Why are there different translations of 'A farmer' in French?

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I was looking up farmer in my dictionary and found different french words corresponding. I was wondering what the different nuances are between them: 

un fermier 

un cultivateur 

un agriculteur 


Any thoughts? 

And please in the most simplified way possible.


Kevwe A.

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Oghenekevwe wrote:
I was looking up farmer in my dictionary and found different french words corresponding. I was wondering what the different nuances are between them:
un fermier
un cultivateur
un agriculteur
Any thoughts?
And please in the most simplified way possible.
First off, I really like questions like these. They mean that there is some more work to do (for those answering, and this time it could be me.)


un fermier --> le fermage

So according to the strict sense of the word, un fermier is a landholder in agriculture. You know... someone who sorta "leases" some land from a landlord, then uses it for his farm purposes. 


But apart from that, a fermier simply is a farmer.


un cultivateur --> cultiver (to cultivate)

un agriculteur --> l'agriculture (female; agriculture)


So there isn't such a big usage difference after all between those three words, because they all refer to some similar things. In short, they (almost) are synonyms. 



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Thanks SGP.

Does this mean all three can be used interchangeably? 

Kevwe A.

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Oghenekevwe wrote:
Thanks SGP.
Does this mean all three can be used interchangeably?


Well, any words that are (almost) synonyms usually can be used interchangeably. Now why didn't that guy just say yes or no? Well, that's because Language Matters Matter.


Most words that one would consider synonyms (in any language) aren't really true and complete synonyms, even if they are very close. That's because of something called connotations. 


Some English examples:

farmer vs. peasant

to bring vs. to carry (the later being a bit more elaborate)

snake vs. serpent

smell vs. odor (AE) / odour (BE)

to buy vs. to purchase

etc., etc. etc.


But most of the time, agriculteur and cultivateur can be used interchangeably for "farmer". Because someone who does agriculture also cultivates something, and vice-versa. And even fermier, it is nowadays used very often to simply speak about a farmer, without emphasizing that whole "landholder" thing too much. 


le-dictionnaire . com:
"Définition de agriculteur: Personne qui, à titre professionnel, cultive la terre ou élève des animaux destinés à être consommés.
Définition de cultivateur: (Agriculture) Celui, celle qui cultive la terre ou qui exploite une terre, un domaine.
Définition de fermier:
Agriculteur.
(Vieilli) Celui, celle qui prend des terres ou des droits à ferme.
(En particulier) (Histoire) Ceux auxquels les droits du roi étaient affermés.

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Thank you so much. The dictionary helped.

Kevwe A.

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SGP wrote:
Oghenekevwe wrote:
I was looking up farmer in my dictionary and found different french words corresponding. I was wondering what the different nuances are between them:
un fermier
un cultivateur
un agriculteur
Any thoughts?
And please in the most simplified way possible.
First off, I really like questions like these. They mean that there is some more work to do (for those answering, and this time it could be me.)
un fermier --> le fermage
So according to the strict sense of the word, un fermier is a landholder in agriculture. You know... someone who sorta "leases" some land from a landlord, then uses it for his farm purposes.
But apart from that, a fermier simply is a farmer.
un cultivateur --> cultiver (to cultivate)
un agriculteur --> l'agriculture (female; agriculture)
So there isn't such a big usage difference after all between those three words, because they all refer to some similar things. In short, they (almost) are synonyms.


So to use a dumb example..


It's like..hm...


Let's say "Player" in English where a player can be a guy that plays sport but it can also be a guy that plays video games, and it can also be a guy that gets women easily 

?


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Here in Spain they have 3 ways to say farmhouse casa de campo, la alcaría, el cortijo

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dragonsky wrote:
So to use a dumb example..
It's like..hm...
Let's say "Player" in English where a player can be a guy that plays sport but it can also be a guy that plays video games, and it can also be a guy that gets women easily
?


Your example is about ambiguity. 

One word that can mean several things.

And that is a very important language topic too, no doubt.


But Oghenekevwe's question was more about nuances of word usage.

Or connotations (konotacija in Croatian, Конотация in Bulgarian.) 


The three French words fermier, agriculteur and cultivateur basically all mean "farmer". They have much in common. But there also are some (smaller) differences.


Because your example included someone who plays video games, maybe the following could make it more clear.

There are two words that (basically) mean the same:


- video game player

- gamer


In many contexts, we can replace one with the other without really changing the meaning.


But sometimes it is, nevertheless, different. Because of that thing called "connotations".


It is about what people associate with a word. About the feelings that are caused by saying that specific word, and not another one with a similar meaning.


A video game player could be anyone who plays video games. 

But when someone asks him/her, "are you a gamer?", the response still could be "no!". Or even "Not at all!" or "Who do you think I am?". Because sometimes, "gaming" and "being a gamer" is used for those who are especially interested in those games. Or even for video game freaks, or people who spend too many hours a day doing nothing else.


So that is an example of the nuances of some words, or their connotations.





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Okay I'm getting confused all over again.

The examples you used; being a gamer and a video game player. I can see that one is 'intense' and the other 'casual'. Could the same be said for those three farmer translations? 

Could you please just use them in a sentence? 

Kevwe A.

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Oghenekevwe wrote:
Okay I'm getting confused all over again.


Na so?

Wetin dey happen?

Dis no wahala.


wrote:
The examples you used; being a gamer and a video game player. I can see that one is 'intense' and the other 'casual'. Could the same be said for those three farmer translations? Could you please just use them in a sentence?


Well, y'know Oghenekevwe... this just might look more complicated than it really is. Fermier / cultivateur / agriculteur isn't about "intense vs. casual".

They all (basically) mean the same, as explained in that post above that also contains the dictionary quote.


I only mentioned that "video game player vs. gamer" example to illustrate what connotations (nuances) are.

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Thanks for your explanation SGP, you know your stuff! :) 

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:joy::joy:

Okay,Where did you learn that from?

The third one is actually 'This one nor get wahala' or just 'no wahala' meaning 'No problem'

Nice one SGP!

Kevwe A.

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