Lesson 10.2

MCK

MCK

«parler de voiture» (singular) appears several times translated as 'speaking about cars' (plural).  I think there needs to be an 's' in the French versions too «voitures».
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Salut MCK !

Thanks for your feedback! 

It's actually possible to say either parler de voiture or parler de voitures in French. There is a subtle difference between the two, but this subtlety is lost in English because both versions would normally be translated as "speaking about cars."

Essentially, when we say parler de voiture (singular), we're talking about la voiture "the car" as a general concept. French speakers talk about general concepts in the singular like this far more than English speakers do - for example, a French speaker might say La voiture est une machine incroyable "The car [i.e. the general concept/invention] is an incredible machine"; it's perfectly possible to say this in English, but your average person would probably more naturally put "car" in the plural and say "Cars are incredible machines."

When we say parler de voitures (plural), we're talking about les voitures "the cars." This can refer to cars in general, the same way we would in English; we're just no longer talking about "THE car," that standard concept. 

I hope that this is helpful! Please let me know if you still have any questions or if any of this is unclear. I will ask the French team if they can insert a literal translation in this lesson so that confusion is avoided in the future.

À la prochaine,

Liss
MCK

MCK

Thanks Liss. I think it is worth noting something like this when it occurs - situations where both English and French have singular and plural versions of a word, but may use them differently. This is a different situation to words that are only singular or plural in either language. I also raised this as a question because my wife (French) would have written 'parler de voitures' in this context - so there seem to be differences. Of course, this matters not at all in spoken French!
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Salut MCK !

Thank you for your feedback! Indeed, noting English-French discrepancies like this is something we're trying to do more and more across our courses now that we have some new functionalities to help us illustrate these kinds of things more cleanly.

It's also true that using a plural noun in phrases with parler (de) would arguably be more common, particularly in more casual contexts. So that we can eliminate all potential confusion on this matter for future users, I will ask the French team to look into simply changing this to a plural noun altogether.

Merci encore, et bonne journée !

Liss

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