"On peut l'apercevoir à travers le rideau."

Translation:We can catch a glimpse of it through the curtain.

June 24, 2020

16 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

An inconsistent use of 'see' and 'catch a glimpse' in this lesson ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/--Roody--

I don't think DL has done a very good job of teaching this vocabulary word, apercevoir. It doesn't mean the same as voir even though Duo sometimes translates it as "see" or " can see".

The best short definition of apercevoir is "voir de façon soudaine ou limitée." There is no English verb with that definition. (French seems to have two or three!)

"Catch a glimpse of" makes sense in some contexts. "Can see" is a very poor translation IMO. In real life, I would translate with an adverb like "can barely see", " see briefly " or "suddenly saw".

I do feel sorry for Duolingo's creators. I'm not sure it's humanly (or technologically) possible to use this word seamlessly within the context of a language learning platform.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allene531283

so far as I can tell, the "catch a" is superfluous, and the sentence is just as correct as "we can glimpse it"


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

In this particular sentence most people would not say glimpse it through the curtain. They would say it like Duo does.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardSus4

why it l' only translates as "it" why not him or her--no context to make that call one way or another


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MandyB11

As far as I can tell, any of the three should be fine but perhaps they're defaulting to "it" when the gender is not known? Sort of like "they" has become the default for unknown gender for a person even in the singular? Just a guess though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/caf22

The expression may use the singular 'le rideau' in French but in (British) English you would need to translate this as 'through the curtains' to make sense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MandyB11

Not necessarily, you can have windows with one curtain if it's small. (I have 2 like that!)

I write down new vocab, and according to Collins, apercevoir is "to see", whereas entrevoir is "to catch a glimpse of". Francophones, can we have an adjudication please? ;)


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

Absolutely no offense intended, but we don't all use Collins as a reference. Americans use Merriam Webster.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martyn413385

Beware of sweeping generalisations! But what does Mirriam say, then? Roody gave a pretty good explanation of the nuances areound "apercevoir" at the top of this discussion :-)


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

Probably nothing at all since it is an American dictionary. All I'm trying to point out is that since there are significant differences between the two ways to speak the same language it is inappropriate to use either Collins or Webster used as the absolute authority.


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

Why isn't it « par » ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom692084

"We can glimpse it" can completely replace "we can catch a glimpse of it". The verbial phrase "catch a glimpse of" is interchangeable with the verb "to glimpse". Furthermore, in this case, the verb "see" fits better. "We can see it" or "we can perceive it" should be accepted.


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

Why not glance instead of glimpse


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vic3141

Is this really wrong?
You can catch a glimpse of it through the curtains


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martyn413385

If the curtain(s) is doing it's job then you shouldn't he able to see anything "through" it/them. However you may well catch a glimpse through the gap in/between the curtains - which is much more likely what would be said in English.

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