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  5. "Je suis témoin."

"Je suis témoin."

Translation:I am a witness.

December 30, 2012

32 Comments


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

Why is un or une not used here before témoin?


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

I don't know exactly, but I'm guessing that "témoin" functions like a profession here. Just as you would say "je suis journaliste" and never "je suis une journaliste," you might not need the article here.


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

It is actually a complex word. "Être témoin (de quelque chose)", without "un" actually meant that you witnessed something. "Il a dit ça, je suis témoin" = "He said that, I witnessed it". We don't have a verb for "to witness". Otherwise, it also works like a profession, if you say: "Il est témoin dans une affaire de meurtre" = "He's a witness in a murder case".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonA29

Perhaps it's like the professions, no article needed?


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

One of the correct solutions offered is "I second." Does that mean, "I second that"? Seems like an odd translation. Is this just a mistake?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2074

No, it does not mean "I second that". It is not a verb; it is a noun. The reference to "second" is in the sense of a witness (at a duel)! http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/t%C3%A9moin/76291 Duo also includes "warning light" as a hint for témoin. As you have heard before, it is unwise to take Duo's hints at face value. Check first and verify that it really means that and that it fits in the given sentence, i.e., it carries the meaning of the original and presents that meaning in English in an articulate and correct way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

"Second" also has a reference in boxing/mma and relates to the coach or trainer who accompanies the fighter into the ring.


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

It seems a bit convoluted, but I guess in some juridic cases you could say "Je suis témoin" to mean "I second"...


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

I am witness (to an event) could be correct if temoin is an adjective. Another heart bites the dust.


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

That's what I thought. But given that this is all there is, I wonder if "I am witness" is truly proper to stand on its own. Its a bit unusual at least, but I'm not sure either way about its technical validity.


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

"I am witness to that fact" is often spoken in a court of law.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2074

Except that in English, without any other context and without any further words of explanation and without revealing last minute backstory like Perry Mason, you need to include the indefinite article "a". I am a witness. You will recognize the "Je suis (noun)" structure as meaning "I am a (noun)". [Edit: See comment by super_moi, above, "It is actually a complex word."]


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

Did anyone else hear "temon" instead of "temoin"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dave.pretty

Same here. Wouldn't it be more "taymweh(n)" than "taymo(n)"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

I heard "téman/témen" which doesn't seem correct. It's possible that the computer's accent is the problem here, since nasal sounds do vary from the more "correct" pronunciation. For instance, here in Québec the "on" sound often sounds like "an" (French pronunciations, in all the above).


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

it marks you wrong if you say "I am witness" though. I had interpreted it originally as being "I am witness (to sth)". But I guess in that situation you would use the indefinite article...


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

Previously, Duo accepted «Il est témoin (à ton mariage).» for "He is the witness (at your marriage).", yet only "I am a witness." for «Je suis témoin.» The latter makes sense to me, but then why "the" before?


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

I heard it as "Je suis démon". Weird.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MsLagerkvist2

I compared online pronunciations, and this one is definitely unsusual. The second syllable doesn't sound like "moin" to me.


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

Do you never use an article in front of this word? Just wondering what gender it is. It is not mentioned in the drop down. Thus, if i wanted to say "He is a good witness" would it be "une bonne temoin" or "un bon temoin"? (with accents...)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

I get the impression this is being treated as a profession (no article needed) which sounds strange as I've never heard of a professional witness.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2074

Actually, there are all sorts of professionals who are exactly that. They are called "expert witnesses" (l'expert). They may be scientists or forensic experts who examine evidence and then present their findings to the court. E.g., ballistics experts, blood experts, handwriting experts, etc., etc. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/english-french/expert_witness/579500


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

These are categories of experts not categories of professional witnesses. To include these under the banner of "witness" is incorrect in my view because each of those individuals are experts in their own field. None that I know of started or exist totally as an expert witness, because each needed to gain significant experience in their particular field to be regarded as an expert. So I would describe them as "Expert Ballistics witness" or "Expert Handwriting Analyst witness" etc. But perhaps this is semantic.


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

Nevertheless, there are expert witnesses who make a large portion of their income that way, and are indeed professional witnesses.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

An "Expert Witness" is better but still ambiguous. But I don't believe there is a such a thing as a "professional witness" for the reasons I've given. If we regard professions as categories - such as medical doctor, or builder, or mechanic - possessing a distinct function and purpose, then there's no such thing as a generic professional witness. I know of no-one who introduces their profession as "Witness". However, each of the above would differentiate their field in the title. "Witness" as a class of profession is simply too ambiguous in my view. So, no. I would not agree that there is such a profession as a "Witness".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/n6zs
  • 2074

Re: "An Expert Witness is better...." This is a straw argument by putting forth the term "professional witness" and then proceeding to shoot it down. The reality is that the sentence being discussed, "Je suis temoin", is translated as "I am a witness". There is no point arguing about whether someone's profession can be "a witness" but look at the French and understand why the structure "Je suis temoin" works here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

Of course not! My view was never a critique of the sentence structure or grammatical lesson. If one understands that the intention is to classify a witness as a profession then they will get that the structure is synonymous with expressing professions. There is a point in arguing whether such a profession exist though, as it will be relevant if this is actually regarded and used by French speakers (although I'm unlikely to use it proactively).

As for making a straw argument.... :-D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ronnie-JA

Is the impression here that "témoin" is a profession? If so, I've never heard of a professional witness.


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

Time to clean house...


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

No, I don't need the article "a" here!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johans2103

I think that without a context, both should be accepted.


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

Oh my heart falls apart

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