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Children and Kids

Only in Duo French to English translation is the word "kids" not accepted for "children". DUO should fix. This works in Duo for at least: German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese. I can only assume some French kid grew up, went to work for Duo and is still acting like goat.

April 20, 2018



I may be mistaken, but if memory serves me right, I believe there is a specific word for "kids" that is not "les/des enfants." If I am correct, that would be why it does not apply or why no change to it has been made.


We have committed to teaching proper French and also some basics of spoken French, which is close to being a separate language.

We consider that if users learn proper French (grammar, syntax, vocabulary), then it will be easy for them to add more vocabulary, idioms and slang on top of the robust bases we will have taught them.

Indeed French has a number of colloquial words to refer to "kids": un gamin/une gamine, un/e môme, un/e mioche, un nain/une naine, un/e gosse, un marmot, un loupiot, un lardon, un gône, un mouflet/une mouflette...

When we wrote the Tree3, we added "un gamin, une gamine" which will translate to and from "kid".

Otherwise, "un/e enfant" is "a child" is "un/e enfant".

Finally, for consistency purposes, you will find other cases where the register of speech will have to be taken into account when you translate both ways. We expect users to master their parlance with a clear view of what is proper and what is not, what it standard French and what is spoken French, what you can say in public and what you should keep for casual situations.


timely: I had read Camus' L'etranger some time ago. (Took me a long time because I constantly had to refer to a dictionary.) Recently I became aware of Meursault, contre-enquête by Kamal Daoud, sort of an Arab answer to the stranger, published in 2013. Fascinating read. To read it more quickly I got an English translation--The Meursault Investigation, trans. by John Cullen, 2015--a few weeks ago and started reading it last week (in short spurts, mostly on the toilet.)

This morning I came across an instance of "the children" or "child" and it made me think immediately of this thread.

I searched and managed to find a free, downloadable, click-searchable version in pdf of Daoud's Mersault, contre-enquête here:


Looking over the original, I see that Cullen's book seems to be a somewhat faithful translation, at least as far as I can tell with my admittedly weak schoolboy French. Anyway, I found 16 instances of enfant (or enfants) in Daoud's original. I Compared each of these to the English version. In 14 of those instances, Child (or Children) is used as a translation. In one, the translator took some liberty and avoided the term altogether. And in exactly one instance, the author used the word kids. In that instance, the description is of hungry Algerian children, many of whom had lost their parents, just after independence from France. (mid 1960s?) They played games such as marbles .

"...et le lendemain, si l’un des enfants ne venait pas, cela voulait dire qu’il était mort – et on continuait de jouer."

Cullen's translation reads similarly, but uses "kids" here. So it would seem that he chose the word "kid" in this instance as a translation of "enfant" to convey a scruffiness, or a bleakness, in the population.

Just thought you might find that interesting.


Although there may be some crossover in certain situations, there is a difference in style between "children" (enfants) and "kids" (gamins, gosses), and I think Duo is right to keep the translations separate to make this difference clear.


Works in Dutch also and the beginning lessons in French (at least prior to the updated tree). A small thing for sure, but it irritates me also, particularly since there are so many repetitive sentences.

Another small thing I want corrected is the fill in the blank exercises where you need to write a noun in the target language and the answer is wrong (after crown update) because you didn't include the article (The). If it is necessary for a correct answer, it should be requested in the question.


I read elsewhere that this will be corrected for pictures. It's not always possible of course, because for "La France" you would have to write "The France"!

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