"Ma femme est douce."

Translation:My wife is sweet.

January 13, 2013

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/RYMENES

why is "my wife is smooth" wrong?

September 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

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

February 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

March 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

March 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gbrown022

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

March 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

October 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DmytroShkr
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A correct answer is My wife is soft; my wife is kind being wrong. What a soft wife means, I wonder

June 17, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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.

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DmytroShkr
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Exactly! 'Gentle', 'sweet', 'nice' all sound great. Soft wife is just silly

September 21, 2015

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

December 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Elle a la peau douce.

March 2, 2019

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

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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It is a variation in accent. You will hear it more in the southwest part of France. It is normal.

October 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/lelenaaqua

my woman or my wife? '

January 13, 2013

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

January 13, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ChrisPrior

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

March 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

January 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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).

October 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

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

July 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevin968039

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

October 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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And that is not an interpretation used on Duolingo.

December 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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".

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GiovannaRi12

Is "tender" a possible translation here?

February 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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.

September 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JanetBerry2

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

October 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/pbousfie

How am i suppose to differentiate doux from douce??

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/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».

July 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/StreakIs343Plus

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

September 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/slwagar

fahm

February 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

July 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DoubleLingot
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so let it be written, so let it be done

March 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ShadowPrxncess

What's the difference between doux and gentil?

August 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/organell
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For people, sweet and kind, respectively. Personally, I think the difference is small. "My wife is kind" was however marked wrong.

October 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/J.C.Fink
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One way to remember doux / douce is the borrowed term, "billet-doux", a love-letter - literally "sweet-letter.

August 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Will-J-Crawford
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Soft! Soft, I tell you!

December 7, 2018
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