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  5. "Il se regarde dans le miroir…

"Il se regarde dans le miroir."

Translation:He looks at himself in the mirror.

March 23, 2013



honestly, if he looks in the mirror, chances are he's looking at himself, which is why i left that tidbit out


In this case it's not about "chance", it's about the fact that the French sentence includes the indirect object, therefore it must be translated so as not to lose meaning.

One of the big dilemmas in translation is where to interpret meaning (if a direct translation doesn't exist, if the direct translation is not something that would commonly be spoken in the new language, etc.) and when to use the direct translation. The general preference is to try and preserve as much meaning as possible and use direct translations wherever possible, and in this case, the direct translation is both grammatical (with regards to English grammar rules) and something that wouldn't be weird to say in English, therefore the indirect object should be included. The main reason why it's specified is because you can look at anything in the mirror that isn't necessarily you, such as if you see someone standing behind you in the mirror or you're looking at yourself but then suddenly you start looking at something that caught your attention in the mirror. It's not as odd as you might think.


i disagree. 'il se regarde' (accents where appropriate) does mean 'to look at oneself', but it would be the verb of choice for looking into a mirror, not 'regarder' (awa). and the only way to translate the english sentence, "he looked into the mirror and was shocked by what he saw." would be "il s'est regarde dans le miroir et a ete choque par ce qu'il a vu" (awa). "il a regarde dans le miroir..." (awa) would be incorrect. when you look in the mirror you are always looking at yourself; it's not an interpretation of meaning; that is the meaning. if you were looking at something else in the mirror, you wold have to specify that thing otherwise the statement is useless. if you look in a mirror and don't say that you see a ghost, you see yourself. the translation of 'se reveiller' (awa) doesn't include 'your/his/her/my/ ourselves' they just say 'to wake up'. the 'se' obviates the '...self'. this isn't about picking the best translation in duo. since there is never any context in duo's exercises, it is about acceptable translations. "he looks in the mirror" is grammatical by both english and french standards.

also, there are no grammar rules. they are only guidelines. if they were rules we would still be grunting like australopithecus did 2,000,000 years ago.


"Il se regarde dans le miroir" does mean "he looks at himself".

He could "regarder dans le mirroir" (look in the mirror) to see things or people behind him, and this is what you do in your car with your rear-view mirror.


you're right, of course. "se regarder" (accents where appropriate) always means to look at oneself. my point is that the it isn't always necessary or even appropriate to explicitly say/write 'at oneself' in english. it should certainly be used for emphasis. my example of '... a ete choque..." (awa) was to suggest that "at myself" in the english would be superfluous because of the emphatic nature of the second phrase of the sentence. i would argue that this verb, like most french reflexives, doesn't require 'my/your/his/her/theirselves. 'se reveiller', 'se preparer', 'se faire', 's'inquieter', (awa) in english seldom require '...self' to get the message across clearly. and for that reason shouldn't be required in duo's answers. unless you say you are looking (regarder awa) at some other thing, you are looking at yourself.

in the italian section there never seemed to be any one paying attention. it's good to have a moderator who is so available. thanks.


It's good you got the gist of the sentence but indirect pronouns shouldn't be ignored.

  • Il se regarde dans le miroir. = He looks at himself in the mirror.
  • Il les regarde dans le miroir. = He looks at them in the mirror.
  • Il te regarde dans le miroir. = He looks at you in the mirror.


Thank you. But what about sentences like 'Tu te réveilles...' and such? You don't say, 'You wake yourself up.'


These verbs are known as "reflexive" verbs because they require an indirect object which "reflects" the subject pronoun to work correctly. There are some verbs where they have both a reflexive and a regular form (where the reflexive form is when you're doing the action to yourself with no direct object and the regular form is where you're doing the action to the direct object), but I don't know if this is the case with « se réveiller ».

Basically, if the verb is reflexive it means that you don't add the indirect object to the English translation, but in the case of « regarder », since it's not reflexive, the indirect object gets included.


The reflexive pronoun in « se réveiller » is a direct object. The same applies to « se regarder ».

  • Il se réveille = He wakes himself up.
  • Il se regarde = He watches himself


Yeah, you're right. Really I was saying, "indirect object" to refer to the type of objective pronouns used like « se », « me », « te », etc., instead of what part of speech it actually is, so that was my fault.


FYI, "réveiller" has both forms : "Je réveille mes parents" / "Je me réveille"


Ah, okay. That answers my uncertainty, then.


yes, but he could be looking in the rear view mirror, looking in the mirror to see what someone else is doing, etc etc


why he doesn't see himself in the mirror?


"look at" and "see" are different, the first one is active and the second one is passive. you can look at something and can't see it and you can see something without looking at it.

In French regarder (watch/look at) and voir (see)


merci beaucoup!


... and sees how beautiful he is


Wouldn't "he watches himself in the mirror" work too? Like if he was a paranoid person.


Is "ils se regardent dans le mirroir" wrong here?


The plural is also correct.


Then it should be added as a correct answer. I got a heart ripped out for this! (Didn't make a remark yet, as I wasn't sure.)


You're supposed to be translating to English on this one.


Not the exercise I got - it was an audio, type what you hear. And I thought the same thing initially.


I just disabled the 'type what you hear' exercise until Duo's developers upload and fix our long list of homophones.


I tried it cause I thought I heard "regardent" but it was marked wrong.


it is "miroir" with one "r".


"It looks at itself in the mirror" is a totally cromulent translation, but marked wrong.


However, you did introduce a word to me, "cromulent," which I'd never heard of, so merci beaucoup pour ça!


But a person (the subject) is not politely referred to as "it," and we're not speaking of animals.


Is "He looks at him in the mirror" also possible?


he looks at him in the mirror = il le regarde dans le miroir (another man or masculine noun)


How would you say: "he looks in the mirror"? But not at himself, hes got the mirror angled perfectly to see across the room...


Same as English : you drop "himself". Il regarde dans le miroir.


Why can't I say, "he watches himself in the mirror", since "regarder" is supposed to mean "to look" or "to watch"?


I must have gotten a slightly different audio exercise, but what was marked as correct was: "Ils se regardent dans le miroir", which was translated by Duolingo as "He looks at himself in the mirror" instead of "They look at him in the mirror" - Any insights?


There are many homophones in the course, some of which have been granted a special filter for the "type what you hear" exercise. This probably is the case here where the original sentence was in the singular and the homophonous plural is accepted as well.

But in translation, the singular "il se regarde" (he watches himself) should not translate to the plural "they watch themselves" (ils se regardent).

"They look at him in the mirror" cannot be a translation for the plural version because it is the translation for "ils le regardent dans le miroir"


Thanks, I started understanding that a bit better as I progressed through, although all the homophones are frustrating...


Both of those sentences have the same audio, and Duolingo isn't coded well for audio exercises since there can only be one correct answer even though there can be more than one correct answer for French, so I'm assuming it was just using both of them at the same time without realizing it


So why isn't "it looks at itself in the mirror" correct?


Because without any context, the most likely is that we are talking about a person. Therefore he must be used.


It is correct and accepted.


"He looks in the mirror" should be accepted, as that is what you would usually say in English" The reflexive pronoun is usually understood rather than explicit in English, unless the context suggests otherwise.


They want you to focus more on French. The reflexive pronoun is present for a reason, to teach you how to use reflexive pronouns. You can argue that you can say "He looks in the mirror," omitting the reflexive, for eternity, but arguing for argument's sake doesn't result in learning when you resist being educated about new things because you prefer to say them one way. How limiting, like saying, "After 5th grade, that's it! I've learned enough and I'm done!" :)


I wrote "they" instead of "he". The translation was wrong.


That's an easy and understandable mistake to make which I've made, too.


Is it me or does the 'miroir' sound wrong? I would expect it to be 'mih-ruor' but not 'MiWhaa' as it sounds


"he looks in the mirror"is what we say, assuming he sees himself


This is one of the most annoying and boring lessons so far. Why can't I just write "he looks in the mirror". We get it, everybody knows it's "himself/myself/themselves/all elves".


You can look at a lot of things in a mirror, including everything that is behind you, especially in your car (le rétroviseur).


He doesn't have to be looking at himself in the mirror if all he did was look in the mirror. Your translation would be incomplete if you didn't include it.


This means he sees himself in the mirror. There is no other translation!!


Eventually, he sees himself in the mirror, but that is the result of the action of regarder dans/looking at the mirror (a voluntary action).

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