Why is это used here if the translation is "A chicken is a bird"? Is это redundant in this situation?
Since Russian has dropped the verb 'to be' in Present case in most cases (although you can find it in formal documents), the sentences like «X is Y» became ambiguous. «X — Y» may be mistaken for an apposition «X-Y» (e.g. «курица-птица» might theoretically mean 'a chicken bird' or 'a bird of a hen'; in this sentence it's not a viable option, but in many sentences using «X — Y» would be abmiguous).
So, the Russian languare has resolved ambiguity by inserting это 'it'. While it originally was a means to reduce ambiguity, now sentences with это actually sound more natural.
Compare it with Mandarin Chinese: in Classical Chinese, 是 used to mean 'this', but now it is a verb 'is'. Unlike Mandarin, Russian hasn't gone so far as to make «это» a verb, but this sentence still sounds better with «это».
While English, since it has never really dropped 'is', doesn't usually use 'it' in such situations, so that's why we leave «это» out in translation.
Simply put, "A chicken, it's a bird," as opposed to Курица - птица, "A chicken is a bird."
"Chicken, it is a bird" is not deemed correct by duolingo, and I get that the translation is a bit too literal and unnatural, but shouldn't it be correct?
It doesn't sound right in English, even though it is a very literal translation of the Russian.
Please see the guide to using э́то by olimo: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11536858
I had the same question; see above...the concept is correct but apparently you have to get the singular/plural aspect correct as well.
No, I said, "Chickens are birds." Yours would be, «Курица - член семейства птиц». A chicken is a member of the bird family.
I'm very confused. So, "Курица - это птица" doesn't mean a chicken is a type of bird.
Oops, I'm sorry to add to confusion. I was just translating your sentence. Yes, you are correct. "A chicken is a bird." Курица это птица. That's the correct translation.
X это Y = X is/are Y
In addition to the singular vs. plural thing, Russian doesn't have articles. Basically everytime there's a noun, it could be either "the" or "a/an" in English. So in this case a straightforward translation is "(a/the) chicken is (a/the) bird" and other translations are dubious/technically complicated.
But... I would also be interested in whether the sentence can have both the literal and the abstract meaning.
Курица - это птица. This means the indefinite "a chicken is a bird." If referring to a definite chicken, "The chicken is a bird," then the translation would likely use the word "this" in Russian. Эта курица - птица. (You would omit the word это because it sounds awkward to use both эта and это.)
The pronunciation of 'Курица' in this one is different from a previous task. Which syllable is supposed to have the stress?
My answer was, "Chickens are birds," which should also be correct in this context as it conveys the same meaning.
I realize that my nouns were technically plural; but my point was that this is a generalized statement, thus the meanings are equivalent in English. "A chicken is a bird" means the same thing as "Chickens are birds."
I agree with you, but for the purposes of learning Russian, the learner has to know the difference between singular and plural. These exercises shouldn't be loose translations as long as the meaning is understood but should be as precise translations as possible in order to show the learner's aptitude.
If duoLingo tells me that "Chickens are birds." is incorrect, then I'll believe that there is a problem with my understanding of "Курица - это птица." and won't be sure if its a generalized statement because "A chicken is a bird." and "Chickens are birds." are the generalized statements in English.
As true as that is, you would not say they are "the same" phrase in English. Distinguishing these nuances is much better for building understanding of the language.
Either way, Курица - это птица, means, "a chicken is a bird." "Chickens are birds," would be, курицы - это птицы.
I agree that the essence is the same, but you are not being asked to interpret the phrase or to respond to a question, you are being asked to translate the sentence. One translation is correct while the other is not, regardless of any common usage.
Yes, nuance is everything. But there is precious little difference between "A chicken is a bird." and "Chickens are bird.". I would have to say they're the same thing. They both mean that chickens belong to the bird family or the class aves. The question is does "Курица - это птица" mean that chickens belong to the bird family? The child asks "Why do chickens lay eggs?" The adult answers "Because a chicken is a bird" or "Because chickens are birds." Same thing.