"C'est aujourd'hui un hôtel."
Translation:This is a hotel today.
Maybe it means that the property used to be something else -- a large estate, a library, etc. -- and now (nowadays -- or "today") it has been turned into a hotel? It doesn't seem to translate well to English.
What's wrong with "This is today a hotel."?
You would be understood, but it sounds odd. Today, it is a hotel. It is a hotel today. See my reply to MitchQuinn above. French adverbs of time (e.g., aujourd'hui), usually go at the beginning or at the end of the sentence (as works well in English). However, I have very often seen them placed immediately after the verb (in French, not in English); it's common in French to do that. However, the same word order in English results in "This is today a hotel" which is quite odd in English. http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa060300.htm
You asked what is wrong with "This is today a hotel." I only said it sounds odd to me, not that it is wrong. Adverbs can be placed in many different positions in English depending on how you want to emphasize their impact. Some word orders flow (sound) better than others. The fact that people use a variety of word orders will not make some of them sound less odd to a native English speaker. Do you like "This is today a hotel" because you prefer the sound of it or is it because it keeps the same word order as the French or is it just, why not? Is English your first language?
[Edit: I have thought about this more and note that aujourd'hui could be translated as "now" (don't hold Duo to accepting that). In that example, you could easily translate the given sentence as:
- Now it is a hotel.
- It is a hotel now.
- It is now a hotel.
And all of those sound perfectly fine in English. So I can only say that using "today" seems (to me) to sound better with only the first two, but that all are certainly possible.]
This is today a hotel sounds like the speaker has English as a second language. It may be grammatically correct but is not how English speakers say it except possibly for some special effect.
However as an English speaker attempting to learn french - I remember how to say something in french better when I learn french thinking in the same word order as used in french. Im not focusing on the translations into English, but more on how to speak in French. So for this sentence I think of it as "this today is a hotel, knowing that English translation would be today this is a hotel.
I think it would need to have commas, "This is, today, a hotel," or "This is today, a hotel," and it would work, but it doesn't sound natural to me as an American English speaker. I could be totally wrong, though.
Input appreciated. I see nothing much off even without the commas though. Well, Duo is still to acquire the ability to allow all possible translations, so it's okay,
Why "Now it is a hotel" is incorrect? From what I know, "aujourd'hui" can be used to refer generally to the present, not only a specific day, or did I get it wrong?
Saving this sentence to add to my list, so someday i can babble incoherently on the streets of Paris, like a real French woman.
"Today it is an hotel" is rejected because Duo thinks it should be "a hotel." I think Duo should stick to correcting French.
Duo is right - "an hotel" is not correct English, "a hotel" is. Lots of "H" words in English use "an" rather than "a" because in those instances the H is silent (think an hour, an honest man etc.), but that is because in those instances the H is not pronounced. In English the H at the start of "hotel" is pronounced, so the correct article to use is "a".
What's wrong with "It's currently a Hotel" for me (non native english speaker) today sounds as if the place could become something else tomorrow
Both are acceptable (depends on region), but Duo is incorrectly rejecting "an hotel" at the moment. Report it.
I think 'a', in most cases, is used in front of words that have a pronounced 'h' such as a hotel, a habit, a haircut, a ham. One uses 'an' infront of words with unpronounced or silent 'h' such has an hour, an honour, an heir. NB that the letters following the silent 'h' are vowels, and that 'an' usually comes before any word beginning with a vowel. I know there exceptions such as an/a historic moment but I think that's the general rule.
"An hotel" and "a hotel" are both correct depending on whether the "h" is silent or not when spoken. "An honest man", "an heir" etc are examples of the use of "an" before an "h".
Out of curiosity, which English-speaking populations pronounce "hotel" with a silent H?
As I understand it, in this case il est would be required for the "it is" meaning because the noun is not modified with an adjective, leaving only "this is" or "that is" as translation options. If it were to say something like "C'est aujourd'hui un grand hôtel" then it could be translated either way.
Still around, Doubleschnell? The sense of what is a "modified noun" is broader than just modifying it with an adjective. Because "un hôtel" is a modified noun, it is modified by the word "un". So that will always use "c'est", not "il est".
framericaine128 has given a good explanation above. And in that context, "It is a hotel today" makes perfect sense to me (Duo accepts that answer). In order to produce a good translation, one must first clearly understand the meaning of the entire French sentence BEFORE translating it. This requires us to think in French with the meaning of the French words, the meaning of French expressions, and the correct understanding of sentence structure in FRENCH. Without understanding the meaning of the entire sentence, one can only guess about what to write in English...and that's a poor way to translate. Once you understand the meaning, determine how would you write it succinctly and sensibly in English. Try not to stray too far from what Duo can handle. After you have done that and are still not having any luck, engage other Duo users to help.
once we have understood the french translation and have picked our suitable english translation can we put it back into french without it sounding unnatural in french? I know we have to think in french for some things, not all things translate literally but I mean that I would say "today it's a hotel" i.e " aujourd'hui, c'est un hôtel" would this particular sentence in turn sound unnatural in french or is it structured in a particular way that this translation would be nonsensical?
Hi, Mitch! I'll clarify that by saying that we must understand clearly in the original language and then determine how to say that correctly in the target language. C'est aujourd'hui un hôtel is the French way, but in English it becomes, "Today, it is a hotel". One of the biggest pitfalls of translating is thinking that we are supposed to keep the same word order. Word order must accommodate accepted practices (including idioms) in the target language in order to be expressed smoothly. For example: C'est un homme grand does not become "He is a man great", but "He is a great man". As I said, first get the clear sense of what it means (think in the original language), then express it clearly and correctly in the target language without forcing the rules of one language (e.g., word order) into the target language. Each language has its own rules to be respected. When one has gotten very good at learning French, you won't need to translate it at all. You will simply understand it.