fifty cents written and spoken form

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Charlie Parker, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Charlie Parker

    Charlie Parker Senior Member

    English Canada
    In English I would write $0.50. In French would it be 0,50 $ cinquante cents (pronounced sen)? If someone could refer me to a site or a thread that explains this whole subject I would be grateful. Merci d'avance.
  2. marcolo

    marcolo Senior Member

    Bordeaux, France
    France, french
    I would say "cinquante cents" but in that case I would pronounce "cents" with the english pronunciation, because we consider it as en english word in this context.
  3. Angle O'Phial

    Angle O'Phial Senior Member

    USA English
    How is "cent" pronounced in Quebec where it is the local money? Or is "sou" or some other word used instead or in addition?
  4. marcolo

    marcolo Senior Member

    Bordeaux, France
    France, french
    I don't know for canadians, but I found that interesting thread about the subject

    For dollars, I am sure that french from France say "cents", but for euros, there has been some controversials. See for instance

    Actually, to distinguish "euros" from "francs", the euro cents were called "cents". In this site they say with the french pronunciation of cent, but I don't agree, I heard more often the english one, because people were probably confused with the dollar cent.
    And after when "franc" has been obliterated, people came back to the word "centimes". Now, I prefer to use this word when speaking of euro cents.
  5. Angle O'Phial

    Angle O'Phial Senior Member

    USA English
    Wikipedia says:

    So centimes is officially correct, correct?
  6. Charlie Parker

    Charlie Parker Senior Member

    English Canada
    Thank you all, but I need to know the written form of "fifty cents" in French. I am speaking of Canadian dollars. Would I write 0,50 $, 0.50 $ or something else. I want to be correct. Merci d'avance.
  7. marcolo

    marcolo Senior Member

    Bordeaux, France
    France, french
    0,50$ is the good form, I think, even if I don't like to use comma (I prefer the english decimal point). And I believe that "centimes" is officially correct while speaking about euro cents.

    For dollars, "cinquante cents", with cents pronounced like in english.

    Edit: On wikipedia, they are dealing with the problem of decimal point
    And they allow to write "0.50" or "0,50", both are correct. The use of the point to separate thousands is forbidden, and a space has to be used (1 200 for example).
  8. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    For typography, I'd like to suggest this page from the BDL. It is 0,50 $ - with a space before the $ sign.

    As for pronunciation, and contrary to English... the plural S is not pronounced in French. However the final t normally should be.
  9. Albert 50 Senior Member

    Montreal QC and Dallas TX
    Canada: French and English (bilingual)
    I just wanted to give support to my compatriote Nicomon. The recomended written form for fifty cents (in French-speaking Canada) is 0,50 $.

    There is indeed some controversy in terms of whether the comma (virgule) is best used after the 0, or whether the decimal point should be used. When I was a kid in school, we were told to use the comma even though our parents tended to use the decimal point. English-speakers, of course, only used the decimal point and there was a feeling that confusion would arise if French-speakers used the comma.... At any rate, more and more Francophones are using the comma and this is also the recommendation of the "Office de la langue française"...

    The official pronunciation in French for "cent" (one onehundreth of a dollar) is very close to the pronunciation of the English word "sent". As Nicomon mentions, however, most Francophones say "cenne" (with no "t"). A lot of folks also still use "sou" (I do personally, by habit, and so do most of my relatives).

    For some reason, the word "centime" has never caught on in Canada. Will it catch on in Europe? I doubt it...

  10. kme

    kme Senior Member

    in France a hundreth of a euro is "centimes", we were meant to use "cent" but in my memories, it didn't last more than a month...
  11. RuK Senior Member

    Outside Paris
    English/lives France
    I agree with kme. In France, you write 0, 50 € and most people say "cinquante centimes", just as they did for Francs, though in Paris business people may say "cinquante cents". (pronounced "scents").

    However, if it's 0, 50 $, you always say cinquante cents, of course - not centimes.

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