"Can you play piano?"
Translation:Вы умеете играть на пианино?
Yes, if a grand piano is implied.
- piano is фортепиа́но (a generic term for different kinds of pianos),
- пиани́но is a vertical piano,
- and роя́ль is a grand piano.
Роя́ль and пиани́но from Wikipedia (both are types of фортепиа́но):
However, many people don't use the word 'фортепиано' and use 'пианино' as the default term for all kind of pianos, because 'пианино' is the most common type of pianos.
Yes, it's an Italian word.
Fortepiano is also the archaic English term for what is now called a grand piano - from the days when all pianos were like this. To use it nowadays would sound horribly pompous!
And isn't it just wonderful how Duo is teaching us the cases in Russian nouns by using undefinable words? [There's no emoji that fits my level of sarcasm here.]
Undefinable? Or indeclinable? :)
Yes (sarcasm rating a 0 on the Richter scale) - they used indeclinable words before with такси, кофе и метро, and it was good that they did so; in fact in the first lessons, Мой багаж уже в такси / метро was easy to learn because of the use of indeclinable nouns. If I had had to learn about prepositional case right away, I might have gotten overwhelmed - my focus was on vocabulary and palatalization at that time. So if you like, indeclinable nouns are a boon to learners.
Moreover, both declining and indeclining nouns are part of this complex language we are learning. And anyway, in every language there will be exceptions like these indeclinable words. I think the contrast of играть на гитаре and играть на пианино used within the same unit lesson on Duo helps illustrate the caveat to learners very nicely.
There are resources to use in tandem with Duolingo to grasp the cases. Let me know if you would like links to some of my preferred sources - I would be glad to share these.
«Ты играешь на пианино?» means 'Are you playing piano?' or 'Do you play piano?', not 'Can you play piano?'.
Of course, those sentences are mostly interchangeable, because people don't usually play piano when they can't play it... but sometimes they do. xD
In russian this sentens have both mean, and "ты играешь на пианино?" automaticly may means "ты умеешь играть на пианино?"
Why did it not accept фортепиано, but insist on the shortened пианино? I had a native Russian ask me this question not long ago and they used the first word. It should be allowed as a variant, i think.
It should. Next time you get this sentence, consider using the Report button with ‘My answer should be accepted’ option.
Пиани́но ‘upright piano’ is a type of фортепиа́но ‘piano’. Another type is роя́ль ‘grand piano’.
In English, it’s common to say ‘piano’ without specifying its type. In Russian, it’s more common to say пиани́но or роя́ль, and фортепиа́но is a less common word (but it should be accepted, too, of course).
Another great example of why using the dictionary hints is such a joke. The first time through, I didn't use на because it wasn't in the hints. The second time, I wrote можете играть на играть? because можете is in the hints and Вы умеете is not in the hints.
Why Duo persists in this stupidity is beyond me. The hints are almost always some combination of wrong, misleading and/or incomplete. You find all three in this exercise.