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  5. "La cárcel"

"La cárcel"

Translation:The prison

January 4, 2013



In english, "incarcerated" means to imprison (be in jail). Thought I'd point this out as a useful way to start remembering this.


I just thought that myself!

Like proprietary = own = propias


Stuff like your comment is what should be at the top.


That's what I came up with too. Also: He is inCARcerated in a cell at the jail.


rch, Your version is better of course, but I always like to remember: "My home is (thankfully not) my cárcel" :-)


True. That's what I had in mind.


What means playground?


Not sure why the question here but a playground generally refers to an outdoor area with sports fields like a baseball diamond or play equipment like swings etc. Of course it is also used as a sort of metaphor. The Riviera is the playground of the rich.


A publuc place where children play. Either at a park or at a school.


An excellent tip to remember


I really sympathize with RaiD's strive to clarify what should be a given fact in Duolingo! I agree 100% with him. I'm here to learn Spanish (castellano). I 'd be really intrigued to learn the distinction among the various dialects but as a separate course, right after I learn the Spanish language. Spanish flag means that I should be taught the language that students at schools in Spain are taught, no matter how many people in the world speak so. In my country, Greece, there are also a lot of dialects, even within the same perfecture, however schools nationwide teach one official language.


Yup and for me I prefer to focus on Mexican spanish! I live in the southwest part of the US so thats what is most useful for me! At the very least it would be nice if as they taught certain words or phrases that are more common in one area or another that he hover translations mentioned that!


Noctiluca, l also prefer to learn other than European Spanish and everyday I can practice with Spanish speakers from the Americas and the Carribean. I also wonder if I would sound too "proper" if I spoke Castillian.


I think that Mexican Spanish is pretty much what is taught on Duo, although there are a couple of apparent exceptions. As for your idea of adding information about regional usage, I would love that, but don't expect to ever see it. The Dictionary of American Regional English is a multi volume set and does not touch the UK. The problem is few people know this except those who spend their life studying it. Even dictionaries have only limited listings mentioning region.


I think the flag is used for simplicity reasons. There isn‘t a unique flag for the American variant of Spanish. So, they chose to use the Madre Patria‘s flag ;).
It wouldn't be appropriate either to choose one only of the American Spanish speaking countries‘ flags, since this course isn't focused on one specific national variant of Spanish. As I knew, It's called Español Neutro (Esp. N. Americano, maybe). And English used is Standard American English. Lately anyway, some users have told that the Spanish course is already presented by Duo as Mexican/Central American...
It's long to discuss...


make a greek course


If you're still interested Shawn, Duo started a Greek course about 4 months ago.


Ok, you will like to know that what is being "taught" in duolingo is not the castellano from Spain. At least it is not the one the spanish schools are teaching (in spain) since I was 5 years old till the university level.


I'll tell you in castellano so you can understand. No hay gran diferencia entre dialectos. So it's pointless to scare learners about European vs. Latin American dialects. That's just an old prestige war between Spanish speakers and we shouldn't get concerned about it. That's not our fight.


dude i am worried can u tell me where i can learn castellano spanish it would be great help


well...I guess you are interested on online stuff

there a hundred free courses on the internet....http://www.studyspanish.com/ Is just one of them. you can also pay for another hundred courses which may be even better. and even try tandem conversations with native speakers

Normally the castellano is the taught version, teachers and most of the courses try to avoid these other dialects which are well represented in duolingo ahahhahahah


Your info was helpful, until I saw the laughter at the end. RaiD, what was that about??


I took a course some time ago at the Spanish Institute which is supported by Spain. They might have something on line by now.


Your viewpoint makes sense to me. I believe it would be useful if duolingo could give us a hint for various words that proposes, if they are used in Spain or in other countries. Eg. the words: diario and periodico.


If you peruse this site carefully you will see that it teaches Latin American Spanish. There are other sites which teach Castillian Spanish. It also uses American English as its basis. For the most part I think it is closest to Mexican Spanish which is not surprising as Mexico has the most Spanish speakers of any country. In 2015 the US climbed into second position followed by Columbia, Argentina, and then Spain. Duo tries hard to accept correct forms using vosotros and vos and other standards used in significant portions of the world but does not teach them. Although I will seldom if ever use them, I do appreciate being able to recognise all regional forms with a significant number of speakers.


That's what the discussions are for. It would be easier for us to teach each other these variations than waiting for Duo to research and add them. By the way, in Spanglish some people say prisón o jeil.. lol


You complain, but you have no alternative. Oh, by the way this is one of the last things on the net that is useful, free and no ads. Don't write back. I know I'm right.


This is a free of charge language leanring app, not many apps are quite as diverse and extensive or easy to use as Duolingo. If you want to complain or make suggestions to the staff, then on the discussions for phrase translations is not the place to do it. This space is for people to discuss this specific phrase, not to state what duolingo should do better for the overall course.


The Latin American Spanish or Mexican Spanish is much more useful to me, both within North America and the places I would like to travel to, that might include Spain.


Understand the points below, but Duolingo is free and useful. There has to be a trade off somewhere, and I'm sure Castillian Spanish evolves over time (as all languages do), so it is unlikely that there will ever be a defintive "Spanish" for this kind of service.

Let's crack on with the learning.


I am English and spell "jail" as "gaol".......it would be good if Duolingo could accommodate us Brits.


I put in a error request as I also spell it this way (Australian)


The issue for me is simply that with all the complexity of translating from Spanish to American English or Spanish to British English, it makes it almost impossible to translate to both on this simple platform. A one to one relationship between words in the two languages would be the ideal for a computer, but that is obviously not possible in a language program. Even the differences between British and American English is not fully understood by most people. In addition to spelling, pronunciation and some vocabulary (like lorry, flat, and boot) there are meaning differences, both marked by spelling differences and not, that can make significant issues in translation. So while neither claiming superiority or inferiority, it makes sense to simply declare a dialect and stick with it to avoid confusion and errors. I do understand that this puts British users at a disadvantage because I am often at a similar disadvantage with similar British sites and programs. The British often seem to do a better job at language programs, so I have often been on that position. In fact, it was not living in England but rather these experiences that have made me understand the breadth and depth of the differences.


That's the traditional spelling here in Australia too (Maybe because we came from you guys), but it's very rarely used


I am British and have never used that spelling(and never heard of it in all my 22 years!), it seems more like a slang word than an official spelling,


I am assuming that you are referring to jail vs Gaol. As an American, I have sort of the opposite reaction. But according to this site in the UK, there is some changes over there.



I am also English, and I'm learning European Spanish, as spoken in mainland Spain and it's islands. This "online" learning package, along with many others, seem to cater for Latin American Spnish speakers. Strange....


Finally (October 2017) got a reply from Duo "You suggested “the gaol” as a translation for “La cárcel” We now accept this translation. :)"


at the end of the day none of this really matters, you'll be understood everywhere you go for the most part and duolingo is teaching the "most widely spoken variant" for lack of a better term.


well....technically speaking Mexican is actually the "most widely spoken variant" of the language.... I mean, almost 1/3 of the total spoken spanish is mexican, more if we consider the USA spanish speakers to have come from Mexico...

So if what you say was true...then duolingo should be setting the mexican flag and teaching the mexican dialect and not this ""weird almost laughable mixture"


Yes, if they use the Brazilian flag for Portuguese, then using the Mexican flag for Spanish would make a lot of sense, given the Spanish they're teaching.


I live in South Carolina in the United States and occasionally have a need to communicate with workers from Mexico. I much prefer that Duolingo continue to teach spanish as spoken in central and south america.


that is what i say....I am studying brazilian with doulingo and I like it better than portuguese from portugal, cause there are more speakers in brazil (and work opportunities) than in portugal......maybe teaching spanishsouthamerican dialects is better for you and most of the people in duolingo.....i understand that. I mean....I dont mind (I already know European Spanish, If I ever have to look for a job in southamerica then i will learn the corresponding dialect and thats all).

But still there is this problem with duolingo, they should set the language as Spanish Argentinian, Bolivian or Guatemala... and change the flag....the same they are doing with Portuguese with the Brazilian flag and they dont hide the language they are teaching.....its ok,,,everybody knows they are studying brazilian and nobody complains......the problems come when you say you are teaching one thing, but you are not.


I totally agree. Since you can hear audio in Duolingo, there should be an option to choose what Spanish dialect you want to hear since there are so many. This could be the same feature with French, Irish and more but it would take a lot of time.


You are asking a lot. Duo did essentially respond to the issue by changing the Spanish flag to the pyramids from Yucatan. But at least in the Americas people will hear a mixture of dialects. Pronunciation is only a small part.


someone with pure argentenian Spanish, Columbian, mexican etc should sign up to make a course. it wont be hard switching between the languages with the tree shortcuts. I only said the most popular variants of Spanish. It could set a precedent for other languages


I like your idea, although there would have to be enough people from one country. IDEA: What if DL had a discussion thread where participants shared info about words that are used in a particular country, as compared to ones that we learn. For example, the word for sandwich "empanadera"-- no one I asked had ever heard of it and instead say "sandwich".


I have a question relating to the word "cárcel:" in American English, there is sometimes a distinction made between "jail" (as a smaller establishment for more temporary holding of prisoners) and "prison" (a larger institution of a more permanent nature); I'm curious whether anyone knows if a distinction of that sort is made in Spanish (whether in Spain or Central/South America)?

I'm hoping someone reads this far, and that my question has not already been addressed. Thank you.


Yes, there's something along these lines in Spanish.

Calabozo → A temporary detention place you can find in police stations and the like

Cárcel → That's serious stuff, boy.

Prisión, Penitenciaría → Cárcel

Trena, Trullo, Talego, Chirona → That's European-Spanish slang for cárcel.

"Adentro", Cana → That's slang which is used in Peru.


I am also wondering this. When i checked with google translate it said that "prison" was "prisión" and jail was "cárcel" but i would like confirmation


In a question actually relevant to this sentence, is there a language rule as to why the "a" needs an accent? Wouldn't the stress be on that syllable anyway?


"Llevan acento (´) todas las palabras agudas rematadas en vocal, "n" y "s". "Llevan acento (´) todas las palabras graves rematadas en consonante que no sea ni "n" ni "s". " "Llevan acento (´) todas las palabras esdrújulas y sobreesdrújulas.

If you dont put the (´) it would be read as carcEl, with stress in the last syllabus, bacause every word with stress in the second syllabus has to be accented (´) when the word ends in consonant except "n" and "s".


I keep reporting this: they need to accept 'the gaol'!


Yes! Why only accept the American variation of this word


It will not accept "carcel" as gaol. The answer says jail, but surely they are one and the same with differing spellings - why?


FYI In proper English, "jail" can also be spelled GAOL.


Can somebody tell me: what is the difference between a prison and a jail? Thank you.


They can be interchangeable in many cases but jail can also refer to a place where suspects are held in pre-trial custody, whereas prison is always where someone is serving a sentence after having been found guilty.


Nope. no difference in Australia except that prison is most often used because of the spelling problem with gaol (correct British) and jail (correct American)


Interesting is "Gaol" pronounced just like "jail" or is it pronounced "Goul"?


"Gaol" and "jail" are pronounced exactly the same way


You learn something new everyday, I wonder which came first and why they both exist.


Generally, any negative aspect of imprisonment that you can think of is worse at a prison. The punches aren't pulled at prison, you're rolling with the big dogs.


Duo was developed in the EEUU, so I think the majority of their users studying Spanish plan to use it in a Latin American setting.


I like how the voice says this word in such a hushed tone. It's not a nice place!


I actually opened the comments just to see if anyone else noticed this. I've never heard her so upset.


I find this voice quite unnatural, not very hushed. I prefer the Spanish voice in the Avast Antivirus. That's sexy.



Su nombre es Joana Rubio y este otro vídeo del Youtube con ella es un excelente entrenamiento para nosotros estudiantes de español :



I think of it like if you in the mexican drug cartel business you will go to jail (cárcel rhymes with cartel)


If you add a wanted poster to the image you got it all, because the Spanish word cartel also means poster.


Do a lot more people speak South American Spanish than speak Spain Spanish? Maybe that is the reason Duolingo teaches the South American style? Personally I like learning South/Central American and Mexican Spanish because it's closer to the US, so I come into contact with it the most.


It helps me to remember these words by figuring out their roots. For this one, I'm sure "cárcel" comes from the same root as "incarcerate."

Just an idea...


In English, not American English, jail is spelled gaol.


in real English, not American English, it's gaol.


Be that as may be, Duo's standard is American English. It is a daunting enough task to try to create a program which tries to cope with all the possible translations of Spanish into English without at least attempting to create a standard in each language to base it on. Duo uses American English and Latin American Spanish which appears to be heavy on the Mexican Spanish. Since neither you nor I speak the English that was spoken in England in the 1600s when my ancesters came from England to America and spelling was not yet standardized, there are many changes that happened in both countries in 400 years. A similar process was undergone by Spanish, French and Portuguese in the "New World"


Ok just for fun, i used the English word for Jail which is Gaol and it marked me incorrect. I'm correct, it's wrong :p


The standard on Duo is American English. It is neither more nor less correct, it is simply the standard and allows Duo to simplify an already complex process.


It should still accept gaol, it's perfectly correct for an English speaker to use that word. It's a single word substitution here for an object, we're not talking about a complex interpretation of a translatable sentence with nuances. :)


I took another approach. A picture of a castle with a jailed car in it


Poor car :-( I'm imagining a Herbie.


how did i get this right i just saw la and cel (cell) or the cell+car so how was i right?


The correct answer was "the gaol", which is rarely used anymore!


I remember it b/c it rhymes w/ cartel, and those dudes belong in a cárcel.


I would never argue with whatever works for anyone. But for Spanish speakers who associate cartel with less criminal meanings like poster, there is also an etymological memory gimmick. Our word incarcerated essentially means in cárcel.


I did not hear her pronounce the "L" at the end of this word.


México is from North American, not South r.r


I just like that they use "the clamp" as an option, hahah!


NOTE: Think of it as a cell for cars.


Whatever works for you is great. Personally if you said a cell for cars I would think garage not jail. ;-)


I couldnt understand wat she was saying i typed in castille lol


Well not having the word for jail pop in your mind right away is probably not a bad thing.


Jail and prison are not synonymous in American English (although it is a common misperception, especially in America).


He went to the car sale but he STOLE all the cars at the car sale, so now he's in la carcel. ;-)


the voice for this program says it so direly


It won't accept "the gaol" as correct, but "the jaol" is ok as it thinks it's a typo??? Sort it out Duolingo - there's nothing wrong with gaol!


Gaol is a British spelling and Duos standard is American English. I even had to go back and change it back in this message as my phone assumed it was a typo for the name Gail. I don't think any British spellings are acceptable, although they may have begun to except a few. Jaol is close enough to the American jail that it would be assumed to be a typo. It is important for Duo to attempt to limit correct choices as the more things that are acceptable the greater the chance for accepting an outright error.


No. Cárcel is a feminine noun so it uses la. Nouns not ending in o or a just have to be memorized but basically all nouns do as many break o a rule.


I've seen cárcel translated as both "jail" and "prison" on Duolingo, but those words mean two slightly different things. Jail is usually temporary, and pre-sentencing, prison is post-sentencing. So which is cárcel?


In British English 'Gaol' should be accepted.


Duo's standard is not British English. It is American English. It is important to declare and maintain a standard because there are not only spelling differences and new words like lorry for truck, there are words with other meanings from fairly easy things like boot for trunk to subtle additional meanings. In American English the word revise cannot be synonymous with review but it can in British English. So not only would it be difficult for the Americans who started Duo to understand the full scope of what they would have to program in, the results would be confusing to EVERYONE because few people know all the differences. This does vary a little by language taught though. I have not progressed very far in the Welsh or Irish courses but they seem to be more British English friendly, which makes sense considering there are no longer many speakers of these languages here. But as of 2015, the US has the second largest Spanish speaking population in the World after only Mexico.


I answered "the prison", why was this wrong?


There is a word prisión which means prison. I know in American English many people who don't have specific experience with the criminal justice system use jail and prison rather interchangeably. I have seen cárcel translated as both jail and prison, but I don't know whether there is such an important distinction as would be made by both judges and convicts in the US between the two words. Which is a convoluted way of saying I am not sure to what extent that distinction is valid.


If you are complaining about dialect differences in Spanish, don't take German. People in adjacent towns sometimes can't understand each other, so says my Oma.


It's true that there are German dialects that other Germans may not understand. When I lived in Bavaria I was often translating Bayerisch, the local dialect, into Hochdeutsch for other Germans. But most Germans can converse in Hochdeutsch and Hochdeutsch is fairly easy to understand. German is mostly hard to learn due to its three genders, four cases and syntax issues. But German is otherwise often easy for English speakers to master due to the Germanic roots English. I am just saying don't discourage people.


Why is it translated to gaol?


Because any accepted translation can show up as a correct answer. After years of trying, British users got the British spelling accepted. But even the Oxford English dictionary prefers jail.


El cartel es en la cárcel, y son comen Carvel!


Error here. Says the answer is tbe gaol


After much lobbying by the British, Gaol is one accepted answer on Duo. That is still used as the spelling in much of Britain, although it is pronounced the same. The Oxford English Dictionary does prefer jail, however. Apparently the British had adopted the spelling from one French dialect and the spelling from another.


Or you could think of carcel as like a jail CELl


I was corrected from goal to gaol. Is a gaol a prison?


Gaol is a British spelling of jail, and it is pronounced the same. The word comes through French and English adopted the spelling of one dialect and the pronunciation of another. We adopted jail here, and that is the spelling preferred by the Oxford English Dictionary. I don't know what I think about all the recent adoptions of British words on Duo. I don't mean to be exclusionary, but as there is no good filter for what pops up as an answer as long as it is an accepted one, it seems to have gone from confusing some users to what seems to be confusing all users.


That should work. But it is my general impression that Spanish in general uses el cárcel for both. In English, or perhaps I should say in American English, the more people deal with the criminal justice system, the more precise they are in using those terms, - jail being short term and generally county based and prisons being longer term state or federal facilities. But people less familiar with the system often use the terms quite loosely. My impression is that Spanish always does that, although perhaps those closer to the criminal justice system in some countries may make the same distinction.

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