Ronline, I'm not sure I agree about some pronounciations. I think that "é" is usually pronounced as "ay" in "hay," though perhaps slightly shorter (think of né and countless other verbs conjugated in the passé composé ... also look at the pronounciation for "désolé(e)" given in the phrasebook.)
Maybe we should use standard phonetics instead ? (but hard to represent with ASCII characters sometimes). -- Mathieu 22:55, 13 Nov 2003 (GMT +1).
I'm a native speaker, though since I've never traveled in France I don't know all the words. In my pronunciation (which is probably pretty close to Norman since that's where my father came from) è is the same as the vowel in "set". Who pronounces it as in "cat"? PierreAbbat 16:27, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)
I dunno if you should vouvoyer people who are bothering you. "Touches pas" just sounds more forbidding than "Ne me touchez pas, s'il vous plaît." --Evan 08:01, 14 Dec 2003 (PST)
Which is better for "cheat": "tricher" or "tromper"? -phma 15:18, 15 Feb 2004 (EST)
'Tricher' is cheat like in a game, 'tromper' is cheat like 'to cheat on your wife' (tromper sa femme).
Also, saying casse-toi to someone is a hell of a lot more impolite than 'buzz off.' Replace the Buzz with every American's favorite adjective and you've got a better idea of what it means. It's likely to get a foriegner beat up, frankly. I think 'Laisse-moi tranqille' would be better, or at the worst a simple 'dégage.'
Link to list
I removed the link to the list of phrasebooks. I don't see why it'd be valuable, and it's very bad form to link out of the main namespace to another one. --Evan 16:37, 10 Aug 2004 (EDT)
Wouldn't it be better to use the more accurate and internationally understood "brun/brune" instead?
"traveler's chèque" : could/should it be "Chèque de voyage"?
What's the goal of this?
I've often wondered what the benefit of putting such beautifully correct French in phrasebooks is. Why "comment allez-vous" and not just "ca va?" Why "Avez-vous ceci dans ma taille?" rather than "Vous avez un 8?" Why " Combien coûte le billet pour..." instead of "Le billet pour ..., c'est combien?" All of these alternatives are perfectly understandable, more likely to be used by actual French people, and best of all, much easier for a non-French speaker to construct on the fly.
For anyone likely to use a phrasebook like this, the best is to teach them a small number of words (like "ca", "c'est", "ici"...) and a few handy ways of combining them. No one is possibly going to sit down and memorise hundreds of brand new sentences. Beautifully constructed sentences with inversions are, at best, going to confuse a French person into thinking you actually speak French...
Note that I also simplified the phonology section a lot. I've lived here for two years (and studied French *and* linguistics at school and university), and I'm not that convinced that people make pronounce é and è that differently in normal speech. It's certainly not worth worrying about for an anglophone tourist! Also there was a bit of confusion about what diphthongs are - they're actually sequences of two vowels, something that French has precious few of. Stevage 17:44, 8 August 2006 (EDT)
Note on emphasis in French
Speaking French hardly has any individual word emphasis, which is completely contrary to English. Frankly, it's probably one of the largest inhibitors to comprehension by natives, just as in English the lack of emphasis by native French speakers is disconcerting and often hard to understand. I get the point of trying to show emphasis in pseudo-phonetics; however, for the purpose of the phrasebook I think the note should be made that emphasis comes at the end of phrases or sentences. On the same note, capitalized emphasis should be removed from this guide (especially because people seem to have a tendency to emphasize capital letters simply by saying them louder).