J’entendais un monstre

BrianC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

J’entendais un monstre

Should “J’entendais un monstre” translate to “I heard a monster“ as opposed to “I would hear a monster”?

Asked 7 months ago
MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

This is a translation of the French imperfect past tense - which has no direct English equivalent. “Would hear” may be an attempt to concisely match the French imparfait in describing an event occurring repeatedly, with uncertain frequency and timing, and the speakers ‘doubt’ now that a monster was really ever “heard”.

“Heard” could have been used - as there are few absolute rules in translation - but ‘would hear’ is a very good fit.  

Of course, the decision could also have been made because 3 syllables were needed in English to match the French phrase ! 

 

 

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Brian,

Just to add to Maarten's excellent answer, zooming back into a period of your past life is the realm of the 'imparfait'. 

It is always difficult to translate in English but it is often

used to do/ would do

was doing

or simply

did.

I, like Maarten, liked the way it was translated to convey an action that was often repeated.

Bonne Continuation!

J’entendais un monstre

Should “J’entendais un monstre” translate to “I heard a monster“ as opposed to “I would hear a monster”?

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