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 Post subject: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2000 11:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
A language instructor was explaining to her class that, in French, nouns, unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as feminine or masculuine. For example, "house" in French is feminine:"la maison" but "pencil" is masculine: "le<BR>crayon." One puzzled student asked, "What gender is computer?"<P> The teacher did not know and the word wasn't in her French dictionary; so, for fun, she split the class into two groups and asked them to decide whether "computer" should be a masculine or feminine noun. Both groups were required to give four recommendations for reasons for their recommendation.<P> The men's group decided that computers should definitely be of the feminine gender, "la computer," because:<P> 1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic. <P> 2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.<P> 3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in<BR>long-term memory for possible later retrieval. <P> 4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.<P> The women's group, however, concluded that<BR>computers should be of the masculine gender, "le computer," because:<P> 1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.<P> 2. They have a lot of data but are still<BR> clueless. <P> 3. They are supposed to help you solve the<BR>problem; but half the time they ARE the problem.<P> 4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize<BR>that, if you'd waited a little longer, you could have got a better one.<P>sorry.....couldn't resist ........<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2000 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The arguments for 'la computer' seem coherent and valid to me, while the rationale for 'le computer' seems like gross distortion. I speak on a purely objective basis, you understand.


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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2000 5:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 122
Location: Dortmund, NRW, Germany
Everybody who has anything to do with french people would know, that they would use an one noun. <P>So the translation is "ordinateur".<P>And then - i think - it's quitte easy: ordinateur comes from "ordinary". <P>It must be feminine Image <P>


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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2000 12:14 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
But....but.....but.......would a true Frenchman EVER call woman "ordinary"??????


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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2000 2:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Dortmund, NRW, Germany
No, YOU are right!


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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 9:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 214
Location: France
mmh... hey you guys, I'm back!<P>I just wanted to say that in french, computer in masculine. And you can trust me Image<P>If ever you have another problem with french language, i'm here! hehe<BR>I'm thinking about that, because I've seen lots of website about ballet, and oh my god there are so many mistakes in ballet french terms! Image<P>love<P>Caroline

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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 9:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 214
Location: France
oh, just one more thing for berry: french woman are NOT ordinary, so computer couldn't be feminina Image)<BR>and yes, "ordinary" and "ordinateur" have nothing related. Image <BR>

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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 11:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
this is so off the dance topic, but david sedaris, a nyc writer, tells a funny story in his book "me talk pretty one day" about when he moved to paris and couldn't tell when things were masculine/feminine (he started to hate small french children who just "knew") so he would go to the market and ask for "many" or "some" so that he could just say "les" or "des" instead of using "le/un" or "la/une". eventually his fridge was so full his boyfriend wouldn't let him buy food anymore. <BR>(the americans are the only people i know who would try to use their english word with a french article, "le computer"? bwaaaahhhhhh :} )


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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 214
Location: France
hahaha very funny Image<BR>but you know, as for the articles, it's even worse in german: they've masculines, feminines and neutral (? i don't know if it is the right word... sorry). so complicated! I can never remember them. <P>That's funny, each time that an english speaking guy speaks in french, he is always wrong with the articles. but we can perfectly understand, so in fact I don't think it's a big problem... <P><BR>

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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
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Location: Australia
paquita, i am very glad to see you back. and that sedaris story is a good one, isn't it? Image

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 Post subject: Re: The French Language and the Computer
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2000 12:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 214
Location: France
hey grace how are you?<P><BR>hehe, this story is really a good one Image I love it, so funny! Image <BR>

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