1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  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.


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.

  • 1100

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


Ah, okay. That answers my uncertainty, then.


was thinking the same


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


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.


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!


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


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.)


it is "miroir" with one "r".


... and sees how beautiful he is


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


"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!


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'.


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


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


It is correct and accepted.

  • 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.


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!" :)


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


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


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...

  • 1100

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


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).


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


Too bad its he looks himself at the mirror


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.


Clearly vampires are common in DL land!


My ansqer was the same!


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


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

  • 1100

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


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


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

  • 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.


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

  • 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.


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


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


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


he looks himself himself in the mirror should also be correct

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.