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  5. "Ma femme est douce."

"Ma femme est douce."

Translation:My wife is sweet.

January 13, 2013

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RYMENES

why is "my wife is smooth" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

It's only smooth when referring to textiles or drinks, not people, where it's a word for describing a gentle, sweet temperament.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gbrown022

Okay, I can believe that explanation, but how is it possible to know that? Especially when the hover suggests "smooth" as a possible contextually accurate term?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

The tooltips are not "contextually accurate"; they don't consider context at all. They are the equivalent of a dictionary, with meanings sometimes wildly inappropriate (e.g. verb meanings when it's noun usage), and not much more. Frankly, that fact is such a source of confusion on Duolingo that I think they either need to get to work on making it contextually aware, or make it more explicitly clear what the hover text is and isn't.

As for how it's possible to know that, common sense rules the day. Where common sense is no help, then trial and error. Sometimes you just have to get it wrong and then engage in the discussion like you are. As for learning the differences on your own, I find Wordreference.com to be excellent at breaking out a word's different contextual uses.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gbrown022

Thank you for the comment. I appreciate the explanation and website tip :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AshleyCeleste

I completely understand about what you're saying about the drop down options being confusing for some, but I hope Duolingo never gets rid of them because I love these drop down menus. When it's teaching me a new meaning for an old word, I can still look and verify the old meaning with the drop down menu or I can learn odd meanings for words I wouldn't otherwise know for years maybe. I hope they don't take this away. I thought it was pretty obvious after a couple weeks of using duolingo that these are just random translations and have nothing to do with context, but maybe they should write that somewhere. I think the drop down translations are one great thing Duolingo has over Rosetta Stone, so I hope they aren't removed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DmytroShkr

A correct answer is My wife is soft; my wife is kind being wrong. What a soft wife means, I wonder


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2064

Doux/douce has slight differences in meaning depending on the noun it modifies. Some things that are doux/douce (soft) could include: cloth, hair, skin, light, music, voice. So you could say "elle a un peau doux" = She has soft skin. But that is her skin, not herself. For people (and animals), doux/douce = gentle/sweet or even in the sense of gentil(le) = nice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DmytroShkr

Exactly! 'Gentle', 'sweet', 'nice' all sound great. Soft wife is just silly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will-J-Crawford

It's less of a compliment, generally, to describe a person as soft, but I assure you we do!

We being English people, that is.

Certainly when I was younger calling someone "soft" meant they were a pushover, either literally or metaphorically.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Elle a la peau douce.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arandaneri

Long thread and maybe I missed it but, why is the male voice adding a vowel "a" or a (ə) sound at the end of words ending on "e" like on "douce"? He is saying "dooz (a)"...or something lile that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2064

It is a variation in accent. You will hear it more in the southwest part of France. It is normal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lelenaaqua

my woman or my wife? '


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hohenems

My wife. Nobody really says "my woman" in English, it sounds too much like you are referring to her as a piece of property. If it said "Une femme" or "Cette femme" then you could translate it as "woman".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisPrior

Unfortunately, a lot of people say 'my woman' as though said woman is property.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RheaSamantha

I don't know why saying, "my woman" would denote her as a piece of property. Maybe it does carry that connotation in English, but then why do people say, "my man" and it is not bad?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

'my man, and my woman' are endearing terms of trust and faithfulness to each other. I have Never heard of it used in such a derogatory way as ownership of our by another person. In Washington state, such a statement could literally insight a riot. (I kid you not).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianaM

I guess it depends on where you are. Not something I hear, ever, where I am. (Vancouver, British Columbia)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin968039

Ya gotta love Vancouver, It is beautiful. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2064

It's the question of relationship. If you say "la femme", there is no relationship context so it will be "the woman". With "ma femme", the relationship changes it to "my wife".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiovannaRi12

Is "tender" a possible translation here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2064

As an adjective, "tender" does not apply to a person, but you could say "tender feelings", "tender emotions", "tender spirit". Regarding a person, you would say, she is gentle or sweet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetBerry2

I disagree A person can be tender ie nice gentle compassionate A piece of meat can be tender too Different meanings


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pbousfie

How am i suppose to differentiate doux from douce??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/neverfox

/du/ vs /dus/, but even if you don't hear it, in this case, it's not going to be doux because it needs to be the feminine «douce» to go along with «femme».


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StreakIs343Plus

Is it supposed to be pronounced "fehm" or "fahm"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frenchandme

I believe one has to understand the context of the statement/sentence. And as per the context, that particular word will take the appropriate meaning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DoubleLingot

so let it be written, so let it be done


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShadowPrxncess

What's the difference between doux and gentil?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/organell

For people, sweet and kind, respectively. Personally, I think the difference is small. "My wife is kind" was however marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J.C.Fink

One way to remember doux / douce is the borrowed term, "billet-doux", a love-letter - literally "sweet-letter.

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