1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Il parle légèrement."

"Il parle légèrement."

Translation:He talks thoughtlessly.

March 10, 2013



I don´t understand. In other sentence two minutes ago lightly is wrong as légèrement and in this case slightly is accept and not lightly. Duolingo is a bit confused today


I get "thoughtlessly", "carelessly", "casually" and "lightly". I do not get "slightly". To me, "He speaks slightly" would mean he speaks only a very little bit, although it would be an odd way to say that.

"Slightly" is not often used to modify a verb, it usually modifies an adjective or a preposition, as: She was slightly drunk; they were slightly behind us; he is slightly better at chess.

Thinking further about this, I'd say you only use "slightly" with a verb when the verb has to do with measurable amounts: The ship deviated slightly from its course, my wage increased slightly, the level of interest varies slightly from day to day.



same here, lightly was pointed out as wrong in another question and here slightly is the wrong answer.... I don't get it.


I don't understand. If lightly was wrong in both cases, what's the confusion?


Shouldn't carelessly be accepted as well?


I put carelessly too.


Yes. I'd say "casually" or "lightly" should be also.


I wrote he speaks softly, is this not the same sense/meaning?


"Slightly" and "lightly" are the two primary meanings offered by Larousse for légèrement; although the sense of "thoughtlessly" is there also. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/l%C3%A9g%C3%A8rement/46493


no, I believe it would be IL PARLE TRES DOUCEMENT for softly, Here the meaning is that his words are not very profound.


I wrote that and it was accepted. Google translate lists softly as a definition for légèrement. Still not really sure though.


Il parle légèrement = He talks lightly = It is very easy for him to speak in a beautiful manner?


No, as I understand it, the meaning conveys a lack of seriousness.


You folks are thinking too much like anglophones! Words can have more than one meaning. The word-for-word translstions won't always work. That doesn't mean it's not valid.


Since the discussion is all about how to convey the intended meaning of the French sentence, I don't get what your objection is.


Sorry. Let me explain better. If a word has multiple definitions, you can't substitute other words that are synonymous to one of the definitions NOT being used in that sentence. e.g. "He is sweet." One definition of sweet is sugary, but you can not say "He is sugary." Trying to use the sentence "He speaks slightly," is the same thing. It's using a synonym to ONE of the definitions that doesn't happen to apply to "Il parle légèrement." That's why it doesn't work. You can't use every definition for a word each time you see that word. The context is important.

Also if a french sentence doesn't use a word exactly the way we use it in English, that's okay. It looks like because "He speaks lightly" was an accepted answer, a lot of people thought "Well I wouldn't say 'He speaks lightly,' in English without more information following; it sounds weird..." Well a sentence can be strange in one language and be completely normal in another. It's like trying to explain the greeting "What's up?" to francophones, when the word-for-word translation is "What's above?" And when you translate "Ça va" word-for-word it means "It goes," which doesn't make any sense in English. When you learn a new language, sometimes you just have to accept the meaning in a new context and try your best to absorb it without worrying that it doesn't match your native language translation (Good advice my Montreal friend gave me when I was learning French there).


I entirely agree with all of that. It's what I try to get across to people when they complain that DL didn't accept something they randomly chose from those wretched drop-down hints. But I believe the main part of the discussion here is to actually grasp the French meaning and then how to express that in reasonable English. Which is what translation is about. Cheers!


I totally agree with you!


It came to spelling for me as the second question the first time I tried this lesson... Spellings should be after you've translated everything in the lesson, it's weird, Duolingo should fix it...


would ""speaks flippantly" convey the proper meaning of parle légèrement?


Possibly. I tend to think of "flippant" as a bit more deliberate than merely "thoughtless" or "careless". I, too, would be interested to know if "légèrement" stretches that far.


Is this a compliment or an insult?


How about he speaks loosely?

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