"I briefly read the newspaper."
Translation:Je lis rapidement le journal.
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First, there is definitely a French / English disconnect here. Briefly and rapidly (in English) do NOT mean remotely the same thing, as someone pointed out. Secondly, we not even heard of these these tenses at all, and I'm at level 11 - J'ai lu / Je lisais. This question does not belong here.
Jan2015: This sentence was fixed to not include "briefly" in the correct answers.
In addition, at this stage, "read" has to be considered as simple present, since past tenses have not been taught yet.
However, if "I read" is simple past, the best translation in French is "J'ai lu" (past action, complete).
Secondarily, if "I read" is considered as the expression of a repeated action or a habit in the past, it can be translated to the French imparfait: "Je lisais".
I briefly read the newspaper, means to me I read the newspaper for very little time. Je lis rapidement le journal, sounds to me like, I rapidly read the newspaper, and that means to me I read the whole newspaper, every word, very quickly. Now since, rapidement, means both rapidly and briefly, how do you differentiate those two, at least in this sentence?
The question is how do the French use this word. Larousse defines rapidement two ways: 1) quickly, rapidly (in terms of speed), and 2) briefly (meaning superficially). We try to explain this sentence as a speed-reading contest because from a speed perspective, that is all that makes sense. But it appears the French also use the same word (rapidement) to make a superficial pass. In the context of reading, we would say that we glance at the headlines or scan the pages, flipping through them rapidly. There is nothing that implies the reader is reading every single word. It isn't the only time we will see a single word in any language which is used in rather different ways. We might as well get used to the idea. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/rapidement/65745
The choices (besides an obviously wrong one) that I was presented with were "J'ai lu rapidement le journal" and "Je lisais rapidement le journal." So given that neither is present tense, and present tense is the only thing I've learned so far, there's definitely something wrong in the system.
See the conversation started by the pixie. Unfortunately this is an artifact of the way Duolingo works. If the past tense is accepted or not accepted, either way it's unfair to someone! Many users will have learnt some French already and will get confused if the past tense is not accepted.
The issue is that these sentences with the past tense are being presented as multiple choice options - we must select them as correct translations or we lose a heart. That isn't fair for those of us who haven't yet learnt the past tense. The solution is simple: don't present the past tense as options in the multiple choice (they can still be accepted in other versions of the question).
Why is "Je lis le journal à un bref instant" wrong, seeing as that is how duolingo translated "briefly"? Rapidement means quickly to me, which does not mean the same is briefly, as far as I know
I believe so (see http://www.wordreference.com/fren/survoler). And on that basis I would have thought it would bemore appropriate than "rapidement"? I thought "rapidement" meant "quickly" - and that isn't exactly what "briefly" means. My interpretation of "briefly" is superficially, or for a short period of time. Anyone care to confirm that for me?
Sitesurf, is it necessarily "Wrong" to start the sentence with 'je', and use the adverb after je? I did it as DUO required, but only on the second trip through. The first time I did the lesson I was graded "wrong" for using the word order: 'Je brievement lis le journal'. Just interested. Thanks.
When the verb is simple (one word), you have to place the adverb after the verb (like French adjectives generally come after the noun): "je lis brièvement le journal".
When the verb is in a compound tense (auxiliary + past participle), you can place the adverb between the two parts of the verb: "j'ai brièvement lu le journal", or after: "j'ai lu brièvement le journal".
I don't know that Duo has the programming to know that the person getting this question hasn't been introduced to the passé compose, and people do go back an refresh/review lessons. I agree it would be nice if it could determine that (so that it wouldn't offer unfamiliar things in multiple choice questions), but fortunately most English verbs aren't like "read".