Could красивый человек also be translated as "beautiful person," not in the physical sense, but someone who is altruistic, compassionate, gracious, etc.?
No, "beautiful" could be translated in Russian in physical sense only.
Altruistic - бескорыстный, альтруистический;
Сompassionate - сострадательный, сочувствующий;
Gracious - милосердный добрый;
If all of these features combined in one person - here is the phrase you requested: "человек широкой души" (also "широкой души человек") - "a man of wide soul". This man is altruistic, compassionate, gracious, kindhearted, trouble-free, obliging, helpful.
There are many phrases and words in Russian, some of them, ascending:
"Хороший человек" - "a good person". A person has a good character;
"Отличный человек" - "a great person". This person helps other people, has many friends
"Выдающаяся личность" - "an outstanding personality". A person who has excellent characteristic features. Maybe he appears on local television or on the Internet and has the appropriate recognition for his good deeds. Well, either a huge number of people consider him outstanding. If this man is famous for his bad deeds or his eccentricity, this phrase is used with sarcasm;
"Великий человек" - "a great person" (it looks like the previous sentence in English, but in Russian it stands higher). Usually this phrase people say about great scientists, singers singing patriotic songs, actors and directors who created many very popular movies. This recognition must be earned. I have not heard this phrase about people who are under forty years old (usually fifty, sixty and more)
"Человечище" - "a great person". This is an excellent degree. This word is often capitalized. I don't know anything higher than it.
But do not confuse the last word with the word "человечишка" - "little man" (not in the physical sense) - it has the opposite meaning. Usually "человечишка" used with words "мелкий", мелочный" - "petty", "никчёмный" - "worthless" etc.
But often in Russia people in a conversation may call each other with superlatives words to impress an interlocutor and show him their respect.
Wow, спасибо большое за выдающийся ответ, Neon_Iceberg. Вы - отличный человек. I've printed out your message for future reference... extremely helpful.
"handsome person" would work in English, because "handsome" only applies to physical characteristics. "Beautiful person/man" involves aspects other than physical qualities. ["Beautiful woman" means physical attributes.]
I would never refer to a man as pretty, unless I wanted to highlight that he's girlish or feminine - not widely regarded as a compliment to a man - unless he clearly refers to himself in those terms.
We will have to agree to disagree on that one. If I'm learning a language - in either direction - I want translations that sound natural. Not ones that are "linguistically valid" but distinctly odd. There are many things English allows you to say, that few people ever do or would. I guess the same is true of Russian - or indeed any language. I want plausible translations - not the rare or unlikely ones, just because "it might happen". Out of interest, what made you choose: "A pretty man"? Is that something you'd typically say in preference to "handsome" or "good looking"?
If they accept any translation that's "linguistically valid", you could end up with some strangely improbable translations accepted as correct. OK if you want to make some kind of point about accepting rare or minority constructions, but not much use if you're faced with a real world translation exercise, where you need to provide the most likely or natural-sounding translation - not the strangest one English still allows.
Duolingo has sentences such as "the duck reads the newspaper", "the house was destroyed by the angry badger", and "steel is not a metal". Our job isn't to judge the contents of the sentences, or decide whether they are possible true claims in the real world or whether they are "nice" or not; it is simply to translate them.
As for how I personally would use "pretty" to apply to a man, well, as described above, it is irrelevant. However, for interest purposes only:
I'd use it if the man exemplifies things I'd generally consider describable as "pretty". Yes, this will often mean an appearance that may be popularly considered somewhat feminine. No, I don't think that being considered feminine is any kind of objective insult, because I don't think that femininity is inferior to masculinity.
My go-to example of a man I'd consider pretty is Jamie Campbell Bower. He has beautiful hair, eyes, cheekbones, lips, etc, a somewhat feminine figure, yes, and is definitely someone I'd describe as "pretty". He's also (to the best of my knowledge) straight, and definitely gets hot girls in any case. My assessment of him as pretty is in no way a slur.
However, like I say, this is all irrelevant. Our job isn't to decide whether sentences have plausible claims or whether they are "nice" things to say, it's just to translate them. See again "the duck reads the newspaper" and "steel is not a metal", etc.
(Oh, and has for why I chose it: aside from when I get sidetracked into discussions such as these, I do tend to minimize typing time by automatically going for the valid options that have the fewest keystrokes. For a similar reason, most of my personal notes on random things are in Norwegian despite me being English; it just tends to have on average fewer letters required. My profile on here is in Chinese for a similar reason (lol @ short character limits when writing in Chinese), but my Chinese is not yet good enough to do that for everything I might want to just quickly jot down in my personal notes)
Our job isn't to judge the contents of the sentences, or decide whether they are possible true claims in the real world or whether they are "nice" or not; it is simply to translate them.
This is true. But here you have multiple options where one is a normal thing to say and the other is possible but distinctly abnormal. "Красивый человек" is a quite normal thing to say, it equates quite well to "a handsome man". "A pretty man" has a lot of implications, often negative, for us, which "красивый человек" doesn't, so that's not a good translation even though "красивый" can mean "pretty".
And if you read Sir Walter Scott's novels, "pretty man" means something completely different...
Well, I don't recall hearing or seeing it commonly, or in any context where it wasn't at least somewhat negative, but I can't speak for the entire Anglophone world. Perhaps there are places where they use "pretty" as a substitute for "handsome" without any change in meaning.
In Scott's dialect, "a pretty fellow" meant more or less a man who was able to use his weapons well and certainly not reluctant to demonstrate this ability.
Read Ivanhoe. If you have to skip the first 60 pages or so, then I'll forgive you. But the rest is certainly one of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Edit: I also highly recommend Quentin Durward, it's available for free online from Project Gutenberg. I didn't care for Waverley or Rob Roy so much.
But if 'handsome' is what would be understood when I said 'krasivyj' here, it is helpful to point this out - if I did mean 'pretty', then I should use another word that specifically means that…
@Theron126 I don't view the phrase "a pretty man" as "distinctly abnormal" or negative in any way, and while I understand there may be many who do, there are also many who don't.
I'm curious, though, about Sir Walter Scott's use of the phrase. Please elaborate! I am rather ashamed to admit I have not read any of his work.
Totally agree. It's 100% linguistically valid. Value judgments about the content of the sentences can be highly subjective, and have nothing to do with Duolingo's aim.
That is missing the point. If a word can be used in SOME circumstances only in English, but in ALL circumstances in Russian (whilst a word does exist in English that could be used in all circumstances), then the former is not a good translation, because the meanings do not match.
It is irrelevant whether people consider calling a man "pretty" to be a compliment or an insult - that IS subjective, depending on their point of view.
But the fact remains that "pretty" can only be used to describe a certain type of masculine good looks, whilst красивый can be used for all types (as can handsome). It is therefore not a good translation for красивый, because it adds information (about the type of good looks) not given in the original Russian.
The sentence does not refer to a man; it refers to "her brother." I assumed she was a girl and that her brother was indeed a pretty young man, boy or lad. So unless человек can never refer to anyone young or youngish, it is perfectly correct to translate красивый in this sentence as "pretty." Google returns 160 instances of "pretty lad," many of them in literature. It also returns approximately 310 instances of "pretty fellow" and 240 instances of "pretty boy." Before dismissing "pretty" as somehow derogatory or contemptuous when applied to males, please conduct some research. You will find that it is generally complimentary.
I am not sure what made you assume that the "she" in question has to be a young girl and even less so why would that mean that her brother is young as well? When siblings grow up they remain siblings. For all we know both of them could be over seventy and he would still be her brother.
Also, as a native speaker I probably won't call a boy красивый человек. I would call him красивый мальчик.
And now I think красивый мальчик may be appropriate for a "pretty man" as well. We do use this idiom to describe a young man who has this so called "girlish" good looks.
I'm not a native Russian speaker so could be wrong here, but I wouldn't expect this sentence to be referring to a child, though it certainly might be a young man.
Of the phrases you mentioned, "pretty boy" also sounds very derogatory to me. Perhaps this is a British usage? "Pretty lad" and "pretty fellow" seem OK, but also very archaic - something you'd encounter in an old book or in poetry, rather than in normal conversation.
810 contemporary Google citations and that's your answer? What "seems" appropriate? DL is hopeless.
In many cases, different words/phrases have different implications in different places (think pants/toilet - or don't!), so yes, often how a word sounds to native speakers from different places can be more informative than just counting Google results.
Just to be clear, by saying they seem OK, I simply meant that they don't have the same offensive connotations for me.
Not (exclusively) so. My big Oxford Russian Dictionary gives:
Pretty ['prıtı] adj (prettier, prettiest)
1) (attractive) красивый
...before it goes into anything else at all.
"симпатичный" isn't listed under the (fairly lengthy) entry for "pretty" in the EN-RU section, though looking it up separately in the RU-EN section gives:
симпатич|ный (~ен, ~на) adj (человек) nice, pleasant (литцо, голос, город) attractive, pleasant.
...which suggests that (as in most languages I know that have that cognate) it'd not be so well-suited to this purpose as "красивый".
On a different note, any chance of getting 'fellow' accepted for 'человек '? It seems possibly the most apt translation for many of the contexts put before us...imho.
Only in colloquial speech. "Fellow" - is translated more as "buddy" - "приятель", "comrade" - "товарищ". But in colloquial speech you may use it as well.
I have the impression that человек is pronounced as if there were no в. Is it right?
I've listened to the forvo pronunciations and it certainly seems to me that the 2nd syllable is emphasized, but since it's pronounced with an unstressed "o", it doesn't make sense to me - unless this is just an exception to the rule about stressed "o" sounding like "o", not "a"
I agree that "Her brother is a handsome fellow" sounds more natural in English than the alternatives.
it is the 5th time I am making the tree and I remember perfectly well that I had translated this as ATTRACTIVE PERSON and it had always been accepted. why is is considered WRONG now ??
Why is man an acceptable translation for человек in this particular case, but not others? In my native language, serbian, човек is perfectly interchangable with man, and I've been instinctively consistently translating человек as man, but duo has rejected that every single time until now :D I've been reading the comments every time, and they have consistently claimed that человек is never used in that sense to refer to a man. So which is true? I'd appreciate some consistency
Hey, it also means "pretty", even in the contex of a man. Man can be handsome, but can be also pretty.
Can we say "a beautiful man", or does this sound odd, like "pretty man"? (I've read the whole thread)
I can say that in American English, we say "a handsome man." The 'h' is indeed pronounced.