Pretty is jolie not joile but you are right about beautiful being belle
Beau is masculine and belle, feminine : un beau garçon, un beau rêve, but une belle femme, une belle maison.
Careful though, if a masculine noun starts with a vowel or a mute 'h', beau becomes bel : un bel homme, un bel avion.
So is this why the French princess is named Belle in BEAUTY and the Beast? It seems so clear now.
It's just the name of the character, but yes, it means "beauty" or "beautiful".
You use 'bel' instead of 'beau' for a masculine noun that starts with a vowel, so for instance you'd say "bel oiseau", not "beau oiseau", which is hard to say for one.
Edit: A vowel or a mute H to be exact.
"jolie=pretty" "belle=beautiful" pretty and beautiful may be similar but are not synonyms, jolie and belle do not mean the same thing
I put the ladies instead of the women and got it wrong..is there really such a distinction?
Ladies is seen as a polite way of adressing women and the word for lady is 'dame'.
I typed 'the ladies are beautiful'. I guess their is another and different word for 'ladies'.
Why is "The wives are beautiful" considered wrong? Isn't femme also used to mean wife?
In context, e.g., "ma femme" = my wife; ta femme = your wife. Otherwise, "femme" = woman.
It's interesting to note that in French culture, the word "joli" is not used to describe a man, in the same way that (generally speaking) English speakers do not call a man "pretty". Note that this is not being sexist. It is just understanding how the language is actually used.
In actual life, including business writing and oral speaking, I have seen that it is widely accepted to make almost equal between pretty and beautiful, and more widely to use nice to describe other topics (such as attitudes) than looking.
In duo exercises, I made more 50 mistakes (if not >100!) regarding the usage of pretty/nice/beautiful/... I tried to correct myself following DUO, but am always been reversely corrected by real life.
Am I the only one having such experience?
You have probably seen many other posts explaining the convention used on Duolingo that "jolie" is pretty and "belle" is beautiful. Everyone who uses Duolingo is having the same experience regarding the use of this convention. After 50-100 mistakes, I would think you would realize that it is easier to adapt than to fight it. In your personal conversation, you can certainly use "pretty" and "beautiful" however you want. You have come far in the course. You will eventually come to the end and you can leave all of this behind you.
I understand beau is handsome, but why cant' bell be lovely, or something like that. We don't usually say women are handsome. Well maybe in the 19th century we did.
The feminine equivalent of (beau) "handsome" is (belle) "beautiful". We may think that adjectives in English are gender-neutral, but they are not. In the same way, a francophone will not use "joli" to describe a man any more than an anglophone would say a man is "pretty" (of course, there is always someone willing to push that envelope) but it is definitely not common.
Is there any other accepted translation of "belle" besides beautiful?