
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
8 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 ...
Fabby's user avatar
  • 314
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 ...
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
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 ...
jlliagre's user avatar
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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 ...
mouviciel's user avatar
  • 7,742
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 ...
Francois Borgies's user avatar
7 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 ...
livresque's user avatar
  • 2,471
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 ...
None's user avatar
  • 60.2k
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 ...
None's user avatar
  • 60.2k
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 "...
lkl's user avatar
  • 4,628
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 ...
Chop's user avatar
  • 4,475
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.» ...
Francis Marcoux's user avatar
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 ...
Philippe's user avatar
  • 411
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 ...
MC68020's user avatar
  • 9,020
6 votes

Does 'madame' work the same in French as American ma'am?

It is good to say this and the most respectful way : Bonjour Madame … Bonjour Monsieur … If you know the name you can add it after. It is not outdated but recommended.
Ptit Xav's user avatar
  • 368
5 votes

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

Comprendre juste en écoutant, non. Lire et a peu près comprendre, oui, l'italien, l'espagnol et le catalan sont assez compréhensibles à cause de la similitude dans les formations des phrases, et les ...
winsmak's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
Accepted

« He that hath a ill name is half hanged » ?

Un proverbe français proche mais pas très connu est : Le bruit pend l'homme. Dictionnaire des proverbes françois, 1758:
jlliagre's user avatar
  • 146k
5 votes
Accepted

Is this the best translation of “how high”?

Well, “[realize] how [impressive] [something] is” isn't always easy to translate. Google Translate output is actually not so bad. Here are a few suggestions. J'ai levé les yeux et j'ai vu comme le ...
Stéphane Gimenez's user avatar
5 votes

Is this the best translation of “how high”?

To address the grammatical questions you raised: en + participe présent This is indeed a good way of combining two actions instead of using a conjunction. The two main translations I would give of ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
  • 19.2k

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