I'm genuinely curious as to how these bad translations happen. I see them all the time, not just in French, and it's clearly worse when a new tree or new sections of a tree are introduced. Often I feel like I'm spending more time deciphering bad English that concentrating on the target language.
So, criticism aside (that's not my goal), I'm curious. Can you shed some light on how so many bad translations happen? Are they machine translations that humans eventually correct? Or are they human translations that were overlooked?
Some want to insist that literal translations into bad English are okay as long as you know what it really means. This merely creates an impediment to learning. Our goal is to translate correct and natural French into correct and natural English. This is challenging for some when idiomatic expression are used.
I made a mistake in emphasis here, I meant to stress whether to include "on" or not. The current thread is "Nous sommes jeudi" This thread exercise gives an answer of "It is Thursday", omitting "on". However an earlier exercise "Nous sommes mardi" the answer is "It is on Tuesday" . The inclusion or exclusion of "on" is been arbitrary in these exercises ..
You do realize that the comment about no longer finding the awkward English translation was posted over one year ago, right? The expression in French is indeed "Nous sommes jeudi". So don't worry, if you say that, you will not be embarrassed when speaking French. It is the faulty English, "we are on Thursday" that is not correct, despite the effort of a student attempting a literal translation.
The French use "on est" to mean "nous sommes" because 3rd person singular conjugations are easier.
Therefore "on est jeudi" and "nous sommes jeudi" are strictly interchangeable.
"C'est jeudi aujourd'hui" need aujourd'hui to mean that it is Thursday today.
By itself, "c'est jeudi" literally means "this thing will happen on Thursday".
In regard to the seasons of the year. "Printemps" is an exception.
- l'été = summer. en été = in (the) summer
- l'automne = autumn. en automne = in (the) autumn
- l'hiver = winter. en hiver = in (the) winter
- le printemps = spring. au printemps = in (the) spring