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  5. "Uma sociedade civil é muito …

"Uma sociedade civil é muito importante."

Translation:A civil society is very important.

November 15, 2013



"Civil society is very important" is the only correct way to refer to NGOs as a whole in English. The indefinite article "a" is wrong here. "Society" is a collective in English in this sense and is therefore a non-count noun.


What if Duolingo means "a society that is civil"? Then it wouldn't be incorrect.


would "civilized society" perhaps not be better?


Civilised was my first guess too. I think it should be accepted.


I also translated it with civilised and got it wrong :-( Reading your comments I think I was not completely wrong (I'm not English native speaker)


Civilized is usually contrasted with savage or primitive. Hopefully it consists of "civil" people, those who know how to live together in harmony and for the good of one another. Having lived in a "primitive" society for 25 years, I found them to be generally as civil as many in "civilization".


Does the portuguese sentence refer to a "non military" society? Or does it have more of a behaviour based meaning, like behaving "properly"?


For me it's not in the sense of "non military", but "non-public" or "non-governmental". Yes, some of the organizations of the civil society care for "behaving properly", but it's not limited to that.


Well i translated the sentence into "a cicilian society is very important" and it got marked wrong. So i was wondering wether i missed a deeper meaing or the program simply filtered to strictly again.


I think the program is right in this case. As far as I know, "civilian" is used mainly (if not solely?) in a 'war' context to say that someone is not part of the military, so it doesn't apply in this case. (but I'm not an english native speaker, so I might be wrong). Take a look in the Wikipedia article and you may understand better the meaning of 'civil society' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_society


Cheers, thant clarifies it a bit. Although i wonder why would someone put these vocabs in a beginners lesson for another language...;-) Same goes for alot of other words as well (strike, union, asf.)


Yes, I can't imagine any circumstance in which I would need "The queen drinks juice" during my trip to the World Cup in June - lol.


Keeps it interesting though don't you think? If all the phrases were kept simple it'd be boring!


Yes, I wonder that too. They should stick to simpler words and concepts. :)


"Civil society" has quite a specific meaning in English, I assume "sociedade civil" means the same thing.

  • 2860

I would agree with you here. Freedom of speech, an independent judiciary and similar attributes which constitute a democratic society.


is civilized a wrong translation for "civil"?


No, civil society is a specific term in political science and sociology; no other word will do in this case.

[deactivated user]

    Luis, can tell me what the Portuguese sentence means. I can translate word for word, but I don't know what it means.


    Basically, it means that having a civil society is important for a polity (a political community) since it means 1) people are allowed rights of association and reunion in the first place; 2) NGOs, labor unions, etc. can mobilize themselves to lobby or at least demonstrate their positions in regards to the State, thereby providing some checks on the State's authority; 3) a strong, engaged civil society is one of the standards of a good, stable democracy, since it allows for more special interests to be debated in the public sphere and hopefully bring about change that benefits society at large (think human rights advocacy groups, and less corporate lobbying).

    [deactivated user]

      Is this as opposed to, say, a feudal society or other dictatorship ?


      Yes, at least we assume that any society that doesn't have a developed civil society is more prone to unrest and that may eventually end up leading to dictatorship of military rule of some kind (which then end up undermining said civil society that blocking freedom of reunion and association). In feudal societies the center (i.e. the state) isn't so strong to begin within, so it's hard to talk of a civil society "per se" (the only people who actually crossed the borders of vassal states were merchants, which explains why merchant guilds were the only form of association back then with any longlasting political power).

      I'd also to stress that a civil society is not a regime (like democracy or dictatorship), it really is a component of all societies as long as you have freedom of reunion and areas of life where the State isn't present: a civil society in a given political community are all the areas where NGOs are allowed to work and be vocal about their special interests/independence vis-a-vis a given State (including political parties, trade unions, voluntary organizations, environmental/human rights/special rights institutions, clubs, foundations, professional organizations, etc.). In a democracy, the State usually regulates their existence, but doesn't try to force them to act a certain way or expouse certain values; it's easy to compare this with polities where are dominated by State presence (you'll see examples of dissolution/destruction of civil society organizations in any dictatorial process, no matter the ideology of the dictatorship itself).


      Civilizado would be the correct translation for civilized


      shouldn't muito be muita because sociedade is feminine?


      In this sentece, "muito" (very) serves as an adverb, qualifying an adjective (importante). Adverbs never change. Adjectives, pronouns and determiners change according to the gender and number of the noun. Nouns usually change only for number.

      When used as an adjective, "muito" changes as expected:

      • muito tempo
      • muita gente
      • muitos anos
      • muitas pessoas


      I hear civil as like "seu vile" ... what ?


      A civil society is SO important.... por Que não?


      The meaning could be similar, depending on the context, but the most precise translations for adverb usage are:

      • very = muito
      • so = tão


      Question in English language: what is the difference between "a civil society" and "the civil society" and "civil society"?

      [deactivated user]

        Did you look at the link posted in the comments?


        Could it be "A CIVILIAN society" ????

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