"La fille parle des robes."

Translation:The girl is talking about the dresses.

December 17, 2012

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ines.pereira

Why couldn't it be "The girl talks about dresses"? According to a comment below, here "des" is the contraction of de+les. But how do I know that from the context of this sentence?

March 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Gepper
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The girl talks about dresses. ( in general) La fille parle de robes.

The girl talks about the dresses.(a specific item) La fille parle des robes.

I used Google Translate to get this information.

April 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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The French des in this context translates directly as de les/ of the (pl.).

About is an English approximation for des/of the.

Introducing about as a direct translation of both de and des as Google Translate does can lead students into uncertainty where such is not necessary. Using Google can be of use but is not the best source for translation. If you want to know how good Google is just give it a page to translate and see what you end up with. Google Translate can be useful with phrases but when it comes to dealing with tricky issues it is less than helpful.

A better French English dictionary online is available at www.Larousse.com

Also... Translating des directly into either of its two meanings (of the or some) usually makes it clear which of the two is correct.

April 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mateuszwnet

Quite smart :)

April 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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Des = some....The girl speaks some dresses.

Des = of the.....The girl speaks of the dresses.

Which of the English sentences above seems correct even with the limited context?

The girl is not speaking of dresses in general but of the dresses which are dresses known to the writer and the intended reader. Or at least that is what of the dresses means in English.

March 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Macreid

Why must I translate it with "the dresses" and not just "dresses"? I thought that "des" did not always need a "the."

March 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CBown

i thought it said the girl talks to dresses!!

December 17, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/n2burns

That would be "La fille parle aux robes." since "to" is translated to "a" and the plural is "aux" similar to how "of" in plural translates to "des" so more literally this sentence translates to "The girl talks of dresses."

December 27, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/redmirror78

I thought so too

December 25, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/Imzadi

I have such trouble hearing plurals >.<

January 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/goodfellow

It sounds to me like the girl speaks of the dress one dress

January 3, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/barraqda
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How can I distinguish these 'des'. 1 - meaning of some. like in 'des pommes' 2. 'of the' - 'de les'. Am I missing something.

March 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/eilemach
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exactly! this is not being dealt with at all!

March 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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But it has been dealt with on this very page that you are asserting that it hasn't been.

Perhaps you aren't clear what was meant by the explanation but it has been offered.

Maybe you have a specific question about how it was dealt with.

March 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jkitts

Someone on another discussion said "des rhymes with they" which is pretty accurate.

July 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/beardchr

I am a French teacher and I translated this as the girl is talking about dresses....this is totally an appropriate translation in English. I always tell my students that a word for word translation is NOT the way to go. Either translation word be appropriate in this case...the girl is talking about dresses OR the girl is talking about the dresses.

April 25, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/cougarnine

I agree.

June 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/FERNANDRESFFFUUU

In this audio I can't make a difference between La fille and Les Filles.

January 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Bevangang

Me too, except when it is said slowly

February 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/vusprr

I thought des means 'some' and lea means 'the'?

March 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/RedeemtheTime

I'm confused about "des". Galactiger's explanation is good, but not quite clear enough for me. Is this sentence translated as "The girl is speaking about the dresses" because "parle des" translates together as some have said, "speaking of the", and therefore more contemporarily, "speaking about"? But then where does the "some" translation come in and how can I know the difference??

March 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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Des has two meanings...

Des = some

Des = of the which Anglos routinely turn into about.

You can tell which is the correct translation by context. In this case The girl is speaking some dresses doesn't make sense so it must be The girl is speaking of the (about) dresses.

March 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/RedeemtheTime

This makes total sense. Thanks so much northernguy. You state the case very clearly.

March 30, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/m.a.c.

No! I have learned otherwise! parler de = talk about parler de les robes= parler des robes, which is not specific, so it means dresses and not the dresses, or it should mean both, because I think it is not possible to translate otherwise: je can never say parler les robes. In singular: il parle de la fille, means about the girl , but in plurial it would mean both again: il parle des filles, some girls/girls, the girls.

April 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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About as a translation of des is an Anglo response to their discomfort with French articles.

de = of

de la = of the

des = of the (pl). (in this sentence). There is another meaning some which does not apply here.

In normal conversation it is likely that it won't make much difference whether you use of or of the . But Duo wants to make sure you understand the difference and that the French have a way of expressing that difference.

April 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bngmaildotcom

I wrote "The girl is speaking dresses" I knew it would be wrong, but didn't know if "speaking of" is correct. How does it affix "of" after speaking?

March 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Galactiger

I'm not sure if it answers your question, but it gets the "of" meaning from the word "des", which is a combination of "de" (of) and "les" (the [plural form]). The sentence literally translates as, "The girl is speaking of the dresses," but a more common way of phrasing it in English would be "The girl is talking about the dresses." Also, in case it's not obvious, you would use "de la" for "of the [feminine singular form]" and "du" for "of the [masculine singular form]", as in "de la fille" or "du fils". Also, in case it's not confusing enough, "des" is frequently used as a translation of "some", as with "Il mange des pommes," but that's not how it's being used here. Hopefully with this explanation, though, you'll be forewarned. Best of luck!

March 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bngmaildotcom

Thank you for your reply! I was getting very confused about "des", as one meaning was du's plural or "some", and another was de + le (where "de" apparently means "of") So I think I have understood it now. Thanks again ! =)

March 26, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/RMS-P1-KianaS

Me to

March 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Brownbeast77

I saw 'des' and thought it was 'the girl talks about some dresses' rather than taking des as de+les, which I'm guessing is what it should be, but even so, it seems a bit picky

April 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/RedeemtheTime

If you took "des" as "some" then the sentence would translate as nonsense: "The girl talks some dresses."

April 2, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/beardchr

that is a fine translation

June 12, 2013
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