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"Nous vivons des temps difficiles."

Translation:We are going through difficult times.

March 14, 2013



but I have 3 choices for TEMPS, and I chose: weather. We are going through difficult weather, is wrong.


We would not use "difficult" with weather, rather "mauvais" or more precise adjectives: neigeux (snowy), venteux (windy), froid, sec...

By the way, "temps" meaning weather is used in the singular form and generally with the impersonal expression "il fait": "il fait un temps épouvantable !" (horrible)


Oh, I like that word: epouvantable (can't do accent, sorry). This is going to sound bazaar, but it feels nice to say. rofl Hey, I know what I'm saying and what I mean.


bazaar = a market;
bizarre = strange


Very true duo, very true


In order to translate this phrase from English to French, would it also be correct to say "Nous vivons EN temps difficiles"?


No, but if you wanted to be closer to the English "through", you could say "nous traversons des temps difficiles" (traverser = get through)


What about "Nous vivons en des temps difficiles"? Does that work?


Difficult times? Dead right we are!


Just checking... Does "vivons" mean to live or to live in? So there is no need for "en" because it's an intransitive verb? And it would be incorrect to say "Nous vivons en des temps difficiles"?


"vivre" can mean "to be alive", "to stay" or "to experience something".

in the latter case, "vivre" can be transitive: "il vit une merveilleuse histoire d'amour"

Otherwise: tu vis à Paris, je vis (j'habite) dans un appartement, le chat vit sur le toit, la taupe vit sous terre...


Can one say: nous vivon dans les temps difficiles?


You could, with another direct object for "vivons", which would give "dans des temps difficiles" another function (complément de lieu = complement of place)

"nous vivons une épreuve de plus dans des temps difficiles." (we are facing another hurdle in difficult times)


What does that even mean in English?


Economic crisis, poor people, jobless people... I think this is a general statement (in French at least) that means it.


Why must we place des before temps? Or is this all just an expression?


It is the rule in French that nouns have to be used with a "determiner", i.e. an article, a possessive or demonstrative article...

"des" here is simply the plural form of "un" (but in English, "a/an" have no plural form)


"We live in hard/difficult times" is definitely a phrase in English.


And is definitely apropos.


That's just how the idiom goes.


That's how English works. It's silly really. Those times were great is preferred over that time was great - both are correct, the former seems to imply it was stretched further over time, rather than just a 'single time'.


I read all the comments but I still don't get it - is the 'through' or 'in' part just understood somehow because we have the word 'vivons' or 'temps'? Why don't we need 'dans' or some other preposition?


In languages, there is no single translation. In French, you can't say 'Hello', you say either 'good day' or 'hi'. Languages aren't meant to work perfectly with one another and a fair use of interpretation is needed. Here, for example: literally 'We live of times difficult' from that you know that it's >>> 'We are living through/in difficult times'.


I almost thought of saying "These are the times that try men's souls," but then I thought better of it.


Why doesn't it mean we are living some hard times?


That's how the French sentence works, living (experiencing) difficult times. But it's not good English. Rather think of what you'd say in English in the same situation.


Why is 'des' used instead of 'à travers', 'dans',etc. when the translation is: "We live in/through difficult times"?


D'accord mon ami!


Do you think "we live hard times" should be accepted?


No, not at all. As a native speaker & English teacher, this phrase sounds really weird and wrong without "in"


I have read the whole thread but still don't understand why 'dans' or 'en' is unnecessary. Does vivre mean 'to live in' ? It seems to me this just says 'we live some difficult times'.


"Vivre" can have a direct object:

  • je vis une situation étrange (a strange situation)
  • je vis une existence modeste (a modest life)
  • je vis une vie sensationnelle (an amazing life)
  • je vis une passion dévorante (a consuming passion)
  • je vis un enfer avec toi (hell with you)
  • je vis une expérience nouvelle (a new experience)



Why is "We are living difficult times" incorrect?


The English phrase requires the use of the word "in."


Why not "We are living difficult times."? I think it's closer to the literal meaning of the sentence.


It should be "we're living in difficult times." Without "in" in the English version, it's wrong. The same way that adding "dans" or "en" in the French version would make the phrase incorrect.

And I'm pretty sure a more literal translation of this phrase would be closer to "we're living of the difficult times" which I think we all know sounds really weird and wrong in English. But of course, languages don't work that way. We can't just translate word for word.


Why - going through - and not - are living -? Too literal?


Can this also mean - We live in difficult times?

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