"Julien est en train de parler."
Translation:Julien is speaking.
The French language lacks a present progressive for its verbs, and thus in the present tense, "il mange" can mean both, "He eats", and, "He is eating", when translated to its English equivalent. To emphasize on an ongoing/continuous state of the verb, the phrase "être en train de" can be helpful in expressing this tense. "Il est en train de manger" can thus be best translated into: He is (in the process of) eating.
How about "julien is about to speak?" If just "julien is speaking," why the 'en train'?
I thought en train de meant that one is in the middle of an action. I wrote, "Julien is in the middle of speaking" and it was not accepted. Is that because I am wrong in my understanding or is it just a translation that Duolingo hasn't recognized yet? Thanks.
Parles would go with the tu pronoun. Je parle. Tu parles, Il, Elle (or Julien) parle. Parler is the infinitive. They use the infinitive form because the conjugated verb in the sentence is "est" which is the conjugated form of etre.
Is there any nuance of meaning between "Julien parle" and Julien est en train de parler"?
Also interested, i found some examples here: http://context.reverso.net/traduction/francais-anglais/je+suis+en+train+de+parler
Based on that link, I would say that our sentence is missing some context, so we are right to assume that 'Julien parle' is also adequate. Duo is trying to teach us a new word/expression.
En train de... is used in the same way as we use present continous (which uses present verb +ing to describe a continuous action in the present).using "in the process of" is not only a direct translation but it also does not share the same meaning/context.