"En la kinejo oni prezentas bonan programon."

Translation:At the movie theater they are presenting a good program.

August 23, 2015

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Why "oni" was translated as "they" in this case? ("one" was not accepted).


“One” is more used when talking about something in general, but here it is la kinejo, a defined cinema. In this case ”they” is preferred. Can a native speaker tell more?


"They" is correct. "One" would be wrong here in English, although I can't explain why (native speakers are useless at explanations, I'm afraid!) I think your explanation is correct.

As a native speaker, it seems more natural to me to leave the "one" or "they" out altogether, since we don't know who they are, and the emphasis is on the program, not the (unknown) people presenting it. "There is a good program being presented at the cinema" is how I would say it. But


As a native (So-Cal) English speaker, I don't understand why "oni" is being translated as "they."

In English we can say:

  1. At the movie theater, one presents a good program.

  2. At the movie theater, they present a good program.

These sentences are different in meaning.

In sentence 2: "They" refers to a group: It could refer to the operators of the theater, or it could refer to the operators of a film festival that rents out the theater.

In sentence 1: "One" is an indefinite singular third-person pronoun: it is always SINGULAR. And more often as a personal pronoun. In American English, it tends to have a prescriptive role or authoritative role. So, to me the idea conveyed in sentence 1 is that a person putting together a program must have a good program (as opposed to a mediocre ones that are straight to TV broadcast.) A sentence constructed this way would probably be followed with an explanation of criteria for a good program - the emphasis is more on the program than the person.

Back to Esperanto, how do you write sentence 1? How do you write sentence 2? Is there no difference?

Note also, I have only seen one Esperanto guide that says "oni" can be plural or singular - but that singular is preferred. Maybe this is where the confusion is. Still it says singular is prefered.

Another usage distinction between English constructions with "they" and "one" is that "they" excludes the speaker / writer. Whereas "one," may also include the speaker / writer.


Esperanto tends to use "oni" where "they" in the English either refers to people in general (as in "They say gas instead of petrol in the United States"), or when referring to a group of unknown, unspecified people (as in "They serve good meals at that restaurant", and as in the current sentence).


One is an individual, they is a collective. A movie theatre is a collective, a group of people operating as an organisation.


Sometimes we would say you, but in this case we would probably say "one".


"A good program is being presented in the cinema" was rejected, although I had assumed, perhaps wrongly, that you could translate "oni" sentences as passive constructions.


Could the English sentence "at the movie theatre they are presenting a good program"

be translated as "en la kinejo ili prezentas bonan programon"?

Or is it wrong to use "ili" when we don't have specific people in mind?


I think "ili" would imply you know/can see the people.


What does the English 'program' mean here? It can't mean a television program(me). Does it mean something like a 'choice of options', like the more original meaning of program(me) in English?

If so, would "they are presenting a good selection at the cinema" be a better translation?


I would like to ask you where you think the phrase television program came from. It was a program on the television. Though, to my American ears, it sounds like the movie theater is offering some sort of membership thing or something, where you get discounts.


I don't understand why it's "oni" instead of "ili". Can someone please explain?


Oni is like a general they or one as in, In the store, one can find some good food!


So it's like "one" in English, except it can be also for more than one person, right? It's kind of like saying "ones".


Yes, or "you" in a general sense. I tend to translate these sentences with "you" cause "one" sounds quite stiff.


Sometimes 'kinejo' is translated as theater, and sometimes as movie theater.


It would be good if you could give an example of "kinejo" being translated as "theatre". I can't remember seeing this. "Theatre" has always been "teatro" for me, and "cinema/movie theater" has always been "kinejo" (in my experience).


Here in North America, where there are a few Duolingo users here and there, we say "theater", not "move theater" or "cinema."


So no difference between what you call the building where you watch films/movies, and the building where actors perform on a stage?


We call both "theaters". However, Americans will say "Going to the movies" for "movie theaters" and "going to the theater" for the stage kind. Saying "cinema" pretty much marks you as a film snob.

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