"Это великий русский писатель."

Translation:This is a great Russian writer.

December 3, 2015

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"the great Russian writer" should work too, shouldn't it? Also, "it" sounds strange to me here in English. I don't think we would use "It" here very often. I think we would almost always use "he" or "she." Is "it" more usual in Russian?


I generally use "this is" for это in that case, and feel it sounds way more natural than "it is".


Это would only mean "this" if it were agreeing with a neutral noun. Это писатель - this writer, otherwise it does mean "it is." I agree, it sounds strange in English. We wouldn't call a person "it."


Yes, the English translation seems a calque. The typical usage would be: Кто такой Толстой? Это великий русский писатель. In English it would rather be he is. But I'm not sure that it's ok to translate "это" as "he is" in a separate sentence.


How about "author" for translation of писатель, is that ok?


That would be 'автор'


I see that has been hit here


Да, Достоевский!


Пушкин, наше всё


"It's Tolstoy" should be accepted?


Yes, this is very strange and needs to be fixed. In this example, we are translating TO ENGLISH. Therefore, in this situation, the correct answer should be "The", "This". Basically Anything BUT "It". Which is the only answer it will accept. Sorry, this is a bug :). We are translated to English to convey the correct meaning in OUR language (for this example). In English, "It" would never be used... unless something un-human was a great writer.

I know its a picky, and please know my tone is meant to be light, and helpful if possible... its no big deal.

I should put that at the end of every post. My wife tells me I always offend people... yet I never mean to :)


You are, however, correct in that "it" is incorrect in English. "The" wouldn't work because you lose это, but "This" technically should work...

As someone else whose wife says is frequently offensive, I've found one way to reduce it is to not repeat points whenever possible within a single post/spoken statement. I don't understand it myself, but it seems to work most of the time. Hope that helps you too!


another poorly constructed sentence. You are not supposed to use "it" to refer to a person.


The "Correct" answer is complete rubbish and bears no relationship to the English Language - how many great writers do you know whose genotype at conception was neuter?! Algorithms I suspect are indeed devoid of chromosomatic attribution which may account for the manifest prejudice here expressed for the species of Homo Sapiens???


"This Russian writer is great" should have been accepted... right?


Can this be right? Это? It is? Given that Russian likes to call tables and beds "he" and "she", surely an actual human writer gets a gender? :)


See https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11536858 - это is not a pronoun and has no gender.

In addition, quite many professions may be used in masculine for both genders, like инженер (no feminine form), директор (there is директриса but it sounds informal), тестировщик (you can say тестировщица but it is also informal, even given the fact that the most russian QA engineers are female). But it never concerns writers as I see (писатель/писательница).


Why "a " is appeared here?not "the"


"Who is that knocking at the door?" "It is a great Russian writer". Contrived I know, but not incorrect. The normal translation for "He is a great writer" would be "он- великий русский писатель"


Is it just me or does the last word sound more like писателы?


Сергей Люкяненко (hopefully that says Sergei Lukyanenko!)



Though "великий" in Russian means "great" in a profound sense. It's not simply "great" as in "excellent", but rather "sublime". When talking about writers the word only applies to classics. You can call Shakespeare or Dostoyevsky that, but using it for a contemporary writer (as good as they might be) comes of as overly exalted.


Tolstoy, Puşkin, Dostoyevsky, Turgenyev, Gogol and the legend Gorky


Author means the same as writer.

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