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Shall I use 'le' before a language? Je parle français. Je suis en train d'étudier le français. Both sentences are talking about French as a language. Why 'le' is used in the 2nd while not in the 1st sentence ? Merci~
Jun 22, 2015 9:06 AM
Answers · 5
I think "le" should go in both, but it's been deleted as a matter of being common or stuff, take a look at this link, "le" has gone between parenthesis:
June 22, 2015
You usually need the definite article with languages: étudier LE français, apprendre LE chinois, comprendre L'allemand, enseigner LE portugais, etc. ------------ The verb "parler" is a special case and the article is dropped in most cases by some native speakers (if you specify the language, you cannot omit the article: parler LE français DES ANTILLES, for example). If you are talking about people who are USING a language, SAYING things in these language, I would recommend you not to use the article (it sounds more natural for me at least). For example: "those 3 students over there are speaking Chinese or am i mistaken?" = Ces 3 étudiants sont en train de parler chinois ou je me trompe? -------------- There is a long thread about this topic in Word Reference... The day-to-day use of the article depends though on lots of things: if French is the mother tongue of the person, if the language is well known, if you speak other languages. It depends also on the speaker =P
June 22, 2015
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language