English translations needing clarification (perhaps)

Lisa

Kwiziq community member

6 September 2018

3 replies

English translations needing clarification (perhaps)

Bonjour,

I was noticing in the lesson that the contruction in the French is dealing with the past, but many of the English translations are in the present (ex: I was congratulated for coming.). Should the translations also reflect the past? (ex: I was congratulated for having come.)  I guess the difference is that it's hard to know what to do with on reverse translation on a quiz.  If you see "He was promoted for going to the seminar" it's hard to know whether to write "pour aller au seminaire" or whether to write "pour etre alle au seminaire."  Maybe the "was promoted" has to be the key?  

This question relates to:
French lesson "Pour être allé = Cause for going (complex expression)"

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

4 October 2018

4/10/18

Hi Lisa,

I think you are right in saying that the English equivalent of 'après être allé' should be translated by a past tense but often in English it can sound stilted and the meaning equivalent can be just a gerund in English.  

Anyone wanting to add to this discussion would be welcome and please correct me if I am wrong....

In French however, it has to be an past infinitive.

Hope this helps!

Bill

Kwiziq community member

26 January 2019

26/01/19

Just my two cents - 

I'm no expert in English grammar, but from what I sense as a well-read native speaker, I think proper English would be "for having come", but I think to Cécile's point i wouldn't say it's stilted, but perhaps a bit formal, and most people would say "for coming".  However, i honestly don't think most native speakers would necessarily pick up on any difference and their ears would equally accept either.

Bill

Kwiziq community member

26 January 2019

26/01/19

Just another thought to this, as I think this is an interesting question.

I was just thinking what my sister (who is a grammar-head) would say if I said one or the other.  If I said "for coming" she would probably pick up on it and think that I should have said "for having come" - she may even point it out to me haha.

So i really think it depends on the audience, and that most people wouldn't really notice or think about the difference as to which one is correct or not, so colloquially either is probably acceptable.  

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