Different connotations. This was expressed in a translation of «L'Étranger» I recently read, and is discussed here: http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/lost-in-translation-what-the-first-line-of-the-stranger-should-be
Sorry Duo, Your mom, Babble, is dead and buried next to Google Translate.
Why does this have an exception to the general rule in French that nouns need articles in front of them? "Où est ma maman?" or "Où est ta maman?" or "Où est sa maman?" etc. Sure, I'd assume "my" is implied, but there are lots of cases in French when the implied article seems obvious and it's still necessary. Why not here?
It's because maman is used as a name (proper noun) here rather than a common noun.
The voice's pronunciation was very unclear here. It sounded like "ou est med-ment" in the slow version..
I learned French more than fifty years ago and still use it regularly, but in many cases I don't understand what the voice is saying!
I am arabian , l am sorry to say that i can't differentiate the pronunciation of "ou' est" which means where is and "oui" -yes .I actually heared it as to be oui
To my ears, the key seems to be in the sound of the e. "Ou est" sounds like "ooh eh." (Short 'e' sound as in 'bed'). And "oui" sounds like "ooh-ee." (Long 'e' sound as in 'keep').
Duo, you need to accept Mum as well as Mom. If you are English, you would never say Mom.
Is it standard to capitalize "maman" and "papa" when they're used as names, as is done in English?
No; mother = mère.
Maman is very informal/childish, so mother, which is neither informal nor childish, is a poor translation.
i can't really understand why where is my mother is not excepted, unless you where talking to a really small child maybe and wanted to find their mother?
One might say 'mum' rather than 'my mum' when talking to another close family member - a sibling, father etc. Or a very small child who didn't yet realise she was not 'mum' to everyone.
This pronunciation is very fast. I know that French people talk fast though. So I understood "Oui mais non" instead of "Où est maman ?". LOL.