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Author Topic: French Speakers?  (Read 14260 times)
Purplewitch
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« Reply #30: September 20, 2007, 08:04:52 pm »

Ok, I'll admit it...I've not spoken French for about 15 years now.  Undecided

I need a translation please.  This phrase, Je ponce que no, merci (or something that way anyhow) has been running thru my head for the past several days. Can somebody help me?

Please?

I'm thinking je pense.... which if i remember, which is doubtful after 20 years, is I think

I think not, thankyou?.........  I don't think so, thank you....... 20 years is way too long lol Even after studying it for 6!
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« Reply #31: September 20, 2007, 08:16:22 pm »

Ok, I'll admit it...I've not spoken French for about 15 years now.  Undecided

I need a translation please.  This phrase, Je ponce que no, merci (or something that way anyhow) has been running thru my head for the past several days. Can somebody help me?

Please?

Je pense que non, merci? [I think not, thanks?]

or perhaps it should be

Je n'est-ce pense pas, merci? [I don't think so, thanks?]

I worked with a fellow whose father was American (Air Force) and mother was from Nice, and he had the most wonderful accent... At the time, "NOT" was in the vernacular vogue (as in, "how lovely--NOT"), and he used to crack us all up by saying "PAS" instead. Somehow it just wasn't quite the same.

He also went off one day while some of us were playing "Swashbuckler!" and using our most horrendous French accents, about how "Sacre bleu!" was meaningless--and of course, we all gasped and carried on with "Sacre bleu!" and several other stereotypical French-ish phrases. He didn't stay upset for long. :-)
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« Reply #32: September 20, 2007, 08:58:43 pm »

I need a translation please.  This phrase, Je ponce que no, merci (or something that way anyhow) has been running thru my head for the past several days. Can somebody help me?

As "pence" not "ponce" that would read "I think not, thank you".
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« Reply #33: September 20, 2007, 10:07:04 pm »

As "pence" not "ponce" that would read "I think not, thank you".

I know absolutely no French, but Babelfish translates "ponce" as "sandpaper".  "I sandpaper not, thank you"?  Grin
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« Reply #34: September 20, 2007, 10:12:49 pm »

I know absolutely no French, but Babelfish translates "ponce" as "sandpaper".  "I sandpaper not, thank you"?  Grin

Which would be quite useful if you happen to be doing wood-working in France.   Cheesy 
 
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« Reply #35: September 20, 2007, 10:32:52 pm »

I'm thinking je pense.... which if i remember, which is doubtful after 20 years, is I think

I think not, thankyou?.........  I don't think so, thank you....... 20 years is way too long lol Even after studying it for 6!

To Squishy and everybody else who managed to figure out my mangled phrase and translate it for me: Thanks! *nodnod*

I forget who it is now that mentioned they'd picked up more Spanish since taking French in school and had to trawl thru it to get to his/her French but their post reminded me of something I did in my college Spanish class: I read ahead in the book, figured out which question was mine, figured out the answer and was working ahead on my homework. Anyhow, the instructor called on me, I answered him and kept on working. THEN I heard, "Well, that was the correct answer but next time, please use the correct language."

I answered the Spanish question in French!!  Cheesy Cheesy
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« Reply #36: September 20, 2007, 10:33:50 pm »

I know absolutely no French, but Babelfish translates "ponce" as "sandpaper".  "I sandpaper not, thank you"?  Grin

Thank you Star! I lurves the answer!  Cheesy
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« Reply #37: September 21, 2007, 06:08:04 am »


"Pourriez-vous me dire où la banque la plus proche est?"

Avant mon voyage vers Paris, je pensais à quelques expressions que j'aurais besoin.

Babelfish apparently gives you literary French: "pensais" is the Passé Simple, which is only used in writing IIRC. I would have said:

"Avant que j'ai allé a Paris, j'ai pensé a quelques phrases que j'aurais besoin."

Quote
"Pourriez-vous me dire où la banque la plus proche est?"
The next sentence came straight off the website, since I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the conditional (hence polite) second person formal of "pouvoir" is.

I think I would say "Pouvez-vous me dire ou est la banque la plus proche?"
For one thing, I don't recall French using the conditional to form polite questions as much as English; maybe only if you're talking to the King of Belgium or something. For the other, that "est" at the end just had me going ack! I can't explain it as a grammar rule, but it feels more natural to leave the "est" in the middle. I will try to find a reference for this somewhere.

[/quote]
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« Reply #38: September 21, 2007, 02:14:21 pm »

Babelfish apparently gives you literary French: "pensais" is the Passé Simple, which is only used in writing IIRC. I would have said:

"Avant que j'ai allé a Paris, j'ai pensé a quelques phrases que j'aurais besoin."

I think I would say "Pouvez-vous me dire ou est la banque la plus proche?"
For one thing, I don't recall French using the conditional to form polite questions as much as English; maybe only if you're talking to the King of Belgium or something. For the other, that "est" at the end just had me going ack! I can't explain it as a grammar rule, but it feels more natural to leave the "est" in the middle. I will try to find a reference for this somewhere.



I agree, that "est" at the end feels completely wrong. I think Babelfish put it at the end simply because it falls there in the English sentence, which is a relic from English's Germanic roots, I believe (in German the verb goes at the end of nearly everything)...which is no doubt why it feels so weird to put the "est" at the end in French. French and German don't mix! (In so many ways...)

As for the conditional for polite form, that's definitely done in Spanish ("Podria usted decirme donde esta el banco lo mas cerca" is more polite than "Puede usted..."). But maybe not in French.

We're a bit like the blind leading the blind here! But our halting attempts are better than not thinking about French at all, I think.
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« Reply #39: September 21, 2007, 02:20:00 pm »

I forget who it is now that mentioned they'd picked up more Spanish since taking French in school and had to trawl thru it to get to his/her French...

That was me, and your story (and my comment above that French and German don't mix) reminded me of a similar experience I had in high school.

I was a bit enamored of languages as a kid, so after years of French, I decided one year to take German as well as French (can you believe, a public high school that offered German classes). We were learning the numbers in German, I'd just come from French class and was distracted, and the German teacher called on me for the number 19.

"Neufzehn," I answered, without batting an eyelash. He stared at me quizzically, and I still didn't realize what I'd done (replaced the "neun", German for 9, with the French) for several seconds.
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« Reply #40: September 21, 2007, 03:15:35 pm »

"Neufzehn," I answered, without batting an eyelash. He stared at me quizzically, and I still didn't realize what I'd done (replaced the "neun", German for 9, with the French) for several seconds.

Classic! I managed to do large sections of my French end of year exam in Latin a few years back. Luckily I noticed with enough time to go back and correct most of it, still got a rather bad grade because the French was so hurried though.
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« Reply #41: September 21, 2007, 05:02:33 pm »

<snippage>
I was a bit enamored of languages as a kid, so after years of French, I decided one year to take German as well as French (can you believe, a public high school that offered German classes). <more snippage>

I surely can. The HS I attended offered nothing BUT German for many years. Not until my class's junior year did they start offering Spanish. It made perfect sense. Most of the ancestry in the area was German (actually Low German and/or OstFrisian, but that's another kettle of fish--Frisians are NOT German, and Low German is NOT merely a dialect, it's a whole 'nother language), so that's what was presented. Now, it's my understanding that the demographics have changed and there's a large Hispanic/Asian group.

So ja--German? Certainment. (I just hurt my brain.)
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« Reply #42: September 21, 2007, 07:40:03 pm »

(can you believe, a public high school that offered German classes).

Is it that unusual?  I'm pretty sure all the public high schools around here do...  I know the little nearly-backwater one I went to did...

Sorry.  Hubby corrects me--his school in the next county over didn't.  But I don't think it's unusual here for the most part.
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« Reply #43: September 22, 2007, 02:36:37 am »

(can you believe, a public high school that offered German classes).

Late 70s, mine offered German, French, Spanish, and Latin.  I took them all, plus Polish at the CC, then added Russian and Old English when I went to uni.

Absent
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« Reply #44: September 30, 2007, 02:57:28 pm »

Je suis fatigué! L'université me fait me occuper ainsi que j'ai complètement oublié d'écrire! Comment est-ce que chacun d'autre va ?


[I'm tired! School has me so busy I completely forgot to post. How is everyone else?]
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