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  5. "Le gâteau est très fin."

"Le gâteau est très fin."

Translation:The cake is very fine.

April 5, 2013

59 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fidaaf
  • 1187

how to tell whether 'fin' used as 'thin' or 'fine'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ferynn

"Fin" rarely means "fine". Most of the time it means thin. I know there's an expression in english with "a fine line" if I'm correct, but in most cases, "thin" is the better choice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I am not sure I totally agree with you. "le gâteau est très fin" can refer to its refined taste or quality.

If it were "very thin", it would probably not be called a "gâteau" anyway (une galette ? un biscuit ?), but it is another story...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ferynn

Yes of course. But I did not mention that since the use of this sentence is quite rare (depending what type of food you're eating). The aim of my answer was more to discriminate what Fidaaf asked : do we use "fine" for "thin" or "fine". When we talk about "Fine wine" I think "raffiné" could be an appropriate translation.

Then again, although I do agree that cakes are rarely "thin" per se, I've seen stranger sentences on duolingo ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joelmarshall

so the real questions is... if you translate this as "the cake is very fine"... should it be accepted because it wasnt for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I still believe that it is worth a report, because "thin" and "fine" should be accepted in my opinion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThanKwee

I also think that "refined" should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spunky74

It accepted that answer from me. However, I don't understand the meaning


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bizworld

In the translation to English, can we say "The cake is very fine" as opposed to a "thick slice" of cake?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/statuess

The normal way to express this would be 'thin slice'. This sentence doesn't sound very natural, but to me implies either texture (not gritty) or possibly quality ('a fine cake' = 'a good cake', but 'fine' in that sense can't generally be qualified with 'very').


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bizworld

Ok, thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sally410

I am trying to visualize a thin gâteau, I have no idea how that concept would work! So, 'fine quality' does seem to fit this better. Please note Duo that in the UK we are quite likely to use the circumflex, with our crêpes, gâteau etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2038

The expression "très fin" is used to remark that something is of very good quality, i.e., top-quality, excellent quality, very fine (quality). It can also refer to the fineness of the ingredients but as an expression "xxxx est très fin" means that the item is of very good quality.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephAldenMoore

Perhaps "fine" is meant as in a fine wire, which is also a thin wire


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MsLagerkvist2

Could a native French speaker comment on the Duobot's pronounciation of "in"? I've never heard it pronounced this way, and when I look for online examples (like on forvo) the only kind of French I hear pronounce "in" this way is Swiss French. This is always the Duobot's "in": in "lapin", "fin", "destin", etc. Have I led a sheltered French-accent-life? :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deano7000

I'm frequently finding this as well. I'm expecting french "..in" to be pronounced something like a nasalised version of the english word "an". Instead, the Duobot seems to make very little distinction between "..in" and "...on". Consequently a word like "fin" sounds like "fon". Any native French speakers care to comment?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

There are 4 nasal sounds in French: un, in, on, an/en/em.

Each of them has a specific sound that you need to get accustomed to.

Try something like "lundi matin, longtemps" on forvo.com or acapela-group or even Google translate and try to hear all of them separately.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chartreux

Great example! By the way, if you put a period after each word then Google gives a slight pause between each. Now if I can only work out the rrrrr sound. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MsLagerkvist2

Thanks, Sitesurf, I was hoping you'd weigh in!

I just tried this, and Google and Forvo still have the "in" in "matin" or "fin" as I would expect it. It is different from the Duobot voice. Do they all sound the same to you? What am I missing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deano7000

I don't think it's you. I think the robot has a speech impediment. :)

I hope that Duolingo is paying Sitesurf in something more than Lingots too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

You are paying me with lingots (that I don't use) and nice messages, and I am paying myself with satisfaction of being helpful...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPMChappell

In some varieties of French "in" does indeed get pronounced similar to "an" and "en" gets pronounced similar to what you are expecting for "in". Also, some varieties will pronounce the vowels at end of words that are normally considered mute, adding a syllable and making it sound more like other European languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AMGCh

Yeah that's what I put. "Delicate" or "light" is what I'd say for a "fine" cake.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spunky74

That makes more sense than fine. Will Duolingo accept "delicate"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Yes, "delicate" is accepted to translate "très fin".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HeatherAnn

in English, "very" and "really" can mean the same thing so I think "the cake is really thin/fine" should also be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

In French "très" and "vraiment" are close as well. But if Duolingo uses "very", you have to translate to "très" and "really" to "vraiment"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamieBarrett1.5

Is "tellement" accepted by Duolingo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

No, because "tellement fin" is the translation for "so fine".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RossGee1

Seems oxymoronic to say a cake is thin, if anything, it is likely to cause one to be fat (lol). I agree with Sitesurf that une galette is more apt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2038

Remember that "très fin" is an expression used to say that something is of top quality.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beemps

Now, I understand that it could mean the quality of the cake, thanks.

however, why did it mark me wrong on 'the biscuit is very thin'...well thinking about it now, that may not be grammatically correct in English though....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPMChappell

Nothing wrong with the grammar, simply that a cake can never be a biscuit (and vice versa).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Beemps

Well, Duolingo says gateau can be referred to as biscuit? Gone through the comments and have a better understanding. Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnPMChappell

Aye, going to say Duolingo is wrong on this one, to be honest. Cannot think of any situation where that would be correct. US biscuit is "petit pain" and the rest of the world is "biscuit", from French itself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/arnowavenue

fin as an adjective following the noun can also mean fine or high quality Larousse dictionary gives the example of haricots verts fins meaning high quality green beans


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2038

Yes, I think we are all jumping on the idea that the cake is "thin". But "très fin" means that it is of very good quality, especially when used in this context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mammad99

won't the usual phrase for the cake is very thin be le gateau est tres mince? (Forgive the( lack )of accents)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2038

Yes, "mince" would mean it is "thin".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duchess72

How do you know whether it is fin, fins, fine, or fines?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf
  • le gâteau est fin - masculine singular
  • la tarte est fine - feminine singular
  • les gâteaux sont fins - masculine plural
  • les tartes sont fines - feminine plural

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_xSammyx_

could fin also be used for thin people or animals?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kar1h
  • 1341

"The cake is very thin" was the required translation on the mobile app for me just now. Thank heavens for all of your comments or I would never have understood what the heck Duo was trying to say! You are all tres fin and I thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TiagoMoita_PT

Not an English native, but Duo's translation "The cake is very fine" doesn't sound very idiomatic to me. I would say a better translation would be "It's a very fine cake", but it was marked wrong. Can any English native speaker confirm this? Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie282520

I think thin, high quality cake whatever that is since cake can be cake...I would say that coffee however could deserve this discussion more than cake...but maybe it has its own range of ways to elevate the cost? Belgium chocolate tho that I tasted once was ground (conched) fine and smooth and it was really amazing. There is more to that than conching. But sourcing matters more to me. I think the discussion of "fine" goes along these lines. Whatever makes people want the brand and to find out where to buy more. As for cakes, I really do not know other than butter makes it better and more fattening.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vanessafry

We would never say something is " very fine" in English unless we meant it was very thin and delicate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MegatronPoor

This may be on purpose, but who says "very fine" in everyday speech?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AS_

The voice seems to cut out in the end around fin, which makes it harder to understand. Is that intentional?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marinquichant

That is not how you pronounce "fin" IMO


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lynnae696683

This is the first time I have seen the word "fin". The definitions given were "thin" or "top-quality", so I answered "The cake is very top-quality." My answer was not accepted, and the correct answer--The cake is very refined--used a definition that was not listed. How am I supposed to know that refined is a definition if it is not listed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheChosen0ne

Double layer it then.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/locoost

why can't I say top-notch? is it considered to be a slang?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lizzhiggins

When would I ever say "the cake is very fine"? - I struggle to find a moment and I bake a lot of cakes. "A fine cake" perhaps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michaelangeloo

Fine or not ,very fine sounds "very unright"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HIDEKIKAWA7

In this context, tres fin means more "very delicious" than " very thin" !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariaIramendy

How does she pronounce FIN? it sounds like fa.

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