We don't need to say things exactly the same though, word-for-word, we need to know how to communicate with people that use this language. If they say something idiomatically different from us, we should know the corresponding English idiom, not an awkward word-for-word translation of the French. Like when we see "Quel âge avez-vous" we would write "How old are you?" not "What age do you have?" I agree we should know what is literally being said so we know which words mean what in the French phrase and where they go in the syntax, but if the end goal is supposed to be translating articles, we need to encourage idiomatic English output.
P.S. BMO is the best!
I completely agree with your points about translation and about BMO. Regarding the point about translation, I don't think this is quite a "quel âge avez-vous" situation; I don't know what we would translate this to other than "he interests/is interesting the children." But, as I said above, I think "he interests the children" is the better-sounding phrase (simply due to our use of "interesting" as an adjective), and so I think it should be the default answer. The current default answer should still be accepted, though, since it's correct.
"We don't need to say things exactly the same though, word-for-word"
If you're curious and want to look into it, this is called calque. When translating, fidelity vs transparency has to be kept in mind, but in a low-level exercise like this I think its just important enough to just translate meaning instead of being natural in English (we're learning French here, right? We already, presumably, speak English).
If someone is doing (is/are + -ing) something, it implies they are doing it at one particular moment. You don't interest a person at one particular moment, (which is why it sounds so unnatural to say "He is interesting me") you interest them generally so you'd use the simple present: (sorry I don't know the names of tenses so I might be mislabeling it) "He interests me." If you use interesting as an adjective, then you would say "He is interesting to me," not "He is being interesting to me."
'He is interesting to children' (with no English article)was accepted.
I am not sure why "the children" was accepted as a choice when 'des' was given, not 'les', as the preceding article. That seems incorrect, as we have been taught that 'des' would be an indefinite article and 'les' would imply a specific group of children, therefore 'des enfants' would seem to mean 'children' not 'the children' Why is this accepted as correct in this instance, as it seems to be the exact opposite of what was taught in the last lesson?? 'The children' should be wrong here, or the reason it isn't wrong should be explained, so that we can understand the exception. George? Sitesurf? Don thy capes and please appear. We are in need of your assistance.☺
Ok, i should never do Duo in the morning before my coffee and without glasses.
I see the error of my ways, and apologize profusely for my previous rant. It seems I mis-read the article, put the answer I thought was correct for 'des' in, Duo accepted it, furthering my misunderstanding.
But now I am confused as to why my answer was marked correct, because it was accepted and should have been marked wrong... one would think.....
I sure hope this isn't how the whole day is setting up.... headed for coffee and my spectacles now....
Any help here with why my wrong answer wasn't marked wrong, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
We wouldn't say it, but it is correct. Those two examples thought are not equivalents of the sentence.
"The children find him interesting." = The children are the subject and the verb applies to them, whether the man is doing anything interesting (or at all) or not. You can talk about your dad to your kids how he grew up in the 'Summer of Love' and the children will find him interesting without 'him' performing an action or without your kids ever meeting the man. You can even say this if 'he' is dead.
"He is interesting to the children." = Again, this does not imply that 'he' is performing an action, but rather that the children associate 'interest' with 'him'.
I think the problem with the sentence is that if we were to use a gerund, we wouldn't say "He is interesting the children." but rather "He is creating interest among the children (towards some object/phenomenon/goal)." The simple present tense use of the verb is fine though, e.g. "He interests the children to eat more fruits and vegetables every time he sees them."
interesser means to interest. "Il interesse les enfants" = "It interests [the] children" (or "he interests"). But that is weird English (valid, but weird, no-one would say that in real life). Rather, it is expressed as "It/He is of interest to [the] children", or perhaps "[The] children are interested in it/him".
"He is interested" = "Il est interesse (e acute, my keyboard can't do that)". Past participle.
if the sentence is he is interesting to the children , that would be correct. He is interesting the children, this is not incorrect use of interesting. quite a lot of english learners get confused with how to use interesting and interested and this sentence just helped encourage wrong usage
2 interest (transitive verb)
- to cause (someone) to want to learn more about something or to become involved in something
- to persuade (someone) to have, take, or participate in (something)
"He interests the children." is a correct translation of this sentence but "He is interesting to the children." is not as that does not imply that "he" is performing an action.
If you use "vous" you should say "vos mots", otherwise you should use "tu" and "tes mots". If you use vous, then it's "Vous m'intéressez avec vos mots." If you use tu, it's "Tu m'intéresses avec tes mots."
EDIT: (Disclaimer--I don't know if this is a natural-sounding thing to say in French.)
That's because that is a very different sentence. Even if it more or less conveys the same information, it's structured completely differently (notably, you've swapped the subject and object of the sentence, turned the verb into an adjective, and added a new verb, 'find'), and I wouldn't expect Duolingo to mark that correct.
it means that he/it is interesting "for" children, or children find him/it interesting, or as shown above, It is of interest to children. notice that in the original sentence "is interesting" is a "verb" not an adj. the original sentence have the following pattern : subj is : he/it = il verb is = interest/is interesting = interesse and I think children = les enfants should be obj if you exactly follow the same pattern in your translation, it will be He/It is interesting children. however it doesn't make much sense in English.
I wrote "He is interesting the children" (which sounds perfectly natural to me, btw), and was marked wrong. I was corrected to "He is interesting to children" or "It is of interest to children". But it doesn't sound to me like "he" is doing anything in "He is interesting to children", and as this is the present tense verbs skill that seems wrong... Does anyone agree with me, should it be reported?
I have a general question between using "il" vs "on" as a singular pronoun. I've seen Duolingo translate "il" as "it", and I understand the idea behind a masculine noun being replaced, but I remember quite vividly in my French class that we were to use "on" for "it". I.e. "On est grand".
When is it more appropriate to use on vs il/elle to refer to "it"?