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  5. "Comment va la famille ?"

"Comment va la famille ?"

Translation:How is the family?

January 22, 2013

62 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sherlockling

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

I am from Paris, France.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abluckyi

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elliottdooley

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/berginci

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeixiPeixi

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/faintsignal

It is now accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helenvee

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SolKim

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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!).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Thank you for that!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CLMekvold

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HappyEvilSlosh

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PersistentCat

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iyyume

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gavcorkery

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jilamd

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

Thank you both!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/koshermal

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Atsargirl

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/malakkm

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SitiCahyan

What does "va" stand for?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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 ?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marygp8

How is going your family?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hamdimuya

comment the famliy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AveryFletcher

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabe42402

Teaching mon mère french


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sitesurf

ma mère, mon père, mes parents.

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DAVID179719

Are your family well is normal in England


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nigel441211

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankMelhu

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

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