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  5. "Nous voyons malgré la nuit."

"Nous voyons malgré la nuit."

Translation:We see despite the night.

February 9, 2013

53 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/beerye3

I don't think too many English speakers would use despite in this sense. I think - "We can see, even though it is night." - seems more natural. You could also substitute darkness for night, and that would make more sense.


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

I agree 100%. This is what first occurred to me, but I didn't put it down. Sometimes I find that when translating, I have to use a more literal answer to make sure I get it right, even though it might not actually be what I would say as a native English speaker. So, sometimes, I am actually trying to guess at a literal translation more than getting the "real meaning" so to speak.


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

Yes Andrew, my thoughts too but for once I wrote natural English - and it was marked wrong, which is ridiculous but there you are, you have to play the Duolingo game if you can figure it out :-)


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

+1 When I am learning a new language and and I find a sentence with new vocabulary , I always start with a literal translation and then try to find more idiomatic ones. That avoids misconceptions and future mistakes. IMHO Duolingo would be better if it could show both.


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

Some people occasionally use despite such as "We can see, despite it being night" as a translation.


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

Yeah, that is how I use it, but Duo just marked me wrong for this exact sentence.


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

As a general rule, don't turn verbs into nouns, or nouns into verbs, or introduce either when they aren't there unless you absolutely have to to avoid saying something completely disallowed in the target laguage. DL is not just testing your ability to understand meaning but also recognize the parts of speech and vocabulary.


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

I agree too. Duo's so-called explanation - "Using 'even though' requires more changes to the original sentence. There is no need to add 'it's/it is'. 'We see in spite of the night'." - is utter nonsense. Few people would say "We see in spite of the night" naturally. "... in spite of the dark(ness)" might be slightly more natural, but the program is basically forcing people to write sloppy English to conform exactly to the French sentence. That isn't what translation is about, and it isn't even the point of this exercise, which I assume is to check comprehension. Mindlessly repeating back word-for-word translations does not prove that you've understood the meaning of the French; it proves you can use a dictionary.


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

This has nothing to do with "mindlessly repeating back word-for-word translations." It has to do with not adding to/subtracting from the English such that it no longer back-translates to the given French. It just so happens that that results in a word-for-word correspondence in this case. (And even that isn't technically true since it accepts "can see" as well as "see" and "in spite of" as well as "despite"). I'm not saying you're incorrect that there are more natural ways in English to express this idea, but they would require different French. Maybe that means it's not the best French sentence, but that's a different complaint. Simply saying the English translations should expand in order to sound more natural is effectively to ask that DL teach something incorrect about French grammar.


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

I understand what you're saying, and I apologise for the frustrated wording (I was on my third "but why?" duo correction of the day by this point). I was thinking more along the lines of the purpose of the exercise: if it is an English-to-French translation, it may be necessary to have a slightly clunky or unnatural English sentence in order to elicit a French sentence that uses the grammatical structure or vocabulary DL is attempting to teach; however, if it's a French-to-English translation, the purpose, as I said above, is to understand the meaning, and I think this can certainly allow for greater flexibility in the range of acceptable answers without requiring different French. In that case we would be looking at the/a "natural" way to express the idea in French alongside the/a "natural" way to express it in English (the literal translation should of course also be accepted if it conveys the same idea). I realise there's probably an understandable need to draw the line somewhere in terms of the number of variations they can accept, but surely it was just as much trouble to add an explanation of why something was "wrong" as it would be to just list it as an acceptable alternative.

As a side note I have just had "demain c'est lundi", with the accepted answer "tomorrow is Monday". I'm not sure why that isn't another case of strictly "unnecessary" addition/subtraction.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

"Darkness" = l'obscurité, or in a metaphorical sense, "les ténèbres".


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

I went with "We see in spite of the night," which ends up being more poetic instead of a statement you would normally say (it was correct by the way). But I only know this word because of the French 'Ça ira' song - thank you French Revolution music for teaching me random words!


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

Everyone who is saying that this bad English, why? For example: We played football despite the rain. In your opinion is that wrong too? In British English "in spite of" and "despite" are interchangeable. The phrase sounds perfectly normal to me.


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

I wrote "we are seeing despite the night" but it shows it wrong , i think its not wrong at all.


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

This is because "see" is a non-continuous verb. Try this link for an explanation http://esl.about.com/od/grammarintermediate/a/noncontinuous.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carol70562

So they are trying to teach us English also?!? ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

Yes, if it's necessary. How can one speak French correctly if one doesn't know how it affects the English and how will you know that if the English is incorrect.


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

Despite the slogan "I'm loving it"...
Is it used to call attention, to emphasize...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OakDoc1

"We see even though it is night." was not accepted.


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

Although 'malgre means despite or in spite of I think your translation is the most natural in English. Have you told Duoingo this?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OakDoc1

Thank you, Joiedevivre. I did indeed report it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

In order to use "even though", it would have to be "malgré que", according to the Oxford French Dictionary. Even so, it is not a generally accepted way of saying "even though" (use "bien que"). Be aware that it would also require rewriting the sentence to include "it is", etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/4Liwi

You have to learn 'Duolingo' before learning another language and I don't like it. That's the way you learn things in school books an no one get an idea what you're talking about. If I need to translate then from English into French I have to think incorrectly to catch the right solution in the lessons here. I feel more and more inconvenient with that, sorry guys don't wanted to spoil your efforts and fun. Just needed to get rid of my anger. 'Je maudis malgre la nuit' :)


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

I wrote "We can see despite the night"


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

Why not "despite of". That would be right in English, wouldn't it?


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

No. Many English speakers use this term (mixing it up with "in spite of") but it's wrong. See here for more: http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/difficulties/despiteinspiteof.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victoria97432

I think they should allow darkness to replace night


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

"Darkness" = l'obscurité (f). The dark = le noir. [Even so, "darkness" is accepted].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SophiaFish1

can you say, nous pouvons voir malgre la nuit?


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

Sure, but even if you feel the need to add "can" with a sense verb, it is not necessary in French.


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

I agree that we are much more likely to say "even though it is night."


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

"Even though it is night' = bien que ce soit la nuit / en dépit du fait que ce soit la nuit

Note that "malgré que + subj" is rather controversial and this is why I don't suggest it.

So keep in mind that "malgré" is a preposition, like "despite" or "in spite of", to be used in front of a noun.


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

Above it says We see despite the night, which I wrote, but I was marked wrong because it said it should be We CAN see despite the night. This isn't a literal translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

"We see despite the night" is one of the accepted answers. The French "nous voyons malgré la nuit" may be understood as "we can see ...." Did you have a multiple choice question? If so, you have learned that "we can see" also works here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/charlie510502

I put "We see despite of the night", but duolingo said it was a wrong answer- wouldn't that be right as well tho?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

As Duolingo probably told you already, you may say "we see despite the night" or "we see in spite of the night", but not "...despite of...." So no, it is not right.


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

Gotta say, even my part-french girlfriend can't recall this being a sentence in french.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

There is not a list of sentences in any language. It is possible to say it. It demonstrates how the word "malgré" is used. That's all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/qwUL3

why have I been marked wrong for saying "we are seeing.." and the correct version given as "we can see"???? I would have thought that "can" would need the use of "pouvoir". And why does the correct version on the discussion page NOT insist on "can"???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

Stative verbs (including "to see") are generally not used in continuous tenses when talking about perceptions. https://www.thoughtco.com/differences-between-action-and-stative-verbs-1211141 That is probably more than you wanted to know about it. As to "can", Duo does not "insist" on using "can see", but allows it. And no, the French does not require pouvoir here to carry the sense of being able to see something.


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

This is unnatural phrasing. If we are going to learn to use the language, we should practicing using it as it would be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

That is why there is a report button that allows you to suggest an appropriate translation.


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

Would a French person say this phrase? If so, it certainly cannot be translated literally.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

I'll admit it's not something that one would expect to say while chatting over a cup of coffee, but it is actually fairly straightforward and there is nothing really unusual about it. It demonstrates the use of the word "malgré".


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

We would maybe say "nous voyons malgré l'obscurité" (fem, darkness), but this word is not taught in the course.


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

Well it helps to know that but still the English translation given is incorrect English, we just would not say that. If you want to test understanding, it might be best just to put the single word 'malgre' meaning 'in spite of' or 'despite'(sorry can't do accents with this machine). This sentence can't be translated as given above though, using 'in spite of, it is totally wrong in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 1841

If you prefer "in spite of" you may use that. You see it on the hint list and it works just fine here. The English translation shown is grammatically correct, even if not in the manner you would like to see. We (can) see in spite of the night (or) darkness (or) we (can) see despite the night. If we are to improve anything, we can't just say something is wrong and walk away. Please share your suggestion for a clear and natural way to express the meaning of the sentence.


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

This doesn't make sense


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

I think I tried too hard to make it sound English: 'we see in spite of it being night-time' did not go down well.


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

Didnt read the French correctly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angelique8023

Shouldnt 'despite' only appears before a sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ian760277

It makes more sense to translate as, "we see despite the dark."

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