"Ils ont leur tête des mauvais jours."

Translation:They have their bad-news faces on.

March 27, 2018

70 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/casacere

I put "they had a face like a smacked arse" and, to my amazement, it was not accepted.

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RustyMaypole

You obviously come from the same part of the world that I do!

May 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Brendon601304

This is the dumbest duolingo question ive ever seen

March 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl

It is idiomatic like "to get out of bed on the wrong side" is an English idiom.

"avoir sa tête des mauvais jours" means "to have an off day". I agree that the English translation is a bit left of field.

March 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ChiNane

It would help immensely if that was in the answer pool though

June 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/eddyberson

“They woke up on the wrong side of the bed” is not accepted. I'm a 40 year old Canadian native English speaker and I've never heard "they have their bad-news faces on." Is this an expression in British English?

April 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl

No, it is a French idiomatic expression which, I believe, should not be translated literally as it is meaningless in English. Your answer should be accepted as should "they are having an off day". Please report it.

https://www.wordreference.com/fren/avoir%20sa%20t%C3%AAte%20des%20mauvais%20jours

April 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HannahFYates

Completely agree, totally meaningless in British English anyway!

April 4, 2018

[deactivated user]

    I wouldn't say it's meaningless. It does mean someone is having an off-day. I've heard people (here in the UK) comment about the expression on someone's face when that person is having a bad day. "He's got his miserable face on today," is something I hear from time to time. It's just unusual for a statement like that to be applied to multiple people.

    September 22, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dippy745670

    I've never heard it used in British english. I'm 66. I don't know what it means, so need a translation from one English to another, never mind from French!

    November 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/gea123gea

    it is correct: the french expression is the same as they woke up on the wrong side of the bed. In Dutch: met het verkeerde been it bed stappen (same as in English). You are very right.

    December 27, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/No1-tillygirl.

    No. Never used this expression as a native English speaker.

    February 24, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/susane18207

    Absolutely not, I've never encountered before.

    February 25, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/diane561

    Not at all!!!

    February 28, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/12cooper2
    April 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Robo2801

    Rubbish! Not a phrase any native English speaker would use, it is meaningless. I agree with Brendon601304 and Ripcurlgirl

    April 4, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Albert981766

    As a native English speaker I have to agree - in the last sixty years I don't think I have ever heard this expression

    April 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/angus390025

    I have had this expression a few times before. I recognize that it is literally "bad-days head" but you have to find an English expression that fits. The "bad news face" thing seems strange so I just assumed it was an English English thing and just memorized it. Finally I clicked on discussion to see what others think, and to my surprise the English English people think it's weird too.

    So I researched it a bit. First, the image search. That turned up many pictures of cats. What was I thinking? Of course there would be many pictures of cats. No help there. Then I added "famille" to the search. Still lots of cats.

    Then I started cruising language sites. Memrise calls it the equivalent of a "bad hair day." I'm not sure that I can buy into that. Google translate gives it a "head of bad days." Thanks, Google.

    Finally I just searched for the string in quotes and read some french articles with the phrase in it. Some were about football players after the loss of a match. Some were about people who just learned something terrible. Seems to me that the common thread was that they all had a rather gloomy expression. So, I'd make it "they're looking glum" or dark or depressed or something like that.

    I'll stick with bad-news face for the purpose of getting past the exercise on duolingo but if I read or hear this phrase in real like I'll understand it as gloomy or upset.

    November 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/c5nest

    The preferred translation should really be changed to something that actually makes sense in English such as “they are having a bad/off day”.

    October 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Pat19409

    This irritates the hell out of me. The translation is nonsense for a native English speaker, so why use it? I thought one of the points of learning a language was to be able to use idiom correctly, rather than try to translate literally (although tête doesn't translate literally to face, as has previously been pointed out.) So this should be amended to reflect an answer an English speaker would actually use.

    October 17, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Robo2801

    Still on here... I commented 5 months ago and its still here - get this in the optional 'Idioms' Unit maybe?

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/andymcm89

    This needs to be changed to "They are having a bad day", "They have a head on them today (perhaps only an Irish-English expression), or "They woke up on the wrong side of the bed today". Reported.

    November 1, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/AndrisK.

    I am dumbfounded by this.

    July 13, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Seattle_scott

    It's good to see a few idioms thrown in. This section has a couple of good ones.

    July 14, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/anais67mb

    I can deal with the idiom, but I am curious about the use of "des" instead of "de", which would normally be used if there is a modifier in front of the noun.

    August 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/jhfenton

    That is a good question. I've seen it before in a few contexts where the adjective + noun combo is so common place that it has become essentially a compound noun. One site gives the example of "des jeunes gens," which you can find all over with a search.

    In this expression "la tête des mauvais jours"--I also found the similar "la mine des mauvais jours"--"des" seems to be standard. In other contexts, I see frequent usage of "de mauvais jours."

    December 21, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/gszeto

    That rule is for "de" as a partitive, as opposed to "de" meaning "of/from". Here's an example I found: "J'ai acheté de nouvelles bottes." (partitive) vs. "Je suis jalouse des nouvelles bottes que tu as achetées." (meaning "of")

    February 11, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/ChiNane

    Why even bring this up, if you can't be bothered to provide a useful translation?

    June 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jim606185

    Chill out - Even though I got it wrong, the mistranslation made me laugh. It's an idiom, and it definitely applies to whoever translated it. They must have been having a bad hair day :)

    This mistranslation actually made my day!

    January 7, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/sallinger

    Where I'm from (western Canada), "bad hair day" literally means that a person's hair isn't cooperating with them today. (Looking limp or greasy, parts sticking up, etc.) It never means that they're just generally having a bad day.

    April 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Shirlgirl007

    hmm, can anyone explain, clearly this is some sort of idiom in French? I am also confused by tête being translated into face, and where do we get the word on from in this sentence?

    April 8, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/fishedout

    That's funny...I read the expression and I loved it. "They have their bad news faces on!" I think that's hysterical.

    May 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl

    And nonsensical in English.

    May 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Sandraselina

    The English translations don't exactly roll of the tongue and most of the time make no sense what so ever.

    September 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dippy745670

    How about they're having a bad hair day.

    November 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jim606185

    That's exactly what the idiom means. A bad hair day means a day in which everything is going wrong and I think it's universal, although relatively recent.

    "They look like they're having a bad hair day. " or just a bad day.

    January 7, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/judith57957

    Wrong: a bad hair day is exactly that: ask any woman. It's a day when your hair won't take the shape you want and looks terrible. (Can be caused by bed head, hat hair, anything that makes your hair stick up or flatten out in the wrong places.) It has nothing to do with having a bad day; though I suppose it could be a contributing factor.

    February 22, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/KarenSpark5

    Really? Where are you from?

    Here in England, a bad hair day is a day when you can't make your hair do what you want it to. It certainly wouldn't be used to describe someone who looks like they are going to impart bad news, which is what I think this French sentence means.

    February 22, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/parthis7102

    does not make any sense

    November 16, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Nige788085

    They had their aule sour faces on

    November 24, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Nige788085

    Maybe they're rock fans of BAD NEWS

    November 24, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Piotr917266

    This sentence is not good for a "Write this in English/French" exercise.

    December 12, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/KJC367

    Not only is this not a useful translation into English, this was part of the clothing section. This has been commented on for 8 months and no movement by DL to fix it. Without a meaningful English translation, this is a pointless exercise.

    December 25, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/LindaMundy1

    "They have on their bad news faces" should be acceptable. One must not end a sentence with "on" at all.

    January 1, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/judith57957

    i said "They have on their bad news faces," out of respect for the tradition in English of not ending a sentence with a preposition unless absolutely necessary to the sense. I reported that my answer should have been accepted--and it should have, leaving aside the fact that it is not a phrase any native English speaker would ever use, let alone understand. "They look like they are having a bad day." is more idiomatically English.

    January 5, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl

    At one time, schoolchildren were taught that a sentence should never end with a preposition. However, this is a rule from Latin grammar that was applied to English. While many aspects of Latin have made their way into the English language, this particular grammar rule is not suited for modern English usage.

    There are times when trying to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition creates unnecessary and awkward phrasing. For example, Winston Churchill once allegedly exclaimed, "That is the sort of thing up with which I will not put!" to mock someone who criticised him for ending a sentence with a preposition.

    Since the purpose of writing is to clearly communicate your thoughts and ideas, it's perfectly acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition if the alternative would create confusion or sound unnatural.

    Personally, I think the given translation ending in a preposition sounds more natural.

    (As an aside, it should be noted this rule of grammar still applies to Italian - eg "He's very easy to talk to"→ "E' facile parlare con lui." )

    January 5, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/ArtShoe

    They have their bad-news faces on.

    To have something on: The word on in this phrase is not a preposition, but an adjective. The old argument about the appropriateness of ending a sentence with a preposition is completely out of scope here.

    In English there are many words that look the same but are different parts of speech.

    The TV is on the shelf. (preposition)

    The TV is on. (adjective)

    The TV program is coming on. (adverb)

    I am going up the stairs. (preposition)

    I am going up. (adverb)

    I am up. (adjective)

    In general, a preposition comes with an object. Two examples of ending a sentence with a preposition:

    What are you looking at? (The object is what)

    "At" was the preposition I ended the sentence with. (The object is the preposition)

    January 23, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/judith57957

    I know about the Churchill chestnut, and I referred to the "tradition"of not ending with a proposition. As an 83 year old former English professor, I do not need a grammar lesson. my essential point was that the whole sentence in its English translation was essentially meaningless. I ask again, are there no native English speakers among the moderators, or is this essentially a program designed for and by the French to teach English, rather than French to the English.

    January 5, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl

    There are several native English speakers among the moderators. This does not alter the fact that it is perfectly fine to end an English sentence with a preposition.

    January 6, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/KarenSpark5

    Judith wasn't suggesting that it is unacceptable to end a sentence with a preposition, she was suggesting that, as it is also acceptable to move the preposition so that it isn't at the end, the alternative should also be accepted as correct.

    January 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Shirlgirl007

    Hi Judith, so I was thinking of the recent automotive plant shutdown in Canada, and I think there were also some in the US. So I can easily imagine the management calling the workers in for a meeting, and when the managers come to the stage, or front of the room, someone might be overhead to remark, yikes, this is not going to be good, they have their bad news faces on. But I also agree that your sentence should be accepted as well.

    January 6, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/judith57957

    Thanks Shirgirl,

    Sometimes the condescending attitude toward English and English speakers on Duolingo riles me so much I want to quit. I keep going for two reasons. (1. I am a bit obsessive-compulsive ands (2. Duolingo, in spite of the danger to my heart and blood pressure, actually works. I watch a lot of French-Language movies on Netflix (with English subtitles of course) but find I am understanding more and more of the French. But I still think that insisting on our translating what are clearly idioms literally is stupid. and being marked wrong simply for tucking a preposition inside a sentence instead of ending with it was patently unjust.

    January 6, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Rachelakeola

    'They have on their bad news faces' wasn't accepted 2019-01-08

    January 8, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/KarenSpark5

    I have heard similar sentences with 'He has his --- face on' but never with bad-news in there. Perhaps sentences like these should only be put in the idioms section. At least there you would be expecting a less-than-literal translation.

    January 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/KarenSpark5

    Why is this 'des', not 'de'? I thought that 'des' changed to 'de' when the noun is preceded by an adjective.

    January 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Chris49077

    Come on DL get yourself some native English speaking translators - this translation is total rubbish in English.

    January 31, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/judith57957

    this translation is just plain stupid. I can't figure out why it's been allowed to keep going for 18months!

    January 31, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Grant632872

    Flawed question

    February 16, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Jim606185

    I thought so too, but I was so busy telling people about how funny it was, that I remembered the French expression.

    February 16, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/dndicicco

    This is the first time I've lol'd

    February 21, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/KarenSpark5

    Everyone on here seems to think that this meant 'they look like they are having a bad day'. I assumed it either meant 'they look like they are about to impart bad news' or 'they look like they just heard bad news'. Unfortunately, the question itself has been marked down, which means the moderators can't see the discussion so they can't clarify which it is.

    February 22, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/No1-tillygirl.

    What a ridiculous sentence, especially at this level of the course!!

    February 24, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/TheDalekCaan

    I actually got it right on this one, but I had to google my answer before clicking "check".

    I couldn't for the life of me understand this sentence.

    February 24, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/WilliamLangland

    This answer does not make sense in (British) English

    March 2, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/sallinger

    I love that I've basically had to memorize a nonsense English phrase in order to pass this lesson. If any French-speaking person ever says this to me in English, I'll know they use Duolingo!

    March 5, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/SeanFogart4

    "They have bad news on their faces." This was marked wrong, and while not ideal, at least English. Their English translation sounds like a sloppily Americanized short form of, "They have bad news written all over their faces." See the well-established idiom: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/written-all-over-sb-s-face . . .

    March 14, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Christophe596074

    This is a horrible idiom that does not exist anywhere that I have heard English - even following Duo's hints resulted in a refusal...

    April 12, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/WiskyRock

    Pathetic, and notice they shove it in at the end of the lesson so everyone can get it wrong and lose the combo bonus.

    May 17, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/Shirlgirl007

    What is a combo bonus?

    May 17, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/RustyMaypole

    Bonus points you get for a run of right answers in a lesson, with a maximum of five points. If you get them all right you get five. If you get the last question wrong, any streak you've achieved earlier in the lesson does not count.

    May 18, 2019
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