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"Les couples homosexuels peuvent adopter des enfants."

Translation:Gay couples can adopt children.

July 19, 2020

22 Comments


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

I'm putting an end to the debate about homosexuality.

  1. The sentence in this exercise is not a prescriptive statement, it's a declarative statement.

  2. Even if it was a prescriptive statement (and it's not), there are people in this world who would make prescriptive statements about that topic, you better be able to know what they're talking about.

  3. Even if there was no one in this world who would make such prescriptive statements (and there is), there would still be fictional worlds (for example in literature or movies) where such prescriptive statements could be made, same thing, you better be able to know what they're talking about.

  4. If you don't have any issue with sentences talking about heterosexual couples adopting like the exercise: "The child has been adopted by my uncle and my aunt.", then why do you have an issue with this sentence?

  5. Anything can be political. Virtually anything that affects human societies is political in nature, because it calls for decisions to be made. Heterosexual adoptions for example are also political in nature. The only reason it's not as controversial is because it's something very few people disagree about today but it was something that was much more controversial in the past and it has impact on society, in fact in terms of absolute numbers it has far more impact than homosexual adoption. Hell, pretty much anything that you can find on Duolingo is political: travel, tourism, rent, adoption, marriage, prices, sports, etc... There are even entire skills dedicated to politics in language trees.

  6. Even in the weird hypothetical world where only homosexual adoption would be political, and assuming it's a stance that you disagree with: so what? You're learning a language, you're not going to be presented only with views you agree with during your learning. In fact the more you learn, the more likely you are to find views you disagree with, because your vocabulary will expand and you ability to understand complex sentences will expand as well. When you learned your native language, did you only learn it by being presented with views that you agreed with? Of course not.

  7. Surely this is not the only sentence expressing something that you disagree with. Why aren't you equally outraged by sentences about people and animals being killed for example? Why are you not saying that it's too political as well? The list of sentences expressing views you disagree with is probably endless, and yet you chose this particular one to express disapproval and not the others.

  8. If despite all this you're unhappy with Duolingo because it contains exercises with views you disagree with, feel free to find another learning platform which only has views you agree with, although I'm not sure such a platform exists.

I do not want any more debate about homosexuality in this thread, anyone who does so will have their comment deleted. I hope I'm making myself clear.

You're of course free to ask your questions about the exercise itself.


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

It's just a bad exercise which causes controversies. I don't understand why you are making such a lengthy statement whereas you can modify the sentence to avoid unnecessary distraction. For example, by adding "dans certains pays / dans certaines régions", the sentence is 100% correct and eliminates any appearance of indoctrination.


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

"It's just a bad exercise which causes controversies."

It's rather that some people have their feelings hurt by the content of a declarative statement and feel the need to create a controversy where there is none. That's fine if they want to do so, they just won't do it in this thread.


"I don't understand why you are making such a lengthy statement whereas you can modify the sentence to avoid unnecessary distraction."

Well one of the reasons is because I'm a moderator, not a course contributor, so I can't modify the exercise. In fact the French course is now being handled by professionals hired by Duolingo to make it conform to the CEFR norms, so even course contributors can't modify the exercises anymore. That's not necessarily the case for other courses though, in some of those the course contributors can still modify the exercises.

But even if I had this ability, I don't see any reason to modify an exercise that is grammatically correct and has no mistake. The only justification given so far has been that some people disagree with the content of the statement, which is irrelevant, a learning platform is not here to give you only statements you agree with, c.f. my post above.


"For example, by adding "dans certains pays / dans certaines régions", the sentence is 100% correct "

I don't see how removing the ambiguity of a statement is required to make it a good learning exercise. The sentence "Birds can fly." is just as ambiguous because some birds can't fly, and yet I wouldn't see people saying "NOOO, you can't say that, you have to say: SOME birds can fly, oh my god the exercise is bad".

Not to mention that the sentence does not have any context, it could apply to a fictional world for example (cf my post above) where there wouldn't be any ambiguity because all gay couples in this world could adopt.


"and eliminates any appearance of indoctrination. "

What appearance of indoctrination? That's just a declarative statement without context, it just seems that some people are upset that the statement does not agree with their personal views. If anything right now the people who show an appearance of indoctrination are those who want to remove or modify an exercise that has some content that does not agree with their views.


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

I appreciated your detailed reply. I am presenting a way to avoid controversies which clearly you think it is unnecessary because there is none. First, you question the intention of my suggestion "It's rather that some people have their feelings hurt by the content of a declarative statement". For the record, I have no problem with gay marriage/adoption. Second, as you have to emphasize it is a "declarative" statement not "prescriptive" one, you are basically admitting people may misunderstand it as a "prescriptive" one, that's why I said avoid the appearance of indoctrination. Last, as for your "bird" example. In English, "birds can fly" is ambiguous, it can mean "some birds can fly", and that's acceptable. But in French with the definite article LES and without context, it implies "all birds can fly", and I will still report it because I don't think it is a good exercise.

Even though you are being very rhetoric, but just not convincing enough. I simply think there is better way to deal with this issue. But if you assume anyone disagrees with your opinion must be sort of malice intention, just ignore me, this is just a learning platform.


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

"I am presenting a way to avoid controversies which clearly you think it is unnecessary because there is none. "

Some people tried to create a controversy where there was none, yes. Fortunately that's no longer the case. What's the objection?

I don't see how what you presented would have avoided any controversy, those who think that exercises shouldn't talk about gay couples adopting children aren't going to change their mind just because you specified the location where children can be adopted by gay couples...

If you truly think that your modification would have avoided their reactions, that's fine, I just don't share your optimism, simply because their disagreement with gay couples adopting children is not based on where it happens or which gay couples can do it, but on the fact that it happens at all.

Furthermore, again, I don't see why an exercise should be modified just because its content disagrees with some people's personal views.


"First, you question the intention of my suggestion"

I haven't even mentioned or implied anything about YOUR intentions. I talked about the people who reacted in this thread before (now their comments are deleted). You argued that it was the exercise which was controversial in itself, and my reply is simply that it's some people who just can't handle some specific statements disagreeing with their personal views who are trying to make it controversial.


"For the record, I have no problem with gay marriage/adoption."

That's fine, as I said, personal views on gay couples adopting children are irrelevant because that's not something that determines if an exercise should be modified or not. Whether you or me or anyone else is in favor or against gay couples adopting children, that's not something that is relevant to determine if the exercise is useful to learn a language. If the sentence was "Gay couples cannot adopt children." my answer would be the same.


"Second, as you have to emphasize it is a "declarative" statement not "prescriptive" one, you are basically admitting people may misunderstand it as a "prescriptive" one, that's why I said avoid the appearance of indoctrination."

There's nothing to admit since it was never denied that some people thought it was prescriptive. On the contrary, that's one of the points in my original post: Obviously some people seem to think it's a prescriptive statement, and they're just wrong. You seem to agree that it's not prescriptive, do you agree that they're wrong to think it's prescriptive, yes or no?

Do you think that because there are some people thinking that something is prescriptive, that it makes it appear as indoctrination? If I give you "Doctors can vaccinate children." will that statement suddenly have the appearance of indoctrination because some people disagree that children should be vaccinated and they (wrongly) think that the statement is prescriptive? Of course not.


"Last, as for your "bird" example. In English, "birds can fly" is ambiguous, it can mean "some birds can fly", and that's acceptable. But in French with the definite article LES and without context, it implies "all birds can fly", and I will still report it because I don't think it is a good exercise. "

No, that's just wrong. Definite articles without context can refer both to a specific case, a general case or a universal case: "Les roses sont rouges." for example can either refer to some specific roses, roses in general or all roses, only context can tell them apart, and we don't have context. Same for "Les oiseaux peuvent voler.", you could be referring to some birds or all birds or birds in general, without context all of those meanings are possible.


"Even though you are being very rhetoric, but just not convincing enough. I simply think there is better way to deal with this issue."

That's just code to mean "I disagree". I understand that you disagree, I just want to know if you have arguments that would justify changing the exercise, all the arguments you've put forward so far are quite underwhelming.


"But if you assume anyone disagrees with your opinion must be sort of malice intention, just ignore me, this is just a learning platform."

I don't think I've talked about malice at any point.

That's fine if someone disagrees, I just want arguments to justify their position: why should the exercise be modified? Here are the two arguments you provided so far:

  • appearance of indoctrination
  • lack of specificity

The first argument is based on the fact that some people think (incorrectly) that the statement is prescriptive when it's actually not, if you think it's enough to make it appear as indoctrination then your standard for indoctrination is so low that pretty much any declarative statement that someone incorrectly think is prescriptive will appear as indoctrination, which is just silly.

The second argument is based on an incorrect assumption about how the definite article is used in French.

So do you have something else to propose beyond that to justify your position?


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

People who want to complain about this are going to no matter how much you hold their precious, offended little hands. I am appreciative that Duo doesn't bend to people's prejudice. It's a sentence, one that is relevant and teaches new vocabulary and ideas and people can 100% get over it. This idea that "if you mention this topic, you are trying to indoctrinate me" is archaic.


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

No thanks Amanda, I don't feel being offended as I have no problem with gay marriage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelL05

if I as a vegan can write countless exercises like "I love chicken", without complaining once, then you can write "Gay couples can adopt children." without having a temper tantrum


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

I am a vegan and bisexual and I slow clap you for this.


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

Can "homosexuel" refer both to homosexuals or lesbians ? If so would the adjective be modified to homosexuelles ?


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

You can use it for both yes. Indeed the feminine version of the word takes two "l" and an additional "e".

  • "Il est homosexuel."
  • "Elle est homosexuelle."

Note that "lesbien(ne)" also exists to mean "lesbian", but unlike English, French has two versions of this word, feminine and masculine, depending on the gender of the noun associated with the adjective:

  • "Un couple lesbien."
  • "Une femme lesbienne."

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

I have been wondering about this because of this sentence. 'les couples homosexuels' = gay couples {gay men and lesbians) and after checking I assumed you could use 'les couples lesbiens' if you wanted to say Lesbian couples can adopt children. But I was wondering if there was anyway to use 'homosexuelles' in this sentence?


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

Not in this sentence because the noun "couple" is masculine. But if you wanted to change the sentence for something like "Les femmes homosexuelles peuvent adopter des enfants.", then sure.


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

How do you exactly pronounce the liaison between "peuvent" and "adopter"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FranM2

This optional liaison is clearly audible here, it's pronounced like you would "t'adopter".


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

"Peuvent" ends in a perfectly clear "v" sound so there's no need for anything special.

Edit: nvm. You can hear the "t".


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

aah ok thanks.. i wasn't sure, i thought i heard a "t" somewhere in there that's why i asked


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mary243529

Why is it 'les couples' but 'des enfants' ? Surely they would either both be generalisations or neither would be.


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

This is not necessarily a generalization in French, but even when it is a generalization, you don't necessarily need to make it a generalization about both subject and object.

The definite article (le, la, les) can also be used to refer to a specific subset. If we were to use "Les souris creusent des trous.", we could be talking about mice in general or some specific mice (the ones in our attic for example), and regardless we would be talking about some unspecified holes. And that's the same structure in this exercise.

So we could be making a generalization (gay couples in general can adopt some unspecified children) or a specific statement (those gay couples that we mentioned before or which are implied by the context can adopt some unspecified children).

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