I was talking to my tutor and she said that saying "vieux" for an elderly person is somewhat offensive because it refers to the person as an object. She suggested using agée instead. Would "Les agées sont intéressants" work?
No, because 'agees' is feminine plural and 'interessants' is masculine plural (can't do accents)
Besides the gender agreement, does the overall form work? Thanks for responding.
Yes, it works.
And as afar as I learnt on this site, it's preferred to 'vieux' when speaking about people, as your tutor said.
In english, saying that something is "interesting" with a certain tone is a polite tongue in cheek way to hint at, but avoid expressing a negative opinion. Can "intéressant" have the same connotation for French?
Except that ''seniors'' is polite, whereas ''les vieux'' is more like saying ''old people''. There's an important distinction there. People might be offended if you went around using ''les vieux'' when you meant ''the elderly'' or something polite like that.
A few sentences ago, Duo declined les vieux = the elderly, saying it means 'the old'. Two of us politely protested. Now, Duo has mellowed,- with age?!
I translated as 'old folk are interesting' and I was marked wrong as it should be 'old folks' but the word folk in English is a plural word. I believe in America they would use 'folks' but in the UK we would say 'folk'.
I tried this, to be polite/politically correct, but I think Duolingo (correctly) wants the translation to reflect the harshness/straightforwardness of the original phrase.
I agree. I have found that I get in "trouble" when I try to use an idiomatic translation instead of a literal one.
For these exercises, I have found more success when I employ a word-for-word translation:
Les (The) vieux (old) sont (are) interessants (interesting).
On the other exercises where they provide the words for us to use, I look at those exercises as Duolingo's way of teaching idiomatic or synomous expressions.
Because the 'i' in interesting seems to have a circumflex above it.
What would it be if you were not referring to people but to things? E.g. "Which books can you recommend?" - "The old ones are interesting."
sorry, perhaps I should have added more context to my original question. Is there another (more colloquial) meaning for "vieux" when used amongst friends, e.g. Mon vieux etc?
No. "Mon vieux" is equivalent to the English phrase "my old man" in reference to someone's father.
Ah, I understood as a term of endearment, similar to ‘old chap’. I’ve since found a good explanation under the “"We are old friends" thread https://www.duolingo.com/comment/600784/We-are-old-friends so I’ll go with that, thanks!
It is incorrect because people has to go in there or else you would be saying that old objects are interesting instead of the old people are interesting.
Because that would still refer to an object instead of old people and I do not think oldies is a word
So it should be - it is quite impolite
"The elderly are interesting." is far more appropriate.
But if the original french is rude, the "appropriate" translation should also be rude.
I got the listening exercise and could not tell if the elderly was masculine elderly or feminine. Is there a difference in pronunciation?
It's not so common. I recommend using what the main translation is for pretty much all of the words, even if it isn't what you're used to. I would say fries instead of chips, and I would have to say pants instead of trousers, as the latter ones are the usual where I am in the UK, but the former ones are more recognized on this site.
The elderly? How insulting. I used 'elders' which is the only respectful term for those who came before us.
No. "Elderly" only exists as an adjective or as an invariable noun, so it would be the elderly are, not the elderlies are.
If you want to be more polite in French, say les personnes âgées rather than les vieux, which can be a bit rude.
Lol, so DuoLingo defaults to "The elderly are interesting" as the best translation (?), but what is this really saying?
Expert French speaking person... please advise?
That's exactly what it's saying in the French too (except that the French is a bit more blunt--more like "old people" rather than "elderly"). :D