Translation:That is extraordinary.
It's "odd" that Duo chose "extraordinaire" from a whole list of possible words meaning "strange": étrange, bizarre, singulier, insolite, inconnu. In fact, since "extraordinare" = extraordinary, amazing, exceptional, remarkable, outstanding (all of which are highly positive words), that C'est extraordinaire has been translated as "That is strange", c'est très bizarre ! (odd, peculiar, strange, weird) http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/extraordinaire/32384
Extraordinaire isn't necessarily positive or negative. For instance, tomorrow I'm planning on going to a "Congrès extraordinaire" for a local political party, which I would probably translate into English as an Extraordinary Convention. It's extraordinary in that it's out of the ordinary, unusual, or exceptional, not in that it's fantastic, great, or amazing (quite the contrary, actually..)
The problem is that English doesn't have a similarly neutral word to translate in the context of "C'est extraordinaire", so "That is strange" is just as valid of a translation as "That is exceptional" (which Duolingo accepted for me), but both have connotations in English that shouldn't really be there.
I don't agree with you Dave. In your case you mean "un Congrès spécial, d'un thème specifique, organisé pour des motives exceptionnels, d'urgence si on veut" Sure, also in Italy, we would call your type of political congress a "congresso tematico,straordinario" but "straordinario" ( fr. extraordinaire) doesn't have the meaning of " bizarre, strange" at all, but as "extra, need to deepen, to widening a specific theme or issue". To drag on with "strange" here is being out of track,being on the wrong path. Duo should not include this word here. Best wishes, Lu.
And that is not actually correct, sorry to say. The Oxford French Dictionary defines FR "extraordinaire" as: extraordinary, amazing, remarkable, fantastic. When we start looking at synonyms of some of these English words, we can be gradually led to words like "rare" or "wonderful" when that is not necessarily the case. In the past, DL did not like "fantastic" here because there is the French word "fantastique", but that does not alter the fact that "fantastic" is an appropriate translation (although informal) for "extraordinaire".
To me my friends " extraordinaire" is a happy, unquestionable word for a say movie, show, speach something very "over the moon". ""Strange" the air today seems strange" no wind, silence, no birds tweaking, "are we going to have an earthquake ?" That is in California... A man following me at night is "strange". SOMETHING UNKNOWN!!!
Actually, a while ago I saw a francophone make exactly the opposite point (it may even have been in this thread). He said that the previous day he had attended a "Séance Extraordinaire" of a political party. In that case, "extraordinaire" literally meant "hors de l'ordinaire" because the meeting was outside the usual meeting schedule. He said that "extraordinaire" does not always have either a positive or a negative connotation; sometimes it just literally means "not ordinary."
Yes Darrel. Linguistically, the first explanation of "extraordinary" would be "out of the ordinary". That is evident. But the fact is, when a French says "C'est extraordinaire", it feels more like to give it an EMOTIONAL statement, at least to me, rather than inform about the being exceptional of an event. They would say "C'est important que tout le monde soit présent, c'est une réunion exceptionnelle, un event extraordinair!". So strictly spoken, it can be a secondary translation. But without any other contextual given information, it is less logical to add it. In fact, on Duo here, we are learning general, every day phrases, and I believe "C'est extraordinair" in the normal, current French culture, means amazing, remarkable. To put it otherwise: "Séance extraordinaire" is using "extraordinair" differently, than in "C'est extraordinair". In the first, there is a specific, NOT EMOTIONAL context, the second tend to move towards an emotional understanding indeed. I hope you are following my thread. Nice to have you though, I appreciate your post. And I don't need you to agree of course. Cheers, Lu. EDIT: If Sitesurf or George would put an exclamation mark at the end of the sentence, that would be much better, and no doubt would be possible anymore...