1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "Trois ans après le bac, j'ob…

"Trois ans après le bac, j'obtiendrai une licence."

Translation:Three years after the baccalaureate, I will get a bachelor's degree.

June 24, 2020



The English makes no sense. In English "baccalaureate" is another word for bachelor's degree. What it's saying is: "Three years after the bachelor's degree I will get a bachelor's degree."

In France a baccalaureate is what you receive from a lycée, more like a high school diploma. You can't use the French word baccalaureate to mean the same thing as the English word baccalaureate.


Baccalaureate is what kids sit as their final exams in French schools before going on to university - the equivalent of Highers/Advanced Highers (Scotland)/A Levels (rest of the UK). Some independent schools are now teaching the bac in the UK to give a broader education than the three or four A levels that most kids do. A Bachelor's degree is what most of us call a degree and is what you go on to do at university after leaving school.


I'd caution you not to use the term "final exams" to describe the bac. Well, in your country that might mean something different. In the US, the "final exam" has a specific meaning. Each course has its own final exam, which is different than the end-of-school exam that bac refers to.

I gather that they are trying to use the most generic term they can think of. Here in PA it is called the Keystone Exam. In addition to finishing the 12th grade (and all the final exams of all the courses leading up to that), a student must perform at a certain level on the Keystone Exam to receive a diploma in PA. In other states they call it other names. In other angophone regions (UK, Australia, etc.) they probably also call it other names. I think that rather than come up with a myriad of English names, they have just chosen to go with an anglicized version, baccalaureate, of the french name, baccalauréat, and will only accept that. It's fair enough, except that it is a bit confusing since in the US the word baccalaureate puts us in mind of the university degree. (The words bachelor degree and baccalaureate are, more or less, synonymous in the US.)


Thanks, Sally, that's very helpful.


But that's like referring to a college entrance exam as "the college" and saying that after college, I will graduate from college. It's not a matter of what the French call it.

In English, I could say "three years after the college entrance exam, I will get a baccalaureate." But the answer they give is gibberish unless you are somewhere in the English speaking world it means a test.

I checked a couple of dictionaries and found that it's also used to refer to the baccalaureate address, meaning that three years after the graduation ceremony, a person will get a degree. But at least in American English, the English sentence given is absurd.


So, this is a French sentence, about education in France. And in France the bac/baccalurate is an exam you take at the end of high school. How would you translate that to American?


I agree! This mistranslation has caused me lots of wrong answers. Very confusing.


I agree. Correct translations of the French to English where I live and have studied (US, Canada) would include, Three years after finishing high school, I will obtain a Bachelor's Degree. Or, three years after a high school diploma, I will get a Bachelor's Degree. Duo, please fix this.


But if you say "high school diploma" Duo marks you wrong although this was previously accepted


In the UK a bachelor's degree (BA/BSc) is just called a degree. A masters degree (MA/MSc) is called a masters. So three years after the bac/baccalaureate i will get a degree would be the normal UK English translation and should be accepted.


The word baccalaureate, referring to the degree, has been part of the English language since the 1600s, well before the United States existed. It's what it's called in England, even if you aren't familiar with the term. I would imagine that many Americans aren't familiar with the term either, but that doesn't change the meaning.


Maybe, but that isn't the intended meaning of "bac" in the French sentence


Since the "something else went wrong" report doesn't let us specify the problem I will say it here - when I hovered over "licence" it just kept saying "licence". So I guessed a trade license of some kind after a three-year apprenticeship.


So do I understand this correctly: "une licence" means a bachelor's degree?


In this context, yes.


It's amazing how different the names of the levels of schooling are in other countries. A little head up about this in the Tips section would really help. Oh, wait. There is no Tips section for this lesson. Oh, Miss, could we please have a tip section? Thank you, Miss!


Since Duo is teaching French language and culture, it makes total sense to use "bac" with it's French meaning, even in English translation.

My understanding is that a French student can get a lycée certification (American diploma) without taking the bac courses and exams. This is mainly for preparation for vocational/technical careers.

The bac readies students for university or for certain professions.


What terms do the French use to describe getting the "le bac"? Would you say: I finished the bac, I got the bac, or I passed/failed the bac?


Leaving aside all the "bac" debate, it was interesting to learn for the first time that "licence" = bachelor's degree! https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/french-english/licence


Perhaps baccalaureate means degree in US. In UK, a lot of students do the IB - international baccalaureate at 18 at the end of High School - an alternative to A-levels. Anyway, this could be a French person talking about their studies!! Poor Duo, he gets a lot of stick -often undeservedly!


Kids can do an IB course here in the US also, but when they finish we say they graduated from high school with an IB certificate - which often gives them credits for some college courses at the freshman level so they can skip those introductory courses.


In Australia the IB is also popular, and nobody would think a baccalaureate was anything else but completing high school.


IB = International Baccalaureate


I agree it is often undeserved but clearly baccalaureate is a word that has distinct and disparate meanings in the English world. I translated it as "high school diploma" and was, sadly, rejected. I will report it.


I've always just put bac, I can't be bothered trying to figure out what they think it should mean lol.

It sounds like it's a mix of the SATs and a High School diploma in the US.


I think that's a healthy attitude, Alan. However, a lot of people study on Duo to prepare for a year of university in France. For them, this information is helpful.


This is too much! "shall obtain" is rejected in favour of"will get".


Sometimes Duo accepts short form- bac but not for this question. Why?


If any mods are looking, in the UK, "a degree", without further qualification, is taken to mean a bachelor's degree. Reported.




Why does it always say my mic is off and it is not. Cannot do the speaking exercises that is the only ones i want


If you are using a short abbreviated version in the phrase a translation with the abbreviated word form should be accepted


Is it only me who finds this chap's voice very annoying and difficult to understand?

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