https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Rappelez les femmes :)

Hi guys! I am doing my morning Duolingo, and was presented with the question: translate "We are good". I wrote: "Nous sommes bonnes" - and it was a mistake. According to Duolingo, I should have written "Nous sommes bons."

I'm not sure if the questions ever get reviewed or edited, but I just felt it necessary to mention that we girls can also be good sometimes)))))

September 1, 2014

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lenkvist

Please make sure to use the report button as well. In this way the team will be notified about translation suggestions for particular sentences.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Oh, OK, I'll try it, thanks! I usually use an iOS app, I didn't know such button existed.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Relysis-kun

Just to tell: "nous sommes bonnes" in french sounds kind of weird. It's okay if it's only to practise your french with duolingo exercises, but try to avoid this sentence when you actually speak with french people: it also (more usually) means "we are hot" (in sexual meaning) and it coud cause quite a misunderstanding ;) if you want to say "We are nice" with a feminine gender, say instead "nous sommes gentilles" ^^ But I have to say I can't tell a good way to translate "we are good" which sounds natural in french :(

September 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Thanks for the tips!

September 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/revengest

I know exactly what you mean. Most of the time I use male subjects when I'm unsure of the feminine form of adjectives, but I decided to try agreement with gender. One time I had to translate 'I have come'. And I decided to put the 'e' on the end for girls 'Je suis venue'. It told me I was I wrong and should've put 'je suis venu' All I could think was Duo doesn't think I'm a girl...

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Yeah, that's exactly the feeling... I am a Russian native, and we also have genders in our language. From my childhood I remember that nasty feeling when I was reading children's books where authors talked exclusively to boys - all the "my dear reader" were in masculine, as if little girls don't ever read books)))

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/revengest

I can only imagine. I only speak English so genders like that never came up the exceptions being policeman fireman which I never really noticed before haha. At least there's he vs. she.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/boxspah

Duolingo likes to lean towards the masculine side, just like how French naturally does. I agree, they should change it so that feminine forms are also accepted for plural nouns, but most of the time it's going to be masculine anyway.

September 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Thanks!

September 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Resonance2001

Report the question as "my answer should have been accepted" as you are correct.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

I tried redoing that exercise couple of times on my desktop, but I didn't get the question. I won't try again, I'm bored with that exercise already))

Only today I learned that web-app has much more functionality, including reporting and discussing questions. Really wonderful, but unfortunately, I usually use iOS app because my desktop doesn't have a mic, the sound is bad, and I can't lay down on my couch)))) And the web-app is clunky on an iPad mini and absolutely impossible to use on iPhone, app is far more convenient. So, I'm afraid, all the reporting and discussing goes past me.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/la_raconteuse

You're right "nous sommes bonnes"! Maybe I'll report it for you if I ever come across it.

A few weeks ago I recently discovered how much more the online version has to offer as well. I mainly use the mobile app because I can use it "on the go" on days that I am too busy to go online. On busy days I use the mobile app to strengthen previously completed lessons. Although, the online version definitely has its advantages, there are more opportunities for immersion which can accelerate learning the language. But to each their own. Mind you, if you click on the "lingot" icon in the menu bar of the online version, you can double your lingot wagers, wager lingots on games etc. This point I'm making about the lingots is definitely "geeky" but it's a fun incentive to keep us learning.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Resonance2001

I use an Android mobile and I get the option as well as being able to use the microphone (it is an easy way of passing one question just by verbally answering it!)

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

I am able to use mic on iThings - it's my desktop computer that isn't equipped with this peace of hardware. As I said, that is one of the reasons I don't like using my desktop computer for Doulingo. I am using Duolingo via iOS app (not in website in web browser) because I like it better than any other options, but it doesn't have "Report" or "Discuss Sentence" buttons. Maybe Android app (dedicated app, not the one you open in your browser) has those buttons - I don't know, because I don't have an Android device.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Erkte
  • 1870

Oui absolument, mais selon moi les femmes sont plus bonnes que les hommes :)

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Oh merci, je suis très flatté )))

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hildaoquendo

I think maybe in this case there is no gender, and it's "bons" for both men and female. Just speculating here. In Spanish when we say "We are good", there is no gender in "good". It's the same for both. So that might be correct. (I bring up Spanish because of its similarity with French).

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

No, it's not the case, I checked agreement in the dictionary. There really is feminine plural (just like "ils" and "elles").

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hildaoquendo

There is, but it is used differently. I feel like grammatically it would sound awful to say "nous sommes bonnes"... but that's just me. You'll have to find a native French speaker to sort this out.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave

Grammatically, it's correct to say "nous sommes bonnes". The adjective must indeed agree with the noun, feminine plural in this case.

However... Please use this sentence with caution in France, since in 99% of the cases, it will be understood as: "we are hot/good in bed", if you know what I mean. The atmosphere might get awkward...

If you want to say that "we're good", as in "we're good people", "we're nice", it would be safer to say: "nous sommes gentilles" or "nous sommes de bonnes personnes" :)

EDIT : "Nous sommes des filles bien" would also work in an oral context.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Most of the sentences from Duolingo are unusable not only in France, but anywhere in real world, I think)))) However, I found an example of usage of the word on Twitter, I posted a link below. I don't know if that person is native speaker of French, but the word was used very appropriately in the context.

By the way, what you've said about "we are hot/good in bed" - where do you know it from? Just out of curiosity))

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave

I'm a native :) Without any context, the sexual innuendo is the first thing that came to mind, honestly!

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave

Sorry, me again ^^" I've just thought of this video. For context: the guy (Jean Dujardin) is a secret agent on a mission in Cairo. He needs to find someone who can answer the question Comment est votre blanquette? by replying: La blanquette est bonne. Just...see how he reacts ;)

September 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Yeah, and I think that's exactly why I'm grumbling about this issue - the sentences in Duolingo are all dead, it's pure grammar and mathematics not applied to anything (I mean, "Your snake eats my apple"?). It's a good flash-card system to memorize words and constructions - I really don't understand why should we learn more masculine than feminine. I don't want to sound feminist here)))))) I just don't understand why, when you learn mathematics, you should omit odd numbers and memorize only even ones)))))

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/la_raconteuse

You raise a good point. I mainly use it to learn grammar and to see how sentences are structured. But yes some of the sentences are silly, especially in the first few levels, or the translation in english is so formal that I wonder how formal it sounds in french. Also, some of the words are outdated, like "discotheque". I read that these days they call it "boite de nuit", not "discotheque"? However, the sentence structures on Duo become more challenging the higher your level.

I think the Duo challenge is to learn correct grammar. I don't see myself applying examples from duo "verbatim" in real life, but it is helpful in terms of learning grammar and increasing vocabulary.

Based on the amount of french I knew prior to Duo, I know that it is not possible to master the language just from using the app alone. But I do feel it can definitely help bolster other immersive learning situations, such as watching films in french, listening to the news in french, watching french t.v shows, conversing at french meet-ups, or translating french articles here on duo. I still need to use a grammar book to clarify certain rules and I do need to use a separate site to conjugate some verbs. Maybe they'll add these features in the future, but considering it is a free learning app, c'est pas mal.

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hildaoquendo

That is very good to know lazouave... We can now avoid a really awkward situation!

September 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

I don't feel that way. I guess this is subjective, but here is an example of real-life usage: https://twitter.com/Natacha_birds/status/498523172950786048

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave

In this post, the girl says "nous sommes bonnes à". That's important, because she means: "we are (only) good for talking about lipstick and shoes and that's all".

You can use the word "bonne", that's not a problem. It just has to be used in the right context, and if possible followed by another word, otherwise it's just weird :)

September 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Wow, thanks for your comments! They're helpful! I agree with you about the context. However, in the context of Duo (which lacks almost any meaningful context) I think this answer should be accepted because it's grammatically correct.

By the way, I have a question for you as a native French speaker. Did you ever have a glimpse on French here on Duo? I have the same feelings as minibot expressed here above: "the translation in english is so formal that I wonder how formal it sounds in french". I mean, I read all those weird sentences and beginning to wonder: how much alive really is the language I am being presented? Do they really use these structures in real life? Like, do you really say "Ma chemise a différentes couleurs"? I mean, can you have a color in French - because it sounds really weird in English (or maybe it's because I'm not an English native - I don't really know. Russian and especially Ukrainian do have such structure - "to have a color", although in Russian, it sounds really-really formal). And so on))))

Duo is really fun and addictive, but I am beginning to wonder if I am maybe wasting my time on this app.

September 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave

Hey! I'm replying here to your questions below :) (EDIT: at least they were below when I replied ^^)

I haven't tried the French tree but by commenting on the forums I've gathered that Duo tends to teach you formal French. Many sentences are not used in "real life" or sound awkward. That's a specificity of French: its oral and written forms are very different.

However, I wouldn't say you are wasting your time here, because you need the grammar. And I think it's better to learn how to speak properly before learning slang and informal French than the other way around. You'll adapt more easily!

It's okay if one day you speak with a native and your French is a bit too formal. You only risk sounding cute ;) It's better than using informal French in formal situations (when talking to a university teacher, for example).

"Ma chemise a différentes couleurs" is indeed correct grammatically speaking but awkward. "Ma chemise est de plusieurs couleurs" would be better.

Don't give up and good luck! ;)

September 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/the.worst.horse

you are right, there is a feminine plural form but the default in the romance languages - when gender is not specified - to default to the male form, especially in the plural. that said, duolingo has fixed this in lots of places (in the french lessons at least) and accepts both answers. if you come across it again, please do report it.

September 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

Thanks! However, as I said - I can't report, I use iOS app, which does not have this functionality.

September 2, 2014

[deactivated user]

    "Nous somme bonnes" is a little formal. Use "On est bonnes". It means the same thing, but it more natural. People seldom use "Nous" in casual conversation.

    September 1, 2014

    https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

    I looked this up - it seems you right, "on" is more casual. Thanks, I didn't know this!

    September 2, 2014

    [deactivated user]

      And you are right. The Duolingo terms and sentences are quite formal, and seldom used. But should you find a French speaker you'll learn pretty quickly what is and isn't formal. For example: French people usually use "se __" when referring to themselves, some contractions (m'en), and use "on". Good luck :)

      September 2, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/Owlish_Owl

      Unfortunately, French speakers are not easy to come by in my part of the planet, but when I reach certain level, I'm going to watch movies and shows — this is how I learned (and still learning) English (because English speakers are rare here too, and I've never been to any English-speaking country).

      Thanks for your interesting comments!

      September 3, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/la_raconteuse

      I agree. Not everyone has access to people who can fluently speak the language they want to learn. What makes DL so appealing is how accessible it is, and how free it is! Being able to identify a few words and string together a few basic sentences before attending a "language meet-up" or attending a language course can only help not hinder. There's no shame in learning from an app or being a visual learner.

      bonne chance à tous!

      September 3, 2014

      https://www.duolingo.com/boxspah

      Speaking with other people is always a better way to learn languages, but it's just more difficult so people prefer to see words. Most people just tend to be visual learners.

      September 3, 2014

      [deactivated user]

        I completely agree with you on the speaking. I speak with my dad for French.

        September 3, 2014

        https://www.duolingo.com/boxspah

        My dad use to know French, but he forgot it unfortunately. Would have been helpful in my learning :(

        September 3, 2014
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