Translation:One of my friends lives in the suburbs.
I don't know about frequency difference, but you'll encounter it too, and in this sentence both "Une" and "L'une" (de mes amies) would work as well.
I read below that the word the (L') is added for a better sound, but I'm confused by this sentence structure, in that they used the L' but in the translation there is no "THE" here, AND that they used no the (LA) in front of banlieu, yet there is a THE in the translation here. What gives? How do we know when or not to use the word "THE?"
You can be 99% sure that when the English includes "the", the French will have le/la/les.
But it does not work the other way around.
"one of my friends" = l'un de mes amis - addition of "le", elided to l' in front of "un" - optional, you could have "un de mes amis"
"en banlieue" : in the suburbs - "en" means "dans le/la/les". This case of preposition "en" in front of a location works with regions and feminine countries*: en France, en région parisienne, en Alsace... so it is part of the 1% where the English has "the" and the French does not have le/la/les.
- masculine countries work with "à/aux": aux Etats-unis, au Japon, au Mexique...
Does "banlieue" have a negative connotation in French? I am from Germany, and for me, the "Banlieues" are where the cars are burning and the under-privileged live, so it clearly is a negative word.
The movie "Banlieue 13" also has a clearly negative message about the Banlieues
When "les banlieues" are in the media, that is generally for the reasons you mention.
Now, around every single city, you also have wealthy-healthy banlieues, hosting middle-class to upper-class homes, but these are discreet...
Is there any audio difference between 'mes amis' and 'mes amies' ? Shouldn't both be accepted?
"mes amis" and "mes amies" sound the same but "l'un" would change to "l'une" which would not sound the same.
Thanks 'allinlearning' yes, of course it would - you really have to be wide awake to pick up the clues. Guess I wasn't!
"des" would be a contraction of "de+les", but here you don't have "of the" but "of my" = de mes, which does not contract
am i the only one who hears "l'an"? is "l'an" and "l'un" pronounced the same? I'dve thought not
And indeed they are not pronounced the same. "A" is more open than "u". For a native English speaker, you might say "a" rhymes with "ma!" but "u" sounds like "huh." Either way the n is going to be nasalized, not pronounced as a separate sound--think of pinching together something right behind your nose.