"Ce qui se passe là-bas, c'est une vraie catastrophe."

Translation:What is happening over there, it's a real catastrophe.

June 27, 2020

15 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

At least half of the English translations in this new section really make me cringe. Did somebody use Babblefish or Google Translate to write these translations?


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

I'm British and it does not sound correct using "it's"; it should just say "is" without the comma. It just doesn't flow as is. It would be correct though if it started with "it's": "It's a real disaster what is happening over there".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hm437e
  • 1680

Sounds like somebody stammering through a description.


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

Duo, this is not how we speak in English. This translates to "What is happening over there is a real catastrophe".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poef9

Non native English speaker here, but doesn't the English translation only make grammatical sense if there had been a question mark after "over here". If so, that seems to mean something quite different from the French. Please correct me if I am wrong on any of these two counts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blueskies-4

It's not a question -- it's referring to the thing that's happening in order to describe it. The sentence would also work without the "it" : "What is happening over there is a real disaster." Hope that helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poef9

Thanks for your reply. "What is happening over there is a real disaster" makes eminent sense. It was basically the "it" that was worrying me as it seems to indicate a French construction that, for what it is worth, I feel is not common in English.


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

Since it's not common in English, all the more reason that Duo stresses it like this.

These default translations don't claim to be great English phrasing. Rather, they are used for future reverse translation exercises. When its time (Levels 4-5) to reverse translate, we'll be glad to have this helpful English sentence to help us get it right.

In the meantime, if you're able to come up with a better translation, report it in the lesson for consideration. You can help to improve the course for yourself and future users. This is supposed to be a community effort.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel589120

Possibly, but "a real disaster" is un vrai désastre!


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

Tbh, I'm more inclined to translate the word into "catastrophe"! It does actually translate as such, so I'm guessing that they chose "disaster" to emphasize that it has both meanings. Both are given in my dictionary. If we use only the blindingly obvious, I suppose we'll never think that there's an alternative word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blueskies-4

I agree that it's not very natural, but I think it does work grammatically.


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

Yeah, it works if you are an algorithm providing a robotic translation, not if you're a human.


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

Very poor English.


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

Yes and no. I think that in English we'd use contractions differently to emphasize our feelings (or rather, we wouldn't use contractions), but as it's written it can be a statement or a question. If you consider that "what" in this instance means "that which" (which is pretty much a straight translation), it becomes clearer that it's a statement.

That which is happening over there... It is a real disaster!

Of course we wouldn't say "that which", but tone of voice and emphasis will tell us subconsciously, as it were, that that is the meaning. Some people are more inclined to make statements than ask questions. ¯_(ツ)_/¯


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UlfPersson3

'that which is happening over there, that is a real catastrophe' was rejected. I have no idea why, at least it is not worse than that of Duo, in my opinion. Anyway in real life I would not express myself in that way. But we are not in real life. I reported it, I'll see what will happen (if I still remember it).

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