French 10.2 Lvl2

MCK

MCK

«risquez la crevaison» is translated as 'risk a puncture'. Should this be «risquez un crevaison» ? Presently it is switching from definite article in French to an indefinite article in English.
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Salut MCK !

This is a language difference that can prove tricky for a lot of French learners coming from English.

French speakers will often use the definite article in places where it would seem a bit strange in English, or where English speakers would stick with the indefinite article. The phrase risquez la crevaison is an excellent example of this.

The definite article is used because in French, the speaker is talking about la crevaison "the puncture" as a general concept (a bit similar to la voiture in this other forum post, if other forum readers are interested in checking that out as well). We would probably never say "you risk the puncture" in English, but it's perfectly natural in French. In fact, if we were to use the indefinite article in French and say vous risquez une crevaison (note that crevaison is feminine), it might make things sound more specific - like you're risking A puncture (i.e. just one puncture, or (particularly if we were to add an adjective) a particular puncture). 

It can take some time and practice to identify exactly how French speakers use definite articles and when they opt for indefinite articles instead. As you get more exposure to French, though, it will begin to come naturally!

Do let me know if you still have any questions or if any of this is unclear!

À la prochaine,

Liss
MCK

MCK

Thanks Liss. Apologies for the misuse of «un» - just poor typing on my part. I do understand the general use of articles in French quite well, and would have recognised this as such if the English translation was in agreement. As it stands the English does  indicate that the French means 'risk A puncture' (just one - not surprising as it is only 1 tyre that is worn), as that is how it is translated. I should have expanded the comment by noting that the problem is unnecessary discordance between the English translation and the French phrase.  This can of course be corrected by changing either. As it is probably easier to change the translation it could simply be altered to 'risk puncture', which is one of way of saying this in English. 
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Salut MCK !

Thank you for your feedback! I will pass this on to the French team so that they can see about making the translation clearer and avoiding any possible confusion in future.

À la prochaine,

Liss

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket French trial here .