"Это не Америка, а Канада."

Translation:It is not America but Canada.

November 5, 2015

59 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CTO_COB

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

November 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

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

November 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf

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.

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Tina_in_Bristol

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".

April 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/PlatinumT

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 )

December 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

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

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/elarue53078

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.

December 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wesmrqs

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").

August 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MathieuBel5

In french, we say "les États-Unis"

April 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/sirgren

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.

January 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kennius

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

January 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Schynd

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.

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/faintsignal

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

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Schynd

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.

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/malchikrene

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

November 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LutherF

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.

December 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/elarue53078

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.

December 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zekecoma

Germans and Dutch, too.

April 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/RobBritton

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.

July 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/shadeofblack

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.

August 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/zekecoma

Yeah, but only Spanish speakers complain about this.

April 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/vegjjany

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

April 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OfficialADC
  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)
June 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/susanstory

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.

July 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/diogogomez

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

June 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/VinuriR

How is "a" used in Russian?

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/slycelote

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"

November 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SharkaBlarg

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

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BassaniZ

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

March 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/zekecoma

United States of America - Соединённые Штаты Америки

April 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Potatoism

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

November 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tina_in_Bristol

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.

November 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/akunosama

Thank you! I wrote nor.

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/an_alias

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.

November 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Toblerone

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....

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bleepandbloop

Why is "а" used here and not "но"?

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/an_alias

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.

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Meowe3

Darnit, Sergiey, we nuked the wrong country!

September 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DeepakVign

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

November 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Tina_in_Bristol

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.

November 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DSoloha

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

January 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/an_alias

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.

Maybe?

January 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shmueldabomb441

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

May 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tina_in_Bristol

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.

May 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shmueldabomb441

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

May 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/alexsimpso396384

"a" is not but. но is

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Tina_in_Bristol

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".

July 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TheFinkie

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.

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TheFinkie

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

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cptchuckle

"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.

July 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mjetkost

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

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

May 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/faintsignal

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

January 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AistisGraz

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

June 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jeffrey855877

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

March 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/FruKnasBrj

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

June 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BRENDONGOE

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 ...

August 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/IKEAlord

Hetalia?

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexanderS548497

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

March 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/tuartli

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.

March 11, 2019
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