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"Camille and I have very different tastes."

Translation:Camille et moi avons des goûts très différents.

April 26, 2020



It cant be put this way?... Camille et moi, nous avons des gouts tres differents


Yes, with the various accents, it's a common way of saying it informally: ... goûts très différents.


Can we use les goûts, as this is talking very generally about our tastes?


Even if you add Camille's and my tastes, you won't get all tastes existing on Earth.


I agree that this is not a generalisation but why is it not specific? We know that there are only two of them.


The original sentence has "... avons des goûts très différents", which means that, for instance, our tastes in music and literature are different.

If the sentence had "Nos goûts sont tous différents", you could assume that all of their tastes are different.

The famous saying "Les goûts et les couleurs ne se discutent pas" is a generalizations of all possible tastes you could think of.


Why couldn't we say "les goûts très différents "?


"Des goûts" is the plural or "un goût".

"Les goûts" would be "the tastes" which is not suitable here nor a generalization of "les goûts" since none of the protagonists can have all tastes in existence, all the more because we know they are different.


I think my confusion here comes with the analogy to expressions like "elle a les cheveux longs". Why do we have "les cheveux" but "des gouts"?


"Les cheveux longs" is treated like a body part (which it is), hence "les" instead of "ses" to mean "Her hair is long".

Yet, you could also say "Elle a de longs cheveux" ("des" becomes "de" before an adjective) even though the hair is still hers and the whole of it ("them" in French) is long.

So, please just consider that body parts are special.

For any other things you can have in more than one unit:

  • Elle a un goût pour les choses bizarres = She has a taste for strange things.
  • Elle a des goûts bizarres = She has strange tastes


So why is this not "les" instead of "nos" ?

Their taste(s) are "owned" in the same way that a body part is "owned".

They are specific, so an indefinite article is not really appropriate.

Although I would say that both should be accepted for the same reasons that "des cheveux" should be accepted.


Not all of their tastes are referred to. Only some of them are different.


You forget how English pluralises "each". The English sentence says that they each have very different taste.

Tastes in particular areas are not mentioned.


I won't comment on how suboptimal the English translations can be. I explain the French original sentences and then good luck with the English.


But the point of this exercise (at least in so far as it has been presented to us) is to translate the English sentence, not the French one.

I don't think I am alone in saying that my primary objective here is to learn to speak French, not to learn to understand it. Therefore the EN→FR exercises are more important than the FR→EN ones (although obviously the latter are needed to support the former).

Is the French sentence not also sub-optimal? Or is it the Francophone perspective that tastes are more important than taste?

PS Your English is so good that I am never sure where the limits of your expertise in English are. I hope I am correct in assuming that you understand what I mean in that last question.


Duolingo's policy when it comes to translating source sentences into English too often triggers long and painful discussions about the quality of the English used in the "Best Translation". Of course, there are (better) variants available for users entering their own translations but many learners only focus on the BT when they click on "Discuss".

I cannot always determine whether this BT could be improved while remaining faithful to the French so I often feel the need to explain (in my own English) what the original sentence is supposed to mean.

Every now and then, doing that reveals that the translators have failed to mirror the French meaning properly although it was probably possible (I am excluding idioms and other dialectal indiosyncrasies). In the worst cases, the English BT can be awkward and unfaithful.

Then, back-translating the BT becomes quite difficult, especially because the person writing the French variants in reverse should be a different translator (hopefully a French native). This person can easily ignore the wrong BT and only focus on the Source Sentence, thereby keeping a gap with what the sentences learners will come up with, based on the faulty English sentence.

Anyway, the original, French sentence is good and meaningful; it's a good way of saying that Camille likes Beyoncé and peach ice cream while I like Mozart and chocolate cake. I used 2 examples but I could give only one since it would not change the need for the plural "goûts": one of hers plus one of mine still trigger the plural form.

PS: Maybe let's not mention the side meaning about the taste of each girl's skin/flesh.


The taste of flesh is not a possibility that had occurred to me.

You do realise that is not what I have been referring to?

An individual's taste is the amalgam of all of that individual's tastes, and is one of the defining characteristics of his/her character.

Once you are sufficiently familiar with an individual's taste you can predict their choices and therefore their behaviour.


My answer to your question about tastes vs taste was above the Post Scriptum.
Maybe it was not clear enough.
"Le goût" is singular only when its frame of reference is explicit: "Son goût en matière de femmes est discutable". It's not an amalgam of all of a person's tastes.


But that still leaves us with the fact that:

  • "Camille and I have very different tastes." => "Camille et moi avons un goût très différent."

  • "Camille and I each have very different tastes." => "Camille et moi avons des goûts très différents."


"Camille et moi avons un goût très différent" does not work as I said earlier, unless it's about our skin/flesh.


So how do you describe whether a person has taste or not?

What about "Camille et moi avons le goût très différent." ?


Why not 'les gouts"


Why Camille et moi and not Camille et je? She and I are the subject of the sentence.


"Je" needs is own conjugated verb. In all other cases, you will use the tonic/stressed/disjunctive pronoun "moi".


Can "ont" be used here? What is the rule in this regard?


Camille and I = we have

Camille et moi = nous avons


Is 'une saveur' wrong here ?

(I meant des saveurs tres differentes)


That sentence would have a very different meaning. Saveur means taste but when you actually mean flavor.

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