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!
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...
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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"
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 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.
"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".
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.
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.