'Gentille' means 'kind'. 'Doux' means 'soft'. But for example, if you say 'il est doux' it also means 'he is sweet'
This is a very good question Justnaxete and not that easy to answer. My thought is that here, the adjective "Doux" does not refer to the tactile nature of the horse's body but the Nature/Temperament of the Horse. I am none too sure of my French here but if I wished to describe the horse's skin as soft, maybe I'd have said something like "Cette peau est douce" "This skin is soft" or "La peau de ce cheval est doux" "This horse's skin is soft". I am a native English speaker with a fervent interest in horses and I have never heard that a horse may be described as "Soft". In my experience Justnaxete, there is no such thing. ALL horses are jittery! They can be Gentle though, in that for all their jitteryness, they don't lash out nor kick, bite or go stampede, they just STOP, and then they will not move without some munchies, and then only two steps. So there are no "Soft" horses and I assure you that the skin of a horse is by no means soft. We do have a term, however.... "That horse is a Softie" but that is just another way of saying that the horse is gentle. Again, the horse's skin is not soft. It is never used for furniture covering.
ok, I understand now... you confused me with the part where you said: "The skin of a horse is by no means soft". I am not used to horses, probably touch them once or twice in my life and I actually don't recall how that was. But if we were talking about another type of animal, lets say a cat, you could use soft/smooth then?
I am a native English speaker, and have been around farm horses since childhood... SOFT is exactly how I read doux here. Referring to the manner of the horse didn't occur to me, even after the suggested mild, as there was no word for that included in the sentence. So, you are not alone in your thought!
I've seen that there has already been some discussion on this, but I need some extra clarification. I put "This horse is soft." Now I know that some people are saying "there is no such thing as a soft horse" (referring to a tactile definition) But unless you have specific experience with this animal, how would you know that? I've called many animals soft, so without context, it seems like this should be an acceptable translation. And if you want to argue literalness, then just translate a few sentences where you say "I am a whale" or "I am a bee" a few more times to realize that not all sentences on Duolingo strictly reflect reality. I think a bigger point is to know how to translate the words rather than having a specialized knowledge of horse characteristics. Not trying to be argumentative, but I just want to know if there is a technical flaw in my translation, not just a semantic one.
Secondly, can "doux" be used to represent soft in a weak way, like if I were to say "that boy is soft", it could mean that he is weak or unassertive (a milquetoast, perhaps). Can this be an acceptable usage with the French word?
I think it's certainly more common to add another word, like "mannered". For me, "mild" on its own would refer more to a description of its taste.
Oh. Of course. While we don't indulge in equine comestibles in Australia, they do in France, I believe.
As you were, then. Bon apetit and all that!
My brother-in-law is very nice, but gentle, he is not. He is a very gregarious and loud person, always with something to say, a hardy slap for the back, or some other form of shenanigans. These two terms are not explicitly synonyms. A gentle person can be nice, a nice person can be gentle, but one does not inherently imply the other.
I do not believe that 'chevale' is the female equivalent to cheval, une jument is a female horse and un etalon is a male horse. Cheval as a word is masculine whether it refers to a male or female horse.
Where in English we can say "the horse is gentle" without reference to gender we cannot do so in French. In the English sentence we are identifying the animal by its species, the horse, with 'horse' being a gender-neutral noun. In French gender-neutral nouns do not exist and the noun 'horse' in reference to the species, is masculine.
In response to dink1234, there is always a gender to a noun in French, in this case, as mentioned above, it is masculine.
No, there is no such thing as "la chevale". Horse is "le cheval". The gender of French nouns has nothing to do with the gender of the thing it represents (there are some exceptions, of course). Unless you want to specify something different, a horse that you see (without identifying its gender) is "un cheval". If you wish to be more specific, here are some additional related terms.
- A female horse is called a "mare" in English: la jument
- A young female horse is called a "filly" in English: la pouliche
- A young male horse is called a "colt" in English: le poulain
Hiya Greg. Not certain if I truly understand you. I am a horseman too and for me, if a horse is "Gentile" it most likely has not been circumcised. You know, aint Jewish? Maybe it could be "Genteel" but it would be NO Suffolk Punch for sure! Probably a thoroughbred but then, in my long experience Gentle (quiet) a thoroughbred aint, mate! One of the many translated meanings of "Doux" is "Quiet" and so the solution Duo gives is definitely correct. Cordial, JJ.
Hi Svenn. There are many posts complaining about the audio-only tasks not recognising the student's spoken word. We respondents are just other students and can do nothing about the problem. So, rather than post here, report it as a problem. If you have already done that, then ignore what I've just said, but if thus you posted here to gain support, do make that clear.