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  5. "Le garçon est naturel."

"Le garçon est naturel."

Translation:The boy is natural.

December 24, 2012



I don't know any artifical boy.


Artificial people are unfortunately all over the place. To be natural is to be genuine and open-hearted, not affected with "attitude". This is such a common phrase where I come from. Perhaps Americans are not aware of it.


No, we don't have a saying like that in English - at least not in Australia. We might say "The boy is honest" or "He is the salt of the earth" or "The boy is trustworthy". Thank you wilengel, for your explanation :)


In English I'm assuming we would say "real." Such as "keeping it real" or "he is real" as opposed to somebody being false or a fake.


Concur. In the United States one might definitely ask "Are you for real?" or "Is that for real?" A person may be "a natural" if they are inherently gifted at something. In fact, there was a movie back in the 80s, "The Natural" about someone who possessed gifted abilities to play baseball. One might remark, "he is a natural."


Or perhaps "genuine"


In the U.S. we would say "The boy is authentic"


Yes, this sounds the most stylistically appropriate to me (I'm American).


Not just Americans.


Good to know......although I have just learned (past two weeks) that at least three Americans DO recognize this meaning.......maybe there are other factors.


What if the boy is a blonde and somebody is asking whether his hair is natural or dyed?


Yet another good option!


How about he is natural because he is not a clone!


Yes, In the US it is fine. Listen to Aretha Franklin's "A Natural Woman" 1963


Naturel is more like "without affectation" here. He's not a phony; he is just the way he seems to be. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/naturel/53542


A better (American) English equivalent then might be "genuine" or "authentic", rather than "natural"


Thanks George for addressing the question of how naturel is used in French, which I would have thought was what most of us here are concerned with.


Stating that a person is natural in the right context may imply that he or she hasn't taken steroids or any other hormonal PED.


This actually appears to be the one of the more common uses of the phrase in English. Google the phrase "he is natural" and many of the results are talking about athletes and body builders.


All these comments, and no one else thought it was a boy without clothes?


No artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Because nature knows best, and so do you.


Could it mean that the boy is a natural? In other words, naturally talented?


Naturel is more like "without affectation" here. He's not a phony; he is just the way he seems to be. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/naturel/53542


The boy is pure? For English it would make sense but then I'm not sure how the French translation is trying to say. The word natural seems out of place. Thanks in advance.


FR "naturel" is EN "natural", "normal". -Oxford French Dictionary. Reverso tells us that it might include the sense of "pure" meaning that it comes from the natural, physical world, innate, and follows the laws of nature, native, behavior that is common to all, spontaneous, sincere, without artifice or deception, unaffected. As I read this, it rather reminded me of Mark Twain's characterization of Tom Sawyer.


It's on my list to re-read. Love those classics. Hardy, Austen, Bronte and Gabaldon.


I don't beleive so. For that, I believe you would use né. "Le garçon est un talent-né (p. ex. un athlète-né)." The sentence here is more natural as opposed to artificial (in behavior/demeanor), not natural as opposed to trained.



"not natural as opposed to trained"
that cleared everything for me.... thanks


I so agree! You can always be counted on, Neverfox, in our struggle. for meaning


Almost, but then you'd say, "il est un* naturel", just like in English.


The hover said "natural" or "normal", so not liking "natural" I said "The boy is normal" and got it wrong.


I have serious issues with the hover alternatives Duo offers in some of the lessons. In genealogy Naturale means born out of wedlock. So here Natural works but is archaic. I have researched with the Collins Robert and Reverso and have found no cross-reference between the two. "Naturel =Natural and Normal=Normal. Pointless to add, I never use the hover unless I want to get it wrong and look at the discussion forum. But queries like these are rarely addressed. I have on countless times pointed this out to Duo to no clear explanation/reason. So, beware of the hover. Get a dictionary. Bonne chance mon ami, JJ


The explanation that I've been given is that the hover covers several possible translations throughout the course, it is not specific to any particular sentence. That confuses a lot of people, but it is really no different from a simple dictionary that does not provide examples, a quick reference to alternative meanings. I agree that using a good dictionary (with examples) is important if one wants to get the most out of this course. I really wish Duo had some explanatory introduction ahead of its courses that lay out the way they do things and why. The same issues come up over and over in the comments, and it's tiring.

Here in specific you must have just missed it in Reverso; it's the 5th from the top for "natural", and comes with some good examples:

(= normal)

  • it is natural to worry about one's children (c'est naturel de se faire du souci pour ses enfants)
  • it's the most natural thing in the world (c'est la chose la plus naturelle du monde)

Apparently "normal" would not work for this sentence, but this sentence has a non-intuitive English translation since "natural" isn't used in the sense of "unaffected, without artifice" all that commonly, certainly not in the region from which most English speakers taking this course come, so most people will pick "normal" from the hover. So yeah, it's especially misleading here, and that's too bad. There is so much stuff Duo could easily improve, but for some reason they don't give it much priority.


This is excellent Pir_ana and very much appreciated. I've not found any English explanations to French on Reverso. Am I missing a click? A page?.


I'm not exactly sure what you're asking -- Reverso has so many buttons and clickable things that it's hard to explain how to find something. Sometimes the dictionary entry itself has example sentences, sometimes not. "Natural" in English has a lot of examples, «naturel» in French has nothing. I then go to the bottom where it says «Voir plus d'exemples de traduction Français-Anglais en contexte pour “naturel”» (that's just before the big blue block with all the links). It brings up lots of examples for «naturel».

You can also get to those "words in context" sentences by clicking the large button "Context" at the top, but then you need to type in what you're looking for. I really like those sentences, because you can also sort them by different meanings (listed across the top of that page once it comes up), which really helps nail down different nuances. Though those sentences are not curated, and I find mistakes on occasion. If I am not sure, I use a search engine to find whether actual French speakers use a term in their blogs and on websites, or whether it is a term used in books.


I do not understand the confusion regarding this sentence. I have used this sentence many times in my life to indicate that someone's behavior is unaffected....that they behave in a genuine and open-hearted way. It is completely valid. Though not an American, I am a native English speaker.


Still, it is probably best to avoid translations that are a bizarre or unintelligible in large portions of the English speaking-world. As cool as it is to know that, for example, a certain phrase is acceptable among young upper middle class males living in rural Northwest East Anglia, it doesn't make the phrase any more intelligible elsewhere.


I thought the idea was to place all options on the table.....sometimes for humor (as some people are good at just to make us smile)....other times because a lot of people express great confusion about meaning....I have been greatly stimulated by the many meanings no matter how far out there.

I am actually moving away from assisting in the forums now because I am taking too much time away from study......so au revoir....I hope you find what you are looking for. Bonne chance.


I think this might be a regional phrase, and possibly from an older generation (based on a previous reply). I am a native speaker from Canada, and I have never heard of such a phrase in my life - even from my native French relatives. I had to read the discussion to give it any meaning at all! For me, it is a bizarre unnatural phrase in English.


I have never heard it used before which is why I came to the comments to find out what it meant. :-) I am a native Brit speaker who has lived abroad and in the US and aged 40-60 range.


Organic, fresh and homegrown boy. Tout naturel!


Is this something anyone ever uses in French? Is this a sentence they use often, or just a bad sentence on duoLingo's part?


Bad in what sense? If you can figure out that it's nonsense, that tells you that you're mastering the vocabulary and grammar.


I agree this would never be used in English. I thought it might imply he is a natural (talent), but that is not accepted. Bad choice of words by Duo.


But it might be a sentence structure that they use in French. Check out what wilengel says above ;) And it is french, that I am trying to learn.


"Un Garçon Naturel" is the title of a novel by Patrice Salse ... the translation of "Le garçon est naturel" would mean he is of a spontaneous nature.


But is he organic and gluten free?


Nope. He is a blue duck with six legs turning into a butterfly who thinks he is a turtle very partial to pasta Good here isn't it...............


reminds me of that song, You make me feel like a natural woman....


I do genealogy work and when I have seen the French word "naturel" in records, it has meant the child was born out of wedlock.


This is interesting, lhb, the English spelling Natural has the same meaning (of the many) in the OED. Also, does the word Wedlock have the same connotation of jail to you as it does to me? :)


Never have I heard this phrase in America.


Try another English speaking country, (preferably England rather than Noah Webster's take on English) and you will hear it, Robert.


We ( in UK) would say "The boy is a natural" like at playing football or something. How would that be said differently?


"Le garçon est un talent-né (born talent)." "Le garçon est un athlète-né (born athlete)." "Le garçon est un footballeur-né (born footballer)."


Le garçon est un naturel, just like in English.


It's my understanding that the noun form of «naturel» only means "nature, character," so that would be "The boy is a nature." However, for "a natural(-born)" my dictionary gives «-né».


Although "natural/naturel" is being used as a noun, it's not really in the noun form, but in the adjective form; when we say, "he is a natural", we're saying he is a natural something. So, when saying that some one has natural sporting ability, we could say, "he is a natural athlete", but if everyone already knows that we're talking about his athleticism, we can leave out the word "athlete", and just say "he is a natural". The same logic applies to French.


That's true. Touché.


what about: "The boy is down to earth"...


The boy is down to earth=Le garcon est terre a terre. (Sorry, I've currently lost access to accents)


In a many Slavic languages, as in French, it is a very popular sentence. But people use it, generally, when they want to describe someone who is "simple", "natural", "human without any special wishes" etc.


I definitely understand the sentiment, but this just isn't how it would be said in American English. One might say the boy is easygoing, genuine, authentic, or possibly (as was said above) that he "acted natural." I know it may seem like a small difference to non-native speakers, but it really sounds odd to a native American.


Yes, agreed. The first post here summed it up with "Never heard of an artificial boy". With sentences that really don't seem to make sense yet are grammatically correct, I think that the way forward is to heave a sigh of understanding forgiveness and consider the words and structure and let go of sense. After all, we've had blue ducks, cats in a red boot. We've been a whale and then an ant and know interesting folk who live in an apple which a whole herd of elephants is currently eating. Duo really would do well to deal with these ambiguous sentences if they actually do want to limit clutter.


Excellent point! I, for one, am very grateful for such a high-quality free program, despite occasional flaws and strange sentences. I read the discussion boards primarily to make sure I understand the import of the sentences, and I occasionally try to add my thoughts to help DL clarify things for future reference. Not trying to kvetch, though -- they've really done an outstanding job, when you think about the enormity of the task.


Oh! Wow! Thank you Tmaddox, you've taught me a word I didn't know: Kvetch. Almost embarrassing because one sixth of the blood running in my veins is Sephardic! I, too am a Duolingo fan and have supported it and the forums for over a year now. Doesn't deny the right and purpose of constructive criticism of course. I have noted some of your past posts and feel glad that you are here and contributing as this is by no means the first time that I have learned something valued from you. Thanks. JJ.


No. Do not use non-standard, highly informal contractions if you want to get it right. It appears to the system as a possessive.


I think we would say unaffected rather than natural... Maybe something like 'he is a natural-born winner', but just he is natural seems unusual.


odd sentence. "enfant naturel" is (or used to be, it's been 25 years since I lived in France) a polite expression for "illegitimate child" or "love child". I'm guessing garcon naturel has the same connotation.


Why doesn't "The boy is normal work"? It's listed as a translation, but it's not accepted.


while this sentence is not


Hmm this makes no sense in American English. I've heard something like "someone is a natural. But this translation doesn't sound right to me


It isn't, Roo. Also doesn't. So many of Duo's tasks just don't make sense mate. Helps old wrinklies like me with only 2 remaining brain cells to remember the grammar, verb conjugations, structure because just that; the sentence didn't make sense. Actually mate no language Always makes sense. Take gender> The Lake (Le Lac) is masculine and the sea (La Mer) is feminine. The vagina is Masculine" LE Vagin. Does That make sense Roo? So, Duo is a language learning site, not a holiday phrase book. With respect, JJ.


Yes makes sense - and thanks for the funny examples:-) I totally get it that French and many Latin languages are all about how things sound (it all has to sound pretty and be pleasing to the ear), I think to say "la lac" wold hurt their ears so it sounds softer to say le lac. For us english speakers it makes no sense, but it's all a matter of what you're raised with. Best thing is just start thinking like the French so can get deeper inside the language. But how do you start thinking like a French if you don't speak the language fluently yet. It's a catch-22:-(


"I am not an animal, I am a human being!"


Hello Oskimo. Are you trying to kid us that a human being is not an animal? A Palm Tree am I? Blade of grass? I feel like a volcano just now. Unfortunately, like you, I am a Human Being Animal. Unless of course I am a "Child Of God" in which case I am neither Human nor Animal but a Deity?


Mate, the quote's from the movie "Elephant Man"

Btw I identify as a trans-sexual vegan couch.

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