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  5. "Il est franc."

"Il est franc."

Translation:He is frank.

March 29, 2013



I don't understand why "He is honest" is acceptable, but "He is sincere" is not. "Frank" is an odd word to me, it feels like something my grandparents would say; I would never say it. I would say sincere instead. To me, sincere is a synonym of frank.


I disagree. I associate "sincere" with being "heartfelt", and "honest" as being "straightforward". All three words convey an element of honesty, but I tend to think "frank" implies a more emotionally removed dialogue than "sincere". If you have a frank discussion with someone, it is usually short and to the point without additional emotional embellishment. If you express sincerity, I view this as a more passive form of communication


I agree that "He is frank" is not common in contemporary American English (unless you're introduciing your friend Frank). I'd be more inclined to say "He speaks his mind"


I disagree. I hear it used frequently, such as: "to be frank..." or "frankly, I...". It's often used by the speaker who is about to say something straightforward and to-the-point.


"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".


Oh! Where's that from?? I forget!


Gone with the Wind


I agree, at least where I live, frank and frankly are used often. Frank, to me, is more along the lines of candid. It does not carry the beneficence of sincere or genuine and has connotations of brashness and coarseness instead.


Hmm? Au contraire, je crois. My cynical experience tells me that the speaker is more likely than average to be concealing something.


It happens that "franc" (frank) originates in Old French, unsurprisingly. It means to speak freely, and only the Francs had full freedom in Frankish Gaul.


Yes--I think it's that "frank" is odd/old-fashioned when said of a person; but we have "frank discussions" or "frank exchanges of ideas" all the time.


I think that sincere refers more to the honest expression of the feelings of a person. In French: sincère


"Full and frank discussions" = blazing row!


Translation (in straightforward cases like this) is not subjective. The correct translation is whatever the French dictionary defines as the uses of 'franc' (presumably not to mean 'sincere').

In saying that, 'honest' is a synonym for 'frank' and 'sincere' is a synonym for 'honest' – but 'sincere' as a synonym for 'frank' is probably too far removed :)


No, this is Patrick.


Another translation for this is "he is straight" which had me thinking that it's perfect timing, considering Mardi Gras is on this weekend in Sydney!

Actually, if someone was blunt, honest, frank etc. I don't think Australians would ever say "he is straight" to convey that. We might say "he is straight to the point", but generally, if someone says "he is straight", the listener is more likely to interpret this to mean "he is not gay".


I cannot distinguish the "k" sound at all in the audio, would one actually not pronounce this? Thanks!

"He is frank" is as common as any of the obscure sentences used in duo, but is absolutely correct.


[fʁɑ̃] is the pronunciation, so the "c" should never be pronounced.


The 'c' of 'franc' is silent , or nearly so. This is from my experience living in Switzerland, where the fran(c) is the currency. Nasalized 'n' sound and no 'k.'


Good to know! Thanks!


Wasn't franc the french currency before?


Yeah, they used it before euros


Surely, he can't be.


Is there any reason why this sentence is being thrown at us over ten times in a row?


Maybe people get it wrong a lot? Perhaps because for english speakers in many countries, neither frank nor candid are particularly common words (though not to the point of being obscure) and straight is almost never used in the way duolingo is using it. As someone else pointed out above 'He is straight' means he is not gay. It is basically never used in that sentence to mean the equivalent of 'franc'.


This is what I was looking for :-) When I completed this lesson, I ended up answering this sentence 14 TIMES!!


I haven't myself tried it, but could blunt be accepted as a translation for franc?


I think it would translate better to he is being frank, English speakers don't say that he IS frank.


I understand where you are coming from; however, you can always say, "He is frank." if the man is always blunt.


Haha, makes me think of Temperance "Bones" Brennan. Elle est franche.


Elle est franche !


Why couldn't it be "sincere"?


why can't 'il' be it?


Good question! Can a Francophone answer (s'il vous plaît)?


Not a Francophone but I'm guessing in this case "il" means "he" because that's how the expression works: when the adjective describes a person you must use "il est"; when it describes a situation you must use "c'est". Therefore, if it says "Il est frank" it could only mean "He is frank". If you wanted to say "It is frank (though it sounds a bit off to me but I wanted to keep the example)" you'd have to say "C'est frank". Based my assumption on this: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm See first thing in the chart.


Two late comedians, Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster, had a skit on their TV show one time, where one of them, was saying something like "I'll be Frank" but it was his name. I don't remember the skit, but one of the lines in the skit was, "I'll be Frank" and it was a joke about using "frank" and his first name was Frank too.

"Frank" is a commonly used word. In a newspaper, the name of a column was "frankly speaking".


Oh man! I wrote it like 3 times bwfire i realized it wasn't somebody's name! :P


I capitalized Frank like someone's name and it was accepted anyway. LOL


A question for Francophones, and probably for linguists, really. I've come across this word in the context of 'francs-bourgeois' - or 'free' bourgeois. Is that an ancient meaning of the word that is now gone out of use? Incidentally, in Ireland we'd use the word 'straight' to mean that someone is honest and won't cheat you, and also someone speaks directly without beating around the bush; the neologism of straight/gay is also understood and used, but is not the primary meaning of 'straight'.


I am not a francophone, but I am a bit of an amateur linguist. The word 'franc,' whence our word 'frank' is derived, comes from Medieval Latin 'francus' via Old French meaning 'free;' thus 'open, sincere.' The original sense of the word was derived from the concept of the Franks, the people group, being freedmen as opposed to the subjects whom they had conquered. Once it had been adopted into Vulgar Latin, thence Old French and subsequently Middle English, its meaning began to undergo normal semantic change to reach its modern meaning. The 'francs-bourgeois' is an example of the older meaning retained in a phrase. Hope this was useful! Have a wonderful day! :)


Thanks! I also noticed, watching an excellent Al Jazeera series on the Crusades from an Arab perspective, that the Arabs called all of the invaders "Francs", thinking of them as people from France.


"Il" isn't audible in my sentence recording though it is in the individual words

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