https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

French sentences are long

I've seen a few mentions in the discussion pages here in which people have commented about how long French translations from English are. For example, an English essay of one page might be a page and a half in French. I was particularly impressed by this sentence in a lesson from duolingo just now:

August 8, 2019

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roteme2

I've never heard anyone refers to running like that. Normally it's just Je cours.

They probably wrote it like that to diffrentiate it from Je fais les courses, which means I do the shopping but sounds almost the same.

August 8, 2019

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

Je donne un coup de pied dans le ballon. I kick the ball.

Or what about this one?

Yours sincerely,

  • Veuillez recevoir, Monsieur/Madame, nos salutations distinguées.
  • Je vous prie d'agréer, Monsieur/Madame, l'expression de mes sentiments respectueux.
  • Veuillez agréer, Monsieur/Madame, l'assurance de notre parfaite considération.
  • Je vous prie de croire, Monsieur/Madame, à l'assurance de mes salutations distinguées.
August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HalJam
  • 1606

Je donne un coup de pied dans le ballon. I kick the ball.

???

"Je botte le ballon."

Also 4 words, although 3 additional letters to be fair ...

August 9, 2019

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

@HalJam Yeah, we actually wouldn't say "je donne un coup de pied dans le ballon" to say "I kick the ball". Sounds goofy. "Botter" is a good alternative but a bit old fashioned. Most people would actually say use an anglicism -> "Je shoote dans le ballon".

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HalJam
  • 1606

Most people would actually say use an anglicism -> "Je shoote dans le ballon".

Not here in Québec, but then we tend to avoid some of the anglicisms common in France (QC "la fin de semaine" <-> FR "le weekend", QC "le stationnement" <-> FR "le parking", etc)

August 9, 2019

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

Right. I've always had trouble understanding. On one hand Quebec French try to use French as much as possible, even translating every English/American movies. On the other hand, when you watch youtubers from Quebec, Les Têtes à Claques, or things like this, you can hear that they use many English words when they speak. How can you explain this?

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HalJam
  • 1606

On the one hand there is "correct" French, version québecoise, as defined by the OQLF, that avoids anglicisms (some examples of which have even made it to France, it seems);

And on the other hand there are various forms of popular speech - in particular Montréal joual (the best known), which has tended to adopt many English words;

Most people in Québec generally speak something between those two "extremes", thus the apparent confusion you observe.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim703480

they live in a majority of English speaking language. Especially close to the "border" where practically everybody has to speak both English and French just to get a job! Kids grow up in a mixed of both languages

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim703480

tout a fait d'accord!

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim703480

bien d'accord!

August 9, 2019

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

Haha don't you have these kind of salutations in English?

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HalJam
  • 1606

Only in 19th century novels ;-)

August 9, 2019

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

It is more like "I am practicing running (or jogging)" but yes, we have many little words or expression which make the sentences longer

August 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel589120

Je cours.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carmen807459

I grew up in Canada, reading both the English and the French side of packages. I read a lot as a kid, so I'd read cereal boxes in the morning, along with anything else I could get my hands on.

It always seemed that there were more words in French.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HalJam
  • 1606

You think so? (3 words, 10 letters)

Tu penses? (2 words, 8 letters)

QED ... ;-))

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kati673185

the same in hungarian: " gondolod ?" /1word, 8letters)

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heike333145

Impressive!

August 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/toggitang4

Haha that's totally right!

August 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EL5tEL

love that. Thanks Angus.

August 8, 2019

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

I always got the impression that while French might be long-winded in some cases, in others it's actually quite efficient.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/W-Ruggles-Wolfe

Bravo!

August 9, 2019

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

To grin -> Faire un large sourire/Sourire de toutes ses dents

When English have over a million words, French barely have the fifth! That's why I love English. It seems like there are words for everything.

August 9, 2019

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

MAYBE Chinese has the fewest syllables to express a meaning. Chinese sentences are very short too. Ho Ho Ho! Welcome to learn Chinese

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

Some researchers have taken to calling it "density of language" recently (and sometimes "language information density"). That's a slightly different point, but related.

you may notice that some languages, like Spanish and Japanese, sound really, really fast. Others, like Chinese and English, seem slow. Are they fast or slow? Some linguists from Lyon have studied this phenomenon and found that it takes about the same amount of time to express an idea in Chinese or English as it does in Spanish or Japanese. Like, maybe it takes five seconds to say, "can you show me how to get to the nearest subway station?" in every language. But the number of syllables in such a statement varies wildly.

Languages which pack a great deal of information into few syllables are termed high-density languages and languages which take more syllables to convey information are termed low-density languages.

Mandarin has one of the highest densities of all languages studied. It has an information density of 0.94. (Vietnamese was used as a reference language in the original study, as it is considered by linguists to be very information-dense, and was given an arbitrary value of 1)

English is also one of the more dense, at 0.91. Spanish is much lower density: 0.63. Japanese was the lowest of all the languages studied: 0.49.

French is somewhere in the middle. Around 0.75.

Thus the number of syllables spoken per second in Chinese is fewer than French, but the information is conveyed at roughly the same speed.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BryanOtt1

When I moved here to France I had to write an introduction for myself before my first doctors appointment it had all the information that seemed important. The English version was about 3/4 of a page. When my translator (person not a tool) was finished it was almost a page and a half, honestly I was shocked. Here in the Duo world it seems much shorter than English to me.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

haha. That's very interesting. As an exercise, I wrote a little essay about my educational attainment, my allergies, prior surgeries, family medical history, diet, lifestyle, habits, working conditions, and the like. The sort of information a clinic might want. I wrote in French. I suppose it's mostly correct. Then I went to google and ran it through their translator to see what it looks like in English, and it was maybe two-thirds as long. (I didn't count words, but the lines of text in the same size font were much fewer in the English translation!)

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BryanOtt1

Kind of makes you wonder sometimes.

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Myrtille107621

French is all about discribing actions, it's a romance language after all

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim703480

I run = Je cours

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim703480

in general, I believe French is much longer... :)

August 9, 2019

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

lmao

August 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/starter45

It's just because it's a beautiful language

August 10, 2019
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