1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "C'est extraordinaire."

"C'est extraordinaire."

Translation:That is extraordinary.

April 8, 2013



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.


It sounds like the best translation is actually extra-ordinary, which is a form you rarely see.


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.


i put strange and it was correct


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".


i copyed from what the word said and it said strange as one of them


But Larousse lists one usage of « extraordinaire » as a synonym of « étrange » , meaning extraordinary or strange. So it seems we have dueling dictionaries. For English I always consider the OED to be the ultimate arbiter, but for French, I usually defer to Larousse.


I understand that you picked it from the hint list, but it is not really a definition of "extraordinaire" as much as people want it to be. It has been removed from the hint list.


on here it is not.....


It requires a system reset for that to occur. It is done on a daily basis, I think. So it may take a day or so to show up.


I totally share your opinion, George, and decided right now to keep using "extraordinary" for expressing my positive way of telling things! By the way, Duo, you are extraordinary, not strange at all! Lu.


I got this one right by writing "This is amazing", however, I am surprised by the given translation: "That is strange." Is strange a common translation for extraordinaire?


Litteraly, "Extraordinaire" means "Out-of-the-ordinary". So it could be considered as "strange". Yet, your translation is the most correct one.


Even if " extra-ordinaire" means "out-of-the-ordinary", in 90% of the cases, it cannot be associated to " strange,bizarre", the reason is explained in my previous comments" Sorry, Lu.


I can see how someone might think that but if the French speaker had wanted to say "strange", they would have said "bizarre". Otherwise, "extraordinaire" is extraordinary, amazing, remarkable, fantastic (informal).


I suppose the normal usage of fantastic is of something better than good rather than that of paranormal


Yes, and isn't that what "C'est extraordinaire" means, that is, something that is better than good? If they implied meaning is more toward the paranormal, then I understand why fantastic would not be correct.


why "it is unusual" wrong?


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!!!


Should unusual be accepted?


Hi Andrew. "extraordinary" is more than "unusual" Besides, the word "unusual" can have a pejorative connotation too, like when it means "You don't do that, it is not normal, it's unusual". When something is "extraordinary" it's a nice thing.No question of accepting, imo. Lu.


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...


Hahahaha. Yes, the French are very fond of their exclamation marks and are very particular about using them in well-defined ways. An exclamation mark would make it a bit more emphatic but either way, "It's amazing" will do nicely.


I agree with all you contributions George. They are all so extraordinarily wise. ;-)))


I see what you're saying; "c'est extraordinaire" is really an exclamatory phrase. In English, it's the difference between "that's extraordinary" and "that's extra-ordinary."


Still confused on why this isn't "il est extraordinaire" il = it and extrordinaire is an adjective


I hear him saying [Say dick frah ordinair]. Some sort of glitch?


If " That is exyraoedinary", what is wrong with "It is extraordinary" ?


Guys it's all about context


A quote from Star trek 4. You, Spock? A guess? That's extraordinary!"

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.