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[SOLVED] Do people often make mistakes with gender of nouns?

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অতিথি
অতিথি

Well, the mistakes and errors that you mentions can also pertain to grammatical gender. Just like someone pronounces a word incorrectly, someone may use the wrong gender for a word... it happens all the time and isn’t important at all.

Super Member
<a href="/bn/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
যোগদান: 01.07.2018

And English was influenced by the French too (Normans), that's why there are often two different words in English for close concepts (calf / veal, etc ; in that case there has been a specialization later).

Super Member
<a href="/bn/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
যোগদান: 01.07.2018

The Norwegians (Germanic language) have only 2 genders by now, at least as far as the bokmål is concerned : common gender # neuter. They used to have 3 earlier, and there still are remains of it in "nynorsk" ("en jente" in bokmål, "ei jenta" in nynorsk, = a girl).

অতিথি
অতিথি

As far as I know, the word doctoresse is very old-fashioned. It’s apparently more widespread in Switzerland. The common feminine equivalent for docteur is either une docteur, une docteure (the one I use) or un docteur.

The word pompière actually exists, but it’s not very widespread. I wouldn’t mind hearing it / using it at all.

Super Member
<a href="/bn/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
যোগদান: 01.07.2018

In Latin : agricola, nauta, poeta, incola (=inhabitant)... are masculine.

Senior Member LoupSolo
<a href="/bn/translator/kwamegh" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1402305">kwameGH</a>
যোগদান: 13.11.2018

I'm really learning a lot from this discussion.
The gender system in French is one aspect of the language that deters many from learning it.
My country is surrounded by 3 Francophone countries yet people see no use at all for studying French. It is regarded as complex and boring, and in fact, difficult people are sometimes referred to as 'French'.

Recently I was in a French class (basic French for communication as part of my program of study at the university) and people were surprised and amused to learn that 'sein' and 'vagin' were actually masculine words when to them they should 'obviously' have been feminine.

অতিথি
অতিথি

Sein and vagin, basic French for communication. [Amused face / Dubious face] Regular smile

অতিথি
অতিথি

Another example of the fact that grammatical genders have nothing to do with sexes.

Editor in search of Anningan & Malina
<a href="/bn/translator/sydney-lover" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1112972">DarkJoshua</a>
যোগদান: 10.05.2012
Icey wrote:
Alma Barroca wrote:

I'm studying it for my specialization degree (which is on Romance philology and why Romance languages currently don't have the neutral).

So [@Alma Barroca], can you solve this doubt that's been haunting me for years? Why don't Romance languages have neutrum, when Latin did have it? I've been wondering for so long

As far as I know, the neuter gender wasn't used very often and in many cases in Vulgar Latin it merged with the masculine gender.

Super Member
<a href="/bn/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
যোগদান: 01.07.2018

Imagine if you knew how we usually call the "penis"...

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<a href="/bn/translator/ingirumimusnocte" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1398405">ingirumimusnocte</a>
যোগদান: 09.10.2018

A promising young artist made an extensive and comprehensive use of the word.
You'll have to sign into Youtube to listen to this masterpiece though.
At any rate, its a feminine word.

Moderator sapiens sapiens
<a href="/bn/translator/knee427" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1110108">Alma Barroca</a>
যোগদান: 05.04.2012

Basically that. There was also some confusion, on the hands of writers, in using the neutral, so when Latin evolved, it fell in disuse. Some (most) neutrals became masculine, others became feminine because they wound up ending in -o/-a (their declinations also changed and this termination was understood to be a mark of gender).

Moderator and earthbound misfit
<a href="/bn/translator/icey" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1172336">Icey</a>
যোগদান: 05.04.2013

Which is the rule that still nowadays marks the gender of many (not all though) Italian substantives...well, thank you!

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<a href="/bn/translator/preslynn" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1396263">Preslynn</a>
যোগদান: 17.09.2018
kwameGH wrote:

I'm really learning a lot from this discussion.
The gender system in French is one aspect of the language that deters many from learning it.
My country is surrounded by 3 Francophone countries yet people see no use at all for studying French. It is regarded as complex and boring, and in fact, difficult people are sometimes referred to as 'French'.

Recently I was in a French class (basic French for communication as part of my program of study at the university) and people were surprised and amused to learn that 'sein' and 'vagin' were actually masculine words when to them they should 'obviously' have been feminine.

There are certain endings that tend to be masculine (-age, -ège, -isme, consonants in general, -eur if it is a physical object) or feminine (-ion, -son, -té, -tié, e with th expection of -age, -ège and -isme, -eur if it is a abstract noun). So le sein, le vagin, le féminisme, le maquillage etc. do follow that rule even though we think that they should be feminine.

Of course that doesn't always work. Some words end in accented letters or vowels other than e, and some go against the rules. Le problème, for example, is masculine and la mer is feminine. But I'm going through a flashcard deck of the 20,000 most common French nouns besides that once I don't know, I'm also drilling ones where I'm unsure of their gender (using un and une because you never learn if a word starting with a vowel is masculine or feminine otherwise). I noticed that more nouns seem to follow the rules than not and a lot that don't are very common like façon, main, bonheur or fois, so I already heard them so many times that I know it's la fois and le bonheur just as I know that two and two is four or what the letter "C" looks like. Though I'm sure that a lot of uncommon ones don't follow the rules either, but if it's less common than the 20,000 most common nouns, I probably don't need to have it memorized because even French people would rarely use words less common than this.

Editor in search of Anningan & Malina
<a href="/bn/translator/sydney-lover" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1112972">DarkJoshua</a>
যোগদান: 10.05.2012
Preslynn wrote:

I noticed that more nouns seem to follow the rules than not and a lot that don't are very common like façon, main, bonheur or fois, so I already heard them so many times that I know it's la fois and le bonheur just as I know that two and two is four or what the letter "C" looks like.

Gets trickier when you take into account the fact many words are homophones in French. La fois is feminine, but le foie isn't. And what about foi? Feminine again. I remember my dear French teacher from Lille who used to say la mère du maire est à la mer.

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<a href="/bn/translator/ingirumimusnocte" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1398405">ingirumimusnocte</a>
যোগদান: 09.10.2018

French spelling must be a nightmare for non natives. Especially our devilish mute "e" or these "s" ans "c" that don't produce the same sound depending on the following vowel or the preposterous number of different ways to write the same sound Regular smile

Super Member
<a href="/bn/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
যোগদান: 01.07.2018

In the word "oiseau" (bird) there is not a single letter corresponding to its normal pronunciation (wazo). And I always was fascinated by the name of the city of Sceaux : so... many useless letters, when it could as well be written "So".
But the English are not that bad at the game either... I heard that Tibetan was still worse, but I couldn't confirm it.

Editor in search of Anningan & Malina
<a href="/bn/translator/sydney-lover" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1112972">DarkJoshua</a>
যোগদান: 10.05.2012
Jadis wrote:

I heard that Tibetan was still worse, but I couldn't confirm it.

Heard about that. It's basically like your example of "oiseau" but it happens way more often. In French it might get hard to write a word correctly only by listening to it, but once you have the written text, you can pretty much guess how it is pronounced. In Tibetan, if you don't know a word, you can't guess neither how it's pronounced nor how it's written.

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<a href="/bn/translator/preslynn" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1396263">Preslynn</a>
যোগদান: 17.09.2018
DarkJoshua wrote:
Preslynn wrote:

I noticed that more nouns seem to follow the rules than not and a lot that don't are very common like façon, main, bonheur or fois, so I already heard them so many times that I know it's la fois and le bonheur just as I know that two and two is four or what the letter "C" looks like.

Gets trickier when you take into account the fact many words are homophones in French. La fois is feminine, but le foie isn't. And what about foi? Feminine again. I remember my dear French teacher from Lille who used to say la mère du maire est à la mer.

Yes,but at least in this case, they are spelled differently. I remember that foi is feminine because it's fois without the s and foie because of foie gras, which comes from LE canard. You add the e from le onto this foie. I know not everyone thinks/learns like this and that being say, I'm doing the flashcards for a reason. Sometimes you just have to drill that stuff. But I generally don't have any trouble with them if they are spelled differently, at least not moreso than with regular nouns that have only one meaning. So le pays/la paix, la mûre/le mur were less troublesome than la tour and le tour, which I messed up so often, my flashcards kept resetting to repeat every day. Maybe I just have a visual memory.

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<a href="/bn/translator/natur-provence" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1289099">Natur Provence</a>
যোগদান: 24.04.2016

english is worse than french in pronounciation, i.e Worcester

Super Member
<a href="/bn/translator/natur-provence" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1289099">Natur Provence</a>
যোগদান: 24.04.2016

other example: le/la tour --> round trip-tour/tower
Le Tour de France/la Tour d'Eiffel

Senior Member LoupSolo
<a href="/bn/translator/kwamegh" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1402305">kwameGH</a>
যোগদান: 13.11.2018

Haha, I definitely agree with that. Even for native English speakers pronunciation can be a nuisance.

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<a href="/bn/translator/ingirumimusnocte" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1398405">ingirumimusnocte</a>
যোগদান: 09.10.2018

some possible meanings of the sound "o", beside the letter itself :

ô -> a particle introducing vocative (O Master...)
au -> a preposition similar to "at"
eau -> water
eaux -> waters
os -> bones
haut -> high

Senior Member LoupSolo
<a href="/bn/translator/kwamegh" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1402305">kwameGH</a>
যোগদান: 13.11.2018
DarkJoshua wrote:
Jadis wrote:

I heard that Tibetan was still worse, but I couldn't confirm it.

Heard about that. It's basically like your example of "oiseau" but it happens way more often. In French it might get hard to write a word correctly only by listening to it, but once you have the written text, you can pretty much guess how it is pronounced. In Tibetan, if you don't know a word, you can't guess neither how it's pronounced nor how it's written.

That should be interesting. Any examples, please

Moderator sapiens sapiens
<a href="/bn/translator/knee427" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1110108">Alma Barroca</a>
যোগদান: 05.04.2012
Natur Provence wrote:

other example: le/la tour --> round trip-tour/tower
Le Tour de France/la Tour d'Eiffel

Also happens in Portuguese: o cabeça = the leader/the head (of an organization) vs. a cabeça = the head (part of the body) / o língua = the interpreter vs. a língua = the language.

অতিথি
অতিথি

Don't get me started on the English spelling system or its phonology... it is a nightmare. In Europe, English speaking children are the one who need the most time to master reading and writing. No surprise. Even young French speakers have it easier apparently.

Concerning Tibetan and its writing/spelling system, here is a very interesting video according to which Tibetan may have the most difficult spelling system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btn0-Vce5ug

Senior Member LoupSolo
<a href="/bn/translator/kwamegh" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1402305">kwameGH</a>
যোগদান: 13.11.2018

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Super Member
<a href="/bn/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
যোগদান: 01.07.2018

Le mousse (ship's boy) # la mousse (foam)
Le voile (veil) # la voile (sail)
Le moule (mould) # la moule (mussel)
Le mode (mode, method) # la mode (fashion)
Le crêpe (crêpe) # la crêpe (pancake)
Le manche (handle) # la manche (sleeve)... (or : la Manche, the Channel)

This was an old joke about W.W.2 : in the restaurants, the French servants obligingly used to help the German officers with their coat, saying :
- Voulez-vous que je vous aide à passer la manche ?
(May I help you slipping your sleeve on? or : crossing the Channel)
(This is very likely a legend).

অতিথি
অতিথি

Sorry if this is a little bit late, but I have found an analogy to grammatical genders for English speakers.
People who speak a language with grammatical genders for nouns know the right gender for every noun just like an English speaker know that the noun ‘record’ has its stress on the first syllable and the verb ‘to record’ has its stress on the second syllable.
How do they know? Do they make mistakes sometimes?
Well, it’s the same thing as for grammatical genders in French or Spanish, one just knows / has learnt it.

Super Member
<a href="/bn/translator/natur-provence" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1289099">Natur Provence</a>
যোগদান: 24.04.2016

@Aiona: could you pls explain why german should be a mixture of english and french in Your examples? IMO ist french different and english and german follow the same principles.

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<a href="/bn/translator/ingirumimusnocte" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1398405">ingirumimusnocte</a>
যোগদান: 09.10.2018

German changes the determinant according to the gender of the possessor like English (sein/ihr), and declines it according to the thing possessed like French (sein Arm / seine Hand)

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<a href="/bn/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
যোগদান: 01.07.2018

I always felt dubious when hearing people explaining that French is the clearest and most logical language in the world Wink smile

I thought over the question about "le # la conscience", and I came to the conclusion that the only reasonable possibility was that the speaker actually said ''l'inconscience" (unconsciousness), and not "la conscience"...

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<a href="/bn/translator/ingirumimusnocte" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1398405">ingirumimusnocte</a>
যোগদান: 09.10.2018

I suppose anything ends up seeming obvious if you spend enough time wrapping your head around it Regular smile
Considering the number of grammar and spelling errors routinely made by natives, I wouldn't call French an especially logical or clear language.

অতিথি
অতিথি

Saying that any human language is the clearest and most logical is very dubious simply because it makes no sense. I suppose you could say that of a constructed language such as Esperanto that was designed without irregularity.
I’ve never heard that said about French though, rather that it was ‘the most difficult’, but here again, it’s rather stupod to say.

Natives of all languages make mistakes; mistakes are things that are different from the usually arbitrary rules edicted by some scholars. French spelling is even worse than that, it’s what I call intellectual masturbation.

To get back to le conscience, I say again that it is possible that a native says that by mistakes (one is tired, doesn’t focus on what one says, etc.) and then corrects him/herself, or not because it isn’t a big deal. The speakers and the people listening know it’s a mistake and let it slide.

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<a href="/bn/translator/natur-provence" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1289099">Natur Provence</a>
যোগদান: 24.04.2016
ingirumimusnocte wrote:

German changes the determinant according to the gender of the possessor like English (sein/ihr), and declines it according to the thing possessed like French (sein Arm / seine Hand)

Of course, is there some declination in the english language? I think one should to the roots (latin?) instead of speaking of a mixture

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<a href="/bn/translator/ingirumimusnocte" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1398405">ingirumimusnocte</a>
যোগদান: 09.10.2018

I suppose "mix" was just a manner of speaking. I don't suppose German syntax borrowed anything from Latin.
But it's not automatically a matter of declensions either.

For instance Russian possessive pronouns are a rather strange mix.
The 3rd person (his, her) agrees only with the possessor. The plural (their) is invariable. The neutral form is identical to the masculine, so there is no difference between "its" and "his". One could say it's very similar to English, even simpler.
Other persons (my, your... including a "his/her own" used when the possessor is also the subject of the sentence) do agree with the thing possessed though. Similar to German, only with 7 cases instead of 4 and an extra "reflexive" pronoun.

অতিথি
অতিথি

The English language doesn’t have any Latin roots, it isn’t a Romance language. It borrowed many words and terms from Latin or French over time.
As ingirumimusnocte said, ‘mix’ was a waynof saying. I’ve never said English was a mix of French and German. I simply said that what happens in Modern English and Modern French can be found in German as well. (The possessive determiners must agree with the grammatical gender of both the possessor [like English] and that of the possessee [like French]. Well, in English, it’s more accurately the sex of the possessor, also.)

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<a href="/bn/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
যোগদান: 01.07.2018
Natur Provence wrote:

Of course, is there some declination in the english language?

There were declinations in Old English, rather similar to German. Nowadays there are only faint remains of it : the possessive case, for example (John's book), or the different forms of "who" (whom, whose).

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<a href="/bn/translator/ingirumimusnocte" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1398405">ingirumimusnocte</a>
যোগদান: 09.10.2018

There are also traces of declensions in the French relative (qui, que, dont...) and personal (tu, toi, te...) pronouns, and a kind of neutral "ça" similar to "it"

Senior Member LoupSolo
<a href="/bn/translator/kwamegh" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1402305">kwameGH</a>
যোগদান: 13.11.2018
Jadis wrote:

I always felt dubious when hearing people explaining that French is the clearest and most logical language in the world Wink smile

I thought over the question about "le # la conscience", and I came to the conclusion that the only reasonable possibility was that the speaker actually said ''l'inconscience" (unconsciousness), and not "la conscience"...

You're mixing it up. The speaker said' le conscience' instead of 'la conscience'. And in any case, I heard it crystal clear.
I've been answered anyway: such mistakes occur occasionally and are simply overlooked.

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<a href="/bn/translator/ingirumimusnocte" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1398405">ingirumimusnocte</a>
যোগদান: 09.10.2018

Sometimes when you're looking for the right word, you're thinking of a masculine word and change it for a feminine one at the last second, so the wrong article comes out.
This kind of slip of the tongue is impossible in English but can happen in French.

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