'Gentille' means 'kind'. 'Doux' means 'soft'. But for example, if you say 'il est doux' it also means 'he is sweet'
@Mostly1. Yes, but doux is masculine and douce is feminine. This is really well explained in the posts by wunel, northernguy and n6zs in detail below. Well worth a read.
I am not a native english speaker but... why can't you you say "this horse is soft"? Obviously you are talking about the skin of the horse, but I do believe it is more than understandable. Tell me if I am wrong.
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?
Yes, I'd use "soft" to describe a cats coat. You know in early times a priest would wear a horse hair shirt as a very uncomfortable penance if he had sinned.
I disagree. I've also spent a lot of time around horses, and would definitely describe some as 'soft', e.g. having a soft coat, particular when comparing one horse to another. I say 'soft' about their noses all the time.
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?
Doux (m)/douce (f) can be interpreted in many ways according to Larousse:
- regarding a touch: soft, smooth
- regarding taste: sweet, mild
- regarding soap: mild
- regarding a person: gentle
- regarding acceleration: smooth
- regarding temperament: gentle
- regarding weather: mild/gentle
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!
I guess maybe because 'this horse is mild' isn't something you would say. What does it mean?
Yes, or say if you're smoking a horse, and the resultant smoke has a mild flavour (less overpowering than that of, say, a camel)
You would not normally say that, not where I'm from at least. You do not say "he is mild" you say "he is mild mannered" or "he is mild tempered" because mild alone is too general.
I do not think "the horse is mild" is an acceptable translation.
Husband Safe, in official equestrian terminology - even as inexperienced a rider as its owner's husband will have no problems riding him! This is of course because most equestrians are female ;)
I said "that horse is docile" which has the same meaning, and makes sense in the English language. Was marked incorrect.
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 don't understand why "This horse is soft" was not an acceptable response.
"Ce" is the masculine form for "this" or "that". C'est means "it is", "this is" or "that is".
yes, Yet when only heard and not seen?... you could think the verb is in, then try to grapple with the next word. Really tough on the orals....
Cheval (horse) is masculine. Doux agrees with cheval. Douce is the feminine form and does not agree with cheval.
Likewise, masculine ce with cheval but not feminine cette with masculine cheval.
the masculine gender is implied by the use of "ce". If it were a female horse it would be "cette chevale"
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
I have owned and ridden horses for years and yes, the horse is mild is a proper English description. There are other more common ones, gentle, sweet, etc. but they all leave off "tempered" because that is understood.
So if doux is masculine and douce is feminine what is plural? Like "Ces chevals sont dou???"
Masculine plural = Doux same as masculine singular. Feminine plural = Douces. (Many thanks to Patrick Jay for both correcting my original post and giving us the answer you sought, Joe.)
Being a life-long horseman, in English if a horse is gentile, we say that it is "quiet". Therefore, the current translation is incorrect.
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.
"Ce cheval est doux." Pronounced as instructed 3 times. DL did not accept my response.
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.
If gentle and mild are acceptable translations of doux as listed in the comments, I believe that "calm" should also be acceptable.
I took a stab at using the word "docile" since it resembles "doux" and would help me remember the word if Duolingo agreed... however, this was not accepted.
Doux can be soft or sweet and a horse can be either or both. DL does not accept soft but does accept sweet.
During my last session trying to pass, I experienced four questions that there was no voice at all. That made me fail to pass. I reported this problem previously, but there was not action to correct from your side.
Perhaps this sentence needs to be revised. It is unclear what is meant. Does this horse have a gentil temperment or is the horse’s hair soft? Le cheval a les cheveux doux. Ou - Le cheval a une disposition douce.