I realize it is talking about weather from the context and construction; but I am unsure if "It is beautiful" should be accepted or not, because it is vague, but it is exactly how i would express that.
Collins-Robert gives both nice and fine as translations of beau, so Duo should accept either. I'm with you, and would prefer fine. Probably because an old schoolteacher of mine abhorred "nice", calling it the devil's adjective, the ubiquitous space-filler to use when you can't think of an accurate word. "That's a nice pen, that's a nice book, that's a nice thing to say, that's a nice occasion, it's a nice day. What do you mean young man?. Find me ten more appropriate adjectives before the end of the day!"
Salut SeanMeaneyPL. Thanks for brightening up my day. Your old school teacher was a man after my own heart. His views on “the devil’s adjective” are absolutely spot-on! Basically, it’s a lazy alternative to an accurate adjective – and that is definitely not a trait that one should encourage in language teaching!
However, at least you only had to come up with ten appropriate alternative adjectives. My old English teacher would request my presence at the end of the school day when he would “introduce me to Wilberforce”, his size thirteen gym shoe with no tread left on it, that stung like an enraged hornet!
Have a lingot.
Salut SeanMeaneyPL. “Cruel and unusual”, you say? What about the one who beat us with a cricket bat, on which he chalked a large “X”, which transferred to one’s trousers on the first stroke, “So I’ve got something to aim at!”?
Or the one who used to line up entire classes, and beat every one of us on principle, “I’ve never punished a boy in my life – I’ve encouraged thousands!”
Or the one whose favourite implement was a steel map pointer – that certainly stung!
Or the three teachers who had all the dubious distinction of knocking boys out whilst they were beating them?
Don’t worry – it never affected me! LOL
Salut sylvia12664. It is, as you say, very disappointing. However, Duo’s owner has stated that the company is intending to launch an IPO next year. Therefore, all efforts will be on maximising user ‘churn’ to make the analytic metrics look their best for potential investors.
As for the content and quality of the courses…..
If one cared about the quality of translation, and about one’s students, and if one really, really, subscribed to the huge responsibility of language teaching, instead of just ‘gamifying’, then, perhaps, Duo would have a genuinely saleable product.
There is nothing wrong with your translation at all. The issue is often whether Duo has been programmed to accept the colloquialisms that apply in different English speaking parts of the world.
For example, as an Englishman (albeit living in France) it causes me physical pain when I have to write “airplane” instead of “aircraft”, or “visit with” instead of “visit”. One has to accept that this wonderful resource is created and maintained by people who speak one particular version of the English language. Sometimes they will accommodate usages from other Anglophone areas, sometimes not. It’s their call.
Relax, enjoy, make allowances, don’t let it frustrate you, and have a great day!
Hi xdXkwFvp. How Duo livens up our day ! The preferred answer of « It’s nice » makes a mockery of all those other phrases where Duo insists that you include the word « weather » or, more weirdly, « out » or « outside » - I mean, where else IS the weather ???
But – please don’t become equally proscriptive. « Good », and « fine » are equally valid and in common usage alongside the hated « nice ». Have a nice/ good/ fine day !
Hi Bedengo. Duo is often not consistent in what it accepts. Sometimes this is because it is trying to teach a particular point of grammar. Sometimes it is because a particular word is needed to make the ‘reverse tree’ translations work. Sometimes, it is simply because moderators have not got the time or manpower to visit every phrase and validate every correct option. But don’t let it spoil your enjoyment of what is still a fabulous and free resource. Bon weekend !
I have spent a merry few minutes trying to find an English expression which the computer will accept and which I as a native speaker would use. when it wouldn't accept 'it is nice', which to me was inadequate but I thought the computer would like it , it was rejected! I give up.
Salut Mamor397. We can, and do, say “The weather is good”. In fact, we probably say “good” more frequently that “fine” or “nice”.
I think that, given the context of weather, then “good” should be an equally valid translation of “beau”.
Have you reported your answer? I suspect that it’s one of the thousands of perfectly good answers that STILL haven’t yet been added to this ‘tree’. Disappointing.
Salut keurata. There is the same issue through0ut this latest Duo French ‘tree’.
Rightly or wrongly, Duo apparently has a policy of promoting/ prioritising a particular rather ‘folksy’ version of US usage that, paradoxically, also causes a lot of protest amongst US users!
I have been unable to ascertain whether Duo’s US usage follows any ‘official’ or ‘generally accepted’ standards, (such as Garner), or if it is just ‘made up’ by those who compile the courses according to their personal preferences.
However, if one claims to be “The World’s Best”, then inclusivity, rather than regional parochialism, should surely be the guiding principle, n’est-ce pas?
Salut JimKeough. It is indeed – but Duo’s course compilers didn’t put in half enough effort to validate a whole range of alternative answers before this ‘tree’ was ‘rushed’ out!
Things are improving now, but there are so few moderators, and there are a huge number of issues to correct.
Salut Jeffrey04. One of our course moderators has wisely observed that what makes a language “foreign” is not necessarily it’s rules and it’s vocabulary – those are relatively easy to learn. The “foreignness” is the bits that don’t follow the rules – the bits that “just are”.
And this is a case in point. The French use the verb “faire” to describe weather, not “être”. It’s not entirely illogical – one might ask in English, “What’s the weather DOing out there?”, but not “What’s the weather BEing out there?”
Salut ChristineM727245. A ‘lovely’ thought from you, which deserves a lingot!
As one who hails from upper Wensleydale, I also deplore Duo’s refusal to accept universally acknowledged meteorological terms such as, “gradely”, “nobbut middlin’”, and, “I’m fair clemmed”.
Salut tremough. No, but, being an American resource, it is natural for Duo to consciously or unconsciously, prioritise U.S. usage, particularly if some course compilers are U.S. natives, or, if not, have learned their English from U.S. films and television, which is a remarkably prevalent means of entry into the English language for millions around the world.
Salut Erica509891. The word “out” is not in Duo’s ‘accepted translation – that is probably why it is not in the word list.
Also, unless one has a leaking roof, weather is always “out”, and so the word is superfluous anyway ;-)
That having been said, Duo’s ‘accepted’ translation of “it’s nice” is poor and misleading. If one ‘back-translated’ “it’s nice” into French, most on-line translators would, rightly, suggest, “C’est bon/ bien/ beau/ sympa etc.” because the phrase “It’s nice” has no context implying a reference to the weather.
Could do better, Duo!
Thanks for the great way you point out my mistakes, and usually offer a second chance to get things right in another context. I thought I'd get this one right, and did, by saying the weather is "nice", but in English we often find this word overused and might well describe the weather as fine, sunny, beautiful, or pleasant. I think these could be accepted as correct answers.
Salut Bob509804. Of course you’re correct. Many Anglophones cringe away from over-using the word “nice” as being linguistically lazy.
The problem arises from Duo’s utter unpredictability as to whether it insists on rigorous literal translation, or allows wide-ranging paraphraseology.
Unfortunately, enquiries seem to reveal that there is no linguistic discipline in Duo’s courses. Management apparently don’t give a hoot (note the Owl metaphor!), and course construction and language ‘usage’ is “up to the individual course compiler”.
Not what one would expect from a resource claiming to be “The World’s Best...”, is it?
Salut hansdg1. Unfortunately, your suggestion is a long way from the meaning of the original phrase, which is that the weather is “good”/ “fair”/ “nice” etc.
By introducing the concept of “feeling”, you change the entire phrase to the context of the subjective impression of a particular person, which is not the same thing at all!
Salut pitters01. IMHO, the basic issue with this phrase is that the English ‘accepted’ answer makes no reference to weather.
We all learn that the “il fait” French construction implies reference to weather, but if one re-translates “it is fine” back into French, there is no assumption of weather as a subject, and the result would simply be “c’est gentil/ beau”.
Therefore, Duo’s English ‘accepted’ answer is quite incorrect. It should read “THE WEATHER is fine/ nice”