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  5. "J'ai acheté un soutien-gorge…

"J'ai acheté un soutien-gorge blanc et rose."

Translation:I bought a white and pink bra.

June 27, 2020



In English, the order would always be "pink and white," never "white and pink." However, that ordering is not accepted here.


I had the same thought when composing an answer - "white and pink" definitely sounds unnatural in English.


Ahh.. didn't like the pink and white ones, so settled for a white and pink one!


This is a matter of collocation. There's a dilemma when it's encountered in a language lesson.

Do we translate in the original order to show understanding, and to help students remember the target collocation?

Or do we change the word order to "make it sound nicer" in both languages?

Duo has gone back and forth (or forth and back) on this issue. Generally they like to preserve the word order.



Yes, isn't that odd? I knew about different kinds of adjectives having a fixed order but I'd never noticed that about colours. "White and pink" wouldn't sound right even if it was 99% white, to me.


I think the order of colors is less a fixed grammatical structure like adjective order in general (saying "pretty pink thing" is correct, but saying "pink pretty thing" is not), and more something that sounds good based on the sounds and syllables. Like, names often sound good in one order but not another - "Betty and Veronica" sounds better than "Veronica and Betty" but there's no rule that says it has to be that way.


Well, this bra is mostly white, with pink trim. In English, that's how we'd say it, but in French it's shorter.

Timor mortis conturbat me.


Can you enlighten me as to how your Latin phrase is relevant to pink and white bras? I'm sure to be missing something...


Oh, good, someone asked! I googled the phrase, and I can't figure out what it has to do with bras either! Maybe "timor erratis conturbat me" :-D.


Well it gets her or him talked about. All this collocation stuff is pretty erratic, IMO. White and pink sounds fine to me. So does pink and white.


Good to know. In that case, should the word bank include the words to say "white bra with pink trim"? The only option was to choose white and pink, which is not conventional. (like coming and going v. going and coming)


if it were an equally pink and white item, which order would it be in French?


Wouldn't it depend on the proportion of colors? If it's mostly white with a little pink I feel like "white and pink" makes more sense there.


I think your average English speaker would probably say something like, "it's white with a little pink," under those circumstances :)


It's accepted nowadays.


a bra = un soutien-gorge

a tie = une cravate

One could guess wrong, which word is feminine and which is masculine.


Sorry. Isn't a wimple a womans' headdress.. that covers head, back of neck and sides of face? Still worn by nuns?


Yep. From The Sound of Music: She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee Her dress has got a tear She waltzes on her way to Mass And whistles on the stair And underneath her wimple She has curlers in her hair I even heard her singing in the abbey....

  • 1680

Anyone interested in how the word "soutien-gorge" is formed?

Before seeing the hint, I thought it was something "throat-supporter", and wondered a while what it could be. Bra was not one of those wearable things in my mind.


Fun fact: Back in the day, "gorge" was a euphemism for the breasts, and thus "soutien-gorge" made sense. :)

From https://www.cnrtl.fr/lexicographie/gorge: "D. − Vieilli. Poitrine, seins de la femme. Je (...) fus complètement fasciné par une gorge chastement couverte d'une gaze, mais dont les globes azurés et d'une rondeur parfaite étaient douillettement couchés dans des flots de dentelle (Balzac, Lys,1836, p. 25)."


Interesting! Is "gorge" still used today, or is it considered old-fashioned and only used in soutien-gorge?


I've never heard it used today, and the quoted dictionary entry above indicates "Vieilli" so that means basically "old-fashioned" as you put it.


Gorge is still used and we have studied it on Duo. E.g., "Sore throat" ==> "mal de gorge" ou "mal à la gorge".

Strangely, "brassiere" is a loan word that's no longer used in French. It's also a euphemism because bras means arms. I believe it was originally an "arm protector" used on medieval suits of armor. Now it's obsolete in French but preserved in modern English.


Sorry, I wasn't clear - when I asked if it was still used today, I meant used as a euphemism for breasts.


In French the bird robin is un rouge-gorge


Me too. A 'throat-support' would be something more like a wimple (though it's not intended to 'support' the throat). Since when do throats need support anyway? I'd like to have been in on the meeting of the French Academy when they decided to coin the expression 'support-throat' for something that supports a woman's breasts.


I don't see what difference the order makes if you have the right colours


It's a little nitpicky, yes, but it has good intentions - Duo just wants to make extra sure you know which word means which color.


Possibly, but by this point in the tree we definitely know what "blanc" is :-)


Sure, I only asked because that was not the case with "it comes and goes" It is marked wrong when you translate directly because in French it is the norm to say Ca va, ca vient"


Maybe that's because "Ca va, ca vient" is more of an idiom or expression?


The word order should be maintained unless there's a good reason not to. In real world translation there's more adaptation, but this is a language lesson, not the "real world" .


Well, it comes down to judgment as to when it is, or is not, a good reason.

In this case, it is.


This is way I see it: white and black always come last. Eg: green and black, blue and white, yellow and white, brown and black, and pink and white. Wouldnt you guys agree?


Really? "I bought a white and pink brassiere" was not accepted?


This is my first time seeing the wird "bra" in Duolingo. Just had to say it, sorry for being too modest lol


Suggest you use a female rather than a male audio with this statement


Why wasn't 'brassiere' deemed correct ??!!??

Surely Bra is just a diminuituve?


Why isn't 'brassiere' allowed??? Bra is just a diminutive of the correct word.


On my Mac, the phrase is illustrated by a very stern-looking 'Oscar', ie, the older chap with the big moustache. All debates about pink and white/white and pink are subsumed by questions about Oscar's private life.


I wrote down "white and pink" only because that was the word order in French. No native speaker would say it that way.

Les collants also, at least in the department stores, refer to what Americans call panty hose. I could ignore that, too.

What I can't refuse is getting dinged for referring to un-soutien-gorge as a brassiere. That's what we call them.

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