"On ne peut pas juger un livre sur sa couverture."

Translation:You can't judge a book by its cover.

March 13, 2013

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'Don't judge a book by its cover'


I put the same phrase. It was marked as incorrect. What's up with that?


They mean something different. This is a statement of fact, while your answer is advice or a command.


I don't see much difference between "You/one cannot" and "don't".


One is a statement of fact, the other is an instruction. "Don't eat my cookie" isn't something I'd say unless you can, and I don't want you to (because I want to eat it, because it's poisoned, who knows?) "You can't eat my cookie" is totally different (maybe I already ate it, maybe it travelled to another dimension, who knows?)


I don't think that follows in context. The implication here is that you can judge a book by its cover, and that people do, but they shouldn't.


No, that's not right. The implication is that if you try to judge a book by it's cover, you'll fail, because the cover doesn't have the information needed to judge the book. So you cannot judge a book by it's cover, even if you try.


You actually understand no difference between "do not" and "cannot"? Interesting....


"Don't judge a book by its cover" is an English idiom. Maybe the French isn't quite right in the portrayal, but the meaning seems quite clear to me, and if there is a divergence from the nuance, then fix the French part of the exercise and don't mess with the idiom.


The statement in French is not a command or an admonition. It is simply a statement in the form of a proverb. That is to say, "one cannot judge a book by its cover". There is nothing at all here that makes this an imperative "should" or "must" or "don't".


but that's the point - in English the same proverb is colloquially rendered as "don't judge a book by its cover" - it's not meant as an order. (and to say one cannot do something can also be interpreted as an imperative...)


It's a translation exercise, not a reflection of one's own version of a proverb.


But (as mentioned above) there are plenty of other translation exercises where we are asked to render a French sentence in idiomatic English. It seems kind of silly that this one idiom is excluded.


Wow! She sure talks fast. As I have gotten older, both my receiver and my transmitter have slowed to a crawl. I think the most valuable Duolingo lesson I can take with me to Paris next week is: Parlez plus lentement, s'il vous plaît

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Yup, frequently useful, and people will slow down. I found the French in general and Parisians in particular quite friendly and helpful with my halting French, contrary to what I had been told to expect. Waiters, shop assistants, people on the street, everyone seemed most genial. I could hardly take a map out of my bag without someone coming up and asking if they could help. (No, I'm not a pretty young thing <g>)


My experience exactly, DianaM. And I am certainly not a pretty young thing either.


Hm.. I haven't really had a problem with speed since I started paying attention to how words are properly pronounced as opposed to how they look/are written.

How'd it go in Paʁʁʁʁi? :)


Why is it "sur" and not "par"?


Actually it could be expressed as "à sa couverture", "par sa couverture", "d'après sa couverture", or "sur sa couverture". All are accepted.


Sur often introduces the object of various verbal expressions.


Is this a saying that is common in French?


J'en doute. They mostly say: "L'habit ne fait pas le moine."


It's a common one. And it's opposite number is also a common expression: L'habit fait le moine (or) l'habite fait l'homme = Clothes make the man. It's funny how proverbs work that way.


The clothes do not make the man.


On peut juger un livre sur sa couverture bien que ce ne soit pas très sage. Malheureusement, c'est la façon de quelle nous pensons généralement: Il nous faut une image cohérente du monde. C'est pour cela que le monde nous semble beaucoup plus logique qu'il est vraiment.


It's called "marketing".


Indeed! By the way, thanks for commenting. This was full of mistakes ... I hope I managed to correct them all.


One is not able to judge a book by it's cover. Wrong?


Actually, it is completely wrong. "It's" is a contraction of "it is". The possessive form does not use an apostrophe: i.e., its cover.


What is the idiomatic French equivalent.

Ne pas se fier aux apparences

L'habit ne fait pas le moine


Or do the French use this same expression, not judging a book by its cover, as often as we do?


You can't judge a book by its movie.


Why is "You cannot judge a book off its cover" a valid translation? sur is "on", not "off", isn't it?


Here, "on" and "off" imply the same thing...


Not at all. "Sur" is not translated as EN "on" here. It is an expression: sur sa couverture, à sa couverture, d'après sa couverture, par sa couverture = by its cover.


Wow, it accepted my "One cannot judge a book based on its cover"... I afterwards checked my sentence on Google and there were only 2 search results... I wonder how did it get accepted then... Anyways good job lol


Duolingo is not based on what Google Translate shows.

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I think she meant that she looked for the frequency of the English sentence on Google and discovered it was not very common and then was surprised that DL had her "not-very-common" version in its database. I'm a bit surprised myself. You just never know.


Why is it sa? Livre is masculine.


True but couverture is feminine, that's why. It's hard to explain in English because English doesn't have gender associated to words, but think of it this way, if you wanted to say not to judge a book by its title (titre, masc.), then we would've used son titre instead of sa couverture.

C'est bon ?


"we cannot judge a book by it's cover" is not accepted?


No. The possessive form of "it" is "its" (no apostrophe). "It's" is a contraction of "it is".


I thought 'on' means we but why is it translated as you in this sentence'


It means "we" in the most general sense. As in, "We eat soup with a spoon." So it can also imply the universal "you" in that sense, i.e. "In France, you drive on the right side of the road."


Think there needs to be a fix. Instead of recognizing the typo of "it's" it counted it wrong


That's not exactly a typo. "It's" and "its" have two totally different meanings, and people often use the incorrect form without knowing that they're using it incorrectly.


Is that sentence even good? it's cover ???


Yes, the sentence is fine. The possessive form of "it" is "its" (no apostrophe). Since we're referring to the cover of a book, you should use "its" rather than "their" (which implies that we're talking about people).


oh thxx nevevarine1138 :)


Is it not ''Their Cover''


Penalised for the apostrophe. Really?


If you mean putting an apostrophe in "its," then it absolutely should be marked as incorrect. "It's" is a contraction for "it is," and "its" is the possessive form of "it." Totally changes the meaning of the sentence.


the english idiom that is the equivalent of this is as dapetras says is "Don't judge a book by its cover." I don't think we should be marked as incorrect for using the normal english phrase. I think the explanation as to why you can't do this is pedantic and another example of imposing french structure on normal English: something that drives me wild!


on can't judge a book by its cover, is not correct ?


"you cannot judge a book by its cover" was not accepted why?


I was marked wrong for "cannot" instead of " can't"??

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