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Started by scarface, March 01, 2013, 12:21 AM

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Quote from: humbert on October 06, 2022, 05:18 AMHey Scarface. I know I'm off the subject but just a quick question. I noticed that dégradé has 2 letters with accent (é) in the same word. French also has vowels with (è) and (ê). I refer to the letter E in this post, but I assume the same applies to other vowels. Is this because they're pronounced differently or what?

I'm curious because as you know, in Spanish there is only one accented vowel per word (e.g., é) and it indicates strong emphasis on that vowel. There are no (è) or (ê).

I'm glad to see that humbert is making huge progress in learning French. Usually one is wondering how to pronounce the words of a language when one is already able to speak it.
When I was young I was already reading some books in English (such as the remains of the day), but I had a terrible accent because the English language is not always logical. Let's take the example of the word "country": I was pronouncing "coontry" instead of "contry". This word is derived from the French substantive "contrée" (which means land, region...but not country) and the pronunciation is actually pretty close, but you see that in English the word is spelled with "ou" and in French "ou" is pronounced "oo" as in the word "cool" (note that in Spanish they don't use "ou" but just "u"). As for the letter "u" in French you don't pronounce it "ou" but as in the name "Hulk".

After this little digression, let's go back to the question of humbert. I guess Maher, iih and Gulliver are also waiting for answers.
Actually there are 3 types of accent in French.
We are going to see the use of these accents on the letter "e" essentially. But you have to know that when a word ends with the letter e, you don't pronounce it, as in the words bouteille (bottle), table (table), immeuble (building). If you want to have a different sound, you need to use an accent.

Let's begin with the acute accent (é), which is the most common.
Basically, you are pronouncing "é" as you would pronounce the last "e" of "siempre" in Spanish.
Many verbs in the past participle ends with "é". If we take the word "dégradé", it's the past participle of the verb "dégrader". Like in English, you can use the past participle of a verb as an adjective.
Note that in the infinitive, dégrader and dégradé have the same pronunciation (if you see a word ending with "er", you have to pronunce it "é". In Spanish you pronounce the r in the word "comer", but it's not the case in French for the verbs accepter, abandonner, marcher manger...

Now let's see the grave accent (è). it is also placed over the e but can also be used over other vowels. It only changes the sound over the e, however. This accent points upward towards the left, so is like the opposite of the acute accent. It produces an "ehh" sound like that in set or get. An example of the use of the grave accented e can be found in "très" (very) or "chèvre" (goat).

Finally, let's see the circumflex Accent (ê). It can sit on top of any of the vowels a, e, i, o and u. It has three functions.
Firstly, according to certain French language rules, it can change the pronunciation of the vowels a, u and o but never of e and i. 
Secondly, it is used to show where another letter once existed in the Latin word the French word is derived from. For example, the French words "forêt", "hôpital", or "crête" were written forest, ospital or crest in the Middle Ages. The English language kept the old form with the s. The word hôpital used to have a "silent" s. It indeed comes from the word "hospitalia" in Latin, which gave "ospital" in old French. The "s" became silent in the 11th century and was replaced with ^. Some words of the same family, such as "hospitalisation" (this time the s is not silent), came after the 11th century and took the original Latin word as a template.
Thirdly, the circumflex is used to distinguish one word from another that is spelt the same way but pronounced differently. An example would be "sur", meaning on, versus "sûr", meaning sure (actually I found this explanation but I would pronounce them the same way). However, in some words the circumflex has no known function.

You have forgotten the umlaut (ë), but I can talk about it here.
It is very similar to the German umlaut, and is formed by two dots that are placed over the second of two consecutive vowels. It is to show that the vowels are sounded separately, for example, it is used in coïncidence (ko-ehn-see-dahns), which in English means coincidence.


Scarface: Thanks for taking the time to explain the difference between the different types of accents used in French. It's a little hard to understand. Later when I'm less tired I'm going to read it more carefully.

French has umlats (ë)? That's news to me. I don't recall seeing one in any French text I've tried to read.

Spanish, Italian, and even Russian are very phonetic languages. You write it the very same way you say it. English isn't phonetic at all and there are no accents to help. French isn't very phonetic either and is full of silent letters. I heard all words that end in a consonant, the consonant is silent. I also heard that the letter (e) at the end of a word is always silent unless it has an acute accent (é). Is all this true?

At least there are different types of accents that help you pronounce.


Quote from: humbert on October 16, 2022, 06:19 AMFrench has umlats (ë)? That's news to me. I don't recall seeing one in any French text I've tried to read.
You can find it on a few words: Noël,canoë,Israël...
Actually you could probably replace the ë with è, it wouldn't change the pronunciation of these words (Basically you pronounce them like this : Noèl, canoé, Israèl).
However you can find it on the "i" of many words, meaning that you have to pronounce a or o and i separately, as in celluloïd, haïr, laïque, païen, coïncidence, maïs, baïonnette, coïnculpé, hébraïque, mosaïque, paranoïa, héroïne, naïade, polaroïd, égoïne, héroïque, naïf, stoïcisme, camaïeu, faïence, inouï, troïka, Caraïbes, glaïeul, laïque, ouïe, Zaïre.
The 2 letters "ai" are normally pronounced "é" or è, and the rule is roughly the same in English (liaison, aimless). In fact, the French language is more logical than English because Zaïre, which is spellt Zaire in English (with the same pronunciation), is not pronounced "Zère".

Quote from: humbert on October 16, 2022, 06:19 AMI heard all words that end in a consonant, the consonant is silent.
It's probably true. However it can change the pronunciation of the word.
For example let's take the verb "accepter". If you say "humbert et Maher doivent accepter de jouer au tennis avec scarface" (humbert and Maher must accept to play tennis with scarface), you use the verb in the infinitive and you pronouce it "accepté". Now if you use the sentence "humbert accepte de jouer au tennis" (humbert accepts to play tennis), you would just pronouce it "accept"

Quote from: humbert on October 16, 2022, 06:19 AMI also heard that the letter (e) at the end of a word is always silent unless it has an acute accent (é). Is all this true?
This is also true. But this is also the case for many words in English.
In fact the letter e in French is spelled out phonetically as ə. If you want to get trained, think of it as the "meuh" of the cow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5fSWknQFQM
This sound can appear in English with the letters "a" or "e", for example in the sentence "a trip to the North Pole" but the a is then pronounced differently between 2 consonants, which is not logical (the a of "Japan and "take" is pronounced differently whereas it appears both times on the first syllable and between two consonants).


Note that I encoded the bluray of the movie "the cow and I", known as "la vache et le prisonnier", in x265 with burned-in subtitles, but after looking at the results, the picture is sometimes "noisy". Maybe it's due to the fact the the movie was released in 1959. However, I think it wasn't the case with the DVD edition. I'm trying to encode it a second time with strong denoise settings. If the result is conclusive, I will post it, Vasudev, aa1234779 and shadow.97 might be interested in this movie.


QuoteIn fact, the French language is more logical than English because Zaïre, which is spellt Zaire in English (with the same pronunciation), is not pronounced "Zère".

I'd go as far as to say ANY language is more logical than English. The spoken language is OK, the problem is how you write it. Even then, a campaign to make it more phonetic is bound to fail. Why? As you know, in Spanish there is the Real Academia de la Lengua Española in Madrid. They write the dictionaries and keep the language updated. All this is then forwarded to the 20+ countries where Spanish predominates. English has nothing like that. British English and American English have different spellings. Not even in England is English the official language! The USA has no official language either, at least not federally. You can pretty much write it any way you want. BTW and before you mention it, I believe there is an equivalent of the Academia in Paris, for French obviously.

Just curious: have you been to Spain? If so, did you communicate OK?

Finally: I'm sure you read my post about my concerns for Daniil? What do you think?


Tonight, another movie, titled the cow and I and known in French as "la vache et le prisonnier" is available on the forum.
This movie, released in 1959, is based on Jacques Antoine's 1945 novel, Une histoire vraie (A True Story).
Encoded in x265 with English subtitles. The movie was "denoised".

Story: Charles Bailly, a French prisoner of war in Germany in the summer of 1943, decides to escape from the farm where he is forced to work and go home to France. Observing that a man with a cow and a milk pail passes unnoticed in the Bavarian countryside, his plan is to take one (whom he names Marguerite) and to walk with her to Stuttgart, where he will leave her and hide aboard a train for France.
Their epic journey takes weeks, during which the two meet many people, some sympathetic and some not. They get into many situations, some dangerous and some hilarious. For example, on a narrow pontoon bridge over the Danube, Marguerite will not budge when a company of German soldiers tries to cross.
Reaching Stuttgart, Bailly has to part from Marguerite and jumps on a train. At its first stop in France, he gets off but is challenged by French police. To escape them he jumps on another train, which viewers can see is heading for Stuttgart.

Link: https://mega.nz/file/EZ9lCYYY#nIigPSd1yZr8gb9My5wg26GNApjPHjweIn7bmg2u-LA


Tonight, another movie is available on the forum.
This is the movie "les 3 frères", released in 1995. If you don't speak French perfectly it's not a problem: this movie has English subtitles.
If you want to watch an excellent and funny movie, I recommend this one.
Encoded in x265.

Three half-brothers are reunited at their mother's funeral. After being told of their inheritance they quickly spend the money, only to find out that they will not receive it after all. The men grow closer while deciding how to proceed.

It's the "Inconnus"'s first movie for the screen and they made a funny and entertaining comedy. Three men who are very different are discovering that they are brothers. They 're also discovering that they're going to inherit a fortune that used to belong to their mother. But the inheritance is cancelled and they must escape from the police, the notaries, the bailiffs. Now that they are in the street, they've got to beg for but at the same time, they're learning to know each other better.... The film won the Oscar for the First Best film in 1996.

Link: https://mega.nz/file/LJZD2YYJ#WIKvHNzQMUj6YqJgxbsH_SAm_1VnlAc6vhR4FtCXbZM