"Это не Америка, а Канада."

Translation:It is not America but Canada.

November 5, 2015

This discussion is locked.


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 )


PlatinumT is correct. I have lived in the US my whole life. I am an American. PlatinumT is a Canadian. We both live on the North American continent.


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").


"Basically anyone who is American, but not from the USA, wouldn't call it so."

Is that always the case? I notice this among Spanish speakers in the Americas, but it's less common among other English speakers and French speakers.


In french, we say "les États-Unis"


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


Why is it А and no но ? I thought но was but


In French, we say "les États-Unis", "l'Amérique" and "en Amérique" ONLY, exclusively and happily, when referring to the US.


No. In Spanish they say estadounidense.

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


I also think it is like that in many languages, but not, for example, in Spanish. When we say «América» we refer to the whole of North, South and Central America. Maybe «Americana / Americano» (American) could sound more like from the US (even if it is not correct) but we do not use it since for people from the US we have «Estadounidense». Maybe we don't make this generalisation because all the Spanish-speaking countries in América, and I think Portuguese and French also work like Spanish in this case. Regards!


Not in Spain, at least


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.


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.


The South-African Republic is an excellent example. Think about the idea, that someone refers to it simply as Africa.


The English language split the western hemisphere into two continents called North and South America before there were any countries in either continent to develop feelings about it.



Language doesn't exist separately from the people who speak it.

If you are speaking of the area we now call the U.S., the settlers were taking the land away from the original inhabitants approaching from the east side, and the Commanche tribes were taking their land away from the west side. The people in the middle didn't stand a chance. They were slaughtered in much the same fashion as they slaughtered the Clovis people that preceded them.

The history of humanity is the history of colonization.


Did the language do that, or did the people who speak the language? Presumably the same people, or ancestors of the people who killed most of the Americans that inhabited North America at that time.


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?


This frustrates me lmao


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.


Well, I'm Brazilian and my country is in the American Continent, subcontinent South America. It's sad United States of America has all the power they have and mean geography as their will.


English speakers referred to North and South America as separate continents long before there were countries called Brazil and the United States.

The different naming conventions have nothing to do with the current relevant power status of America (as everyone in the English speaking world commonly refers to it) vis-à-vis Brazil. The differences are historic and reflect different cultural practices as well as the technology available to different countries in that period.

I have no doubt that you refer to China as China just as English speakers do. Of course, it is enunciated differently in Portuguese. But I can assure you that neither the English, Portuguese or Russian names for China bear any resemblance to how the Chinese people refer to their country. And it has nothing to with American or English speaker arrogance.

I am currently living in Eastern Europe. There are some people here from a country called Sakartvelo. Everyone here refers to it as Gruzia as do all Russians. English speakers call it Georgia, as do Portuguese speakers.

So when speaking to people from there, I use Sakartvelo.

When speaking to Europeans, I use Gruzia.

When speaking to English speakers, I use Georgia but then I have to be sure they don't think I am speaking of the well known state of Georgia within the U.S. Ditto for Portuguese speakers.

Different strokes for different folks. One of those strokes is how they refer to the geography that they are aware of.


Hello NG! First of all, thank you for your polite reply. As I mean, I only had this discussion with dozens of arrogant people before.

I'm half Italian, so I have contact with many people in Italy and try to open a discussion about it. When I said it's a matter of power and influence I meant it by real. I understand when you say we don`t use the native/real names referring to countries or peoples, but what I meant mainly is that when I try to discuss it with my European family or friends they never even had the chance to listen to "our side" or point of view of History and Geography. They never questioned themselves about native americans, ethnicity in the continent or matters of black people history in America, and we have a lot of that to study about, for example. The informations that arrives there is mostly influenced by the US and the relations US - Europe, essentially what was built before between the US and England. The truth is that only a few people is interested on our cultures and development over time because we had opposite ways of colonization and, consequently, we're not rich as you are and we don't give anyone any status. By the way, as an example that we had an idea of unicity before, there was the Monroe Doctrine, which we always listen to the "América para os americanos" or "America for the Americans" in the context of the Ibero-America push to independences. It's funny that I went to a search on wikipedia and see that in Portuguese and Spanish the arcticle is not changed, but in English it refers to Americas and it's very different formulated. If you get curious about how the information arrived for us by the time and how we know it nowadays I'll put these links here https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doutrina_Monroe https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrina_Monroe

Well, the point is that I understand your process and you language points and I respect that. All I ask for is that you don't ridicule us by our long and massive learning process and historic process that the make the other 20 countries in America use it in a different way and identify themselves in this way. We have lots of songs, ethnicity matters issues, etc, that make this an important question to discuss and be accepted.

(And thank you, I guess I've never wrote this much in eng lol)


You will note that I don't fault non English speakers for using different terminology for geographic features than those terms that are prevalent in the English speaking world.

I am just saying that people who want to use correct English should use the patterns of speech associated with English, when using English country names.

It has absolutely nothing to do with current geopolitical relations. The different practices originated before there were any countries or even any Euro language residents anywhere in the Americas to form an opinion on the subject.

The language differences originated in different maritime practices employed by different countries at the time.


Would you use America if speaking pt?


I try to adjust my speech patterns to whatever language I am using, to the best of my ability.

If they have a shared understanding of the relationship of continents and countries that is different from my English language shaped approach, I try to use theirs as much as is possible for me to do.


btw, we use a lot "estadunidense" in Portuguese. It's not strange at all call ourselves Americans.


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


Except people live in north america nobody call united states, united states! (except in formal usages).

United states of America is called America as stados unidos mexicos is called Mexico. When refer to America continent, most people use continent or north/south words if they can't guess it from the context


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


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.


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

  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)


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?


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.


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?


"А" can be used for "and" as well as "but" ?


It is more like, you use "а" for juxtaposition and "и" for making a list:

  • Я ем яблоки и бананы. = I eat apples and bananas.
  • Я ел (Я ела) яблоки, апельсины и бананы. = I ate apples, oranges, and bananas.
  • Я программист. А ты? = I am a programmer. And you?
  • Я программист, а ты врач. = I am a programmer and you are a doctor.
  • Я программист, а ты нет. = I am a programmer and you are not.
  • Я не врач, а учитель. = I am not a doctor, I am a teacher.
  • Я учитель, а не врач. = I am a teacher, (and) not a doctor.
  • Я живу в Италии. А ты где? = I live in Italy. And where do you (live)?
  • Я живу в Италии, а ты во Франции. = I live in Italy, and you (live) in France.
  • Я работаю, а папа спит. = I am working and Dad is sleeping.

Even though you can replace "а" with "but" and make a passable sentence, it will change the meaning, except in "Я не врач, а учитель" (I am not a doctor but a teacher) where English speakers actually use "but". When it comes to "And you?" questions, most English speakers will likely object to replacing "and" with "but".


Yes, but it's slightly contrastive, so "but" is a better translation in this instance,


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.


    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.


    Это не Америка, шалалалала.



    It should be "This is not America, but Canada."


    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."?


    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.


    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.


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

    • 1320

    So 'или' and 'а' both mean 'but'?


    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".


    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!


    Wouldn't но be more appropriate for this sentence instead of а. When I see а, I think and; would I be better off thinking but?


    The English is not very idiomatic. "It is Canada, not America," and, "It is not America, it's Canada," are more natural.


    I think the focus in this sentence is the usage of Russian "a" in a place where it means "but"; so maybe there were other phrases that could have made the same point while being more colloquial in English, but this case is still grammatically correct.


    So a is and or but...


    Shouldn't there be a space after "не"?


    We should call the Americans United-Staters or United-Statians cause they weren't able to put a name on their own country. America is the whole continent. I'm Brazilian and American. They act like the only Americans



    You can call anybody anything you want. But if you are going to speak English then you should learn to use English language naming systems. Residents of United States don't act like they are the only Americans. They act like they are English speakers. Just like you presumably act like a Portuguese speaker when speaking Portuguese.

    Why would you think you can tell Russian speakers that they cannot choose to import English terms for some geographical features but instead have to use your preferred Portuguese terms? Especially since that would involve a massive re-education of their population on that issue.


    Where ето mean "It is" And where ето means "this is"


    Since the Russian sentence is Это, the translation should be "This is not..."


    Причем здесь ( but ) ?????

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