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  5. "Comment ça va ?"

"Comment ça va ?"

Translation:How are you doing?

January 27, 2013



can you drop the 'comment' and still have it remain meaning the same thing?


ça va? is commonly used in casual speech to ask how someone is doing. It literally means "It goes?"


It's accurately translated, "'Sup", though.


You're right. I should have said " 'sup", seeing as it's a contraction.


its still the same thing


"'Sup" is informal "How's it going?" in English. "Ça va" is informal "How's it going?" in French. "'Sup" is an accurate comparison between French and English, on a basis of informality and just asking how things are going between two close friends or family.


Yes, but "ca va" alone is very informal


My French friend has texted me "sa va." Is that slang?


not really, it can be considered a slang nowadays but its just a mistake that many people make cuz "ça" et "sa" sound the same.


your friend made the mistake that many people do. Sa, is possessive and must be followed by a noun : sa robe, sa mère.


lets study french together


Yes. When i speak to my French classmates, i'll usually ask, "ca va?"


why does it not accept "how is it going?"


'how is it going' is a colloquialism, duolingo generally only accepts universal translations


But if "ça va" means "it goes" (citing further up the thread) wouldnt it stand that "comment ça va" is closer to "how is it going" than "how are you"?


Litterally yes, but the interesting thing is not to translate litterally, but to find consistency between French greetings and English greetings, consistency in the use (common, uncommon), and in the register of language (formal, informal, slang...)


As an Australian English speaker who has lived in England, my feeling is that Duolingo have gone with an American (US & Canada) common greeting: "How's it doing?" This is rarely heard by me, other than on TV. "How's it going" is almost as common in Oz as 'G'day' or 'Hi' or 'Alright? (Orright?)' in UK. As 'va' is literally 'going' I think to be marked incorrect for interpreting 'Comment ca va' as 'How is it going' is bending the site towards Americanisms (US common usage) rather than being a literal interpretation. I think this one needs correction, so I'm posting me comment there as well!

[deactivated user]

    I'm interested in your comment that "How's it doing?" is a common greeting. Did you hear that used among younger people? I'm also wondering what part of the U.S. it's used in. I'm curious because I've never heard that greeting and I live in an urban area in the U.S. For a slangy, casual version using "doing", I've only heard, "How ya doing?" I do think you're right that DL should limit colloquialisms but I'm not sure Ca va? being translated as How's it going? is in that category. It's a literal translation but it is also commonly used in the U.S. so it doesn't seem fair to have that translation marked as incorrect.


    The common American greetings are "how are you (doing)" or "how is it going?" They can mean the same thing, but "how are you doing" is more personal, if that makes sense. "How is it going?" is more casual in my opinion. It is the same as "How is everything?" versus "How are you?"

    "How's it doing" or "How are you going" are not common in reference to asking a person how they/things are. I agree, "ça va?" should literally translate to "how goes it?", or non literally, "how are things going?". As PERCE_NEIGE suggested, the literal translation is not so important as the inflection.

    I hope that helps!


    As a native Australian English speaker I was surprised at "How's it going?" was not correct. No big deal as it is usual to adjust to American or British English in such forums.


    How are you going? should be accepted. In fact the average Aussie would probably say: How ya goin' mate?


    You should send a report to Duolingo with the "report" button, your comment is very interesting.


    I totally agree! I wish Duolingo had actually paid attention to this feedback and incorporated it because I am going to continue to get this one wrong. Nobody in Australia says How are you doing? and How are you going is a closer and better translation.


    Hi Philip, I agree with BeeKeeper, the U.S. says greetings like, "How are you", "How is everything", "How are you feeling today" and a newer greeting is "What's up?" or even "W'sup"? I think the last one is more of a slang greeting.

    The point I want to make is that I agree with you that Duo teaches American English. (Lucky us, yay ;) Therefore, you are not only learning Parisian French, but you are learning USA English at the same time. First you need to translate French to the English that you speak and then you need to translate your native English to USA English. You are truly exercising your mind!

    Imagine how annoying the British find this process when the English language started in their country. I love seeing how other English speakers express themselves. Besides being educational, this information will help USA English speakers when we travel to Canada, England, Australia...


    "How's it doing" is a hybrid between "How are you doing?" and "How's it going" Usually we just say, "How are you?" U.S.


    How ubiquitous does a usage have to be before people stop considering it a colloquialism? In the case of "How is it going," the places that don't have the usage are tiny islands surrounded by the regions that do.


    Yes... I wrote, "How are things going?" as a matter of seeing if Duolingo would accept it. Pffft!


    "How are things going" is more like asking about the whole than the personal moral and health like in "Comment ça va?", I think a better translation for "how are things going" is "Tout va bien?"


    Today it accepts "How goes it?". Duolingo is a work in progress.


    I know... I wrote "how are you going" this is the normal way to say it in most English countries outside America!


    Agreed, it should be accepted.


    +1 for Australian English "how are you going?" It's standard usage here


    "How are you going?" is definitely a correct idiomatic translation for Australians (more commonly used than "how are you")! Those of us who don't speak American English would like not to be discriminated against!


    Why can't it be, "are you well?" ?


    That would be "ça va bien?".


    But it also says that "Are you okay?" is a correct translation. Both "Are you okay?" and "Are you well?" mean the same thing.


    c hristine- would be : êtes-vous bien?


    I was disappointed to be called wrong for "How's it going" ...note to self, don't use contractions.


    I agree. I was marked wrong for "How's it going," even though "How is it going?" was given as one of the correct alternatives. The contraction should be accepted. It is more common among English speakers than the noncontracted "How is it going?" I reported it.


    I think that's because at college level, the professors want you to abolish all contractions.


    How you doin'? ;)


    What is the literal translation of comment?


    How. So in this the literal translation is "How goes it?"


    "comment ca va?" is litterally translated "how it goes?"


    Why can't I say "What's up" ? It's completely unformal, like "ça va"


    It's rather: "What's up?" = "Quoi de neuf"? (litterally "what is new?")


    how would it be correct when talking to a GROUP of people??


    Not a native French speaker so I don't know if it's the correct way of saying it, but "Comment allez-vous?" is one way of saying it.


    Yes, you're right, this way is more formal (and maybe more proper) than "Comment ça va?"

    • Comment ça va? === as, "ça" is an impersonal, and is none in particular, you can use it for a group, or only one person, it doesn't matter, but it's the informal way.

    • Comment allez-vous?/ Comment vas-tu? ==== as, "vous", "tu" are pronouns, you have to agree it to the person you are talking to.


    PERCE_NEIGE, would you pronounce "liaison" in "commenT allez-vous ?" or not? On about.com it is suggested that this is "forbidden liaison", but I think I've seen on some Youtube French lectures that it should be pronounced. (http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-f.htm is link for "forbidden liaisons" on about.com)


    Yes, I'm sure "About" is wrong here, this liaison is necessary. it has to be said: "komentalévou". Though, they're right, the liaison in "Comment est-il" is forbidden. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s672tVfo-kI

    This website contents the official national program for French as a foreign language, (FLE) I trust them more than "About" on this matter, and in my opinion the explanations are easier to understand: http://www.lepointdufle.net/ressources_fle/liaisons_obligatoires_liaisons_interdites.htm#.U2yDtUBP7Cw

    They explain here, "Comment-allez vous" is an exception... So About is not so wrong about this case, they simply forgot to give this exception, but in some cases, the rules given by About and by Le Point du FLE are contradictory. (for instance: "Elle écrit une lettre à Lili")


    OK, thanks for answering my question and for the useful links.


    You're welcome. This is also the the formal way of saying "How do you do?" if you should meet the president of France or something. :)


    i wrote are you okay? and it was right....;-)


    why cant we just write ca va? whats wrong with it?


    That is the informal way of saying it. It's something you'd say to your friends, but probably not your boss. Not always, but often times students are taught the formal way to say things first and through exposure to the culture and practice pick up both the informal phrases, and local slang or dialects depending on their exposure to different parts of the culture.


    "How are you going?" or "How is it going?" is very common English, yet duolingo does not allow it! Pity! :-(


    Hmm. I also take French with a friend of mine, and the correct translation of ''Comment ca va'' is: "How's it going?'' ''Comment allez-vous'' would be ''how are you'' Has anyone answered that and been wrong? If anyone has they probably should report that.


    I said 'How is it?' And it said, that it was suppose to be 'How goes it?' . I have never heard anyone say 'How goes it?'


    Okay, so what is the difference among : "Comment ca va", "Ca va" and "Ca va bien"?


    I looked at the definition box and if said that one of the correct translators was "what do you mean", do that's what I put, and it marked me as wrong. Why?


    What is the difference berween ça va bien and comment ça va


    I said it right!


    "how are you going" should be accepted, va is from aller, to go, therefore...


    How to delete a wrong answer?


    It's not that bad but it's even better to have all the world's language.


    Comment Ca va =How are you (but not How are uou going)


    Is their a reason duo accepts only "How are you doing?" and not "How are you?" ? It means both right?


    “How are you?” should be accepted as a translation as well as “How are you doing?”


    alianbur- you're right, when I ask someone who speaks English comment ça va, I ask how are you, both are correct


    I, (Scottish) would just say, how are you


    Why doesn't "comment ca vas" work... vas is "tu" form I believe...


    If you want to use a personal pronoun instead of an impersonal, and make the sentence more formal, write:

    Comment vas-tu?


    It is indeed, but ça is third person (he)


    ooooohhh... because this translates as "how goes IT?"..."ça" being "it" rather than "you"...

    am I understanding what you're telling me? =p


    Yep, you got it!


    a precision "ça" is no the third person "he"; "ça" is an impersonal, yes, it's "it", it's nobody, only an impersonal, but the conjugation is the same than the 3rd person of singular :-)

    Impersonal: ça, cela, ce, "il" in "il pleut"...


    sjorspeterse- ça is a demonstrative pronoun, but we can use it for 3rd person singular when we conjugate


    I wrote "are you doing well?" and it did not accept it.


    Because there's no "well" here; If you say "ça va bien?", there's a "well".


    It says it means "what do you mean?" Too. But didn't accept that


    Where does it say "Comment ca va" means "What do you mean?"?


    In the hints, but it's totally wrong.


    the hints are only to help YOU find the correct answer. Stick with the first hint, it's always a correct answer


    Duolingo's mistake. I can't imagine a situation where "comment ça va" can be "what do you mean".

    [deactivated user]

      Maybe if they are hovering over "comment" they are getting "what do you mean" as one of the definitions. That would seem correct. If you haven't understood something, you would say "Comment?" instead of "What?" like we do in English. Right?


      It said it translated to "What do you mean?" So that's what I put and it said I was wrong.


      No, what do you mean is "que voulez-vous dire?/"que veux-tu dire?", it's not a greeting. I don't know why they put it in the translation, it's misleading and should be removed in my opinion.


      hints are not all correct translations, find yourself the correct answer


      how about "are you doing well"?


      It's like "Kamusta" in my mother tongue, Tagalog that comes for "Como estás" in Spanish or "Come stai" in Italian which means "How are you" in english. Great evolution of language. :D


      Would "comment ça va?" work in the context of me asking about the mechanics of a toy train or something? Like if I wanted to ask somebody literally how it is possible for the object to be going/moving?


      Does any one else have trouble with it rejecting your verbal answers when it's right? I know I didn't screw up "comment ça va?." This is happening to me frequently in this section. I didn't have any problems in other sections.


      What about 'Comment allez vous?'


      "Comment allez-vous?" is correct. Note the dash between "allez" and "vous". This is the formal way to say "How do you do?" or "How are you?", using the plural form of both the pronoun and the verb.


      Ca va can both be used for how are you? And I am fine. I didn't understand. Somebody please help


      Yes, "ça va" can be used both as the question and the answer. The litteral translation is "it goes". Ca va? --> (How) is it going?/How are you?/Are you doing fine? Ca va. --> It's going (well)./I am okay./(Yes,) I'm doing fine.


      fine should qualify for okay ?


      it can also be said "how are you going'


      Can I just pronounce it 'comm ca va?'?


      Does anybody know the difference between Comment ca va and Ca va bien?


      How do we really pronounce "comment"?? to me, the audio sounds more like "comma". Can anyone please help me?


      okay what does ca va mean and do they have meanings separately? ca and va? earlier ca va was translated to i'm fine...does adding comment and a question mark make it a question? i'm confused!


      If there is a question mark at the end than it means "how are you?" If it is a statement then it means "I'm fine". In voice exercises if the intonation goes up at the end than it is the question. If the intonation stays same or goes down at the end then it is the statement. Hope this helped!


      Is saying Comment ça va more formal than ça va? How can we use this 2?


      How do you say the question mark?


      Does ca va bien mean how as well?

      [deactivated user]

        That would be a possible reply, meaning, "It's going well." It is not a question.


        The intonation in the supplied spoken translation (male voice) falls at the end, instead of rising as would be more common in English. Is this expected and typical in French? This could also be a gender difference - I have previously noted differences between male and female French speakers in the intonation they use for greetings, e.g. "bon jour", with women often intoning bon jour as "uP Down" in a friendly sounding way, as if to cheer you up to have a nice day with a smile, and men often intoning bon jour with a flatter intonation that is less "up" on the bon and more assertive-sounding on the 'jour', as if to say "I'm busy and important, but have a nice day anyway".


        But ça va alone means how are you!!!? What is it a silent comment? Lol


        could you just say, "comment" or just say "ca va"? is it showing you both ways to say it or do you say both things all together?


        Literally, 'ça va' means "how's it going?" we use both "comment ça va" and "ça va" for asking 'how are you?' but 'comment' means only 'how'. So it is wrong to use only 'comment' while asking this question.

        I hope this helps~


        We say "how's things" in Australia. Whilst not grammatically correct, It's idiomatic. Please add this to your database of acceptable answers.


        I thought ca va meant i am fine?


        It does mean "I am fine". But if you add a question mark to it, the meaning changes to "how are you?"


        How would you normally pronounce the "ç" letter?


        why do i hear como?


        How are you going? is more common in Australian and British English than "how are you doing" but was not accepted. I have reported it


        They pronounce it like a tagalog pronounciation, camustava?? Hahaha. This is really great. Learning french is really hard .


        Is not "How are you going" and "How are you" mean the same thing


        Ça va? Isnt it same as comment ça va?


        This comment section lit


        I think "How is it going" should be acceptable as it's a common substitute for how are you and is actually closer to the French words.


        S'il vous plaît?


        'How are you going' is probably more appropriate in Australasia!


        Or maybe in Wales also, and maybe in Northern European countries that are using English. So, maybe it is just not used in the U.S.A. How are you doing is more common there is it not?


        How are you going? Marked as wrong. (Apparently its only "how are you?") Really odd to have going as an option and not accept it. In NZ it's normal to say "how are you going?". It doesn't mean you are literally going anywhere. Just travelling through life.


        I wrote how are you, that wasn't accepted, only how are you doing; I hate Americanisms in the English language; how are you or how are you going, I personally think are more correct than"doing".


        I wrote "how're you" and i was marked correct but Duolingo pointed out "how're" has a typo in it. Says it's "how are". Anyone can explain this?


        I can't make the c with the little hook under it. I feel like this is a problem.


        So does "ca va" mean im fine? And does comment ca va mean how are you? Im confused


        In Australia you more often say "going", rather than "doing" (American).


        "How are you going" is very common in Australia and I'm pretty sure it's not considered slang. Informal maybe, just as "ça va" would also be informal in French.


        In Australia, we tend to say "how are you going?", rather than "how are you doing?"


        Or "How are you???"


        Tje answer be be how are you but there is no "are" and so answer is showing wrong


        That's not right, it says that 'Comment ca va' is how's it going. I thought it meant how are you?


        How are you? was accepted!!!


        No option to use how are you as a translation, which should be perfectly acceptable.


        Why is the translation How are you doing, not correct


        Sounds kiwi for how's it going

        [deactivated user]

          Apparantly, "How is ya bye?" is wrong.

          [deactivated user]

            Apparantly "How is ya bye? is wrong.

            [deactivated user]

              I typed in, "How is ya?" It said it was wrong?


              Just got marked wrong for translating this as "How are you going?" -- two seconds after the two French speakers in the room explained the literal translation of "ça va" to me. -_-


              I only heard it say comment, and no ça va


              How is this a greetinf


              It is more common in English to say “ how are you going?” Rather than “how are you doing?”


              I thought it meant are you okay since its a question.


              In the UK you would use this phrase when something had changed. Out of hospital, marriage breakdown, starting a new business, etc. "Hi/hello, how are you( /are you okay)? is a sort of standard greeting. If it is formal, "Hello, pleased to meet you", will serve you well. You can always upgrade to "Hello, delighted to meet you".


              I did the correct answer and it did me wrong


              I remember that The first word from ENT is a ...so that's why we pronounce comma


              Is it like this, Salut is informal and Bonjour is formal gor Hello, but Bonjour can also mean Good morning and good day


              I got it wrong for not putting a question mark!


              Just breath* Oof wrong jk I didn't do it


              Yoh should be able to drop the doing in the responce and get it right


              I did "what's up" and its wroooooooonnnnggggg


              I can't because my parents are sleeping

              [deactivated user]

                How are you going


                It accepted me i like this app


                ditto ditto ditto it seems that "how are you?", as used in polite British circles is not permissible either!!!!


                In polite British circles one says "How are you?" In Yorkshire we just say 'Ow do!


                Just because it didnt have the "?" Thing it took it wrong like plz i did everything write and thats the only thing that got me wrong


                abraham, impossible, I never put those marks here, and it's always accepted


                French is the best on my opinion i love duolingo


                I accidentally typed the wrong thing i wis ther was a overide buttion


                how it will be how are you doing ? i cant understand


                On peux aussi mettre "how are you"


                emma je peuX, tu peuX, il/on peuT.


                What does ça va exactly means??? Like does it mean "are you doing". I'm a bit confused...can anybody help me pls???


                annie- it English it's translated with it goes In French it means, it's fine, it's correct, it's ok, I'm doing fine


                "My pits are itchi" someone translate. "Mon aisselle me démange."


                This game is well made


                Change the answer got it but marked wrong.


                Sometimes I say 'comment ça va?' for the meaning 'how are you'. I think it's too english to say 'how are you doing'!!!


                I am very happy, as i did my pronounciation correctly.


                this does'nt make sence


                y the ❤❤❤❤ is this so hard


                Me: ALIENS ARE REAL!!! Comments: Prove it Me: Pay me Comments: NOPE Alien: we come in peace Me: SEE!!!!!!!!!!!!


                Are you ok is the same thing as how are you stupid game


                Im Writting Comment sa va ? and it keeps saying ITS WRONG LIKE WTF


                ❤❤❤ is it should be correct


                whay comment ca va is some time how are you and some time how are you doing.


                this is real bad coz it didnt pick up on me. it did but not right


                Is it pronounced /kɔ.mɔ/ or /kɔmɑ̃/?


                This is a lovely game.It helps people speak a different langauge.Some people want to go on their tablet or phone or whatever device they have they might not want to get sqaure eyes and want to learn but they do want to go on it.So their mum says after that,"You need to learn something lassie! (or laddie)"Then you say"But mum...""No buts!Now go! Go learn something!" So you go upstairs and you lie on your bed and think...And then you say to yourself"I know...I am going to go on my device and learn a langauge" So you do that.

                However some of the French phrases are wrong such as........ Ça va and Bonjuor.

                But except from that I love this game.


                Comment ça va also means how it goes(literally)


                How are you going? Is a correct translation. As a native English speaker I can confirm that "How are you?" and "How are you going?" are completely interchangeable in the context of a greeting.

                How are you going? may also mean "How are you going [with the task at hand]?" but that is not the context of this lesson.


                no matter how many times i say it right it always marks it wrong!!!!!!!!! it makes me so angry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                ...comme ci comme ci comme ci comme ca!


                ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ reccomended it ,❤❤❤❤ duolingo


                In Australia we we say how are you going? How are you doing sems to be an American expression


                Duo LIngo, please add " how are You Going?" which is in wide use in England and Australia. It is normal speech, not slang.


                I am so sick of my English being corrected to American! Comment ça va , directly means how it goes; so I have tried ; how is it going; how are you going , or just plain how are you, which is the correct English; but no, repeat , repeat, repeat" how are you doing?....… It sounds like the cast if "Friends" was invited to translate! Reporting a problem to Duolingo is useless, I may as well tell the walls; no feedback, ever! Just like a while ago being "corrected" in the translation of "football". No I am informed it's "socca"; I'll be sure to let the FA know..........grrrrrrrrrrr!!!

                [deactivated user]

                  I’ve asked people this and they respond “oui, et toi?”. Why? What should my response to them be?


                  what is your promblem


                  I got it right thank god


                  I can't hear the audio questions


                  I can't post either


                  I can't add the accent on my phone.


                  I wrote ❤❤❤ instead of HOW and it didn't say it was a typo- I think the system is bRoKeN (??


                  I wrote "How r u?" and duolingo said it was wrong


                  It would be Kom anssava in French, lol.


                  Not to be rude but that is not how you spell common sa-va


                  Maybe because that is used on the internet as slang?


                  Of course it is wrong. You are learning a language, not taking shortcuts for texting. R and U are not words in English


                  ❤❤❤❤❤ its traSSHSHHSHsh fam


                  wallah im sick and tired of duolingo

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