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Thread: The French Learning Thread

  1. #1
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    The French Learning Thread

    OK frenchies, I've decided to make this thread for us dumb anglophones who want to become travel-fluent in French.
    Here you can post any language questions you have about French and (hopefully) they'll be answered.

    So here goes my first 3 questions:

    How do you pronounce the following in French:

    1.) St. Hyacinthe (I have real trouble with this one)

    2.) Il y a

    3.) Meilleur and mieux

  2. #2

    Mr. Linguistics sez...

    I'm as french-literate as you are but here goes..

    hi uh cinth...accent on first syllable

    eel ee aah (say it fast)

    may uh and mee uh

    ....that'll be $50

  3. #3
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    LOL!! Hard to do in writing!!

    St-Hyacinte: The "ST" is "Sainte", can be pronounced as the "cent" in "centennial". For the "Hya", think your a cowboy, "Yhea". Use the "Cin" from "Cynthia" and then add add the "te" from "terminal. Voila!

    Il y a: Use the word "eel", you know, the ugly snake-like fish? Then be a cowboy again! "Yhea"

    Meilleur: Use the "Me" from "Mel" like "Mel Gibson". Add the "i" from "ill", like "I'm ill" and, since we're into hobbying, use "her" to finish!

    Mieux: This time, use "me" (NOT!! Don't think like this!) and add... tham it's a tough one... add... well... "oe", like "oesophagus".

    There's a difference between "meilleur" and "mieux". to say equivalent in French from English "I feel better, you'd use "mieux". To say "I'm a better lover than your ex boyfriend." (you'd never say that, right?) you'd use "meilleur". There's a ton of specifics like that. No real rules, besides being used to it, sorry.

    ...now my mouth is sore thring to adapt those pronounciation! LOL!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnhenrygalt
    Is "tutoiement" always appropriate, even if I'm meeting the girl for the first time? Will "vouvoiement" be taken as a turnoff, or as a mark of respect for the lady?
    Depends of the lady. Using the "vous" might turn some off but some will be very turned-on, when it's combined with "mademoiselle" and wine... A real lady like to be treated as such. If she's intimidated, you'll soon find-out and can revert to the "Tu". "Tu" is no big deal and most, if not all girls are used to it, but don't forget respect. In fact, girls are so used to "tu" this is why "vous" can sometimes do miracles.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnhenrygalt
    If I meet a lady I've seen a couple times already, may I address her as "ma belle", "ma chère"? The intent is to use a light-hearted term of endearment which does not convey any deep feelings, nor do I want to sound condescending.
    "ma" added to any terms can be seen as condescendant, since it's often used by parents or figures of authority in childhood.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnhenrygalt
    Complimenting a girl on her looks. I usually want to let a girl know I find her sexy and attractive, but I don't want to sound like I worship her. In English I might tell a girl "You look good in those jeans/that skirt" or "you look hot tonight" or "nice shoes"/"nice sweater" or "I like your hair like that".
    Same applies, no matter in French or English. But NEVER add a "time-specific" or "like that" part to any compliment, specially if you see the girl more than once! "You look hot tonight" might get "translated' in the girl's mind as "You usually look like a total ugly bitch but tonight, I think your passable." You would not want that, right? Stay with "You're hot!" and add nothing!

    Quote Originally Posted by johnhenrygalt
    I realise that tone of voice is capital, but the words matter too. In English "You are beautiful", "you are pretty" and "you are cute" don't mean the same thing; and "tu es belle", "tu es jolie" and "tu es mignonne" are not perfect translations of the English expressions.
    We're in Quebec so, the slang contain English anyhow. Using "cute" as in "j'pense que t'est cute en tabarnak!" work well.

    Have fun!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by peckerhead
    hi uh cinth...accent on first syllable
    Is the cinth pronounced senth or sunth????
    Quote Originally Posted by peckerhead
    eel ee aah (say it fast)
    ....that'll be $50
    The cheque's in the mail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esco!
    Is the cinth pronounced senth or sunth????
    Neither... Let's see if I can find something else... "sin" like what we commit by hobbying, and "th" like in "they"

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    Quote Originally Posted by metoo4
    Neither... Let's see if I can find something else... "sin" like what we commit by hobbying, and "th" like in "they"
    Thanks metoo, so St. Hyacinthe is pronounced:

    Sane Hi Uh Sin....correct????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esco!
    Is the cinth pronounced senth or sunth????

    The cheque's in the mail
    ''cinthe'' in Hyacinthe is pronounced like ''saint''
    fml

  9. #9
    just watch keeping up appearances on pbs the and watch the incredible Hyacinthe bouquet

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    Quote Originally Posted by femaleluver2
    ''cinthe'' in Hyacinthe is pronounced like ''saint''
    So let me get this straight now, the whole town is pronounced:

    Saint Hi Uh Saint.........am I right?????????

  11. #11
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    Quite close Esco! But try the "Yhea" instead of the "Hi Uh". You won't sound like a "Québecois" but peoples won't laugh at you either. That's about the best achivable without a physical presence to talk/listen with.

    May I suggest you include this in your next "ToDo" list with a French lady? Womens are sensitive and find it cute when a man try a second language, specially if she sense you want to pick her brain so she can teach you something she know better than you. Makes her feel more important!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esco!
    So let me get this straight now, the whole town is pronounced:

    Saint Hi Uh Saint.........am I right?????????
    Hey buddy,

    you're close. The only thing is the ''UH''. I would change it to ''AAH'' (like when a doctor asks you to open your mouth and say ''AAH'' , making the whole pronunciation: Saint- Hi-AAH-Saint
    fml

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    Quote Originally Posted by femaleluver2
    Hey buddy,

    you're close. The only thing is the ''UH''. I would change it to ''AAH'' (like when a doctor asks you to open your mouth and say ''AAH'' , making the whole pronunciation: Saint- Hi-AAH-Saint
    OK thanks, I gotta go practice that now

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    I believe the only different between Saint in French and English is that in French, the "T" at the end is silent.

    However, you pronounce the T in the Hyacinthe part since it doesn't start with a consonant. Hyacinthe is more complicated, it sounds like E-ah-saint

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Esco!
    Thanks metoo, so St. Hyacinthe is pronounced:

    Sane Hi Uh Sin....correct????
    ha ha ha... not quite...!!

    Saint - HiAsaint..!! type of thing..!!

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