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  5. "Est-il franc ?"

"Est-il franc ?"

Translation:Is he frank?

January 18, 2013



I was surprised at the sound of "Est" in "Est-il" when it was spoken out loud in the question. I didn't think the "s" should be pronounced in the word "Est". Am I incorrect?


I was surprised by the same thing. I had always been taught that the 's' was silent.


I've read elsewhere on DuoLingo that the recording for the single word "est" is wrong. Maybe they'll fix it one day!


I presume it's because the word "est" can also mean "east", the direction, and that word pronounces the 's'. But the verb "est" should definitely only be "eh".


Isnt it because of the liason? If it was just 'est' the 's' would be silent, but in this sentence, it was 'est-il'. So the s is spoken to avoid hiatus. I am a newbie too, but this is what I understand so far. Correct me if i'm wrong, ;)


Definitely not, actually. With the liaison, you pronounce the 't' but not the 's'. It should sound like 'eh teel fra(n)' (n in brackets to denote nasal a vowel, the n is not pronounced).


oh thank you for correcting me, merci


I would think it is a liaison, because right after "Est" is "il" which begins with a vowel, so that's why the t is pronounced.


Not for me; I still hear "est-il" with the "s" sound.


Question for native english-speakers: is "frank" actually used in modern day english? I mean...in everyday life? It seems like an old expression to me? I though the phrase"To be frank" is ok to use, but "Is he frank?" sounds kinda outdated to me...?


I agree with you - "to be frank with you" would sound normal as a phrase, but a little old fashioned. The question "is he being frank?" would sound odd, and "is he frank?" would sound even odder. I think generally speaking, "frank" has been replaced by "honest" in this usage in English. The only time I hear "frank" used where it sounds normal is in sort of negative contexts. The President will make a formal statement that he has had a "frank" discussion with another world leader in a very tense situation, for instance. Or you might say that you had a "frank" talk with a staff member who was out of line. Hope that helps!


Correct. Frank is seldom used outside formal conversation.

Starting a conversation with may I be frank indicates the following conversation will not only be spoken in a free manner but should be taken seriously.

Of course frank has other much less common meanings. It can refer to a body of certain legal implications connected to the postal service.

It also designates a historical European subgroup known as the Franks. They were called Franks because they were able to remain independent of the Roman Empire. Thus they were free. Over an extended period, these people went through multiple major transformations that resulted in what we consider historical France.


frank is not often used but FRANKLY is still used daily, in congruence with HONESTLY


True, the adverb form is more common.


Good point, northernguy, and now that you mention it, I think that might just be why this sentence is in DuoLingo at this stage - to teach learners to distinguish between 'franc' (as in frank/earnest/honest) and 'français' (as in French)!


I hadn't thought of that but it seems likely. Most people think of the Franks as being French in some way but actually they were Germanic speaking at the time of Rome's difficulties with them. Now frank has come to mean choosing relatively unrestrained bluntness that exceeds the restrictions of normal courtesy.


Yes it often used: Lets be frank (with each other), to be frank with you…


No, "frank" is not out-dated. I'm a native English speaker (Canadian). Sometimes people like to joke about using "frank". When someone says "I'll be frank" maybe the other person will try to be funny. Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster, two late Canadian comedians, had a skit where one of them was saying, "I'll be frank". (His first name was Frank). It was very funny, but I don't remember how the skit went, but they were using the word "frank" like this, plus making fun of it being his first name too.


I think franc is used more often to mean straight (in the traditional sense of "honest" or "trustworthy", not in the hétéro sense).

Duo accepts "Is he straightforward?".


"Is he being frank?" or "Is he serious?" sound better to me in English. What do you guys think? "Is he frank?" would be heard as "Is he Frank?", for one thing!


You are correct. Is he frank is a strange construction in English. Being frank is a term used in negotiations but asking if an individual is frank as if it was a personality trait would cause the listener to stop and consider what was being asked.


Yes. The problem isn't just the level of formality though, and it's not always used in negotiations - that's one example. I feel like the construction's normally different too - it's like the difference between saying someone IS difficult and saying that they ARE BEING difficult. Frank seems to be used more in the second way, to describe behaviour that someone is expressing in a certain situation rather than a general personality trait.


It's possible as the other, I guess, but a bit weird.


No, it's really weird to ask if a person is frank.


I was thinking more of describing someone that way than asking, which is slightly less weird, but still pretty weird.


I guess you could use it an ironic sort of way.

....Did you see how he behaved in the meeting, ranting and screaming, insulting everyone......Yes, I did. Well, he is pretty frank. .....


I would suggest "straightforward", because "straight" has mutated to mean something different.


"Is he being frank?" is a correct and better, yet currently not accepted translation. (Reported.)


"Frank" isn't a term commonly used in english these days, and even when it is used the phrasing here is very strange


Amanda is getting mixed up with franc and Frank, the first is the name for the old French coin and the second is my Christian name , I wish her well in her studies. Frank Melhuish


The word-hints say "straight" for franc. Does franc mean "not gay" like ine enlish?


I think it's more like "let me be straight with you." Just another way of saying "frank" especially since "candid" is another definition they give.


No, it's straight, straightforward, honest, candid, direct. It has nothing to do with one's orientation.


I think "Is he being frank?" should be accepted here, because it is closer to the real meaning of "Est-il franc ?". (Reported).
(and it reverse-translates)


Is it meant to be a silent c in franc. Because I did not hear it nor did I hear the r. The voice sounded the word to hear "font". Is that how the word is meant to sound in French?


Yes, the c is silent. The n is too, except that it tells us to pronounce the a as a nasal vowel. The r is pronounced, but sounds different from an English r. French r is a fricative, which is a sound made by restricting the flow of air through the mouth a little, rather than cutting it off. Examples in English are v, f, z, th, j, as opposed to sounds that cut off the air temporarily, like b, d and k. French r is said with the tongue held in a similar position to English g and k, but just not quite cutting the air off like they do. Compare the way the tongue is in the same sort of position for d and t as it is for the two versions of th (as in 'this' and 'thing') - the tongue cuts off the air for d and t, but lets it buzz past for either th. Try letting the air buzz past with your tongue in the right position for a g. This should get you a French r. (English r is a little different, and said with the tongue further forward than French r). Hope that's useful! It can be an awkward sound for English speakers, so sometimes we take too long saying it too - you may be finding it hard to hear because it's being said quickly, as it often is by native speakers more used to the sound.


Try Google Translate, Larousse or acepala-group.com (for pronunciation),


In English, I'd say this could also be "Is he being frank?" Because est is the conjugation of être which means "to be."


être = to be

est = is


"Il est …" → "He is being …" (present continuous tense).

"Is he being frank?" is a much better translation, but it's currently not accepted. (Reported.)


I'm a bit confused here: "il est" can also mean "it is", so I translated the sentence to "is it straight?" Does one ever use "est-il" to mean "is it"? Or is it always "is he"? Can anyone shed some light, please?


"Franc" doesn't mean "straight" the way a line is straight; it means straight-talking, honest. The question here is whether a person is being frank. That's not a question you would ask about an inanimate object, so "it" isn't really an accurate translation in this case. If the adjective were different, like "petit" for example, then "est-il petit?" could mean either "is he small?" or "is it small?".


I think it could be "Is it frank?" if it refers to an offer, a proposal, decision, etc, but it would have to be Est-elle since all of those words are feminine in French.


You are right, I don't think Duolingo can fix it themself, I read that Duo use external softwear, meanwhile we have to use other pages to check pronunciation, google translate can be used for pronunciation or use forvo : http://fr.forvo.com/word/est-il/#fr


Non, il est le Sénat.


Three fails. This is working very bad. Please fix it some day. I hope this comment helps. Have a nice day.

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