Translation:The island

February 23, 2013



Isn't the pronunciation of Lille, France the same? I didn't dare to attempt it.


Yes, "Lille" and "L'île" are pronounced alike.


You won't see place names in an exercise like this.


Is "il" pronounced the same as "île"?


Yes, of course.


Est-ce qu'on vit DANS une île ou SUR une île?


Actually it sometimes depend on the size of the island: the bigger, the more "dans" is probable.


If you're intrigued by the little circumflex ^ I heard that, historically, vowels with circumflexes denote words that originally had an s following the vowel with the mark. So "l'île" would have originally been spelled "l'isle", if I'm not mistaken (and according to Wiktionary, it was spelled this way in Old and Middle French). Thinking about this when viewing words that have circumflex-accented vowels can sometimes help you guess at the meaning of the word.


The male recording is very soft for this sentence!


I swear it sounded like it said blile.....


This is too short to provide any of the context we're supposed to use for either disambiguation or for clues to words difficult to discern from the text-to-speech voice.


I don't think they'll change it, but I wholeheartedly agree with you.


On many listenings to the man say this word the nearest we could come to was bile. The man's accent is appalling.


Ouch! It's an accent common to the southwest of France. If you ever visit, you will find people who speak in all kinds of ways, not like a robot-lady. Some may slur all their words into what seems almost indistinguishable. Others enunciate quite clearly. And accents vary in different parts of France, just like in other countries.


So perhaps one shouldn't take the following statement too literally then? "On Duolingo, you'll learn the version of French that you'd hear in Paris."


Perhaps a more accurate statement would be, you will learn French as spoken in France. The variation of voices is critical to developing a good "ear" for the language. Otherwise, you could be academically well-prepared but thrown off by a slightly different pronunciation. This is especially evident in early lessons when new learners are unable to differentiate sounds and are unable to recognize that it is their own inexperience that frustrates them.


Actually above and beyond the man's slight southern accent, the sound you hear at the end of "l'île" (liluh) is a schwa. It is extremely common with people enunciating properly and required in poetry.

Please take a look at this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwa


I found this particular pronunciation impossible to understand; unusual with this narrator. I think it's a sound quality issue more than anything.


Is there a difference in pronouncing l'île and l'huile? ...I guess l'huile has a bit more roundness to it?


I don't know if it is for roundness, but in l'huile, the -u- is to be heard as [ü].

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.