Sens bon

TerryB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Sens bon

I am confused about the questions regarding Sentir bon and Se sentir bien.  For example the sentence ‘I smell good’ can refer to two different things in English. ‘My sense of smell is good’, or ‘I physically smell good.’ How do we know which the question is being asked when the question is posed in English to be translated into French.  I believe there would be a difference in translation, am I correct in this thought?

Asked 1 year ago
MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

If that English phrase has 2 or more meanings to you, then only context will allow a distinction. That holds true for any language. In speech, there may be additional clues from intonation or emphasis etc

 

Using ‘I smell good/bad…’ in English refers/should refer to the perceived quality of one’s own scent or odour. This is what ‘Je sens bon/mauvais’ translates to from French.

In English, it is or should be  ‘I smell well/badly’ or ‘I have a good/bad sense of smell’ to refer to sense of smell.

In French ‘odorat’ is the noun for sense of smell, so ‘J’ai un bon/mauvais odorat’ specifically refers to one’s sense of smell. 

In neither English nor French need there be any confusion between describing how well your sense of smell functions, as opposed to what sort of smell you release ! 

In the lesson link attached below, the first section descriptor should be changed, as sentir does not actually mean (express) ‘the sense of smell’, but it does mean/express ‘the perception of smell’. 

Sentir can also refer to ‘the perception of flavour/taste’ - however  ‘the sense of taste’  is ‘gout’ - ‘J’ai un bon/mauvais goût’.

(There is a difference between ‘the sense’ and ‘the sensation’).

 It may be worth noting the specific words for the senses in at least one of these lessons on sentir, as well. 

Describing senses with "sentir" - The different meanings of the verb "sentir" in French 

https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/goût/37667

https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/odorat/55620

 

 

 

TerryB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you. 

Terry asked:View original

Sens bon

I am confused about the questions regarding Sentir bon and Se sentir bien.  For example the sentence ‘I smell good’ can refer to two different things in English. ‘My sense of smell is good’, or ‘I physically smell good.’ How do we know which the question is being asked when the question is posed in English to be translated into French.  I believe there would be a difference in translation, am I correct in this thought?

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