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Saanen
10-28-2012, 06:53 PM
I used Babelfish but I wanted to make sure I was correct. I have two high school students working on their French homework, and one uses it as a way to impart some covert information to the other without his mother overhearing.

So, one asks "Does your mother speak French?"
Votre mère parle-t-elle français?

And the other replies, "No, my mother does not speak French."
Pas, ma mère ne parle pas français.

Do I have those sentences right? The girl asking the question speaks (school) French fluently and plans to major in it in college; the boy who replies is taking French III in high school.

Thanks!

LJD
10-28-2012, 07:12 PM
So, one asks "Does your mother speak French?"
Votre mère parle-t-elle français?
Since you've got two students speaking to each other, I would use "Ta mère" instead of "Votre mère." I don't see any reason to use the formal you/your.


And the other replies, "No, my mother does not speak French."
Pas, ma mère ne parle pas français.

Change the first "pas" to "no"

Note that I am not fluent in French, but took it all through high school.

Bufty
10-28-2012, 07:24 PM
If the mother is present here, there's something not right to my eye.

I assume the mother cannot overhear the question being asked.

If she can, it pre-supposes she can't understand French.

If she cannot overhear, why isn't the question asked in English?

Did you consider a handwritten note passed across the table?

Just thoughts. Good luck.

Saanen
10-28-2012, 07:58 PM
LJD--Thanks, that's exactly what I was hoping for!

Bufty--The mother can overhear, but the kids are doing French homework verbally and I thought that sounded like a sentence that might actually be part of their homework (even though it's not). After he answers no, the girl goes on to impart the information in French. Thanks. :)

Bufty
10-28-2012, 07:59 PM
Gotcha. good luck. :)


LJD--Thanks, that's exactly what I was hoping for!

Bufty--The mother can overhear, but the kids are doing French homework verbally and I thought that sounded like a sentence that might actually be part of their homework (even though it's not). After he answers no, the girl goes on to impart the information in French. Thanks. :)

benbenberi
10-28-2012, 09:46 PM
"Does your mother speak French?"
Ta mère parle-t-elle français?


And the other replies, "No, my mother does not speak French."
Non, ma mère ne parle pas français or Non, elle ne parle pas français.

Orianna2000
10-28-2012, 11:32 PM
Just a thought, but if I were a teenager and someone asked me this question, I wouldn't say, "No, my mother doesn't speak French." I would just answer, "No." Dialogue should be realistic, not stilted. Just something to think about.

StarryEyes
10-29-2012, 12:09 AM
You've got some good translations there already. I would just add that you might want to say "Est-ce que ta mère parle français?" instead of "Ta mère parle-t-elle français?". The second version would be found in books, whereas the second is less formal and is the only one you'll hear spoken in francophone countries (unless the person speaking is my French teacher from last year, who insisted on speaking like he came from the 18th century... LOL)

Saanen
10-29-2012, 12:10 AM
Thanks, but this is homework. The girl tells the boy to answer in complete sentences because they're supposed to be doing French.

The passage in question is this, and hopefully I think I've got the French right.


Once I had finished my homework, she quizzed me on some of my vocabulary, then said, “I’m going to ask you questions in French, and I want you to answer in full sentences. Ready? Ta mère parle-t-elle français?”

“Non, ma mère ne parle pas français,” I said. No, my mother does not speak French.

After that, the sentences grew way more complicated.

Saanen
10-29-2012, 12:13 AM
you might want to say "Est-ce que ta mère parle français?" instead of "Ta mère parle-t-elle français?". The second version would be found in books, whereas the second is less formal and is the only one you'll hear spoken in francophone countries

Whoa, wait, is Est-ce que ta mère parle français? the bookish version or the less formal version? Thanks!

LJD
10-29-2012, 01:50 AM
Change the first "pas" to "no"

Ooops that should have been 'non', but looks like you've got that sorted out.

StarryEyes
10-29-2012, 07:01 PM
Whoa, wait, is Est-ce que ta mère parle français? the bookish version or the less formal version? Thanks!

It's the less formal version, but it can also be found in books, just not so formal ones (you would never see it in Victor Hugo or Baudelaire, but you might in a modern author's writing).


Just re-read my last post and realised I made a mistake - I meant "the second version would be found in books, whereas the first is less formal".

Saanen
10-29-2012, 09:31 PM
Oh okay, thanks. :) I was confused.