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Rule for l'

JessicaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Rule for l'

Isn't the rule that it's l' if it sounds like it starts with a vowel, not that it actually does?

For instance, «dans l'Hérault» is the correct form, but the rules in this lesson incorrectly state «dans le Hérault».

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Jessica,

It depends whether the -h is an h aspirate or a mute one.

L'Hérault is indeed correct -

Thanks for pointing this out.

 

JessicaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Cécile, I'm aware that the aspirate h exists, therefore I was careful to find reliable and reputable sources before posting, to not do this would do a grave disservice to my fellow learners.

It's l'Hérault according to the webpage of the departmental council of Hérault, at http://www.herault.fr/

The official tourism website uses l'Hérault: http://www.herault-tourisme.com/decouvrir-2-1.html

It is also l'Hérault on French wikipedia: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A9rault_(d%C3%A9partement) which also uses l'Hérault for the river in the same area: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A9rault_(fleuve)

French news uses l'Hérault: https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/occitanie/herault/beziers/beziers-ligue-contre-cancer-herault-recoit-don-25-000-euros-1817750.html

The protected geographical indication (PGI/IGP) for the region's wine is «Pays d'Hérault»: https://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-igp+pays+d'herault

I'm not sure why you ignored the copious sources, including official local sources, that use «l'Hérault», in favour of a very generic site that is clearly going to lack local knowledge? Especially when there is a clear danger that anyone who is unfamiliar will incorrectly assume it  herald, «le Héraut».

Worst of all, the site you're relying on isn't even consistent about what it uses! Look at https://www.weekendesk.fr/idee-week-end-sejour/k2l/Languedoc-Roussillon-Bien-etre which says «Destination l'Aude, l'Hérault ou encore les Pyrénées Orientales pour profiter des bienfaits d'un week-end de pure détente.»

That's five examples, including the web site you're relying on, saying that you're wrong. Even if I explicitly search for «le Hérault» I get a preponderance of evidence that it's «l'Hérault».

Worst of all, the site you're relying on isn't even consistent about what it uses! Look at https://www.weekendesk.fr/idee-week-end-sejour/k2l/Languedoc-Roussillon-Bien-etre which says «Destination l'Aude, l'Hérault ou encore les Pyrénées Orientales pour profiter des bienfaits d'un week-end de pure détente.»

If you search hard enough you can find something to support anything. For example, I can find someone using «le Ontario» for the province. (I say the province, because «le Ontario» is used when it's used in the name of an organisation like «le Ontario Science Center» or a web address like «Visitez le Ontario.ca».) To be clear, that example for «le Ontario» turns up in my searches far earlier than weekendesk.fr does - I have not been able to get any results for Weekendesk at all, unless I explicitly include the name.

It would of course be silly to change it to «le Ontario» and ignore the vast number of examples to the contrary including ignoring the usage of the local government. However, that's exactly the precedent you've set with «le Hérault» where you've ignored the vast number of examples to the contrary including ignoring the usage of the local government.

Your dredging up of this obviously unreliable website is particularly galling because of how quickly 'French as in France' or a ruling of L'Académie Française is jumped on when it suits. (It's a different debate, but I think this attitude does a disservice to anyone who's trying to learn French for practical use, for example if they go to Brussels on business or encounters one of the words that's made it into mainstream french from Verlan.)

Finally, it's incredibly frustrating that the lesson still refers only to a vowel, despite your agreement that with a mute h it should be l'. The bottom line is that regardless of the example, the rule in the lesson is wrong, you know it's wrong, it's been a week, and it's not been corrected.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Jessica,

I stand corrected and will alter my answer to your first question.

If you can let me have the link where it says 'dans le Hérault' ( can't find it in that lesson) I shall get it changed.

 

JessicaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Cécile, I used Hérault purely as an example to point out why "You use dans l' with masculine regions/states/counties starting with a vowel." is wrong as it doesn't mention mute h.

Kwiziq does tend to consistently mention this elsewhere so the absence may lead someone to conclude that it doesn't apply in this case - and as there are few examples, I suspect the quizzes wouldn't catch this misunderstanding (Certainly this seems to be a concern due to how many quizzes use words with vowels and mute h to check understanding of le/la/l'/les, du/de la/de l'/des and au/à la/à l'/aux)

My initial post is referring only to the rules stated in the lesson. Hence I said 'the rules in this lesson' rather than 'the example in this lesson'

RowenB1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Jessica - the rule on the lesson has been amended to reflect this additional point now. Thanks!

Jessica asked:View original

Rule for l'

Isn't the rule that it's l' if it sounds like it starts with a vowel, not that it actually does?

For instance, «dans l'Hérault» is the correct form, but the rules in this lesson incorrectly state «dans le Hérault».

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