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  5. "Comment ça, mort ?"

"Comment ça, mort ?"

Translation:What do you mean, dead?

March 10, 2013

111 Comments


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

These are getting dark.


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

And you love it.


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

How's it going, dead dude?


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

Comment ça? Mort.


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

Yeah, the rising tonality should definitely be "mort" imho.


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

it doesnt even need to be dramatic, "your battery is dead" ..."what do you mean dead?" (granted this theoretical person must be an idiot. but there are plenty of those around)


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

A phone line could be dead too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/clow512k

But, do French say "dead" for a battery without energy? in Spanish, for instance, they say "agotada", the same word for for "tired".


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

Actually, in Spanish "agotar" means "to extract/consume everything out of something", so "agotada" fits perfectly with a "dead" battery. But at least in Spain we use "muerta" or "muerto" quite often as an informal way to refer to a depleted battery or a broken device (say a computer that won't even turn on)


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

Also, you could say "acabada".


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

Comment ça, sentence maker?


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

Could "Comment ça?" translate to "How's that?"


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

on its own, yes, but I think that depending on context, it takes on many different nuances. not a fluent French speaker, myself, so feel free to call me out if I'm wrong, anyone.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeffers86

Yes. It translates literally, and it is used the same way as in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah-Cheung

I typed in «How is it, dead?», and it was accepted.


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

I thought she said 'comment ça mord'. I was asking the angler whether he was getting any bites. Anyway, I was wrong, the angler was dead...


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

Groan . . . I shouldn't complain, it's a bilingual pun, but I do get it. I are a Duolingo testatmonial!


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

I can only think of Monty Python after this! (The resting parrot)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oisin.Debard

Il n'est pas mort, il se repose!


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

"Pining for the fjords?!" :)


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

Clue (aka Cluedo) is the one that springs to my mind. Ah Tim Curry...


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

These are getting really scary


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

Always use the masculine form unless you know from the sentence (or context, which isn't available here) that you need to use the feminine.


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

Non, je ne suis pas d'accord. Hors contexte mort/ morte / morts/ mortes devraient tous être acceptés quand on traduit de l'anglais vers le français.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

i'd agree if Duo were consistent about context/lack of context. But Duo is not consistent at all. This is readily apparent whenever you see a noun preceded by son. Duo almost always accepts either "his" or "her" as the pronomial adjective. Technically, since we have no context, Duo should always only accept "his".

So, I would have reported this one, except Duo has removed the option to report that my answer of morte should be accepted.


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

What do you mean Duo removed the option to report?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobWells5

The only item on the "Report" button menu is "The French sentence is unnatural or has an error." None of the "My answer should be accepted" etc.


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

That is a downgrade on the part of the program then.


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

What is the meaning of this sentence? Am I kind of talking to zombie?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NightWave2

I think it's supposed to convey shock about the dead part. eg: "He's dead" "What do you mean, dead?" Sounds awkward though. :/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

Yes, them, too. But I believe that you are talking about a zombie or about zombies rather than to zombies.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eureka.c

Does anyone else think that the absence of rising intonation on the "mort" and the really weird rhythm with which the computer voice reads this sentence make it really hard to understand just through listening? I wonder if I'm justified in sending my report that "the audio does not sound correct". Or maybe I just still really suck at comprehending spoken French.


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

I noticed that "Comment" is pronounced dreadfully in this sentence, so I don't think it's just you. I reported it.


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

Mort was pronounced with 2 distinct syllables...why?


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

It is very difficult to get a natural sounding voice with a computer. It takes a massive amount of signal processing to accomplish it. And then all you end up with is a perfect sounding voice which isn't actually natural when it's compared to normal speech which varies widely between speakers.

Better to put the computer horsepower required into other areas of of the program.


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

A film noir line.


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

I don't understand, this one, so "Comment ça" means " What do you mean"?


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

Literally, it is "How's that...?" which in English has the same idea as "What do you mean?" There may be all sorts of equivalent expressions, English having so many options, but DuoLingo would have a hard time recognizing them all, so stick to what we know works from the answers they give.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spirus123

How to ask then How did it die?


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

Comment est-il mort ? / Comment il est mort ?

De quoi est-il mort ? / De quoi il est mort ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

While "comment" literally means "how", it can be used by itself the way we say "what?" So "Comment ça?" is "What's that?", "What did you just say?", What do you mean?".


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

It could have been "Comment ça mord ?" : "How's it biting ?" when you talk to a fisherman.


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

Makes sense after the shock of discovering a dead cat a second earlier in this lesson. It was perfectly well in the previous lesson eating the fish. The fish was probably rotten. But I do not know the French word for "rotten" yet, ergo the question above to fill the gap.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abc1112

So how exactly does "mort" translate to "half-dead"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/miss.nomaly

This can't be translated to "how is this dying?"


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

No... comment ça, mort? is referring to mort the adjective, I believe, while comment ça meurt is using "mourir" the verb. And correct me if I'm wrong (most likely I am) but I think that a form of ce would be used instead of ça for "How is this dying?" I am unsure of the context of ça.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K333222

If you would, in that case, insist on using indefinite demonstrative pronoun as a subject, I believe that "ceci" or "cela" would be more appropriate choice then "ce": "comment ceci/cela meurt ?". In an informal form, "ça" could be used as a subject instead of ceci/cela.

Explanation is available at: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indefinite-demonstrative-pronoun.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wiredg2

I thought they were asking how did he/she die..."Comment sa mort(e)?"


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

Sa means his/her, and mort(e) is an adjective, so you can see that the sentence you wrote would not make sense as it would be "how his/her dead?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexandruL2

How do you say: how does that die? Comment ca mort?


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

Comment ça meurt ? mort is adjective.


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

Didn't accept "How's that, dead?" - reported it.


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

We should've known there would be death with that red shark.


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

How is it that all three are not possibilities? Did you hear about the dog? He's dead. "Comment ça, mort?" Did you hear about the opera singer? She's dead. "Comment ça, morte?" Did you hear about the soldiers? They're dead. "Comment ça, morts?" Context allows each in its place.


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

I am with you on this one. This turns up in a "select the missing word" example, with no audio cue, so I really would like to hear from a native French speaker if petemehegan's thesis is correct.


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

"It's worse than that. He's dead, Jim."


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

Now I can be dramatic in french


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

I don't understand this sentence at all


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

It is odd without context. However, in "casual speak" one says "how's that?" Or "how do you figure?" Comment ca is "how's that?" which actually means "what do you mean?". In context, however morbid, one might say that a third party who was supposed to meet two people is told that #2 is dead, one might say this. That is how I put it to rest in my mind.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jce88

Comment ça. How so or, How come.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andre.arca

By hearing the audio, could it be "Comment sa, morte?" or is it weird ?


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

It does sound the same, but that doesn't make sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K333222

No, I'm sorry but you're wrong here. In "morTe" you would hear T sound very clearly, which is missing in "mort".

Regarding "sa" it obviously can't be used here anyway, because it is possessive adjective and needs a noun, but I think you meant that yourself too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daas88

"comment ca" is almost like in Spanish: "¿cómo así?. Also like "how so"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Sapphira-

"Votre mère est morte." "Comment ça, mort?"


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

mort / morte / morts devraient tous être acceptés. Comment savoir, hors contexte? Pourquoi avons-nous perdu la possibilité de commenter dans "report a problem" quand il y a une erreur?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan554280

can someone explain the - comment ca?


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

A more literal translation would be 'How so?' Although we don't necessarily always use them under the same circumstances, that and 'What do you mean?' are more or less semantically interchangeable. Either one can be said in French as « Comment ça ? »


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

My French roommate's favorite sentence from his year's stay with us, "What did he do did he die?" (Sung to the tune of "Follow the Yellow Brick Road..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NickM98

I simply don't get to understand this ._.


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

NickM98, imagine two people talking. The first person says "I believe Mary's goat is dead." The second one who saw the goat just yesterday looking alive and well might find this news hard to believe, so might ask, "What do you mean, dead?"

In other words, "Are you sure it is really dead? How can it be dead (when it was OK just yesterday)? Please explain because you are not making sense!"

I hope that helps.


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

I translated as "how did this die"? And was marked wrong.


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

It isn't past tense, among other things.


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

This evil bird is enjoying this, I bet!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lyd.crim

Whoa. Had no clue what the word was so i went with what it sounded like and got it right!


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

Comment ça being what do you mean is really bothering me. I figured it would be how are you, dead? And dead would mean figuratively exhausted


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

Perhaps one way to accept this is to remember that when the French do not hear something you said and wish to convey "sorry?" or "excuse me?" as a way to prompt you to repeat what you said, they say "Comment ?"


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

Seems like a rather advanced expression for such an early level of learning.


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

love imagining the situational setup for this one


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

Very nice and joyful


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

what is the difference between mort and morte? how do you know when to use?


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

you use mort to describe something masculine that is dead and morte something feminine.

un animal mort = a dead animal

une mouche morte = a dead fly


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

La mouche est morte. Comment ca, morte? (would it have to necessarily be 'morte' here to refer back to the first sentence?)

La mouche est morte. Pourquoi est-qu'il/elle est mort(e)? (can either il or elle work here?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sotnosen93

Yes, it still has to be "morte". You still have to use the correct gender for the adjective, even when the subject isn't specifically mentioned in the sentence.

Also, it's "Pourquoi est-ce qu'elle est".


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

Worst. Comma. Ever.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/new3009

Why the previous answer have both morts and mortes?


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

If you are asked to translate the word "dead", it can be any of the following: mort, morte, morts, or mortes depending on the gender and count of the dead object(s).

So if you are told to translate the phrase "a dead dog" into English, both un chien mort and une chienne morte would be correct.

However, if you are doing the exercise where you are to write what you hear, mort and morte sound different--the T in mort is not pronounced--so only the one that is said would be correct.


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

I think "Like that" (snap of the fingers), dead!?" would capture the idea too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sotnosen93

Personally I think that's taking a bit too much liberty with the sentence, possibly because "What do you mean" sounds like more of a direct question since it uses a questioning word.


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

L'étincelle de sa vie s'est éteinte dans sa chiasse. Son esprit est parti mais sa puanteur demeure. Est-ce que ça répond à ta question ?

I love that film.


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

this is a pearl


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

I saw it as "Like that" so I translated "Just like that, dead?" Wasn't accepted, but I still like it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rewm
  • 696

"Comment ça, ... ?" - mort - morte - morts

... and i had to choose only one option. ..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qiset1

Holy cow. What a messeed up phrase.


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

"Dead, how come?" Rejected.


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

As it should be. Your statement is expressing a different sentiment. One of wonder, asking how the death came to be. While the given expression is one of disbelief that the death even occurred.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aap79

Why is "what do you mean death" wrong? Please explain


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

How about only asking once. While mort in some contexts can mean death, it doesn't have the feel of a noun here. And to be honest I suspect that this is a quote from a movie called 'Clue'.


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

I thought the French were so romantic but their nouns for Love and death sound precariously alike for learners!


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

Learn quickly the difference between [u] (oooh) and the open "o" (door). L'amour and la mort don't sound at all alike. Important as the distinction between [y] and [u]...because you have to know the difference between la plus belle, and la poubelle.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sylvia691904

On peut très bien dire comment ça morte


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

Could it say how did this die? If not how would this be said?


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

Comment est-ce que c'est mort ?


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

De quoi est-il mort ?

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