Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"Les enfants sont nombreux."

Translation:The children are numerous.

5 years ago

74 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Vvincento

We definitely do not say 'the children are many' in English. There are many children should be accepted as a translation

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anita.brito

I answered "There are many children", but my answer wasn't accepted :( I would never say "The children are numerous"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
Mod
  • 25
  • 1377

"The children are many" is a bit poetic. "There are many children" is accepted, although that would be more along the line of "il y a de nombreux enfants". If you pause and think about it, you will recognize (or recognise) that the meanings of the two sentences are a bit different. So be careful to examine what the meaning is first and then make your translation based on that meaning, not a common expression you may be used to.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MicheleMiFi

n6zs.... recognize avec, Z. C'est parfait! Thanks for your valuable contributions.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dunk999
dunk999
  • 22
  • 19
  • 15
  • 14
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I like "the children are many" personally. It sounds like something a teacher would say when confronted with a larger than expected class and is then recounting the experience to his/her colleagues. "The children are many... and we are few."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaPeterJames

I think Duolingo's main objective is to teach us french and not to appeal to our English speaking correctiveness.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StephenDunscombe

There's the classic English example from the gospel of Mark - "'My name is Legion,' he replied, 'for we are many.'"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/beemerich

if I ever heard someone use the phase "the children are many" I would have to assume they weren't a native English speaker. Nothing at all wrong with that (i.e. not being a native speaker - heck, that's what I entend to be in France), but it does make it hard to second guess what I actually have to write down to get it "right"!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bonnie.sjoberg

I also got caught on this. I guess the meaning is "The children are numerous." Although correct, not something a native speaker would say.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/damr12

I am not sure that it would be correct. "The children are numerous" does not make sense.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bonnie.sjoberg

It may not make sense to your ear, but that is because it isn't used in everyday English. Probably no one is the 20th or 21st centuries would say or write a sentence in that way. That said, it is grammatically correct. Check out google at https://www.google.ca/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant=1=2=UTF-8#q=numerous

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jeankells

Unfortunately 2nd guessing D is part of the learning process. It is a computer after all.. I wrote "the children are numerous" in that vein fully expecting to be told the 'correct' answer is the more general "children are numerous". Both are correct depending on context But that is an old gripe I have about D. There are usually several different correct answers when translating French into English.

Another big gripe I have with D is that it doesn't seem to take account of current spoken French, eg, using inversion to ask a question is now seldom heard. Direct statements with voice inflection being more normal, or if polite, using que, est-ce and qu'est-ce.... to introduce a Q.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

Though it uses a robotic voice for its audio, Duolingo is not a computer. The answers must be accepted and the sentences created by humans.

There are almost always several translations for any given sentence into another language due to the existence of synonyms and multiple meanings of words or different possible ways to structure a sentence.

Your other gripe about Duolingo not taking into account current spoken French is first of all false, and secondly silly, being that one of Duolingo's primary purposes is to translate documents and instruct people so that they can be translated. If the documents are all going to have the inversion form, it is highly appropriate for the site to use that form in its sentences more commonly than the others.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jeankells

Only an idiot would think I meant Duolingo when I said it was a computer. I was of course referring to the "robotic voice".

And silly me for being 'false?' (incorrect English!) YOU may be doing Duolingo to translate documents, and it may be wanting us to translate documents. Me, I am doing Duolingo to learn how to speak French better.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

Tsk, tsk, no need to be so rude. My point is that regardless of what you use Duolingo for, one of its primary purposes is to produce translations of webpages/documents. Thus, it is to be expected that it teaches less colloquial speech/writing in many instances. Rather than complaining about it fulfilling its purpose, you may find that another site suits you better.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jeankells

Well my, my, my, you are a joker. You don't even know when you are being rude. Does "silly" and "false" (wrong english!) ring a bell? And you write: "Thus, it is to be expected that it teaches less colloquial speech/writing in many instances. "

If that is true Duolingo should stop promoting itself as an all round language site. It was what drew to it in the beginning. And yes I have found a site more apt for my needs.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/liquidki

When in doubt, the more literal translation seems to be the safer bet.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lemoeg

Sorry, all, but "the children are many" is perfectly correct and acceptable in English (I am a native speaker from a long line of native speakers). Uncommon, yes, but not unheard of and not wrong. I think it's quite an eloquent phrase, actually.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/natanta

I would understand what someone meant if they said "the children are many", but it sounds stilted or at best poetic. "there are many children" is a much more natural way to describe the same situation in english.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lemoeg

That's fine-- I think sounds eloquent, you think it sounds stilted. Let's agree to disagree on that. What I don't understand is why people are upset that Duolingo would consider "the children are many" correct, because it is absolutely correct.

I still agree with Duolingo, however that "there are many children" is not a correct translation of "les enfants sont nombreux." There is a different construction for that in French ("il y a..."), just as in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/natanta

I guess the question is whether the difference between "il y a.." and "les enfants sont nombreux" in French is similar to the difference between "there are many children' and "the children are many". That is, does the french "les enfant sont nombreux" carry the same sort of poetic connotation as "the children are many" does in english?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

I've heard "nous sommes nombreux aujourd'hui" from my francisation teacher several times (the number of students fluctuates since we don't all share the same class times together), so the sentence structure itself isn't odd. I haven't heard it used in any other context, however.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lemoeg

Good question. I guess we'd have to defer to a native French speaker on that. Would we agree that "the children are numerous" is a little better for colloquial usage than "the children are many?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vorcooper
Vorcooper
  • 25
  • 11
  • 7
  • 2

Nope, I'd say they're both very wide of the mark for normal, spoken English. Poetic phrasing is all very well, and it's fine if Duolingo accepts those as alternates, but if people are studying here to learn to speak in a natural way, then 'There are many children' is the way to go.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/metastaseis

I think this is the crucial question. I suspect that the answer is no, because it's clear that expressions of the type "X sont nombreux" are much more common in French than they are in English. I can't say for sure, though.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pythonenfrancais

I agree with you, lemoeg. I'm also a native English speaker and I've used phrases like this before, although less often than phrases like "there are many children." I tend to say things like "the answers are numerous" (I doubt I'd use this construction to talk about children) to refer to something where there is no specific number to assign and possibly an ever-increasing value.

I will admit, I tend to use several phrases which, although grammatically correct, tend to make my peers think I'm from some long-forgotten generation. Just because it's not regularly heard of, doesn't make it wrong. And just because it is regularly heard, doesn't mean it's been accepted as officially correct (yet. Languages are alive and therefore change.)

The most common English example I can think of right now is sentences that end in the word "to." "Who do I send the letter to?" while often heard, is "more correct" when phrased as "To whom do I send the letter?" One does sound a little old-timey, but is 100% correct, where as the other is only correct depending on to whom you are talking. ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

Exactly. You can find numerous examples in published writing, if you look, and I imagine most people would read it and not think twice.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uniqueidentity

The children are without number. Their black eyes glisten with unfathomable secrets. Their tongues are swollen with unearthly hungers. They are listening to rap music and making out in cars. They are legion.

And they are coming.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johnmarkos
johnmarkosPlus
  • 23
  • 16
  • 12
  • 3
  • 3
  • 457

I started out writing, "The children are many," which might have been idiomatic in the 19th century, but is certainly not idiomatic today. Instead, I wrote, "There are many children," because that's what a person would write these days.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bonnie.sjoberg

Did Duo accept this?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johnmarkos
johnmarkosPlus
  • 23
  • 16
  • 12
  • 3
  • 3
  • 457

Nope, but I reported it.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lemoeg

You would need the "il y a" construction to mean "there are..." So your translation was indeed wrong.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tomward0

Its really not wrong. While your extended discussion of the differences between "there are" constructions and adjectival constructions in English is correct, the issue is not with English alone, but with translating from French into English. The fact is, in French, "les enfants sont nombreux" and many other such phrases do indeed mean exactly what we in English would mean if we were to say "there are many children." The issue is not what would it mean if we translated the French phrase word-for-word into English, but what does the phrase mean in the mind of a French speaker. As an illustration, my standard English-to-French dictionary (Oxford Hachette), when giving the French equivalent of the English phrase "there were too many of them," lists only "ils etaient trop nombreux."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LindyKMH

I answered there are a lot of children - exactly what an English speaker would say - we would only use 'numerous' to express 'there are numerous opportunities/options' and suchlike…….

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vorcooper
Vorcooper
  • 25
  • 11
  • 7
  • 2

Is it still not accepting 'There are a lot of children'? You'll see from this lengthy discussion thread that we've been telling Duolingo their answer is bad English for months now......

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PhilM2
PhilM2
  • 24
  • 7
  • 2

But "There are a lot of children" or "There are many children" are not accurate translations. Dyolingo is combining phrases - in this case "the children" and "are many" to see if you're paying attention and can modify your adjectives to suit your nouns. It's not a tourist phrase book, not is it asking for an artistic interpretation - its simply asking you to translate this sentence. Think of it as "the children are legion" and channel your inner Milton.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

I'm not sure it should. It's closer to the French «Il y a beaucoup d'enfants.» Yes, when expressing this concept, English speakers are more likely to say "There are a lot of children" but perhaps the French are more likely to say «Il y a beaucoup d'enfants.» If this is just as odd a way to say it in French, then I think there's nothing surprising about an odd English translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffsville_Jets

I'm pretty sure 75% got this one wrong. "The children are many" is very awkward.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aknoror

I agree with the comments below that in English it is more appropriate to say "There are many children" instead of translating literally.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

But is that the right criteria? One of the best ways to determine if a translation is acceptable here is to ask "Does it back-translate?" "There are many children," it seems to me, back-translates to «Il y a beaucoup d'enfants», not our sentence. That suggests to me that it shouldn't be accepted. After all, this might be an odd way to put the notion in French too, which makes translating it with stilted English perfectly appropriate.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

The problem with that is something like "Nous sommes nombreux" translates into "There are a lot of us," so this particular French construction doesn't usually translate literally. Usage as well as meaning must be taken into account.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KibsWilkie

I put 'There are many children.' And it was accepted. Trust me I am learning French so I can understand the French meaning behind the words however I work with children everyday and I have never said 'the children are numerous' in English. I'm far more likely to say 'There are so many children here ' or 'Quite a lot of children are here' or even 'We are outnumbered by children' Knowing I can acceptably say 'les enfants sont nombreux' in French meaning 'the children are numerous' is great. However whenever it comes to translating French to English I prefer to type sentences that actually ring true to my ears and I feel Duolingo should be able to understand that need.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RKSMT
RKSMT
  • 20
  • 13
  • 8
  • 3

I got this french sentence and needed to choose between three english trnaslations. Previously when given "enfants" for a similar sentence, choices "children" and "boys' was excepted, in fact I got it wrong for not putting "boys". Now I choose boys along with children and get it marked wrong?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/n6zs
n6zs
Mod
  • 25
  • 1377

Les enfants = children. Les garçons = boys. If Duo had accepted "boys" for "enfants" previously, it was wrong and it has been corrected.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JungleQueen22

They should also accept "There are numerous children" since that's how we would say it in English. Although I guess what they are going for is a translation showing that we know exactly what each word means (or, word-for-word).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mimawbaubo
mimawbaubo
  • 14
  • 12
  • 11
  • 6
  • 2

I would say 'The children are numerous' would be the best translation. While it sounds a bit stuffy it is far better than 'The children are many' (which, regardless of what anyone says, or the fact that yes it is technically proper grammar, just sounds ridiculous) As others have said, the issue in that lies with the fact that «Il y a» is the French term for "There is" and it's (I imagine) a distinction they want to make sure we understand.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaBaerwald

Would "Ces sont nombreux enfants" be acceptable? Or would it be kind of unlikely in France?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

That would be "these/those are numerous children" which would mean something different, and would be about as common in French as it is in English. The sentence given us describes the quantity of children whereas "ce sont nombreux enfants" is describing what "these/those" are.

Also don't forget that it is "ce sont" rather than "ces sont."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VievekeHef

again a case of trying to fit english into french. in english it is not a normal expression. there are a lot of/ many children is common expression

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Georges91963

Technically correct, but awkward, in English.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BKDarling

Perhaps this question is address below. How is "Il y'a beaucoup d'enfants" different from "Les enfants sont nombreux"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angel296749

"The children are numerous" or "there are many children" should be the right answer

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kittentalk

I almost put ugly XD

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mike660094

Sounds like she chocked on the last word nombreux

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeaLord174

This is what i'm going to say when someone asks me how many children live at my house. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AleeMarieSalut
AleeMarieSalut
  • 16
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I actually thought it was "there are numerous children"... Is that wrong?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gracebreeden

I don't even know what numerous means

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SeanMeaneyPL
SeanMeaneyPL
  • 22
  • 22
  • 18
  • 17
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 107

I tried "The children are Legion" after a recent experience with grandchildren who were are noisy as hail on a tin roof. Wasn't accepted. Pity.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Agostini350

I agree

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamara72996

Suddenly dueling will only accept "kid" for "enfant"!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EdmundAcqu

I said "The children are a lot". That sounds like something a casual speaker would say. I don't think anyone would say that in a conversation. My mother who's a teacher has never said that, and she deals with "A LOT" of children.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CM.7

These sentences are so unnatural drives me nuts

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/patrickfit10
patrickfit10
  • 25
  • 12
  • 10
  • 2
  • 21

Can't one say 'kids'?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dianna1808

This is NOT English. It's a direct translation but we'd never use it. 'There are a lot of children' would do, but then surely that would be 'Il y a beaucoup d'enfants'?

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carenb25

To digress from the foregoing, what is wrong with the children are large?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vorcooper
Vorcooper
  • 25
  • 11
  • 7
  • 2

Nombreux just doesn't mean 'large' - it means numerous, many, lots of..... I guess you could say 'there are a large number of children', but that doesn't mean that the children are all fat, or tall, or whatever.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JakeStokotelny

stupid

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/thecatpetter

I've never seen or heard "nombreux" in my life (at least I don't think so) and it showed up in an audio question! I wasn't even doing a new lesson. I was just reviewing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinV.
RobinV.
  • 24
  • 22
  • 13
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2

Often there are more sentences available than one uses to get through a lesson. Doing the "Strengthen Skills" exercise can bring up previously skipped words or phrases.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jwymer
jwymer
  • 15
  • 9
  • 2

The word 'infant' is used commonly im english and should therefore be accepted here.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew48

"Infant" is English for "baby", whereas "enfant" is French for "child". Not the same thing, although they are etymologically related.

3 years ago