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how come the busy bee is eating an apple doesn't work, it is one of the hover over words.
There are French expressions containing the word for ant, fourmi, which are close to the meaning of the English expression of "busy bee". That is the French sees ants as busy, hardworking, endlessly working (without personal meaning/fulfillment/gain). In English the similar analogy is not made with ants but with bees: busy bee. That doesn't mean that the word for ant in all instances can be translated into busy bee.
Ah ha, AasaLundin. Taught me something I didn't know of French spoken/descriptive culture. Thank you
You're welcome! I learnt it some days ago when I looked it up in my dictionary for a similar thread here at duolingo. But to me it is no new concept though, as it is the same in my native language Swedish.
Dont know... just another of Duo's bizarre quirks. In previous tasks a bee also a busy bee is une abeille.. Seems like a trick but I think that there is more to it than that, giving Duo the benefit of the doubt. In previous tasks an Ant has always been Une Fourmi. Here's a wink; go for the first choice in hover Especially if you haven't come across the alternatives before and then just wait til you have progressed further through the course and then maybe much will be revealed..Language is a mystery.:)
i wonder how the word 'fourmi' is formed..... when i read it first time i remembered a school lesson that Ants have 'formic acid' , any relation here??
Too specific, perhaps. I guess that pismire is the name of a certain kind of ant. My guess is based in my native language (Swedish) which has the word pissmyra for a common kind of ant, and thus can be totally wrong in this case.
Hiya Rachel. Let me dispense with the very frustrating answers to your legitimate query. Firstly: Why Not? Secondly: Any scientist will answer any question beginning with "Why" with "Because it can". (On the premise that if it couldn't, it wouldn't.) Now let us look at an appropriate answer to your question. French is one of the "Romanic" languages in that it has its roots in Latin. Not the formal Latin of the priests, philosophers, senate and law-makers but the so-called "Vulgar" Latin of the spoken word in the common/plebeian majority. There are many schools of thought around the origins of gender in the Romanic Language, considering most other languages have "Common Gender". One school proposes that to give everything gender gives any word its own specific place in grammar. This in the concept that "If one is to be understood, one must understand language first and the subject second". (I've forgotten who said that.) Another school suggests that the implementation of "Common Law" made necessary to "Attribute" every thing "Order" to apply "Value". So every thing that was masculine gender was of (You've guessed it!) more "Value" than those of feminine gender. Hot debate follows and there is as yet no conclusion. Probably never will be. A more "Down-To-Earth" answer is that all things on our planet are described and specified. The language used for this process is Latin. For the ant it is the family "Formicidae". For me, the more bewildering quest is "Why do we English speakers call it an ANT?" As an afterthought, as far as I'm aware, most if not all insects in French are of feminine gender and the most important member of any insect colony/species is the Queen and usually the "Workers" are also female. Hey, didn't I do well at supplying loads of info while not actually answering your question. Food for thought nonetheless. Cordial, JJ.
Some animals have both forms of gender, like cats and dogs; but some seem to have only female form, like turtles, ants and cows. Any specific pattern or ways to distinguish between the two groups?