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"Il faut qu'on tape le document."

Translation:We must type the document.

April 4, 2018

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaBiciEsMia

"It's necessary to type the document" not accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2206

It's only that it uses "il faut qu'on" using the generic "we". It can also be interpreted as a generic "you" or a generic "they". It a little more than "it's necessary", but that someone (in this case, most likely "we") are going to have to do it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnWood145534

Except, of course, that DL rejects the perfectly correct and more precise English translation of “One must type the document”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agonisti

Do the French prefer to use "il faut" over "tu dois" etc?

It just seems a bit odd to me to use an impersonal construction for a personal meaning so often.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2206

It's because "tu dois" means specifically "you" (personally). Using "il faut" is impersonal, meaning simply that it will be necessary for someone to do it. Using "on doit" uses what we might call the generic "we", the generic "you", the generic "they". It does not assign the task to you personally, but somebody is going to have to do it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agonisti

Thanks for replying!

Wouldn't it be better to render it ("on") as "someone", then?

DL really often gives us prompts with "we" in English, yet "we" almost always refers to, well, us in English, while DL expects us to use the English pronoun "we" as if it were the French "on", itself the source of the English passive/generic "one" - and "on" is practically never translated as "one" despite it being the closest match.

(And never as someone/somebody.)

I am also not quite sure I got what I was most curious about - about 95%+ of DL exercises dealing with obligation/must/having-to/etc. utilize "il faut", so does this mean the French just practically never 'accept' personal responsibility or just never speak in a manner accepting/imposing personal responsibility?

Ie. do DL's give a good picture of how French is spoken, or is DL just really obsessed about teaching us the "il faut que" formula (to the exclusion of actually used phrasing), even though it is not used anywhere near as often as one might think based on DL exercises?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_M_M_.
  • 1260

Spoken french uses "Il faut" a lot. Even if they're just talking about something they personally have to do.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/louisemathias0

What is wrong with "it is necessary to type the document"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sean.mullen

That statement is best translated as 'Il faut taper le document,' because it makes the sentiment as impersonal as possible. The inclusion of 'on' in 'Il faut qu'on' would typically be interpreted as the informal variant of 'nous', we.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeBrownst1

It rejected the passive "the document must be typed". Reported 7 May 2018.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2206

You have changed the sentence from an active verb to a passive one. It is not a reportable "error".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jwbards

I disagree. Passive voice is used fairly frequently in English and isn't favored in French (based on what I've read). A passive voice translation seems the most natural for this construct. Plus it's accepted in other places throughout this tree ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ken603286

Why not translate the sentence as it is written: "It is necessary that we type the document."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agonisti

If you want to be literal, "on" = "one" in English.

Additionally the literal translation ("it is necessary that one...") is pretty damn tortuous and very unnatural in English in pretty much all contexts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnWood145534

If it is a correct answer - which it is - it should be accepted by DL. Remember that we are learning French, not English, so all correct translations that show the French has been understood should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael698625

Why is Il not Ils?

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