"Je motive mon garçon."

Translation:I motivate my boy.

January 9, 2013

66 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Aaronhegarc

Why is not "encourage" possible?

April 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

In real life, you may consider it as a synonym. But Duo prefers that we use words that are similar or close from one language to the other, every time it is possible.

However, "encourager" can be just about shouting "go go go!".

Motivating someone is giving him/her powerful levers and reasons to give his/her best.

April 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo

Sitesurf, there is an important matter of nuance here. In English we almost never talk of one person directly motivating another. It comes across as too aggressive and too paternalistic. Instead we talk of encouraging others because the implication in using that word is one more of 'carrot' than 'stick'.

We still use motivate in a sense of self-motivation and of outside factors motivating us, e.g. 'the cold weather will motivate me to get the insulation on the house completed'. But again, one person motivating another would be seen as possibly unwanted interference.

The native English speaker, on reading the French sentence and understanding it but also appreciating the difference in nuance I have outlined above, will very naturally choose to use the word encourage here instead of the more literal translation. And should be allowed to do so.

January 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

The fact that motivating people could be aggressive or paternalistic is complete surprise to me.

I have heard that verb used very often when it comes to staff or troops management and even in education and I have found lots of examples, like:

motivate teams

motivate troops

motivate pupils

January 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RichardDoc

I think the poster means that motivating someone one on one outside of a business environment seems like an unusual thing to say.

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Svalfjor

It's very common for one person to motivate another. My grandfather highly motivated me to become good at math. I don't know where you got the idea that one person "motivating" another isn't correct terminology. After all, the very definition of "motivate" is:

  1. provide (someone) with a motive for doing something.

  2. stimulate (someone's) interest in or enthusiasm for doing something.

On the other hand, "encourage" is defined as this:

  1. give support, confidence, or hope to (someone).

  2. give support and advice to (someone) so that they will do or continue to do something.

You said that "motivate" comes across as paternalistic, but I think "encourage" does more so.

April 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Great-Wolf

I agree completely. Parents often "motivate" their children to finish their supper by witholding dessert until after. However, I can see why some could be confused, since the use of the English vocabulary can vary immensly from one place to another.

March 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/PilgrimSun

I can sympathise with your point and would like to add. It seems to me the nuance of the word "motivate" depends on your personal experience, and perhaps ego as well. To be motivated suggests you need motivating, implying laziness... i think thats the nuance there... i also disagree with your carrot and stick analogy with regards to motivate and encourage. My thoughts :)

October 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SaraBiga0

I completely agree with you in regards to the aggressive nuance of 'motivate', but I don't think it's a matter of translation. I think the verb 'motivate' - in English and Italian for sure, I don't know about other languages - has gained this nuance in the last 10, maybe 15 years because of its heavy use in business and sports environments, i.e. in highly competitive environments. There is something hypocritical and fake that is perceived in business 'motivational speeches' for example, because quite often they're not used in their original meaning, but only as a way to hype up people while asking them to perform very difficult or impossible tasks. In Italian even more so as it is now perceived as vain business jargon directly translated from the American business use. You use 'encourage' if it comes from the heart, 'motivate' if it is about something more practical that has to be achieved or if you want to have something done by your inferiors in an organisation. These are the nuances that are perceived at this moment in time, I think. Of course if I read it in a piece of literature the context might allow me to understand it in the original meaning!

July 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Ozlaps

Regardless of nuances, Sitesurf is correct. You can motivate your boy by punishing him, which is by no means encouragment.

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/cosmicssjgoku

true i will give you a lingot

July 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/buenoz

Motivate means to give someone a reason to do something (a motive), while encourage means to give them support (or courage) in it. They're very similar but you could say that showing support, cheering, being there for someone, etc, is encouraging, while giving them a reason (punishment for failure, reward for victory, "Do this and I'll be happy", etc) is motivating. In real life they are close enough to be interchangeable in most cases.

July 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/princevisram

I wrote: 'I am encouraging my boy' and got it correct......

October 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ThisRose

Me too

March 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GregA98

how do you motivate him i wonder...

May 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/alexrainmaker

I was thinking the same hahahah

May 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tenfef

Can "mon garçon" also mean "My boyfriend"?

January 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

No, "mon garçon" is "my boy" or "my son". Boyfriend is "petit ami"

January 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/antlane

and my kid?

August 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/mipqim

mon enfant

August 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/emily.grac

Although it has been said that only people who just got off the boaf say "petit". It would just be "mon ami", unless your boyfriend really is very short, in which case you might insult him.

October 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hellomidnight

Doesn't "petit ami" translate to "little friend"? Lol.

January 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SiavashSar

In english boy/girl may refer to boyfriend/girlfriend though

April 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Chojingeon

Can't it be just "I encourage my boy"? Is there no other translation of 'motiver' other than 'motivate'? It's a little strict, i guess.

July 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Please re. my answer to Aaronhegarc above.

July 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Johmust

Why can't we say I encourage my son as well as I motivate my son. Are these words not synomyms in english?

September 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

You are not supposed to look for English synonyms before you have learned the closer French translation.

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dannydesk

Motivate and encourage is the same thing.Right?!

January 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Tony111ster

Mah boy, this piece is what all true warriors strive for!

May 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dzamie

Isn't it "peace"?

January 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/pabul0

heartily agree with preferring encourage to motivate. I would rarely say motivate in english in this context.

June 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/phil_dwyer

What's wrong with "I motivate my waiter"?

January 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

A lot. It doesn't really fit the context of motivation (yes, Duo does often deal with nonsense sentences but not when there is a possibility that isn't nonsense) and it's a rude meaning that it's probably best to forget you ever knew.

January 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/phil_dwyer

Thanks for your reply, but I'm afraid I still don't get it. Why can't a waiter be motivated? (Supposing the speaker was the owner of a cafe - he might well want to motivate his waiters, mightn't he?) And why is the meaning rude? (do you mean vulgar or discourteous)? I understand that nuance of language can be/will be lost on people who are just learning to speak it, so if you tell me it's rude I'll take your word for it. But then why isn't it rude when applied to 'my boy'?

January 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

I'll grant you that you can make a case for the cafe owner scenario, but the more important point is that garçon used to refer to a (male, usually young and low rank) waiter is something that is dying out as a rude and discourteous thing to say. You're literally calling them "boy" and all that implies about their status. As far as I know, Duolingo never accepts waiter as a proper translation for garçon, probably to discourage it. For your own purposes, use serveur instead when you need to talk about a waiter. Use "Monsieur/Madame/etc." when addressing them.

January 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/phil_dwyer

Thanks. Interesting. I didn't know that garçon was becoming/has become outmoded.

January 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/dzamie

Has been for a while, with the possible exception of film characters. It's sort of like snapping your fingers or whistling to get their attention - they might respond, but you're insulting them by doing so.

January 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LarsX

Good to know, but shouldn't Duolingo not include it as a possibility when you scroll over it?

April 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

You'll still find it in dictionaries (which is what the hover text is essentially). I can see the value in knowing that it can mean that (in certain situations) while also not encouraging it as a translation, especially when the context is a stretch.

April 5, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Johmust

I have never heard an English speaker say I MOTIVATE my boy,son or waiter.

September 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/yugiohmygod

"j'motive" cant be used in place of "je motive"?

February 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

No. Contractions occur when two vowel sounds meet.

February 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JeremyPembroke

I agree why not encourage

April 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Ozlaps

Do the French ever use this (mon garçon) to refer to their sons? Or is this more like something a coach would say about a member of a junior sports team?

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/elena_j

can "mon garcon" be translated into "my son" just as "ma femme" into "my wife"?

April 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JebadiahJ

With a stick.

August 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/chirelchirel

I thought garçon is only used for a boy (in general) and fils for son (as offspring). My dictionary says "garçon = male child, bachelor, waiter" and "fils = someones son". Mon garçon looks really weird, and I don't quite understand what it or the translation is supposed to mean, my boy just sounds equally weird to me.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

I have never, ever, spoken about/to my son as "mon garçon". But some other French people do use this, maybe to mirror "ma fille" (= my daughter)?

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/chirelchirel

Thanks :) It's been almost two decades since I learned French in school and I'm always wondering if the language has changed or if I remember incorrectly or if there's a problem with Duo...

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

That's what these forums are for... ;-)

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Krakenoid

my boy, this peace is what all true warriors strive for.

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JesuisAlexS

Thank god, not stimulate xD

December 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Callidryas

The verb "to motivate", (at least in American English), has come to imply coercion, mental or physical. Soldiers in basic training (mentioned in the thread), are a good example of people being "motivated". It implies the imposition of another person's will, so it can sound presumptuous or pompous in a more academic context, or with reference to children. It is certainly condescending, even among adults. (Think Shia LaBeouf's "motivational" YouTube rant). But this implication of coercion is apparently not present in the French verb, "motiver" which means something closer to "encourage". Thanks, guys.

As for the second half of the sentence, why apply the pronoun "my" to "boy"? In English, I've never referred to a (human) male as "my boy", so I'm curious as to what the actual thought behind the sentence was, in French. Under what circumstances would a boy be considered "mon garcon"? If he were a student of mine? A relative?

March 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DonnaObe

What about "i drive my son"?

June 5, 2014

[deactivated user]

    Perfect if the aforementioned son is a brand of small vehicles.

    May 19, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/onehappystep

    That's my boy!

    June 16, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/StephanieA820293

    Auto correct is not good

    October 12, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/tmdqja75

    JUST DO IT! screams shia

    November 25, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daneille5

    Since fille can mean daughter aswell as girl dose garcon also mean son?

    June 4, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

    "fille" is the common word for "girl" and "daughter" but there is a word for "son": "fils".

    "mon garçon" may or may not mean "my son", but as a rule on Duolingo, "my boy" will best translate to "mon garçon".

    June 5, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Daneille5

    merci beaucoup :)

    June 8, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/CJCatStack

    I'm as to why mon garçon doesn't translate to son like ma femme translates to wife.

    June 19, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Randonneur3

    My dictionary gives 'justify' as the first of two meanings for 'motiver'. It would not be uncommon for a parent to attempt to justify say a juvenile's aberrant behaviour. Sadly, Duo didn't like my offering. EDIT My source is Collins-Le Robert - paid for. BTW I have never ever used the Duo hints.

    August 9, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

    This is what my dictionary says:

    http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/motiver/52644

    motiver [mɔtive]
    verbe transitif
    [inciter à agir] to spur on (separable), to motivate

    [causer] to be the reason for
    qu'est-ce qui a motivé votre retard ? what's the reason for your being late ?

    [justifier] to justify, to explain
    motiver un refus to give grounds for a refusal

    August 9, 2016
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