"Алло, это Вера."
Translation:Hello, Vera speaking.
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That is not quite true. Pavement is an accepted alternative to sidewalk, tap for faucet, biscuit for cookie, and so on. But as Theron has already said, some areas have been missed. Reporting them sometimes gets it added, sometimes not. The whole "Education" skill on the Dutch course is a minefield, because the U.S. not only uses different words, but has a whole different educational system, so in many cases, there is no direct UK equivalent. From what Dutch users have said, the Dutch system is probably more like the UK's, so a UK translation would get closer to the true meaning, but no UK translation is provided (or accepted). It's particularly difficult when not only the words, but the actual underlying concepts don't have a direct match.
American English is what they use for the primary translation, but British English is also accepted. I think they just overlooked some words through lack of knowledge of British, these should be reported and added.
"Hallo" sounds outdated to me up here in Scotland (we mostly say "hiya"). I can't speak for England though.
I've asked for this to be accepted. I'm glad you raised it, as I was starting to think I was the only native English speaker to both say and write: "Hallo", and not this stupid: "Hello" thing, which sounds to me as if it's straight out of a 1930s Enid Blyton novel (and I'm no fan of Enid Blyton). It's frustrating to get it wrong every time, when I've clearly recognised the phrase, and translated it exactly as I would say it in English. "Hallo" is so much more natural to me that I sometimes forget and do it again, immediately after being told it's "wrong".
I didn't know they say that in the UK. We say "Hello" or "Hi" in the US. In German "Hallo" is the word for "Hello". Duolingo may have thought you were using German incorrectly for English. See Google translate guesses that it is German: https://translate.google.com/?hl=en#auto/en/hallo
Try reporting it as an alternate translation and provide references that show it is correct. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hallo http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/hello?q=hallo
It's fun you did bring it up, and so much member sided with this word, because it's a very-very common thing in hungarian too. As we use "hallo" in phone and not hello, because "hall" literally means "hear(ing)", so it fits more when you can't say the person you talking to.
Phone answering protocol varies by country and level of discourse. I ALWAYS say "This is . . . " "Vera speaking" is very formal, and I don't think I've heard any Americans say it in a long time. Also conventional is "Hello, Vera here," but as far as I know that is only British. Is it still common usage? I presume all these alternatives are accepted, but I haven't tested.
"Hello, X speaking" is still standard British usage when taking a phonecall, particularly in a work environment. It would be usual to insert the name of the organisation before your own name. "Hi." is what I would use when (thanks to caller display) I know that the person who is calling is someone that I know.
"Hello, this is X" is what one uses when initiating the call.
And "Hello" is the American standard spelling now and most common usage for answering a telelphone. Americans would never write "Hallo." It's just not the way we think of the word. The upmarket alternatives for answering the phone in business would be something like : "Good afternoon, Conglomerate Industries. How may I direct your call?" Or "Thank you for calling Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. How my I be of service?"
I think everyone thinks "hi" is a lot more informal than it is...
I would be completely comfortable saying "hi" to my doctor, my boss or their boss, even. I might say "hello" when introducing myself to those persons for the first time, but afterwards, would usually use "hi".
I would NOT use "hey" to greet said persons, but "hey" would be a completely acceptable way to greet my friends or family.
Customers or clients get "hello" or "hi" depending on their age and class.
**American English, Pacific Northwest dialect
I've used "hey, how are you" for greeting my boss' boss and also for his boss the only time i met her, and I especially use it on the phone for customers or anybody else. Although it might be because I have social pragmatic communication disorder (a form of autism) and never had this explained to me. Well, I've been wondering about this, sort of, so thanks for explaining.
uhm it's really kinda weird to be frank :-) .
Even in English "Hi!" is used when the answering machine is taking the call :-)
Like "Hey! It's me dempl! Leave a message after the scream! SCREEEAM!".
The same way you would say "Zdravstvuy!" and "Privet!" would be when recording a message the answering machine :)
It doesn't mean "speaking". But it's not a word-for-word translation. This is how someone answers the phone. Its use may be dwindling these days, but in English, the polite or formal way to answer the phone, particularly in a business setting, used to be: "Hello [or Hallo ;) ], this is -------- speaking." Usually followed by: "How may I help you?"
"Hello, this is Vera" would sound a bit casual or unprofessional. They've just translated it into the politest English version - you don't have to worry about "Зто" meaning "speaking".
That is the literal translation, however this phrase is specifically used when answering the phone. In English-speaking countries, not many people will answer the phone with: "Hello, I am...", especially in a business context, if they take customer calls. The traditional formula is: "Hello, Vera speaking", usually followed by: "How may I help you?"
But they are NOT being told "это" means "speaking". Where does it say that? They are being given a naturalistic translation of the whole phrase. Learning a language is about more than learning a huge equivalence table of individual words. If you want to translate in that robotic and inflexible way, why learn a language at all? After all, we now have the likes of Google Translate for that. It often sounds clunky or even unintelligible, but hey, it translates every word faithfully, so what's the problem? The problem is it's not what anybody in the target language actually says.
But literal translation is not always good translation. People in English-speaking countries don't answer the phone with: "Hello, this is..." The Russian phrase is the set phrase when answering the phone - and only then. The customary equivalent in English is: "Hello, [name] speaking".
I don't see why, when seeing this sentence for the first time during an exercise where you have to choose the words rather than the phrase, "Speaking" would be used here. The word "Speaking" does not actually appear in the sentence - I would expect this to be "Hello, this is Vera".
Please check the other comments. This is a case where the literal translation is not the best one. Both English and Russian have customary phrases which are ONLY used when answering the phone. Instead of translating word for word, you should select the equivalent phrase, which in English is: "Hello, X speaking...", even though Russian does not use the verb "to speak" in this context.