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  5. "Ça va bien ?"

"Ça va bien ?"

Translation:Are you doing well?

February 7, 2013

79 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

The little hover box told me it meant "I'm doing well"! I thought it meant "How are you?" but I trusted the little hover box! This is so upsetting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chris868

ca va bien is both a question and an answer, as in "ca va bien?" - are you doing well? and "ca va bien" - i am doing well.

how are you? is better translated as comment ca va?/ comment allez-vous?/ comment vas-tu?


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

what is the difference between "ca va?" and "ca va bien?"


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

"Ca va?" and "Ca va," are just shortenings of a common phrase. Kind of informal, and a literal translation doesn't really work.

Think "All right?" and the response "All right," in the UK.


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

So subtle than they can be interchangeable.

ça va?/Comment ça va? = no adverb. How are you?

ça va bien? = adverb "well", are you fine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/372897

Ça va is are you/ i am/ and ça va bein is i am/ are you well


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

No, it is just an idiom. "Ça va ?" means "How are you?" As a response, "Ça va bien" means "I'm fine" or "I'm doing fine/well". Idiomatically, it is closey related to the informal English expression, "How's it going?"


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

i put "i am well" and it corrected as wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

The sentence is a question. You have not written it as a question.


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

why does it count you wrong if you type''I'm doing well''?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

"I'm doing well" is a statement and is correct for "Ça va bien" as a statement. "Ça va bien ?" is a question and should be translated as "Are you doing well?" or perhaps simply "How are you doing?"


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

Bonjour n6zs

Maybe it would be more informative & beneficial to our learning if we were not marked wrong but shown that this sentence actually means both translations, depending on intonation or if there is a question mark at the end?

Just a thought ;}


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

I'm afraid that's not something we have any way to do. We have "report messages" defined for this answer but unfortunately the messages we write aren't currently displayed to users.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

You have learned a valuable lesson. Never, never, never trust the little hover box without checking it out with other resources first if you are not sure. The items listed are merely suggestive of possible meanings and are not in any way an indication that they are all viable translations for the sentence before you, i.e., they are hints, not necessarily solutions.

[Edit: "Ça va bien" is an idiom which is translated in the general sense of "I'm doing well" or "I'm fine". However, take the same expression and put a question mark after it and it becomes "How are you doing?" or "Are you doing well/alright?" or "How are things?" So when it's a question, make sure you put it in the proper form of a question.]


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

That's why I check these comments.. Gotta love the feedback from everyone!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sweetcarmo2

'How are you doing?' seems like a US-centric translation. In Australia we would say 'How are you going?' so this answer should also be accepted, especially when the hover box suggests the translation is 'It goes well'.


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

Around where I live in Alberta, Canada, sometimes I hear people saying, "How's it going?" That seems to mean, "Hi, how are you?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

For our friends down under, "how are you going" is accepted now.


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

Are you going well? was marked as wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

Early in the course, you will be exposed to some expressions which don't translate literally. Yes, in Australia, they say "How are you going", but "are you going well" is not an idiomatic (natural) expression of "ça va bien ?" So if you speak English as a native language, then you need to understand that "ça va bien ?" is going to be "are you doing well?" and not "are you going well?" Remember that it is a shortened version of "comment ça va ?" which means "how you you doing?" or just "how are you?" What we are doing is translating natural French into natural English and sometimes that is not going to be word-for-word.


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

I have just listened to Michel Thomas's French Foundation course and he translates it as 'going' not doing. I just think that DL should not have marked me wrong.


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

You are incorrect about this - they are part of the common idiom here. Perhaps you should use better sources than dodgy on-line dictionaries? Also, it's not just Australians, it's the common idiom outside North America.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

Your submission (including "expletive deleted") was received. Perhaps you would be kind enough to share "the common idiom(s)" where you are from and tell us where that is. BTW, the dictionaries I use most frequently are:

  • Larousse
  • Oxford French Dictionary
  • WordReference

But I also use Reverso, Collins, Linguee, and Linternaute sometimes. Do you have some on-line references which you find more acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/barone009

Whats wrong in trasnlating "ça va bien?" to "are you fine?"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

Do you greet someone with "Are you fine?" Don't get too literal. The expression is a polite inquiry as to how the person is doing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bree611400

so, basically, ca va? with a question mark is "how's it going?' ca va without a question mark or ca va bien. is a statement and means "i'm doing good" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

That's right, Bree. You've got it.


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

How do i add the accent on my "C"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

On a Windows PC, go to the control panel, Language, Keyboard, Change Keyboard, select US International. You will be able to type everything normally on QWERTY keyboard in addition to à ç é è ê ô ï and « ». On a smartphone, hold your finger momentarily on the letter and other character options will appear.


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

what dose 'bien' mean?


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

"bien" means "well". as in "I'm doing well". I was taught in school to say "Comment allez-vous?" which means "How are you?" Literally, it means "How go you?" Sometimes I hear people say "How's it going?"

The only time people here would say, "How are you going?" is if the other person was going on a trip and they wanted to know if he or she was going by car, plane, or bus.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chadance13

What is the difference between comment ca va and ca va bien?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

In reality, there is no substantial difference. If someone would care to elaborate on any significant difference when asking someone how they are getting on, please feel free to do so.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dannyboy_588

The same as the difference between "How are you?" and "Are you well?" They essentially mean the same thing, but are phrased differently.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cheshirecat327

I said how are u and it said I did it wrong. I have had this happen before I wish it would stop.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

Texting abbreviations are not accepted on Duolingo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gita-ji

A 'typo' is the abbreviation of a 'typographical error', i.e. you hit the wrong key.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/manish322105

Can ça va write as ca va?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

No, it must be written with the cedilla, "ça". On a mobile device, hold your finger on the letter "c" for a seconed. A little window will pop open to allow you to choose the correct letter. On a Windows PC, go to Control Panel, Language, Keyboard, Change keyboard, select "US International", Add, OK. You can switch to this alternate keyboard (or use it as your default keyboard) and enter the special French characters on the fly: à ç é è ê ï, etc. On a Mac, hold down the Option key while you type "c" to get "ç" or Shift-Option-C to get "Ç".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoieB54

Also on a PC, you can hold down the "Alt" key and (at the same time), press the numbers 0199 to get Ç; for ç, hold down the Alt key and (again, at the same time) press the numbers 0231. I hope that helps someone too!


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

Is this the equivalent of asking in English "are you alright?" Or is it more like "how are you doing?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

There are a hundred different ways that people ask this kind of question. That's why Duolingo tries to constrain the number of English answers. Just remember how to say it in French!


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

How were we meant to know that it was a question?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

From the audio, there is a slight rise (inflection) in the voice which indicates it is a question.


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

How do you say I am good?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

The expression is rather wide open to contextual interpretation.

  • In a restaurant, the server may say "would you like some more water?" No thanks, I'm good (means I don't need anymore water).
  • "I am good" could be referring to one's behavior (I am well-behaved) or "I am a good person."
  • "I am good" could possible refer to how one is getting along, in response to a general inquiry.

So we need to look to the nearest French idiom to convey what it is you mean. In the sense of a reply to a general inquiry in the form of "comment ça va ", it would be "ça va bien". Note that the form of the question influences the form of the response.


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

How to pronounce bien?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelLe3139

Does this also mean "It goes well?"?


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

I don't think "Are you doing well" is either a correct nor appropriate as a translation. I'm calling ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ on this answer!


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

What is the difference between "bien" and "bon" ?


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

There is no word to mean "you". So, how can I understand it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

At first it seems like speaking another language is as simple as translating each word from one language into a single word in another language, but we see very early that it often does not work that way. It is an expression which has many different forms in French just like it does in English.

As a question, "ça va ?" (similar to "how's it going?) or "ça va bien ?" (are you doing well?) is an enquiry. One may also ask "comment ça va ?" or "comment allez-vous ?" If we try to translate each word literally, the process will quickly fail. So just follow the course and later you will understand, "Oh, so that's how it works."


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

what is the meaning of the symbol below the C?


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

I can't say for certain, but I THINK that it's an accent to turn the letter 'c' into the "sss" sound instead of the hard "k" sound.


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

ARE YOU GOING WELL!

Accept that, it's the way most of the English speaking world says this. Americans are the oddity with their weird archaic forms.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2059

Hello, Stephen. We don't disparage others for the way they learned to speak English. Every effort is made to accept standard BrE and AmE for all exercises. Before leaving this subject, please open the Google Ngram Viewer in your browser and select 1) Case insensitive, 2) British English, 3) Search lots of books, and enter: are you going well,are you doing well,how are you doing,how is it going. Then come back and tell me what you found. https://books.google.com/ngrams/


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

Commendable diplomacy, long may you be there for all of us.


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

Damned if I can understand people marking you down. I appreciate your informative help. Was disappointed that my "It's going well?" was not accepted. Marked you up.

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