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"Cet homme a peur du changement."

Translation:That man is afraid of change.

1
4 years ago

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tgray1961
tgray1961
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DL did not accept "this man has a fear of change." Should I report it, or is the difference as subtle as it is in English?

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Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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There is no real difference. We are tempted to translate it that way because the French construction uses "avoir peur de" (to be afraid of). But the ordinary way of saying it in everyday English is "he is afraid...." It is not that the former way is wrong but do you always, when speaking of fear, use the expression "I have a fear of...., She has a fear of ...." Or do you just say "I'm afraid...." Do you also say "I have hunger" because the French is "J'ai faim"? The heart-wrenching experience of DL pressures users into word-for-word translations, but these often result in unnatural expressions in English because we're trying to match the cadence of a French drummer.

29
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam_Younis

It is not at all uncommon in English to refer to fear as something you "have". Specifically with fears, this is perfectly within, i would imagine, the global vernacular. "I have a fear of heights" or "fear of flying"... failure... change... Etc. It really is in many cases more common than "afraid".

I want to mention that I do empathise with the struggle of Duolingo not being able to accommodate every possible technical permutation of a translation. I also empathise with the need to teach students not to fall into the habit of literal translation. To me, however, this is not one of those cases at all.

As a wider recurring issue, surely the Duolingo staff should avoid including sentences that fall into grey areas of translation if they cannot ensure common translations can be covered comprehensively? There are many other ways we could have been taught "changement" without getting into the "afraid" v.s. "to have a fear of" issue.

4
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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Let me say this very clearly: the term "has a fear of" is accepted. Yes, that expression is heard and there are even times when it is preferred. It is accepted. What I am saying is that language learners need to be cautious about literal translations and mimicking the syntax of French idioms. Can you say "I have a fear of XXX"? Absolutely. Is that the most common way to say it in English? No, it is not. This is not just my opinion. Whenever there are different ideas about this kind of thing, I always check references and look up as many resources as I can to get information about it. Look at the Ngram viewer. Put "is afraid" and "has a fear of" separated by a comma. Then come back and tell me what you saw there.

5
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mplvin
mplvin
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George- doesn't the ngram show a fear of is far more popular? Especially recently?

0
Reply2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pietvo
pietvo
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Would it be possible to say in French "Cet homme a peur de changement"?

4
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaKapsule44
  • Cet homme a peur de changer ;
  • Cet homme a peur du changement.
3
Reply1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tirina61

Could "has fear of change" be correct?

2
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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It's only that we're dealing with idiomatic expressions. In English, one could say "He has a fear of change"; it is a bit technical or clinical. More naturally one would say "He is afraid of change".

2
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kathy673

I am a mathematician and hence admire technical precision. I am also a musician and hence admire beautiful sounds. Thank you for your helpful comments.

1
Reply111 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RonSercely

what about a not very literal, but I think good translation: This man fears change

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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It is one of more than thirty accepted variations.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mactuary1
Mactuary1
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What about a specific change? Eg is there's a major structural change in the company in which s/he works, so "s/he is scared of the change."

The one without the definite article in English already has a "le" in French.

0
Reply3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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That is accepted, too.

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MauricioCeolin

why not that man is afriad of changing

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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"Changement" (n) = change, not "changing".

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MauricioCeolin

thanks

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/3enedekKi55

Why not "afraid of changes"?

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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It's singular in the French and there is no reason to make it plural in English.

1
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Greg_ZA
Greg_ZA
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Could you please explain why it's "peur du changement" instead of "peur de changement"? Does the former not suggest a contraction between "de" and "le"? In which case it translates to "A fear of the change"? Or is this an instance where the "le" is there because it's a generalised statement?

Thank you so much:)

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
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My understanding is that when "peur de" is followed by a noun, it will include the article, always. We need not feel constrained to translate "du" as "of the". I see this as a generalized statement.

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Greg_ZA
Greg_ZA
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Merci beaucoup:)

Just to clarify, if I wanted to say "This woman is afraid of failure", I would say "Cette femme a peur de l'échec"?

0
Reply2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
Mod
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Yes, that seems right to me.

0
2 years ago