In a recent French reading practice Port Grimaud is described as “ un ancien village typique”. The side-by side translation describes it as “a typical old village”. The lesson on the use of ancien tells us that when used before a noun it means former therefore why is it translated as old in this context?
You are correct that, in the lesson (and most of the time), "ancien" placed before usually means "former". However, at times in practice, "ancien" placed before the noun can mean "former" or "old". Hence, the need for a hint here to show that in this particular instance, "ancien" means "old" and not "former".
I hope this is helpful ;-)
Bonne journée !
As I understand it the "former" Port became a village only about 50 years ago.
The architecture was designed "a typical old village" but the relatively recent history was the "former" Port.
Perhaps this is the explanation?
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