"Nous voyons malgré la nuit."

Translation:We see despite the night.

2/9/2013, 4:50:06 PM

80 Comments


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

10/15/2013, 12:28:29 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

12/31/2013, 7:48:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/RowenaJane
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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 :-)

12/6/2015, 2:48:03 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/thecaligarmo

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

11/5/2014, 8:19:56 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/linguisticat
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Yeah, that is how I use it, but Duo just marked me wrong for this exact sentence.

4/14/2015, 3:32:27 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

7/6/2015, 10:59:39 PM

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

11/13/2015, 9:32:39 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

11/13/2015, 2:18:06 PM

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

11/16/2015, 3:09:22 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"Darkness" = l'obscurité, or in a metaphorical sense, "les ténèbres".

6/21/2017, 4:43:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/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!

8/13/2014, 6:17:07 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

6/23/2014, 12:37:27 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Roody-Roo

I totally agree. Some English speakers use only casual everyday speech. To them, "despite" and "in spite of" seem overly formal or awkward. But learning requires us to break out of our comfort zones sometimes, no matter which language.

1/21/2019, 9:52:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/BPJoshi
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I wrote "we are seeing despite the night" but it shows it wrong , i think its not wrong at all.

2/9/2013, 4:50:06 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/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

7/13/2013, 9:20:07 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/carol70562

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

7/6/2017, 11:10:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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.

7/9/2017, 1:31:42 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Duomail
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Despite the slogan "I'm loving it"...
Is it used to call attention, to emphasize...?

12/14/2015, 3:24:33 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/OakDoc1
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"We see even though it is night." was not accepted.

7/28/2016, 3:38:19 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RowenaJane
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Although 'malgre means despite or in spite of I think your translation is the most natural in English. Have you told Duoingo this?

7/28/2016, 10:56:40 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/OakDoc1
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Thank you, Joiedevivre. I did indeed report it.

7/28/2016, 8:42:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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.

6/21/2017, 4:56:14 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/kareemfullerton

I wrote "We can see despite the night"

2/20/2013, 11:26:35 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Originell

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

12/10/2013, 12:17:32 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MrHazard
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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

1/24/2014, 1:37:11 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RockyRogue

No.

10/6/2014, 5:56:58 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Victoria97432

I think they should allow darkness to replace night

10/20/2016, 7:29:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"Darkness" = l'obscurité (f). The dark = le noir. [Even so, "darkness" is accepted].

6/21/2017, 5:00:05 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/SophiaFish1

can you say, nous pouvons voir malgre la nuit?

4/26/2017, 6:38:49 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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Sure, but even if you feel the need to add "can" with a sense verb, it is not necessary in French.

4/27/2017, 11:25:46 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Normandyms

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

6/25/2017, 12:20:48 PM

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

7/9/2017, 1:36:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

7/8/2017, 3:47:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"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.

7/8/2017, 7:18:25 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

7/27/2017, 5:05:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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.

7/27/2017, 6:27:20 PM

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

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

8/1/2017, 5:28:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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.

11/21/2017, 12:19:46 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/qwUL3
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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"???

9/13/2017, 10:52:47 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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.

11/21/2017, 12:18:16 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/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' :)

10/29/2017, 5:40:27 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Roody-Roo

I understand that you don't feel comfortable using these words, but they are correct and widely used by English speakers.

www.google.com/search?q=despite+definition&oq=despite+definition&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l3.24316j1j7&client=ms-android-metropcs-us&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

1/21/2019, 10:04:43 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

11/17/2017, 1:21:21 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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That is why there is a report button that allows you to suggest an appropriate translation.

11/21/2017, 12:13:45 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/RowenaJane
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Would a French person say this phrase? If so, it certainly cannot be translated literally.

11/20/2017, 5:01:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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".

11/20/2017, 11:49:13 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
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We would maybe say "nous voyons malgré l'obscurité" (fem, darkness), but this word is not taught in the course.

11/21/2017, 11:04:24 AM

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

11/21/2017, 1:08:01 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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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.

11/22/2017, 3:53:31 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/JonathayDongle

This doesn't make sense

12/11/2017, 3:58:24 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

1/22/2018, 12:36:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Treath

Didnt read the French correctly

2/24/2018, 3:24:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Angelique8023
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Shouldnt 'despite' only appears before a sentence?

12/26/2018, 4:52:48 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Ian760277

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

1/20/2019, 5:17:05 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/markviv1

You know, Duolingo constantly throws words they have not introduced nor explained into the sentences you are supposed to hear and type! Are we supposed to be telepathic or something? I don't get it...

9/8/2014, 6:43:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

You're just "supposed" to give it your best shot. Duolingo is an immersion-style learning tool. Although they have fairly recently begun putting a few general explanations in front of some of the early lessons, in general the idea is that they throw stuff at you and you try as best you can, they tell you whether you got it right or not, and you learn from your mistakes. It's the same way you learned your first language (which, btw, took you several years - I don't know why people expect to do the second one faster <smile>)

We are all trained by schools to have a horror of making mistakes - they bring scorn and penalties and must be avoided at all costs. But that model does not apply here. Relax, make your mistakes, and learn. It's all good.

3/26/2015, 5:58:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/scottchristo1

If you add a comma to the of "Malgré" it makes sense. Something like, "We see, despite the night." I think this was just a grammatical error.

10/17/2014, 12:06:30 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

You'll find the French have quite a different approach to using commas than we do in English (the "Oxford comma" is just not done, for one thing - ha]. There is nothing wrong with the grammar in the French sentence.

3/26/2015, 6:01:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/EdytheBenucci

Where does 'can' come into it?? I translated this' we are seeing in spite of the night' . .I think this is also correct

4/24/2015, 11:50:36 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/YahyaZuhair

the verb 'see' in English is a non-continuous verb; i.e. you can not use it in a continuous tense (seeing)

5/1/2015, 2:53:59 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/lgrashof

I, too, do not understand where "can" comes into it. I would think that "We can see" would be "Nous pouvons voir."

10/18/2016, 2:12:47 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Because voir already has the meaning "to be able to see, can see".

10/18/2016, 5:13:01 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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As Sitesurf explained above, the English may indeed indicate "we can see" but the French does not require the use of "pouvoir" to mean that.

6/21/2017, 5:02:24 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/chadi.r
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the limitation of duolingo words is really low! :|

5/25/2016, 3:47:31 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

I have no idea what you mean by that.

5/25/2016, 8:58:48 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/chadi.r
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I mean for the word "malgré", we can use "despite of/ in spite of/ even though" as an equivalent, but for this question we were obliged to type the exact word for the meaning, or we would get a negative point. well, that's not how it works in real, when you're trying to learn a language. that's the reason that i constantly look the words up in a french dictionary to learn most of the equivalents, even if Duolingo doesn't accept them as the right answer (surely bcz of its limit words)

5/26/2016, 9:00:22 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

Oh, ok, now I understand. If you give an answer you know is correct, and Duolingo does not accept it, you should report it as "My answer is correct" (or whatever it says).

Lots of people do this - and their reports need to be read and assessed by humans, not computers - so it can take quite a while sometimes for your answer to be included, but it does happen. I've had several emails telling me that an answer I suggested has been accepted.

We get to use this program without paying for it in money, but Duo does improve from our input, which is a way for us to pay - not only returning a service to Duo, but also "paying forward" to students who come after us.

5/26/2016, 5:09:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"Despite of" is not correct. You may say "despite" or "in spite of" but not "despite of".

7/8/2017, 7:19:51 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/MonsieurLeBlanc

The is a difference between "despite" and "in spite of". The first is "even though" but the second indicates an action with some malicious intent.

8/30/2016, 5:47:39 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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Not at all. "In spite of" and "despite" are essentially equivalent, i.e., no malicious intent. It can merely refer to some obstacle or difficulty which is overcome. You may be thinking of the verb "to spite" which refers to taking malicious action against someone in retribution for a perceived offense.

6/21/2017, 4:58:58 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ZUOChao

Look is better than see

8/5/2014, 6:57:08 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
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"To look (at)" = regarder. "To see" = voir.

6/21/2017, 5:03:15 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/mariekevb
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'The' night does not seem necessary, just 'night' would do

12/13/2014, 9:26:59 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

"...despite night"? No, that isn't correct, sorry. Sounds very odd.

3/26/2015, 6:09:04 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jenny.edwards

we see despite of the night

12/21/2014, 8:51:34 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Pigslew
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Jenny, the "of" is unnecessary and wrong. "In spite of" is correct.

3/9/2015, 5:54:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/baba1052

BOJoshi (and I) both answered "we are seeing..." and were marked wrong. Helenvee kindly linked to an advanced lesson on 'continous' verbs. Very rarely though have I seen such a unsolvable clash of an intended meaning and the 'rules of french'.

It is perfectly right to want to say "i am seeing despite the night(dark)" and mean that you are 'seeing' for an extended time in the present. Not to be confused with I can see or I am looking. For instance the sentence "i am seeing despite the fog" should have a true transaltion in french. If you adhere to the 'continuos rule' in french then it does not appear you can translate this meaning. Note "I am seeing despite the fog" is entirely different from "I can see despite the fog".

Weird!

4/19/2014, 11:34:50 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/DianaM

This continuous usage you are championing is quite restricted in meaning. I can barely imagine a situation where it would come naturally - maybe a spy talking to his contact over the phone....

At least where I come from (Western North America - California and British Columbia), it would very rarely be said.

As for your remark that your construction "should have a true translation in French", I'm afraid that languages often do not translate directly, each of them having a different slant on what is or is not important to distinguish. It's one of the real mind-expanding benefits of learning more than one language: you tend to begin to see things in a very different light, depending on what language-filter you are using.

3/26/2015, 6:08:03 PM
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