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I'm looking at a language-learning platform that has hundreds of sentences translated into dozens of languages. I'm starting to suspect that some of the translations may not be very natural. When I set the source language to French, I got a few sentences that don't look quite right to me, including the following:

L'étoile du rock a besoin d'un garde du corps pour la protéger des admirateurs fous

Je n'ai pas eu l'emploi en dépit d'être extrêmement qualifié

It would be very helpful to know what the native speakers think of these sentences.

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  • They look fine to me (maybe except "l'étoile du rock").
    – jperl
    Apr 27 '20 at 0:08
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In general, we do not use étoile to translate star into French, apart maybe from Canadian French. As a native speaker from France, I would write it:

La star du rock a besoin d'un garde du corps pour la protéger des admirateurs fous.

Someone who would really like to avoid the anglicisme would use synonyms, like vedette.

However, it's interesting to note that we do use the word étoile to translate rising star into étoile montante.

The second sentence looks perfectly fine to me.

The website that you're checking probably uses very literal (word-to-word) translations. In general, a good practice is to double-check with other translation websites, some of them driven by communities such as WordReference.

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Contrary to Reyedi, I don't think that Je n'ai pas eu l'emploi en dépit d'être extrêmement qualifié sounds natural in French. I wouldn't use en dépit de with an infinitive, I'd consider it as an anglicism.

To convey the same idea, you could say:

Je n'ai pas eu l'emploi alors que je suis extrêmement qualifié

or:

Je n'ai pas eu l'emploi et pourtant je suis extrêmement qualifié

Since I suspect the examples you're giving are machine-translated, I wonder if admirateurs fous isn't a translation of crazy fans, in which case, it'd possible to keep fan in French, but fan fous doesn't work, whereas fans déchaînés or fans en folie would be ok.

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  • Many thanks. I don’t think they’re machine translated – the background is that I was trying the app to learn a third language and found it incredibly repetitive, so I set my source language (what the platform thinks is my native language) to German and French, just to try to make it more interesting. I can’t judge the naturalness of the German sentences but a couple of the French ones seemed slightly off, and if they are then the sentences in the language I’m trying to learn may well be too. The English sentences I saw were OK, but then I think they're the originals.
    – Rhubarb
    Apr 28 '20 at 14:19
  • I can't upvote you for lack of reputation, unfortunately.
    – Rhubarb
    Apr 28 '20 at 14:20

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