"Comment va la famille ?"

Translation:How is the family?

January 22, 2013

62 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/helenvee

"How is the family going?" is common usage where I live in Australia. "How is the family doing?" is much less common. It tends to be an Americanism that we know because of television. Anyone who has visited Australia would be familiar with "How are you going, mate?" as a greeting. Don't misunderstand me. I love Duolingo - I wouldn't still be using it nearly six months on otherwise - but being marked incorrect because I use a non-US but standard translation does get irritating. I make enough mistakes without adding extras.

January 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Thank you for that, your answer taught me something interesting. My question was just academic, because I am on Duolingo to improve my English. So, thanks again.

January 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sherlockling

You are awesome.i followed you.BYW where are you from?

April 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

I am from Paris, France.

April 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/abluckyi

Comment faire suivant quel qu un aide un étudiant apprendre le français sur duolingo?

August 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jarl9

I agree - both with your comment and my love of Duolingo. But even 'How goes the family?' which may seem like a clunky direct translation is a common question - like 'How goes it?'

May 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/elliottdooley

absolutely right, an in any case "va" literally translates to go. This ones on you duo!

November 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DaleDewar

Would "how's the family?" be accepted? When I presented a list of responses as indicated below to a group of individuals, this was the almost universal response. (Western Canadian English).

September 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/helenvee

It should be accepted since it has the same meaning - it tends to be what I'd say (Aussies are notorious for abbreviations and contractions) - but Duolingo doesn't always like contractions.

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Duolingo has always had troubles with apostrophes, hyphens, contractions, spaces, etc.

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kilyns

I am from the US and i also say How is it going so no it's Duolingo grammer. Stop watching American tv it's stupid and incorrect.

November 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/berginci

Frustrating. For Irish-English, 'How are the family?' would be much more common.

March 8, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/PeixiPeixi

I lost the point saying "how are the family" too.

July 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Platten

Its wrong gramatically as family is singular... so whoop for me as I saw that reprimand coming and saved the point. :)

...But in reality Ciara we say it just as you do in London, irrespective of it being technically wrong. It is how people speak - we say "are".

November 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sean.mullen

It's not grammatically wrong at all; this is what we call in linguistics the difference between formal agreement and notional agreement. American English makes formal agreement the standard in most cases (where verbs & adjectives agree with the grammatical form of the noun), while British and Commonwealth English tend to make notional agreement the standard (where verbs & adjectives agree with the notion implicit in the noun).

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JagMicker1

I am 100% American, and speak 100 English and I am here to tell all of you Australians that we do in fact sometimes say " how goes the family?" No matter what the bot says it is not incorrect!

April 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/faintsignal

It is now accepted

September 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/helenvee

Another case where US usage is the only correct answer. Very frustrating for the rest of the world's English speakers.

January 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

So, please, what's the non-US usage (to avoid frustration among non-English speakers) ?

January 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Zom-B

Well, in England I've always known it as "How are the family?". I supposed it's because it's a group of people. People "are", not "is."

March 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelRGB

However, "family" is singular, so "is" is the correct word. There ARE people in the family, but the family IS one unit. Using "are" in that case might be colloquially accepted, but it is still grammatically wrong.

April 30, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SolKim

In American English, yes. In UK, collective singular words like 'team' or 'family' often go with 'are.'

November 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Platten

Oh no they don't. "Are" is what we say in London for sure - but that still does not make it right! It will do eventually as the language will change to meet the verbal usage.

November 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sean.mullen

It's not grammatically wrong, it just depends on the region. This is what we in linguistics call the difference between formal agreement and notional agreement (look it up!).

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SeanMeaneyPL

There is another consideration.

Consider:

The government has announced new tax regulations.

The government have different views on this matter.

The family is united against the council's decision.

Most of the family are here, but some are still en route.

When considering people collectively one would perhaps choose the singular, but in British English there is the option to use the plural, usually where individual members can be discerned in the meaning. Many Brits use the plural with these collectives in either situation, but I imagine it's a matter of taste and style.

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Thank you for that!

March 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/CLMekvold

In my region (US) "How goes the family?" is common. There are just too many ways that this sentence can be said...

May 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/HappyEvilSlosh

You get this in NZ as well although "How's the family going?" is far more common.

July 16, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kateuse

In Australia we say 'How's the family going?" or "how is your family?" or "How is your family going?"...and a lot less commonly "how is your family doing?". The latter option is still heard though, and is not incorrect at all.

October 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/PersistentCat

It's used in Canada as well so this isn't just a US vernacular.

October 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/PersistentCat

In my part of Canada, we would say "how is the family" or "how is the family doing?" The word "doing" is really just a redundancy. The only time we use "going" would be, "how's it going?"

October 18, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/iyyume

Most people in Vancouver or Ninaimo/Victoria say : "Hows the family?"

March 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/gavcorkery

"How are the family" would be correct here in Ireland

July 1, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/BohemianCoast

Agreeing with others -- in UK English, 'How are the family?' is normal -- and still being marked wrong several months after it was first reported.

August 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jilamd

How do you answer this question? Do you say : The family is doing well or the family are doing well.

May 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/jolsmols

In England, the response would be "The family are well". In American, it's "The family is well." It's an interesting difference between the two: Americans count a group of people as a single entity.

May 22, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

In French, we say "la famille va bien" (singular).

May 23, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Wunel

A group, yes, but a single group. The army is starving, the church is denying the allegations, the family is well.

I am Australian.

November 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

What about "the parliament votes laws"? (got parliament in immersion, used singular and got corrected)?

November 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/wildeabandon

We would say that Parliament passes laws, if you want a verb without a preposition, but again, in that case we treat the noun as singular.

June 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Wunel

The parliament votes on laws or they vote laws into effect, needs a preposition of some kind.

We also say "the parliament is sitting" to mean that the members of parliament are assembled in the chambers for whatever reason, probably to vote on something.

November 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

Thank you both!

November 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/koshermal

We also commonly omit the 'the' with parliament, making it more of an entity than a numbered unit.

November 9, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/flint72

In Ireland we'd typically say "grand" if everyone is in the best mood of their entire life, or more likely something along the lines of

"ah, sure isn't it terrible, Sean is after going back on the drink and..." insert more misery...

In short, it is not unusual to get a negative sounding response.

August 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/RedBishop

How is the family doing is a bit formal. Usually, you can just say How is the family. ( US version). For other English versions, please give me your input.

September 7, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/ruthybubble

I agree with all the points on Australian English (being one I also get this wrong constantly) but another point: doesn't 'va' mean 'go' as in 'comment ca va' or 'how it goes', so it makes sense to say 'goes' even if 'doing' is a colloquialism (and thus a more sensical translation) maybe the Australian way is more logical...just saying :P

March 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Atsargirl

My french teacher said they use going in France, not doing, so not sure why this is incorrect.

July 14, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sean.mullen

That's true, but they use going in French (va), while we tend to use doing in English. See the difference?

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ariaflame

Interestingly 'How are your family' worked for me. I know that's not even close to a literal translation, but it's pretty close to the gist of it.

August 21, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/malakkm

Shouldn't it be "comment va-t-Elle la famille?" ?

June 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

It is a bit redundant and would need a comma: "comment va-t-elle, la famille ?"

Remember that with questions starting with an interrogative word (où, pourquoi, comment, etc), a real subject (la famille) does not need to be repeated in the form of a pronoun (elle).

June 29, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SitiCahyan

What does "va" stand for?

October 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

When inquiring about someone's health, you can say "how are you doing?" / "how is the family doing?"

In French the verb "aller" is used: "comment vas-tu ?" / "comment va la famille ?"

October 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/marygp8

How is going your family?

October 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/hamdimuya

comment the famliy

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AveryFletcher

What word in this sentence means "doing"? is it "va" because I was told "va" translates into "go", not "do". "faire" means "do"

November 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/sean.mullen

Remember that you are doing translation work. In French, people and situations "go", but in English, they "do", typically.

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Gabe42402

Teaching mon mère french

January 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf

ma mère, mon père, mes parents.

Possessive adjectives, like all other adjectives, agree in gender and number with the noun they modify.

January 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/DAVID179719

Are your family well is normal in England

January 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nigel441211

I am English and agree with fellow Australian comments below. But some five years later Duolingo is still marking "going' wrong.

August 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/FrankMelhu

there are many ways to ask about the family but I would normally just say " How's the family"

December 14, 2018
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