Whats that?
October 10, 2001 3:05 AM   Subscribe

Whats that? is what we say, but the french seem to have a different way of asking the same question.
posted by semper (20 comments total)

 
I was always taught to say "Qu’est-ce que c’est". Then again, I had pretty crappy marks in french :-)
posted by slater at 3:26 AM on October 10, 2001


most people in the uk will have learned french (or some other modern language) as it is compulsory for most streams up to gcse level, i believe.
i was also taught 'qu'est que c'est?' for this phrase.
posted by asok at 3:38 AM on October 10, 2001


i'm french, and actually, we say "c'est quoi ?" (litteraly meaning : "this is what ?") when we speak. What you're taught is very proper french, just like we're taught english people say "how do you do" or "is not" ... but yes, french IS a weird language !
posted by aureliano buendia at 4:41 AM on October 10, 2001


This has always fascinated me; I guess it's linguistics. There are, obviously tons of words and expressions like this...just calling a potato an apple of the earth is interesting.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:46 AM on October 10, 2001


David Byrne taught me that it is 'qu'est que c'est.'
posted by luser at 6:29 AM on October 10, 2001


thanks aureliano
posted by asok at 6:41 AM on October 10, 2001


This is the worst post I've seen in months.
posted by jpoulos at 6:52 AM on October 10, 2001


Qu'est que c'est ça?" is what they say.
This translates literally as "What is that there?"
The link gets the French wrong and the translation even wronger.
Not bad for something so short and unfunny.

Better we all go back to Neale's Post Generator.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:00 AM on October 10, 2001


its here cos its useless and meaningless aswell as really bad, just like the web
posted by semper at 7:02 AM on October 10, 2001


Better we all go back to Neale's Post Generator.

(psst, it was iceberg273's post generator, Neale just linked it :-)
posted by cCranium at 7:43 AM on October 10, 2001


It's like those French have a different word for everything.
posted by tpoh.org at 7:43 AM on October 10, 2001


Yeah, what's up with that?? Darn Frenchies, with their snails and wine and fancy lingo.
posted by UncleFes at 7:53 AM on October 10, 2001


That doesn't sound right. No French speaker would say that.
posted by tranquileye at 8:05 AM on October 10, 2001


Actually, the French word for `croissant' is `croissant'.

(FYI: this piece of dialogue was lifted from a Family Ties episode from way back when.)
posted by thijsk at 8:08 AM on October 10, 2001


I was taught “Qu’est-ce que c’est que ca?” in school, too.

No French speaker would say that.

That is pretty representative of most of what I was taught in high school.

To get good grades, it was necessary to parrot the teacher, not to know the truth.
posted by Geo at 9:21 AM on October 10, 2001


Tranquileye: my teacher back in sixième used to say "Qu’est-ce que c’est que ca?" all the time. It's a little musical to my ear. She also used to say "Regarde moi ca".
posted by xiffix at 9:25 AM on October 10, 2001


It's like those French have a different word for everything.

Omelet du fromage.
posted by jpoulos at 10:22 AM on October 10, 2001


geo and xiffix: don't blame your teachers, you rapscallions. That last "que" was not there. It just sounded that way. You should have looked at the blackboard while the poor wretches were trying to teach you ungrateful rats. :-)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:56 AM on October 10, 2001


J'ai la difficulté comprenant la difficulté en comprenant le Francais de base, especialmente en les etudiants. Quel horreur!
posted by Dreama at 11:05 AM on October 10, 2001


Better we all go back to Neale's Post Generator.

Miguel, that would be Iceberg's post generator. I am simply not smart enough to come up with that.
posted by Neale at 4:14 PM on October 10, 2001


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