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"Il se regarde dans le miroir."

Translation:He looks at himself in the mirror.

March 23, 2013

64 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonathande61

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


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

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.


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

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.

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

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


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

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.


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

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

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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ghozu
  • 1100

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


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

Ah, okay. That answers my uncertainty, then.


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

was thinking the same


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marg856767

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


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

If he is an actor getting ready to go onstage in a play, he could be looking at himself, at a passing actor, at the person helping him put on makeup, or any number of possibilities.


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

why he doesn't see himself in the mirror?


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

"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)


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

merci beaucoup!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

So glad you made that clarification and distinction. Merci beaucoup!


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

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


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

The plural is also correct.


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

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.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jackie-dd

it is "miroir" with one "r".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laura876968

... and sees how beautiful he is


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

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CYHae24O

It brought to mind the Irish crom, meaning bent or crooked (as in Crom Cruach) so almost antonymish to what cromulent turns out to actually have been created as.
Or also maybe a portmanteau of crom and crapulent, which could perhaps have had the definition 'bent over due to excessive drinking'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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


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

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


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

It is correct and accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cjr37
  • 1394

"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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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!" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joef935670

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mammut0077

But you are only assuming it in that sentence, while the French sentence is precise with the reflexive pronoun, it's not assuming anything.


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

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


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

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


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ghozu
  • 1100

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


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

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


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

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?


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

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"


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

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


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

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


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

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".


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

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nikolina418680

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sylvia196828

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Teoman93606

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aelfric19

Too bad its he looks himself at the mirror


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CYHae24O

That would likely be "il regarde le miroir, lui même", and/or other word orders of that, which can have lui même in a different position.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardEke2

Clearly vampires are common in DL land!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanPenning3

My ansqer was the same!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marz378804

The voice sounds like he has marbles in his mouth unless you slow it down.


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

is there any difference between ils regardent and il regarde with sound?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ghozu
  • 1100

No. il regarde and ils regardent are pronounced exactly the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheDarkAng18

I'm wondering if "il se régarde " can mean that he is looking at him


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheDarkAng18

I was wondering if il se regarde means he is looking at him ( another person)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ghozu
  • 1100

No, il se regarde means he is looking at himself (and nobody else). He is looking at him (another person) translates to il le regarde.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sonia548688

Please review the sentences with "mirroir" . Another time it is spelled with one "r". Be consistent!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ghozu
  • 1100

miroir has one r and mirror has two. There might be mistakes but you should report it in the exercises where it's wrong, not where it's right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rickyricardo420

"He looks in the mirror" should actually be accepted. Who else would he be looking at? The "himself" is obviously implied


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

Not that obvious if he uses the mirror to see what's behind him.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/williamlaw375562

I think my response he is looking in the mirror should be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KARANGUPTA197217

he looks himself himself in the mirror should also be correct

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