Still up on your French, by chance? I'm just starting Rosetta Stone and I was wondering - am I (not just as an American but as anyone) supposed to be able to hear the difference in pronunciation (or pronounce it differently myself, for that matter) in things like "mange" and "manget"/"nage" and "naget" etc.? Obviously I can see the spelling differences, but the pronunciation sounds identical to me. Am I hearing that right or is it just subtle?
Edit - Also, again I just started but since Rosetta Stone doesn't do any translations I'm afraid I'm going to miss this early on - il vs. le? The early example they give is a group of men reading being "ils lisent." Why isn't it "les hommes lisent?"
Basically the whole le/la/les/il/ils thing is confusing me right off the bat. Obviously les and ils are plural, but some of the gender differences are getting me.
Eh! You peruse the political forums, no?
1. Mange vs manget and vs. mangé. Mange and manget are commonly grouped into something they call "boot verbs."
When learning a new verb, it's a very very good idea to write down each verb you learn and take note of their stem changes, like this. For the French in particular, they are so accustomed to the similarities that they will pick up on the rest of the sentence to understand if you are using the plural or the singular. Note: not all verbs follow the "boot" pattern.
Mangé is something that you will learn probably in the second language pack of french, it's past tense and is pronounced with the "ay" sound at the end.
2. Il vs. le is kind of more complicated, Il means either him, he, or it (masculine). Il mange toujour.
, "he always eats" is an example of this vs il est un sac
, "it's a bag." Le means the, unless it means "it." This is something that shouldn't come up for a bit in your studies, so don't worry about it until you come to it. J'ai le mangé
means "I ate it." "It" being "le" in the sentence. This is where French diverges from English in it's sentence structure, we use subject verb object while they use subject object verb in their syntax.
Il= him, he, or it. (masculine)
Elle, she, her, or it. (feminine)
On= one, like "one who reads these books..."
Ils/Elles= y'all or the archaic "ye."
For Ils lisent vs. Les hommes lisent, that's just teaching you to use the pronoun ils instead of using a more "wordy" sentence.
I've played around in the french rosetta stone, the lisent usually pronounces the "s" like a "z." This, as i've learned, isn't actually practiced in France french. I doubt it actually matters though.
This website has a list of masculine vs feminine gender suffixes for french, should help. I never had it haha. I hope that helped. Good luck with French, I'm doing Arabic in rosetta stone, it's pretty fucking hard. If you need anything else, or just practice writing, i'd be happy help! I'm always looking for ways to keep up on my french.
Sorry to make this long post longer, but whenever you encounter a word where an "e" follows a consonant, that consonant is pronounced. Just a point of grammar I thought I'd add.