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  5. "Muchos hombres han perdido s…

"Muchos hombres han perdido su vida en el mar."

Translation:Many men have lost their life at sea.

January 7, 2013



isn't it better to say 'sus vidas', disregarding the english translation?


No, this is the correct way to say it in Spanish. Spanish uses the singular or plural relative to each individual in the group. Each man has only one life to lose, so it is "su vida".

If you were talking about something where each man had lost more than one, such as keys, then the plural would be appropriate. E.g.

"Muchos hombres han perdido sus llaves en algún momento."


There is a great example of this in the song "Princesas" by Pereza. The line goes "no quiero volver a hablar de princesas que buscan tipos que coleccionar a los pies de su cama..."

It means I don't want to talk any more about princesses who look for guys to collect at the foot of their beds. In Spanish, pies is plural because the bed has multiple feet but su cama is singular because every person has only one bed.


That is a great example. Thanks.


I've noticed that Spanish doesn't do this the same way English does. The noun is singular since each of the group only loses one.


I don't agree with the English here - the proper and best answer should be "their lives" (or possibly "his life", though I don't prefer it). By using "their life" the sentence is implying one life collectively held by all.

The only caveat to this is the modern use of "their" to express the singular non-gender possessive pronoun that English lacks. But this workaround that English has more recently adopted is unnecessary here, since the subject is "Muchos hombres", and therefore it seems not legitimate to me to use the workaround.

Furthermore, "their life" implies that the singular case is acceptable here, as with "his life", and I don't prefer this.


The speaker says "marTE" in stead of "MAR".


I think the text-to-speech generator considered mar. as an abbreviation of martes. I saw something similar in the Spanish to English tree where the speaker pronounced "Dr. White" as "Drive White."


"... on the sea."


This should be an accepted answer in much the same vein that "On the high seas" is both an accepted and well-recognized English idiom.

Prepositions are often tedious and difficult to translate between languages, and in cases such as this Duolingo should be far more accomodating.


The Spanish uses life singular because each man only has one life to use but in English the same rule does not necessarily apply. It is more usual to use lives plural in English especially as many lives were lost, not just one collective life that all the men shared. Ergo the translation lives is correct and should be accepted


The audio says 'martes' instead of 'mar'


I noticed this too and game to the comments to see if anyone else did. It threw me off at first because I was working on my listening and not reading along.


many men have died on Tuesday. Probably 1/7


This is yet another instance of your frustrating specificity of what consitutes a "correct response." "en el mar" translated as "in the sea" should be acceptable


Not really: 'at sea' is much more idiomatic, and on the whole duolingo fails on the side of rejecting idioms.


It's interesting that DuoLingo's business is using crowdsourcing to translate documents, Web sites, etc. into different languages, but DuoLingo has apparently never used its own users to crowdsource proper translation of the translations we are forced to deal with here.


That's exactly what the "Report a Problem" button is for.


No, it does exactly that. If many people get a question wrong it is flagged for greater scrutiny.


Remember that "en" can mean "in" "on" or "at"

In this case, "at sea" makes more sense.


Not necessarily. At sea would imply sailing, whereas in the sea may imply swimming or some other form of activity. I think that the sentence is ambiguous contextually.


It is accepted now. "in the sea" 11/4/2013


"in the sea" is accepted - it is more specific than "at sea" which could mean on board ship etc. Not sure what the intent is but I took it mean by drowning


I translated it as "... in the sea" and it was accepted.


Also I think that considering the sentence "many people" should be accepted as "hombres" in espanol can translate a collection number of people like "gente" and not just male people


I believe this English translation is grammatically incorrect because it should be "their lives". " Many men have lost their lives" not "Many men have lost their life".


Thanks for chipping in. It's grammatically correct English to say "Many...have lost their lives", and it's not rigid nor inflexible to insist upon it. Many... have lost their life" in English is illogical and simply wrong. It sounds silly, as it should when it's not correct.


I hear su vida el Marte and not en el mar. It is okay in slow way


why 'many people' is not accepted?


Many people is mucha gente or muchas personas. The word hombres only refers to men.


I missed "el" while translating to Spanish and Duo said I need the article "la" here. Is Duo making stuff up or could "la" really be used?


Mar is sometimes considered a feminine noun, especially in poetic or literary contexts or in set phrases.


At the following site, about the middle of the page, are some sample translations from English to Spanish using the term "lives" ("vidas"). Probably there are some regional differences in common usage, as well as some literary flexibility.



Especialmente esos hombres quienes no sabian nadir.


Should be lives not life


Granted, they say it that way in Spanish. We wish so to learn. But when translating it into English, we need to follow the English rule and say "Many men have lost their lives at sea."


This seems rather rigid and inflexible .. To me regardless of the grammar "sus vidas" is better and I truly doubt it would even be noticed


I don’t get why “Many people have lost their life at sea” isn’t accepted. Gente or personas would’ve been my pick going the other direction, but Spanish tends to use the plural for the masculine form to refer to groups of men and women quite often so I don’t think it’d be wrong to interpret this as such


The word "hombres" can only refer to men. There are other words in Spanish where the plural masculine form can refer to a mixed group, but in the case of the word "hombres," it only refers to men because there's no feminine form of the word "hombre." "Mujer" is a completely different word. In other cases, like using the word "tíos" to refer to both aunts and uncles, it works because the masculine and feminine version are just two different versions of the same word.


am I hearing it say "Many people have lost their lives on Tuesday" because she is not saying "Mar"


Many men, sailors, people, migrants etc have lost their lives is correct idiomatic English. Spanish, French etc assume that each has one life so use the singular. The English translation cannot slavishly follow the format of the Spanish. Yet I have to be 'wrong' and step out of line to be 'correct'.

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