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  5. "Nous disions ?"

"Nous disions ?"

Translation:We were saying?

March 23, 2013



What should I be listening for to distinguish between "Nous disons" and "nous disions"? I certainly missed it here.


"Disons" = deezohn; "disions" = deezyohn If you go to Google Translate, you can put each word in the box and hit the Listen icon and it will say it for you.

Update June2020: Some of the links in the discussion below are out of date.
Ivona is now found here:
Acapela is still there, but now includes a rather annoying background jangle of sound that, I presume, is there as a kind of watermark.
Forvo is now my preferred go-to:
And for those wanting to know how to access the Google version, you can just type [translate "nous disions"] into Google and it will come up. BTW do notice that the actual translation is wrong. But the audio is good. Ha.


Thx. You definitely can hear the difference on Google Translate. On Duo, not so much. In fact, not at all (to my untrained ear)


Trained ear or not the pronunciation is plain wrong. The IPA /j/ sound is entirely missing. Reported. FWIW. The text to speech engine is the weakest link in Duo. They should allow you to use the Google one (That one is not perfect but much better than the current TTS used by Duo). Aug 2014.


Actually, I do hear the /j/ in this one, although I grant that it's fleeting. You will find it's often the same when you hear real people talk.

Reporting is worth doing. I've had many email messages from Duo, saying that something I reported has been fixed. And I've had things accepted by Duo that I know, from reading the comments, were once rejected. That said, when it comes to the audio examples, I'm told that changing them is difficult and expensive, so there will likely be a delay.

As for "allowing" other sources, there is nothing preventing you from using the Google one, or http://www.forvo.com/languages/fr/ or, my favourite, http://www.acapela-group.com/


OK, I reported it, from you comments, it confirms that it is not really possible to "fix" the pronunciation of an individual word, but rather the TTS engine might need to be upgraded. (Compare the many times that someone indicates that "I will add/fix that translation" vs. anyone indicating a pronunciation would be fixed).

acapla-group.com seems good, but for TTS I like Ivona better: http://www.ivona.com/, hear a few sentences and see which one you like better.

With the ivona app, you do not need to be connected to the Internet to hear the speech in your phone/tablet: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ivona.tts&hl=en (Google translate can do that too, but Ivona usually works better). acapla app can do that too but if you purchase the app (The acapela app demo requires connection to their server)

What I meant about "allowing" other TTS engines, it that, the Duo app should have some setting that would let you choose a TTS engine already in your phone/table, instead of forcing Duo's own.


Thanks for that link to Ivona - that looks quite good.


How do you use the Google one for the 'Type what you hear' questions?


DL's RoboGirl is definitely a poor role model.


Why is "Were we saying" incorrect?


"Were we saying?" doesn't make sense in English. We might ask "Were we speaking?" or "Were we talking?", but not "Were we saying?" The sentence is incomplete. "Were we saying that?" is ok.

"We were saying?" is a colloquial shortening of "What were we saying?" (e.g., after an interruption)


Good to know, so far I have understood that an English question cannot start with the subject noun. Thank you.


Thanks for clarifying! :)


I have the same question. "We were saying?" is just a colloquial term of the question. I don't see why "Were we saying?" should be wrong. Had reported already but haven't got a reply.


I repeat: "Were we saying?" is not an English sentence. People would honestly not know what you meant to convey.


This was a long time ago......but thank you anyway, madam!


Yeah, DL only tells you if a comment is quite recent, like within hours. After that, it's impossible to tell. Cheers.


True - it doesn't work in English! However, the question mark implies that 'we were' becomes 'were we?' in English. I think we're getting used to Duo's nonsensical sentences in the hope that the discussion they trigger will act as an aide mémoire.


It isn't a nonsensical sentence at all. "We were saying?" would be perfectly understood by English natives. However, I can see where it would be confusing to second-(or more) language English speakers since the question mark does usually change the order of the sentence in English.


I have to say the pronunciation here is incredibly difficult to make out - I understood "nous lisons" even when i listened to it 5 times.


I agree with you, pronunciation might be improved


aha! now I understand why duo is "free", and even ad-less! We are providing free editing services for them!


We are bartering our knowledge for theirs.


Considering the extent of my knowledge compared with theirs, I'm getting a bargain.


That's the beauty of the arrangement - because there are so many of us, nobody has to have all the answers, just some, and then we can all share.


Shouldn't 'We spoke?' also be an acceptable translation? Or am I missing some linguistic nuance?


to speak is parler.


Still, we spoke would be the passé composé. Imperfect translates to English as, we were... .in this case, since its nous


nous disons?- the correct translation is -Were we saying? - I am fed with stupid varients they offer here..if the authors don't know english it's their problem...


Sounds like "disons" to me


Why not "we said?" The French phrase is in the imperfect tense, so why translate it in the perfect?


Is there a difference in French between "we said?" and "we were saying?".


Je ne compris pas pourquoi le mot "what" dans la réponse.


I didn't understand why "Were we saying" is wrong


Why were we saying is not accepted


The vocals on duo are SHIT


The English translation doesn't make any sense! If the question is about whether we were giving out information, you could ask "Were we telling?" Or you could ask "What were we saying?" But "we were saying?" all by itself is DL gibberish.


It is not gibberish. As explained waaayyyy up at the top of this discussion, it would be perfectly accepted, after an interruption, to turn back to a conversation with, "We were saying?" It is probably more common to use "you" as a prompt to whomever was last speaking, or to ask, "where were we" but it is not gibberish as written.


That probably depends on where you are, and maybe on generation. Here in Texas, I've heard you were saying? and where were we?, but never we were saying?.


my 'we were saying' was rejected. I have reported it.


What did Duo tell you was wrong with it? "We were saying?" is the translation at the top of the page today. Duo ignores punctuation and capitalization, so it seems likely you had a little typo somewhere.

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