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  5. "Это не Америка, а Канада."

"Это не Америка, а Канада."

Translation:It is not America but Canada.

November 5, 2015



But.. but... Canada is IN (North) America! :)


Yes... Another language that calls the USA "America", lol


I'm pretty sure everyone in the world minus those in North-American or South-American countries that aren't the USA would all refer to the USA as "America". I've heard it from British people, and of course in other languages too.


I'm a native UK speaker, and use "America" and "The U.S." absolutely interchangeably. I would never say that either Peru (for example), or Canada were "in America". If I was referring to the continent, not the country, I'd specify North (which includes Canada), South, or possibly Central America. If I meant all of it (which is quite uncommon, as I'd usually have a specific part in mind), I'd say: "The Americas".


I have been a Canadian all of my life, and I would say that this explanation is the most accurate explanation there is. If you live in "the Americas", using "America" does refer to (very specifically) U.S.A. (or "the U.S." or "the states"). If someone lives in Canada, you would say they live in Canada (very specifically "Canada"), not that they "live in America". This is the same for Mexico, and so on. U.S.A. is the only country where you can correctly say someone "lives in America". If you need to refer to the continents, then you would need to specify "North" or "South", etc as Tina has explained here. Again, if for some reason you are talking about that whole area of the world, you would specifically use "the Americas". It might seem weird in a technical aspect, but this is just how it is here.

Another important thing directly related to this is the use of the "citizenship words". What I am talking about is "Canadian", "Mexican", ...and here it is.... "American". "American" means very specifically a citizen of U.S.A., not any citizen who lives in the Americas. This may be why saying someone lives "in America" does specifically mean living in U.S.A..

(Edited P.S.: If you still disagree with this, consider the following: would someone who does NOT live IN the Americas be more correct? Or someone who DOES live IN the Americas be more correct? ;P )


But you have to say peru and canada are in america. Itd be a waste of time differentiating north and south for each in the same sentence


Typically both continents together are referred to as "the Americas".

For example, one should say "Canada and Peru are my favorite countries in the Americas", not "Canada and Peru are my favorite countries in America".


Basically anyone who is American, but not from the USA, wouldn't call it so. Because those people feel that they being treated as they are not part of America, while they are. It's my case :/

But it's a language thing. And it's difficult to change it


It depends. My Peruvian uncle very much identifies as a (South) American, but when I lived in Brazil for two years, anytime I'd remind them that they were Americans because Brazil is in South America, they'd laugh like it was a funny joke.


Actually, at least here in Rio, people usually hate when someone refers to the USA as America, or people from the USA as american (we prefer saying "estadunidense" instead of "americano/a").


In french, we say "les États-Unis"


In French, one also says "Je suis americain(e)"


No. Im not from the American continental land mass and I never refer to the US when I say 'America'


You can call anything you want by any name you want. But if you don't want to flaunt the fact that you speak English as a second language, then you should use the English language and Russian naming conventions when using either of those languages.


I do so. Nevertheless ambiguity of definitions may result in differences. That's why generalising a big part of the world population like 'TheGandalf' does is not correct.


No. In Spanish they say estadounidense.

In France, we say "Américain", and sometimes "Nord-Américain", "États-Unien". But those 2 are rarely in use.


To be fair, the USA is the only country that actually has "America" in its name. Whereas there are others which have "United States" or something to that effect.


Yes, United States OF America.


Sure, but not really.

On the one hand, if you're claiming two entire continents in your name you should probably have the majority of those continents as part of your "United States", and we don't. I'd say we were feeling our oats after independence but...

On the other hand there are many sovereign states in the Americas, those in the US have just chosen (yeah, yeah, civil war blah) to be united under a common, federal banner and are, thus, the United ones.

We can call ourselves the USA, but to call ourselves America? Weird.


Nah, it's not weird. The Republic of South Africa doesn't go around calling itself "the Republic." People call it "South Africa" without getting pedantic about the fact that Botswana and Lesotho are also in south Africa. People like to do that with America, though, usually because they have some sort of chip on their shoulder.


I'm not even sure why this is a hotbed topic. Americans often refer to their own country as America.


I'm giving you 2 lingots because your profile is just awesome! 21 languages on Duo!? Awesome brain.


We Americans also have "Native Americans" (which doesn't include Aztecs, Mayans, or other original tribes of the Amazon, etc.) and "Indians" who aren't from India - even though we still call those that are actually from India "Indians".

Isn't language grand?


We of the United States, in justice to Canadians and Mexicans, have no right to use the title 'Americans' when referring to matters pertaining exclusively to ourselves. James Duff Law, 1903

This should apply to anyone from the southernmost tip of Chile to Alert, Nunavut. Usonians, from which the Esperanto word Usonanoj would later be derived from, would be more appropriate.

I find it irritating when yanks ask me "Hey, are you American as well?" I can answer yes to that, but it does not imply I am from the same backwards nation as them.


Haha I agree


It's just a linguistic and educational thing, not political. If you ask an English speaker "Hey, how many continents are there?", their answer would be: "7 – North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica." Whereas a Spanish speaker would say: "5: América, Europa, África, Asia y Oceanía." That is how this is learned at school and that is why this is such a controversial issue.

Spanish speakers need to understand that English speakers are not being consciously arrogant when calling the USA "America." And it is also true that English speakers need to be aware that "América" (as in "the Americas") is a completely different cultural concept in Spanish.


Pray tell, which of those five continents then do Spanish speakers consider Antarctica to belong?


They know it's there, they just don't include it in the 'official' list of continents. Maybe because it's virtually uninhabited? I don't know.


Some russian speaker says USA is america. Sometimes is no important in speech. It's geografical continent.


USA, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and so on are America. America is a whole continent not a one country


That is true. However, when a Mexican is asked, "Where are you from?" they do not reply, "America." Additionally, it's linguistic, not ethnocentric. Japanese refers to the USA as America. Russian refers to the USA as America. Kyrgyz refers to the USA as America. Almost always, when someone in the world says, "America," they are referring to the USA.


I have an uncle in Peru, and I have heard that Peruvians take offense to "America" being co-opted to refer solely to the United States. However, when I was living in Brazil, they would take "America" to mean the United States, and when I would say to them, "But you're American too! Brazil is part of South America!" they'd treat it as if it were a funny joke.


It depends a lot on the politics of the people you are speaking to here in Brazil. Leftists tend to promote a 'oppressed colonized Brazil' mentality when dealing with America while Right-wing people tend to just not give a hoot and call them by the shortest most practical term possible. Which is American.


Actually, at least here in Rio, people usually hate when someone refers to the USA as America, or people from the USA as american (we prefer saying "estadunidense" instead of "americano/a").


Yeah, because it is ethnocentric, something that USters very much are.


Germans and Dutch, too.


Depends on where you're from. Here in Canada, "America" means USA. If you ask us if we are American or from America, we would say no - in fact many Canadians will take offense if you call them American.


I am from Canada. When someone is referred to as an American it clearly implies they are from the USA. No one goes around calling Canadians or Mexicans 'Americans'. EVER. In common speech America = USA. I don't understand why so many people are getting their panties in a bunch over this lol.


Yeah, but only Spanish speakers complain about this.


Well, I am a Portuguese speaker and I complain about this xD


Wait Portuguese is just a dialect of Spanish, right?

  1. People do not specify which America when they say America. They refer to the USA as either the US or America. Some people still refer to us as USA as well.
  2. The Americas are two continents, North America and South America. Then you have central America with a few countries, so you might want to split up everything you said was in America (singular)


Actually, USA, Canada, and Mexico are in North America.

Canadians would call people who are citizens of the United States "Americans". In general, Canadians call their next door neighbor to the south, "The United States" or simply "the States" or "the U.S." not "America". However people in Europe seem to like calling it "America" not "the United States".

Like my dad told me one time when I was 10 years old "I don't care what he calls me, as long as he calls me for dinner." (after a man my dad was working for always called my dad "Leslie" instead of "Lester" which was his name) My dad looked at him and then at me and laughed and said "I don't care what he calls me as long as he calls me for dinner. Then they both laughed about it.


Curiosity: the stress in Canada falls on the first syllable in English, on the second in Russian, and on the third in Spanish


How is "a" used in Russian?


Typical usage is to separate two contrasting clauses in a complex sentence; translated by "and" or "but". Небо синее, а трава зелёная. - The sky is blue, and the grass is green.

Here you see the idiom "не... а" translated as "not... but"


What is the difference between a and и? I always thought и was "and"


That's right! The land of free healthcare, clean air, the world's best hockey, poutine, maple syrup, and ketchup chips!!! Sing with me now, ooooooh Canadaaaaa....


Darnit, Sergiey, we nuked the wrong country!


Not again. Why does this keep happening?


In Russian you can also call the US "Штаты", meaning "States".


Why "this is not the united states of america but canada" is considered wrong?


United States of America - Соединённые Штаты Америки


Contextually he is correct, nobody says the entire name of America because it is so bulky and inconvenient. Any English speaker would clue in that America is short for United States of America. Duolingo tries to work context in to their lessons, and in this case they have missed one


How do you know when "a" is but or and?


No scientific rule (as far as I know) - just which would you say in English? In this particular example, it's fairly obvious it must be: "but", because you wouldn't say: "This is not America and Canada". If the meaning was: "It's neither America nor Canada", Russian has a different way for that ("Не Америка, ни Канада"), so you know it can't be that. "But" is the only translation that makes sense.


Thank you! I wrote nor.


As always in Russian, context :)

If it's a comparison between things or a continuation it's going to be "and".

If the context is contrasting two things (like here) or a divergence it's going to be "but".

On the off chance that there's going to be confusion about whether it's a comparison or a contrast, extra words will be added to make it clear.


Why is "а" used here and not "но"?


Because of the contrast. The replies to Potatoism in this thread touch on it a bit (though it's not quite what you're asking).

See discussions about the differences between а/и/но (since they're all closely related) here - especially shady_arc and maybe here, I particularly like diogogomez's reply. I can't speak to the accuracy of it, but it's exactly how I've grown to understand the words. Though, if you're not a native English speaker that reply may cause more confusion.

In any event, those threads may help.


Канада, ей?


"This is not America and this is Canada "how is this not correct for the above Russian sentence?


Firstly, "this is" (это) is not repeated in the original, so you have introduced additional words that aren't there. Secondly, Russian "а" can translate as either: "and" or: "but", depending on context. In this context, because there's a contrast ("It's not A, it's B") a more likely and natural translation is: "but". In reality, a native English speaker (I'm from the UK, but I think it's true of other English-speaking countries as well) wouldn't say: "This is not America and this is Canada", but: "This is not America but Canada". The sentence is correcting a wrong statement or belief.


Did anyone else hear "ни" instead of "не"?


Not really, no. I'm not great at this and no expert (and this could be in my own head). I don't know what your native language is (mine is US English, if you don't have a similar one this is probably useless) but I would suggest, with Russian, train your ear and throat in two directions:

Soft sign/palatalized pronunciations, the sound should come from the front of your mouth with your tongue up near the roof. The sound is moving outward.

While not specific to the soft sign, this is the sound and throat direction of the "ни" sound you think you're hearing here. If you put your fingers on your throat you'll be able to actually feel it happening forward and pushing out.

Russian, in many pronunciations, goes much deeper into the throat. What you hear here as "ни" pushed out is actually "не" dropped down into the throat and bounced back. Again, if you put your fingers on your throat you'll be able to feel it travel inwards.

Take a minute to pronounce "nee" two ways:

The way you're likely used to (well above your adam's apple and directing out) and then focus on opening your throat below your adam;s apple and directing the sound there. You should feel the bounce about halfway between the hollow of your throat and your adam's apple. And, if you do, it should be easier to differentiate between the two sounds.



"a" is not but. но is


Actually, it's not quite as straightforward as that. You could make a similar argument about "and": "а" is not "and". "и" is. Unlike English, Russian has a useful little word that falls somewhere between "and" and "but", and is used when contrasting two things. In English, when there's an obvious contrast: "It's not X, [some conjunction] Y", the natural translation is: "but". You don't say: "It's not X and Y", because that would mean it's neither of them.

Russian has a shade of meaning not available to us (English speakers) so it's up to us to pick the best fit. Here, it's clearly "but".


I thought I had finally understood this, but apparently not.

Why does 'Это' translate to 'it' in this one, instead of 'this'?


I used "this" and if was marked correct. Perhaps your answer was marked incorrect due to another part of your translation.


Could it be "This isn't America, rather Canada."?


No, "rather" requires additional words with it: "but rather" or "rather than".


before it was "здесь не Россия" but now it is "это не америка" why use это for one and здесь for the other?


In light of all the talk of continents, this video is relevant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uBcq1x7P34. However, by discussing the continents, I feel that we have moved away from subjects relevant to the duolingo question. However this often happens here, with many questions having discussion topics such as "How do I get Russian Keyboard", which really, should have it's own thread somewhere. Maybe the mods could be more stict with forum topics, so as to not turn these forums into a similar state of disorganisation as social media forums. Following the formula of "Stack Overflow" or other such forums would be a good idea. And maybe I should have moved this suggestion into the general feedback section ...


In polish "a" means only "and" as far as i know. a not but.


Does это mean both "it is " and "this is"?

[deactivated user]

    It means something like "it" or "this" but you can drop the linking verb in Slavic languages.


    Это Спарта!!! (then a front kick in the chest... this language is so cool/mysterious/intriguing.... hours of fun...)


    So 'или' and 'а' both mean 'but'?


    American when WWIII announced


    Does "a" in Russian mean both "and" and "but'...?


    Why is "а" used for the word "but" here, when recently I used "и" for "and" and it inserted an "a". Seriously, how many ways can "a" be used. Plus, not so seriously, "whose on first"?


    Kinda weird that Это не Америка, а Канада. is fine, but Дженни в метро улу такси? is not.

    Can someone explain this?


    I'm not sure if "улу" is a word, but it is pronounced "ooloo". The word "или", which means "or" in Russian, is pronounced "eelee"


    got it wrong for saying "this is" instead of "it is"


    Maybe I don't have English right, but "It's not America, it's Canada" isn't fine?


    No, because you have not translated the "а". This translates as "but", not "it's".


    I'm learning russian, but who asked me? sips tea propping legs on my table


    Is there a rule when "а" is used as "and" and when it's "but"?


    Talking about English language for once: Your translation using ”it” for ”это” gives the sentence a a ”queer” emphasis as the ”but” contrasts badly with ”it” but better with ”this” for ”это”. Try the two alternatives and you will find out!


    In Portugal and Europe in general, we call the USA citizens living in the USA, "americanos" in english is americans. By that logic when we say "na America" we are simply saying translated in English "in the USA", for me how the Russians say USA "Америка" makes sense.


    I put "This is not America, but Canada." and it was not accepted. "Это" can translate as "it is" or "this is". I should not be marked wrong; there is no context here.


    I believe that the first suggestion on а should be it's not And


    I know that 'a' in Russian language is translated 'and' when there are two contrasting entities. Not sure what these guys are translating here.


    its not america, rather canada. doesnt that make sense?


    It does make sense, but sounds a little antiquated, in my opinion. Would any modern native speaker naturally use "rather" here?

    I would certainly understand it if I read it in a book, and perhaps think: "How quaint, the language they used!" But never, ever say it myself.


    In Hebrew אלא is used in that case, so I guess I'm used to that.


    Why not "This is not America and Canada"?


    this isn't america while canada..... why not?


    This is not America, but America's hat.


    Why is it wrong to put "but is Canada" instead of "but Canada"? These strict formatted answers are costing the unnecessary loss of health points.


    there is HP in here?


    You can use a healing potion or sleep at the inn to restore health points.


    Teachers told us that Canada is in the North America


    Canada is part of the continent North America but, as already been discussed here ad nauseam, America is used synonymously with United States of America to refer to that nation.


    while everybody is rightly pointing out canada is indeed in america, I'm puzzled by th use of nominative. I thought it should be "это не америки, а канада" in genitive.


    It is America but Canada


    Like when you do not make sense to the prayer :v




    This is a poor translation. My answer was better.. This is America, not Canada.


    Sorry, you've got it backwards. Америка is negated, Канада is not. Это НЕ Америка => This is NOT America, а Канада => but Canada.


    You are right.. I typed it wrong.. my answer was "This is Canada, not America." This makes a lot more sense in English than "This is not America, but Canada".. which is a literal translation, but won't make sense to most English speakers.


    I put "It is Canada not America" which is just another way of saying it.


    But Duo isn't asking for another way of saying things. They want translations. You didn't translate the example. However, you did come up with another way to say fairly close to the same thing.


    Hetalia, anyone?


    Very irritating that this question keeps repeating so often on the tests.




    trust me im noooooooooooo expert nor do i have any idea what im talking about, but as a native croatian speaker this sounds kinda wrong. we would use 'nego' just wondering if theres sth like that in russian


    previously it meant this is not america, and canada?


    also, the "a" the definition thingy even said it meant and / but


    Why has no one mentioned that this is grammatically incorrect? Or at least extremely awkward. I live in an English-speaking country, and I know for a fact that NO ONE would ever say "It isn't America, but Canada." In this scenario, there must be a specifically-stated subject in the second clause to make the sense actually make sense, e.g. "It isn't America, it's Canada." I am reporting now, but i just think it's odd that no one has commented on this before.


    "Not X, but Y" is grammatically correct, because it's a list of 2 items, and these are not meant to be full clauses. It's similar to the construction "Not only ... but also", and is so standard that it appears in standardized tests in the US such as the GMAT.


    Or "it isn't America, but it is Canada."


    Again America = USA. The sentence ''Это не Америка а Канада'' is nonsense - sorry! - you can't compare Canada with the rest of America : South- Middle and North America.


    and there was me thinkin' Canada's in 'murica...


    "Proud to be an american, where at least i know im free, and i wont forget the men who died who gave that life to me" i think that proves US calls themselves america. Also i came on the comment section to bring up "a" being used as "and" & 'its"


    Maybe consider accepting "This is Canada, not America" as a correct answer as well? Currently it's counted as incorrect (presumably because the countries are listed in the opposite order), but in my opinion that formulation is more natural for an English speaker, and it conveys the exact same meaning.


    Ive often been warned dont learn your current languages interpretation of another language.... sentences are put together with their own rules, not assembled to suit another language structure. I suggest strongly you forget english other than simply a tool to learn russian, not shape it to english rules.


    But Ishijima is talking about the English translation, not how it is structured in Russian. When you translate from one language to another you have to change the structure to what flows better in the second language. I see your point though, you wanna learn to think in the language you are learning.


    In this course they expect you to supply usage correct English translations, not direct word for word translations.


    IshijimaLogan and mestafford93 are right. Translating the exact word structure from one language to another misses the point of translation, which is to convert meaning. The structure "this is not X, but Y" in English sounds funky because it's unusual. The same meaning is preserved with the more familiar structure "This is Y, not X".


    I agree. The sentence may translate literally as "It is not America, but Canada," but "This is Canada, not America" works as well.


    Would the translation for that not be "это канада, не америка"? That would miss out the "а" which would mean you're missing out part of the Russian in the question.


    Hello, Excuse but Canada is IN America. If you want to talk about USA, use the term ''USA'', not ''America'', otherwise you are encouraging the ''united-stater'' egocentric perspective... Thank you for correcting this mistake ASAP. ;)


    Egocentric perspective is claiming that because a particular usage is common in your own language, people should modify their own, different language derived, usage to match your expectation.

    English and Russian language use North America, South America, Central America designations. Speakers of those languages accept America as referring to the U.S. These are the two languages involved in this course.

    However, when I am taking either the Spanish/English or Portuguese/English courses, I promise you I will not tell you that you are egocentric for using America to refer to the land mass in the western hemisphere.


    Stop saying that "America" is a continent. We all learned that in preschool. Many people use "America" in reference to the United States, not the continent.


    Actually, there are several continents: North America, Central America, South America. If any place is simply "America" it is the United States. When our politicians speak to the people, they address us as "My fellow Americans". Most of the time people in South and Central America refer to citizens of the US and Canada as norteamericanos. If they want to specify the country they say canadiense or estadounidense. They call themselves centroamericanos o sudamericanos or they specify their own country: colombianos, peruanos, brasileiros, etc. (I lived in South America for more than 30 years.)


    But that's only Spanish people. Everyone else says America. Just the way it is done in the Spanish language.


    Gringos usually denominate "America" to the country where they live, but they unknown that America is a whole continent :v


    That's just how American English works.


    That is how all English, Russian, Japanese and a lot of other languages work.

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