Translation:While searching for a virus, she designed a new treatment.
Does cherchant really mean 'searching for' here and not 'researching'? I ask because I know a chercheur is a researcher
Research would be recherche. But uh, I believe that's the context of this. Never heard of someone 'searching for a virus' in English. Could be an error.
If you have an unknown disease, researchers can search for a virus as a possible cause.
"conceived a new treatment" should be accepted.
"looking for a virus she has developed a new treatment" is not accepted. Why is the "while" indispensible? English native speakers please!
This section seems to translate "en" into "while", "by" and "in" at random, whereas all three would be considered acceptable English by native English speakers in almost every exercise in this section. Making us guess which of the three prepositions won the DL lottery for each of this section's many questions is a major turn-off.
The French gérondif has 3 main meanings:
- SIMULTANEITY: Je téléphone en mangeant
- CAUSE: Il a réussi en travaillant beaucoup
- CONDITION: En cherchant, tu trouveras la solution
Each of the above gerunds could be replaced with a subordinate clause with a more precise conjunction:
- Je téléphone en mangeant = Je téléphone pendant que je mange
- Il a réussi en travaillant beaucoup = Il a réussi parce qu'il a beaucoup travaillé
- En cherchant, tu trouveras la solution = Si tu cherches, tu trouveras la solution
As a consequence, the Best English translations will have to mirror these meanings and alternative constructions, and you'll have to analyse the link between the 2 events then pick which English word best fits the most probable meaning of the French sentence: while/whilst, by or in.
I believe the temporal "while/whilst" is the easiest and probably obvious in this very sentence.
Her finding happened while/whilst she was looking for something else.
So, sorry I think you've explained this and it's just not clear to me. How do you know which is which in the first three sentences? How do I know that it's "I telephone while I am eating" and not "I telephone because I am eating". Do I just parse it out because it doesn't make sense?
Precisely, "I telephone because I am eating" does not make sense.
In other sentences, the link between the two parts may not be that obvious, but then I think that "by" and "in" will be included in the acceptable translations.
Thank you, Sitesurf and Alex for your thoughtful commentary. The French word en bears remarkable similarity to the English words when, while, in and perhaps by. They can each be indicative of causality, condition and simultaneity, depending on circumstance. And in the above circumstance, we could infer causality ("By/in searching for a virus..."), simultaneity ("While/when searching for a virus...") and condition ("In/by searching for a virus..."). What is it about the above French sentence that limits it to a temporal interpretation -- viz.. when , while or whilst -- and not causal or conditional?
One reason I ask is because one of the hottest developments in cancer and AIDS research is the use of viruses to deliver drugs to hard-to-target and hard-to-reach places. So, major strides in brain cancer chemotherapy have occurred by discovering viruses that can act as chemotherapeutic carriers through the blood-brain barrier, something that has evaded most prior treatments. And some of the best antiviral drugs are viruses themselves. So what about the above sentence renders it incorrect in describing a causal or conditional medical research breakthrough?
It's more like en is a very complicated and diverse word that can potentially mean many different things depending on the context.
It's not random. If you click the lightbulb when clicking on the exercise it gives a detailed explanation of all the ways en is used in this context. This isn't really a very easy lesson, though.