1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Ça signifie quoi ?"

"Ça signifie quoi ?"

Translation:What does it mean?

April 19, 2013



I'm curious about the difference in usage between this and "qu'est-ce que ça veut dire?", which I learned recently. Do they have specific situations in which they apply?


"Ca veut dire quoi?" can only apply to someone speaking, to language. It means literally "this/it wants to say what?". A double rainbow doesn't want to say anything, but it may signify something.


Is this the same phrase in English, where I can use it every time I hear a French word I don't understand? For example 'malade' signifie quoi? Or does this 'signifie' have a deeper meaning?


You can use it in your first example yes. ...Or you can use it when you see a double rainbow as stated above


I am lost on the double rainbow. What does it mean?



Exactly the point PorquePuedo (and garrusgirl before him) was making.


You lost me. What is the meaning of "double rainbow" ind this context?


The next time you see the rare event called a double rainbow where two rainbows are visible at once, someone in your group will say what does it mean? as you just did.

Someone/s in your group will then hold forth on their culture's take on the significance of a double rainbow.

As a result of your Duo studies you are now able to say what does it mean in a more elegant manner. By the time you finish the entire Duo tree, you will be able to answer. Even if you don't really know what it means, whatever you answer will sound good.

Even if they are also students of French, unless they have been involved in the kind of deep learning offered by Duo, they will be unsure of the proper use of Ça signifie quoi ? since they are not armed with the personal assurance you have received.

Yes, Ça signifie quoi ? can be used with objects and situations of mystery. Especially double rainbows.


double rainbow..... it's a reference to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQSNhk5ICTI is linking allowed?


I was lost too, saw the link, glad I'm not camping near that guy, he sounded high.


Why not 'what is the significance?'


Quelle est la signification ?


You weren't exaggerating at all, he sounds high enough to be over the rainbow


as far as i've encountered, "what does it mean?" and "what can it mean?" mean the same?


They have slightly different meanings. "What does it mean?" suggests one factual answer is wanted while with "What can it mean?" there may be several possible alternatives.


Exactly, they are not the same as you say.

For example, a physicist may get some experimental results, and ask "what does it mean?", since the physicist is looking for the single physical interpertation of the results.

A critic on the other hand may read a novel and ask "what can it mean?", since here the meaning is open to interpertation, and many people will have different thoughts on the matter.


Also posting again, since this thread apparently started with -1 comments? 0.o


This is a sentence discussion, so what question do you have about the sentence?


What is its significance?


I saw in another discussion that that would be "C'est quoi sa signification ?"


Qu'est ce que ça signifie. Est-ce correct ?


It could be correct if you add the dash between "est" and "ce" for "est-ce", but the other one is the common version and you probably won't hear people say this one. We need to learn the common expressions to fit into French conversation. I think the other way to ask what something means is "Qu'est-ce que cela veut dire?"


Well, a double rainbow is a phenomenon of optics that displays a spectrum of light due to the sun shining on droplets of moisture in the atmosphere.


You are describing a rainbow. A double rainbow occurs when those rays reflect twice off the back of moisture droplets; and the second lighter rainbow usually has its colors reversed, just a reflection would.


Is there a difference from "Qu'est-ce que ca veut dire?"


It means what is the same as what does it mean. So why is it wrong?


Ca signifie comment? Is this okay? Please excuse no cedille


No. That makes no sense: "That means how?"

« Ça signifie quoi ? » literally means "That means what?" but it is not necessarily said in surprise and it is commonly said, so it is translated to the more common "What does that mean?" or "What does it mean?"


Would the best English translation be "What does this mean?" I wrote "This means what?", but that doesn't feel like as appropriate a translation.


"Ça" can mean "this", "that" or "it", but I personally haven't tried them all and don't know if they are all in the database. Yes, this is commonly said as a general question and is not necessarily said with surprise as the literal translation would be in English.


I answered “what is it’s meaning?” Duo says No. “What is it meaning?” Is there a real difference?


I answered “what is it’s meaning?” Duo says No. “What is it meaning?” Is there a real difference?


Are you sure it didn’t say “What is its meaning?” "What is it meaning?" is incorrect and should be reported. The correct answer is "What does it mean?"

"it's" is the contraction for "it is" so you have "What is it is meaning?" The possessive form is "its".

"What is its meaning?" would be « Quel est son sens ? » or it is more common to say « Qu'est que cela veut dire ? » which is again "What does that mean?" I suppose you could translate yours to « Qu'est qui est la signification? » The fact is the French would not use a possessive adjective here. Perhaps Duo's alternative version was "What is its meaning?"


This means what shld b accepted


Not by itself. “What does it mean?” is accepted.


Again a strange way of saying this


Marked incorrect for "What does that mean?" Why?

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