True English

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Sam 30 Mar - 0:08

gerardM a écrit:Hi Muriel,

Present perfect is rare in American.

> Is there a rule ?
I don't know for sure. I very often read and post on American public and private forums. I roughly personally tend to use the perfect when I'm laying stress on the duration of the action (with a continous form if it's still on); this use is what I could determine when reading my Am. colleagues' texts.
My and my colleagues' uses of perfect are not as frequent as the use in the National Geographic (which is very good Am English - but not street language).

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Sam 30 Mar - 0:27

Hi,

I realize Americans spell fetus and fetal instead of foetus and foetal.

What are they doing with aborted fetal cells in soft drinks?? affraid
( https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=317856398327807&set=a.310985679014879.72836.225921714187943&type=1&ref=nf )

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Sam 30 Mar - 14:31

http://www.sott.net/article/242726-Avoid-Any-Products-Containing-Aborted-Fetal-Cells
At first I thought it was a joke and then I came across this article

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Sam 30 Mar - 15:57

Sadly it's not a joke!!

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Sam 13 Avr - 18:41

Hi everyone,

As I keep repeating it, if you want to master a language, from a certain level, you absolutely need to know everything ie your learning will never end. Wink

There are lots of little words or expressions that we rarely find in school books which are tricky.
An ESL (English as a second Language) usually tends to apply their French pattern to English Sad . Given the numerous similarities and false cognates between both languages, there's a good chance they fall into the trap.

A few words I'm thinking of:

- "salad" is not lettuce and needs a modifier
- "Coca" is not our Fr "Coca/Coca Cola" but the company; the beverage is "Coke"
- "Basket" is neither the sport nor the shoe we French are thinking about.

Lots of misunderstandings like that!
Problem is that using "salad", "Coca", or "Basket", EMT will understand something but not the thing you really mean (they will not understand your mistake immediately as it simply won't match the context - if you're speaking to friends, they will ask you; if you're making a speech, people will think your language is poor and the audience will be lost).

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Sam 13 Avr - 19:19

gerardM a écrit:


There are lots of little words or expressions that we rarely find in school books which are tricky.
.
There are a lot of shades of meaning of brown translated into French.
Brown eyes = Beurre roux
Brown pencil=Crayon bistre
Brown shoes=chaussures marron
Brown paper=Papier gris
Brown hair cheveux châtains
I will try to find more in my next post

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Dim 14 Avr - 10:33

Hello everyone
Keep off the grass= Ne marchez pas sur le gazon
Under new management=Changement de propriétaire
men at work=Travaux en cours
Drive slowly=Marchez au pas
To the boat=Accès au paquebot
To the tracks=Accès au quais
to the trains=Accès aux quais
slippery when wet=chaussée glissante par temps humide
In public notices it is interesting to see the importance of the English prepositon or postposition
I have found them in one of my university years 'book = Stylistique comparée de l'Anglais et du Français.

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Dim 14 Avr - 15:49

Hi Muriel,

> the importance of the English prepositon or postposition
Very interesting indeed!
Good nights learning by heart. Wink

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Mer 17 Avr - 21:53

Hi everyone,

In this topic ("True English"), we try to speak about simple needs that we hardly find in schoolbooks and when we have to speak, we don't know well what to say as if it was too simple to be learned (Am spelling of the British "learnt") or taught.

An example would be interjections...
- how do you write the English for our French "Ouf !" expressing relief?... Phew!
- how do you write the English for our French "Euh !" expressing hesitation?... Er
- how do you write the English for our French "Hum !" expressing doubt?... Hm!
- of course, there're lots... of mysteries like these.

~~

-1-Now, I would like your help re (regarding) different writings in English for our French "merci" (I used "writings" which means also abbreviations).

-2-I also need your participation in both French and English to respond to a "Merci !" as I don't really know.

--2,1- in French, according to the social level, manners, situation, region... I could hear (I try to write them in decreasing order of frequency) "de rien", "je vous en prie", "à votre service", "au plaisir" (south west of France), "pas de problème", etc. you probably know other ways.

--2,2- what are the responses heard in English?
Once, in my job, I got a solution to a hard issue I had in my work. This took a weight off my shoulders and I warmly thanked my colleague. I was rather surprised and disappointed by his response which was: "That's my job!" I had the impression he was refusing my words, refusing my thanks.
I discussed this with an EMT who told me it was not usual but not that surprising. The explanation was that the Brits are very polite and the response to a "thank you" is more a reflex but they don't feel comfortable with feelings and emotion so that, these words just meant a kind of shyness or awkwardness.
That is my anecdote of the day! Wink

- in my opinion, a response in English is quite mandatory (automatic) while it's not so frequent in French (do you agree with me? don't you?)
I personally tested this in English and I got 7 responses to my 7 "thank you" to the same event (on purpose; of course I varied my words to look natural - I was sincere but wanted to check).

Comments?

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Mer 17 Avr - 22:55

Hello Gérard, everyone
I have just asked Google and he said

Americans prefer "You are welcome."
The British prefers "Not at all
Anyway I can ask my English friends (or irish because I know one quite well) on tuesday and I will write it on this forum

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Mer 17 Avr - 23:23

Hi Muriel, hi everyone,

The American usual response is definitely "You're welcome!".

I'm more interested in your experience than in Google's "opinion".

I'm very surprised by "not at all" which would be a "bad translation" of the French "de rien".

Besides, there's a lot of responses and I would like to read them all Wink (helped by all of our members).

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Jeu 18 Avr - 22:08

Ok I will remember and ask my English friends when I see them on tuesday in calais or wednesday in Lille.
Il also need your help for preschool vocabulary. As you know I have been speaking English to my grand son Emile this week but I would have liked to be with an English lady to know which expressions are used in England for a preschool child. If you have any in mind, please let me know.

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Jeu 18 Avr - 22:12

Muriel,

What expressions do you use to thank? to respond to a "Thanks"?

~~

With your grandson, play peekaboo. Wink

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Jeu 18 Avr - 22:19

Hi Gérard
In French to respond to a thank i would say "pas de problème, c'était un plaisir"
In English I would say "You are welcome"
For my grand son there a lot of expressions I can't translate into English. for instance after he has made a castle with his blocks and the blocks are on the floor again, I would say in French "Cassé". What 's the English ?
What is peekaboo please ?
I think I should spend some time in a nursery class.

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Jeu 18 Avr - 22:36

Hi Muriel,

I'm not an EMT but I suppose that they should use simple words such as "Broken!" or "Destroyed!", the face and expressions on the face along with the hands being important to help understanding.

"Peekaboo!" is the word said for our French "coucou !". If the French "separate" the 2 syllables (at least same stress), Americans stress and enlong the last syllable.

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Jeu 18 Avr - 22:43

Hi Muriel,

I am not sure "You are welcome!" is the most usual response in England.

I personally say "you're welcome!" but I'm more American than Brit.
I guess that in England, they would rather say:
- don't mention it!
- never mind!
... probably other expressions.

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Jeu 18 Avr - 22:54

Hi,

Here are a few responses found on the Web:
What does de rien mean in French?
Answer


It literally means "of nothing" but is more like "It's nothing." For example, when someone thanks you for something and you respond "Don't worry about it!" or "Not at all!" or "It's nothing!", this is what the French use "De rien" for.

"De rien" is most commonly translated and used as saying thank you. People say "merci" and the normal way of saying something back [you're welcome] is by saying "de rien."
( http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_de_rien_mean_in_French )
You'll find "Don't mention it", "you're welcome" on http://mymemory.translated.net/t/French/English/de%20rien%20monsieur which is a summary page.
I'm very surprised by "dacor"... I didn't read the details
This page provides "That's ok" and "You' re welcome"
-> Easy English to French Word and Phrase Translations

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Mar 23 Avr - 21:08

gerardM a écrit:Hi everyone,~

-I also need your participation in both French and English to respond to a "Merci !" as I don't really know.

Hi Gérard, Hi everyone
As I had promised I asked my English friends at the calais polyglot tonight
A couple from London and having lived a long time in Surrey said "You're welcome, no problem, its all right, my pleasure"
Another English gentleman with a typical English humour added "It's oK this time but don't ask me again" (He also advised me to keep this expression for somebody I really know"
Peter from Manchester also said "cheers, don't mention it"
Another friend Bernard added that one of his friends from Brighton would also say " It's OK don't mention it, don't worry, that's fine, it's not a problem, you are welcome it's my pleasure "


Dernière édition par MurielB le Jeu 25 Avr - 8:45, édité 1 fois

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Mar 23 Avr - 22:20

Hi Muriel,

Thanks a lot for the survey! Wink
MurielB a écrit:... "You're welcome, no problem, its all right, my pleasure"... "It's oK this time but don't ask me again"... "cheers, don't mention it"... " It's OK don't mention it, don't worry, that's fine, it's not a problem"...
You're right, I'd forgotten the usual Australian response: "no worries!" Laughing

If you had another opportunity to interview the British members of the café in Calais, please could you ask them if the Brits feel uncomfortable with several "thanks" (Americans are not)? What do they think about the "It's my job" used by my colleague?
Tx

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Mer 24 Avr - 10:31

Hi Gerard
There is something else an English friend told me. You say nothing but you just smile (It's true for any language Wink)
I will also ask if the Brits feel uncomfortable with several "thanks" and What they think about the "It's my job" used by your colleague.

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Ven 26 Avr - 8:25

Hi Gérard, Guilaine, Irène !
"subjectivism" is used in French while the English language is more practical. The traduction of certain sentences French into English shows that difference and it is very interesting to note that.
Le paysage disparaissait derrière la brume=The landscape was veiled in mist
Le froid sévit dans plusieurs régions=cold weather is reported in several regions
Une des fenêtres s'ouvrait au-dessus du magasin=One of the windows above the shop
That aspect which shows how pragmatic the English are.
I have found all this in "Stylistique comparée du Français et de l'Anglais". If you happen to have that book we can run through that very interesting book together.

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Mar 30 Avr - 0:54

Hi everyone,

I don't remember whether I pointed out possible misunderstanding regarding "evening, night / soir, nuit".

Everyone beginning to learn English knows "morning, afternoon, evening, night" are respectively "matin, après-midi, soir, nuit", right?

Not that simple!!

Usual "night" begins around 6 pm in English language, in fact after tea time (so I think) whereas the French use the words "soir & soirée" till last, say 10 pm.
So, if a British friend tells you "come with me tonight", you French guy, don't dream Laughing you might have gotten a simple visit to the pub!!

NB: We French must not laugh at this British language which doesn't leave much room to "evening"... there's a rather very weird use of "matinée" which can mean "afternoon" in the domain of movie theater, got it? Wink

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Re: True English

Message  MurielB le Mar 30 Avr - 15:19

Hi Gérard, everyone
It's the same for the spanish language. soirée= noche

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Mar 30 Avr - 19:27

Hi Muriel, hi everyone,

There's the English word "evening", is there a specific word in Spanish too?

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Re: True English

Message  gerardM le Mar 30 Avr - 19:46

Hi everyone,
gerardM a écrit:... NB: We French must not laugh at this British language which doesn't leave much room to "evening"... there's a rather very weird use of "matinée" which can mean "afternoon" in the domain of movie theater, got it? Wink
I forgot to say that the English word corresponding to "matinée" in the case of a film is... "matinée" Smile .

Continued on  page 7

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