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i think i can determine when to use "retrouver" rather than "trouver" but i never saw "se trouver" before and don't see the need.  here's the sentence:

Les nazis ont d'abord fonde' un parti, puis ils ont infiltre' les syndicats et les institutions avant de se trouver un leader charismatique.  

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Sure ,no need but ,since it is used here then the "se" does carry an extra meaning .

One can over analyse. 

I assume you know the more common use for "se trouver"?

Of course ,if one of our native speakers tells us that your sentence "sounds odd" then perhaps it should be avoided.

This sentense is not odd.

J'essaie d'expliquer en français. (J'ai du abandonner un peu l'anglais, c'est difficile de s'y remettre. Déjà que ce n'était pas fluide avant....). Si vous avez des questions n'hésitez pas.

Le sujet c'est "les nazis" et leurs actions.

Si on dit "....avant de trouver un leader", ça donne l'impression que c'est un peu par hasard qu'ils ont trouvé un leader ou que petit à petit, un leader est apparu dans le groupe.

En disant "...avant de se trouver un leader...", on ressent mieux l'impression de la volonté des nazis et de leur action à trouver ce leader. Que c'est eux qui l'ont cherché. Et que le leader est là par la volonté des nazis.

that's very interesting and thank u.  i do see the distinction.  i suspect i won't employ it myself, however, when the situation warrants it.  but i also suspect it's not incorrect to use trouver, but merely better to use "se trouver."  

Yes. "trouver" would not be incorrect, but "se trouver" alters a bit the primary sense, the meaning.

In every day life, "se trouver" is used, not as much as "trouver". But it's used.

But I was thinking about this form, the meaning is a bit intuitive in relation to the whole context.

Elles se sont trouvé un mari : "se trouver"  could have another meaning than the first one about the nazis, with the same form. It could mean that they were desparate, they thought they won't marry and every one thought they never get married, and surprise !! Some day, you learn they have a husband. "elles se sont trouvé un mari" = elles ont fini par trouver un mari.

but it's not the same meaning for the sentence about the nazis. Because of the context and the beginning of the sentence.

but both examples illustrate the idea that it involved reviewing numerous candidates.  so, thank u for such great clarification.  now i probably will b able to use "se trouver" when the situation merits it.  

Les nazis ont d'abord fonde' un parti, puis ils ont infiltre' les syndicats et les institutions avant de se trouver un leader charismatique.  

 

I have difficulty in understanding the above French sentence.  Is my translation acceptable?

Generally 'd'abord' is translated as first or at first.

At first the Nazis created/founded a party and afterwards they infiltrated into the trade unions and the other institutions before finding a charismatic leader.

For my knowledge of English, my translation is bit weird. Please help me.

I think "infiltrated into" is better

I don't see anything else weird.

"established" is also possible.

Not sure about "institutions". There might be a better word for that. "Organizations" perhaps..

yes, u don't need "into".  u just "infiltrate something."  i like "institutions" better than "organizations".  unions are a fundamental pillar of modern society.  that makes it an institution.  

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