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