"I am a spider."

Translation:Je suis une araignée.

April 7, 2013

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Alexbotn

A spider is feminine? And butterfly is masculine? who made these rules?! flipping french people ^^

October 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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Who made the rules for other languages ? I was just as surprised when I first learned German in school that "Tisch" was masculine, which didn't make any sense to me.

I'm wondering what would make the French rules less logical than any other ? Things make a lot more sense once you stop considering that your native language is the only possible way of thinking.

Besides "spider" isn't feminine, "araignée" is. Same deal for "butterfly" and "papillon".

October 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Alejandro--V

Well, if you start talking about being "logical", simple rules like "Ends with a then it is feminine", "Ends with o then it is masculine" turn out to be quite helpful, since you don't confer gender on a case by case basis, but you have an entire class of words, (the ones that end with a, or with o) being identified by the gender.

You could measure how "logical" a language is, by observing if it has said rules, if there are exceptions, etc. Our brain looks for patterns, not particular instances.

February 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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I had a previous discussion with someone else on the same matter.

Our brain looks for patterns first because we are taught this way, the whole education system is still at the age of the industry, making workers and engineers, who think with their left brain. It doesn't mean our brain can't work more with both hemispheres, while being as powerful (if not more) and (certainly) more flexible.

In a world full of people thinking with their right brain, "logic" would have a very different meaning.

The definition of something being "logical" is subjective, because it depends on how the person is thinking. There are persons who think mathematics are illogical (which is the symbol of ultimate logic in the scientific world) and have huge struggles learning it. It's not because they have mental disabilities, it's because their right brain is more developed, and they don't think with objectivity, rules or patterns. They think with intuition, differences, and randomness (yes).

Anyway, I'm certainly biased while talking about my own language, but what I mean is that each language is unique, and has its unique "logic" (however we define it). Trying to measure languages on how "logical" they are based on patterns and rules doesn't make sense to me, because that's not what define the "logic" of a language.

February 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Alejandro--V

I don't think that we are "taught" to look for patterns, it is an inherent feature of our brain, source of all the abstractions we have created (including and beginning with mathematics). Of course, they teach us to give a higher value to certain kind of patterns, the very rigid ones, as they allow automation and as you said, are more apt for the industry.

Ultimately, discussing the language itself asking if it makes logic or not is senseless, as they are made by an organic process of evolution, aesthetic and practical considerations (like french that likes to sound "pretty"). We should regard languages by its beauty and inventiveness, as the artificial languages out there that are "unambiguous" and "perfectly logical", frankly, are quite boring.

February 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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Of course our left brain looks for patterns without us being taught, but the whole education system focuses on this part of our brain, which in the end is like teaching us to look for patterns. Since it stimulates almost exclusively this part of the brain, it's the one which gets stronger.

Anyway, I think we agree, it's just that we don't put the same words on our ideas.

February 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Nieboh

Exactly. There are definite logical patterns in many languages. I can't imagine being able to communicate without those logical consistencies; there'd be just far too much to remember.

But language has evolved with, and is a reflection of, society. Upon that logical framework are generations of people trying to communicate with other people. Why does a certain word take that form? Because in some village a family had a genetic predisposition to stutter, and it was a big family in a small village. Soon, that's all you hear. It blends. It morphs.

A nation lisps because once upon a time a king had a lisp.

Thank goodness for the logical framework upon which language is based.

July 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sierra9904

I am left handed so i use my right brain, Im not really that random. I do hate math not cause its hard or anything but its boring to me. :(

August 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tgrand98

Uhh... we dont know what "tisch" means...

February 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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It means "table". But it's not the point, I could have given any other noun as an example. The point is that the gender confused me at the time, regardless of the meaning of the word.

February 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/stefanspinu333
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Just think about the fact that noun "girl" in German is in the neutral gender!!!

By the way, "butterfly" is also masculine in Romanian, so it makes sense for me!

December 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bob_Bowes

It may be called female/masculine but it is actualy the sound of the ends of the words and has only a little to do with gender. Don't ask me how the significant male nouns ended up with male endings; probably no one remembers.

September 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/fargasch
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My first language is Portuguese. Every noun has a "gender" in Portuguese (and no neutral nouns). Then I start learning German. Some of the genders do not correspond. (!) Then I start French. Then Italian. No one seems to agree on the gender of the poor lemon! My tip is, since I cannot "unlearn" 38 years of a mother tongue's rules, to not think of the articles that accompany the nouns as gender (because thinking of inanimate things as having genders is weird anyway!) but just to get used to how the word sounds preceded by the correct article. My father, who is German, could never explain why the articles are so. He says if he hears a sentence where an incorrect article was used, it feels "weird" and it just sounds "off" to him. As a bit of trivia for those who study Portuguese, in Brazil (where I am from) a computer is "masculine" (O COMPUTADOR) but in Portugal, it is feminine (A COMPUTADORA) And finally, Duolingo creates a massive identity crisis! According to the Dutch course, I was a banana, but now I am a spider! :-P

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/noranne

Earlier I translated a sentence as "la araignee" and it told me that was incorrect because it should be masculine. This time I went with "un araignee" and it said it was incorrect and should be feminine.

April 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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I'm not sure why the system told you "araignée" was maculine because it's not true. Maybe Duolingo consider French nouns with the article " l' " masculine, but as it happens, both masculine and feminine nouns can use " l' ".

"araignée" is feminine, so "une araignée" for "a spider". But because of the vowel at the beginning, we use " l' " instead of "la". So it would be "l'araignée" for "the spider".

April 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Ketki517236

Same

May 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/whitepearl14

Why are two vowels together? UnE Araignée

November 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bowser0001

Two vowels cannot be together only for words such as "J'ai" or "L'elephant"

April 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MarielOpaz

Is there any rule to know whether something is feminine or masculine?

February 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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No. Feminine nouns tend to have a "e" at the end, but it's not a rule, it's just something that can help you guess.

February 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jezza11

"Je suis professeur" is correct so why is "Je suis araignée" incorrect? Is only professions which drop the article?

May 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mlindal

I have the same question...

October 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/frederick036

Correct me if I'm wrong. When you talk about professions, no articles are required before the noun (Some say in this case, the profession noun is treated as an adjective, hence no articles needed).

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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It's only for professions. You can consider that the nouns of the jobs become adjectives if you like (even though they don't, let's be clear on that).

This is only after the verb "être".

April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sara345

If you want to speak about a male spider would you say un araigné? Earlier we saw le chat et la chatte.

November 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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We don't have a specific word for every animal, it's mostly for common ones, like horses, pigs, chickens, etc... Maybe if there is a big visual difference between a male and a female, it may play a role, like for deers. I'm not a linguist, maybe there are other patterns I didn't think about.

So no, we would say "une araignée mâle." for a male spider and "une araignée femelle" for a female spider.

November 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/frederick036

Should there be liaison between "suis" and "une"?

January 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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Yes, but it's not mandatory.

April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/yoni.bashan

I used J'suis and it told me it should be Je suis. In reason why it's not contracted?

February 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/IshaaniMit

It is contracted when the first letter of the next word is a vowel . 'S' is not a vowel therefore je suis should not be contracted

April 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kinshu2001

Well! how to know when an object is masculine or femine?

June 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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You can't know until you have remembered the gender.

April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/merryheart205

If i was talking about a male spider would i still use une?

June 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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Yes, it's the noun which is feminine, regardless of the animal designated by the noun.

April 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/bekkalydia
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We were taught in school that spider was "la tarentule" .. obviously, I have just found that this is not the case, but any French speakers, Would you use this word to ever describe a spider in spoken French, or was our teacher just plain wrong?

September 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arjofocolovi
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"tarentule" designates a special kind of spider, and is translated "tarentula" in English. "tarentule" also used to designate a mythical spider.

September 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rachel769415

I'm honestly really mad because I really don't get it. Well, I do but I really don't get it you know?? anyways I can do it lol bye

February 13, 2019
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