"Comment ne pas voir que le danger est là ?"

Translation:How can one not see that the danger is there?

January 24, 2013

This discussion is locked.


No native English speaker would express the idea as "how not to see..." I also agree with Hohenems


If you get the question again, feel free to report it the English as unnatural. That goes for anyone that is doing the lesson and happens to be reading this. :)


I would report it, but I genuinely am not sure what the sense of this sentence is at all and therefore I don't know what the correct English translation should be. Not that I got this one wrong: I translated every French word literally into English and was marked right. Yet somehow I'm not sure I learned anything here. If I were to have guessed (and risked a heart) I would have typed Can you not see that is dangerous?.


I find very often that the closer you stick to a word by word translation ignoring the fact that either it is poor English or it does not make sense the more likely you are to conserve your hearts!


'how not to see' implies that one is trying to know how not to see. In English one would be more likely to say 'Can't you see'


I think a better English translation would be "How can you (one, someone) not see that the danger is there". The Duolingo translation seems to be a word for word translation.


4 months ago you probably don't remember, but did it take "How can one not see that the danger is there?" That was my first thought, but I did word for word translation as I did not want to get dinged.


I always put what I think is correct, even if I have a suspicion it'll get marked wrong. That's the only way you can report it so that it will be marked correctly for you or someone else next time... though I don't get why they took away the list of correct translations feature that we used to be able to see after every question even when we got it right... it was extremely helpful.


I did ask Luis to put the list of correct translations back as it was really helpful. I am usually like you when it comes to taking chances, but sometimes when I only have one heart left, I take the safe way and write what I know will be accepted.


I think with these expressions it works ok to give a verbatim translation - the meaning is clear, and you would sometimes use this in English, e.g. We need to know how to not see that the danger is there.


Comment ne pas voir is usually translated as something like: How can we fail to see...., How can anyone fail to see...., How can one not see....


So, French doesn't require a subject in this kind of question (in the way that English does)? The reason I, as a native English speaker, translated it as "How not to see that the danger is there?" is because it seems to be just a phrase rather than a grammatically complete/correct construction, but I must be wrong. Is there no construction like "Comment on ne pas voir..."?


Your suggestion sounds fine to me but I couldn't say how often either one of these forms is used. What I have observed is this same type of construct -- without the subject-- used repeatedly in French. It would appear to be normal in everyday French although a literal translation into English creates a rather awkward sentence, despite those who say "I say this all the time." I believe it to be a glimpse into the real world of French as spoken by francophones. The problem comes in when Duo may insist that we translate it more or less literally into this awkward English sentence, taking what is standard in French and bleeding over into bad English. If the intent is to demonstrate a "familiar" expression in French into an equally "familiar/slangy" expression in English, then I supposed "How not to see...." is one way to do it. However, I am not acquainted with this phrase in English.


To get confirmation from somebody more familiar with French, is this 'Comment voir/Comment ne pas voir...' construct natural in French or not? As in, if you said this or wrote it down in French it conveys the same meaning as "How does one/a person/somebody not see that the danger is there?", which implies that the danger is obvious to the speaker, yet apparently not obvious to a lot of other people. I think that's what n6zs was saying, but their comment isn't upvoted or anything at the moment.

It's clearly an iffy translation in English, since 'How to/not to...' without any pronoun is pretty much just used in indirect questions, instruction manuals and cookbook titles, and never as a question.


As a native French speaker, I can say this is indeed a perfectly natural sentence in French. It is true that it is rather awkward to translate in English, however. The closest to the meaning I can get is "How is it possible to miss that danger there/How is it possible not to see that danger". So basically the idea means the danger is obvious and you'd have to be spectacularly stupid/oblivious to miss it.

This is more open to interpretation, but I would mostly see this construction used when telling someone a story as a way to stress how manifest the danger was. For instance if you're recounting a hike on a tall mountain without cover during which a sudden thunderstorm arrived, you might say something along the lines of : Je marchais en montagne quand un orage a soudainement éclaté. Comment ne pas voir le danger? Je me suis nerveusement dépêché de redescendre dans la vallée.


I put the sentence into google translate and it gave me a messed up version of "How can we not see the danger there." Duolingo accepted my corrected version of it as shown here.


I am a native English speaker who is genuinely confused by this construction. Is it possible to assume that the construction "comment ne pas _" is always "how can one not_"? Or is this a unique situation that requires specific memorization?

  • I wrote « How not to see that the danger is there?», but it was marked wrong, even though it is the suggested translation up here! How is this possible??
  • The 'correct' solution given on the previous screen was «How do not you see that the danger is there?», which sounds very unnatural. What gives?

  • "How not to see that the danger is there?" is not idiomatic English. It used to be the "correct" translation, but has been deleted. I don't know why it still shows up as the suggested translation. I'll have to ask staff to take a look as that English sentence no longer exists in the incubator.
  • "How do not you see that the danger is there?" is also not idiomatic English and I can't find that anywhere in the incubator. What does show up is "How do you not see that the danger is there?". Is it possible that you misread?

  • I agree it is not idiomatic, but given that Duolingo so often expects literal translations elsewhere I think it is a bit unfair to mark it as wrong.
  • No, I am sure that is what it said.


This is the third time I am getting this question wrong. My answer was "How not to see that the danger is there ?" DL correct answer is "How do not you see that the danger is there ?" Then I come to the discussion page and what do I see as the correct answer, my answer. So now I am very confused, hmmmm!


To add to my comment above (in reply to oulenz), I still can't see anything wrong in the incubator. I've asked staff to look into it. No response yet.


How can not you see that the danger is there??? That translation does not even make sense. I inouted what is given as the correct translation but have been marked wrong. Duolingo fail.

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