"Człowiek to zwierzę."

Translation:A human is an animal.

December 11, 2015

37 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chb0lingo

Humans are (a type) of animal. Would be the best translation in my opinion when you consider the following:

"Human" in this sentence is meant to refer to all of humanity. So, the translation just isn't right as is. You would say: "Humans". Since it is now plural, you must use "are". So, "Humans are..." But, if you were to put "Humans are animals" you would have a technically correct sentence but give the impression this is more a manifesto on the morality of humanity than a biological fact (which I presume is the intent of the sentence). So, to correctly convey that I would put: "Humans are a type of animal"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chb0lingo

If you're going to down vote then give a reason. Otherwise I will stop contributing; I assume some people have found most of my input across the site useful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mattyg5489

Dude ignore it, people seem to downvote a lot based just anything in this thread, the point of Duolingo is that we discuss and work out the issues we have with learning a language, don't let some troll scrolling through and hitting a down arrow derail that, your doing good by trying to keep the learning and conversation going, ignore the haters.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morgana139

I downvoted it because your point doesn’t make sense to me.

Humans are animals, therefore a human is an animal. I don’t see the problem.

Maybe someone could explain it to me in other words?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ash473779

I gave both your comments upvotes both to combat any nasty little trolls and for a good explanation! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yjboimo

People are downvoting because they'd rather come to the comments' section and find and explanation as to why "to" seems to be tantamount to "jest" (być) but still "zwierzę" isn't declined as "zwierzęciem" (which, as it seems to me, would be the norm – since "animal" is in the accusative).

No need to be salty about it.

And by the way, if anyone could explain this "jest"/"to" thing further I'd be really grateful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16373167 - this explains the matter in a lot of detail ;)

tl;dr: Both "Człowiek to zwierzę" ('to' + Nominative) and "Człowiek jest zwierzęciem" ('jest' + Instrumental) are correct and mean the same. The Instrumental variant could be considered more elegant and it's the only option if on the left side of "is" you have a personal pronoun (e.g. "On to człowiek" is very clumsy).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yjboimo

Guess I'll have to study the polish cases a bit further, haha! Once again, thank you tons!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabriel946799

It says I've downvoted several of the comments on this thread but I haven't, so I have to manually de-downvote them, which doesn't always work. No idea how or why it would do this but it's quite frustrating. Does the same with upvotes sometimes


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaCa826187

I think it's 'A human' since there's no indefinite article in Polish, 'A human is an animal.'. Nie?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diamonds1194

I like this, it is useful insight.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarcX

"to"? Not jest?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vytah
  • 1126

You could say "człowiek jest zwierzęciem" and it would mean roughly the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gostislav

Only roughly? What's the difference?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thewilq

It would be exactly the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaisReis1

Is there any way of translating this which shows more accurately the differences? I understand perhaps the difference is too small, though I like to understand when to use what.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thewilq

Well as it is interchangeable in this case, It's not always. As a rule of a thumb you can safely assume that you can use "to" as "być" in cases when you describe something as a part of a bigger whole/set/collection. Example: You can't say use "to" when you want to say: Mleko jest białe - Milk is white, there is no way to use "to" here. However when you want to say: Mleko jest napojem. - Milk is a drink. You can say: Mleko to napój - Noun+"to"+verb nominative case. Sun is a star - Słońce "to" gwiazda, same principal here. Hope it helps


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

It is easier, you just cannot use "TO" with adjectives or possesive pronouns. you can use "TO" only with noun is noun, and only in third person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

I don't know if there is any difference at all. (I'm Polish). "To" is very slightly less formal , so in this particular sentence, which has double meaning. TO ZWIERZĘ feels more about bestiality of human race, while JEST ZWIERZĘCIEM feels more about humans belonging in animal kingdom. And jest to is sometimes very formal. It feels like a beginning of longer definition.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abcdef933419

They are the same but not exactly the same

For us beginners I would say we can ignore the subtle difference until more advanced stages... BUT, if anybody is interested out of curiosity, then yes, there is a very subtle difference.

Człowiek jest zwierzęciem means "a human is an animal"

Człowiek to zwierzę is like saying "a human = an animal"

I have no way of explaining how that '=' is different to 'is' but there is different feel/meaning.

But as I said, for us beginners, it is practically the same meaning.

I would say sometimes use 'jest' and sometimes 'to' because it drills the method of knowing when to use instrumental and when to not.

(Don't ever use to instead of jest when the subject is pronoun though. Do not ever say 'Ona to dziewczynka' for example. Use 'jest')


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alukasiak

“to” is another way of defining things, it is followed by the Nominative form of the noun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yola448704

Z biologicznego punktu widzenia, człowiek, istota ludzka (human, human being) jest zwierzęciem, bo należy on do gatunku ludzkiego, jest w całym królestwie zwierząt gatunkiem, lub jest jednym przedstawicielem, osobnikiem gatunku homo sapiens.

Człowiek to zwierzę - A human/A human being is an animal/Humans are animals


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paxocat

The English doesnt make much sense. Either both with an article or both without would be better?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zagadka314

I just wrote "Humans are animals"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mattyg5489

It seems to me, and granted I'll probably get down voted, as all comments on this thread seem to be, that polish does not translate exactly into english and will not ever make gramatical sense if you attempt to force it. Polish does not seem to have any form of "a" as we are so used to using it, you kind of have to fill in the blanks as you translate in your head, so "human is animal" would be "a human being is a type of animal".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zagadka314

I guess I'm the only one that had no problem with the lack of articles. In fact, after starting to learn Esperanto afterwards, I noticed I often dropped "la" (the) because I'm not used to using it outside of English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/afj461

I agree and is the hard part leaping from English to polish, the lack of articles leaves me feeling that my polish translation is missing something!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraBie440629

How how, pozdrawiam Was, ludzie.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IvesAB

So, "człowiek" means human/man/person in the sense of the species (homo sapiens)? And "osob" means person in the sense of a sentient and thinking individual? (Like in some example someone cited Spok and Elrond)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vengir

The basic form of the latter form is „osoba”. And I'm not sure how to explain it, but you are partially correct. In the first meaning only „człowiek” can be used, but in the second both can, and I don't know any particular rules that tells when to use one or the other.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Perhaps this comment can shed some more light: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/19428542

But in general yes, I agree. "Osoba to zwierzę" would mean "A person is an animal" so that's a different sentence and a strange one. But "Elrond jest osobą" means "Elrond is a person" and is definitely correct although of course Elrond is not a human being.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danikades

¿Por que tienen que poner esas oraciones? Tengan en cuenta que hay niños estudiando con su aplicación


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Bien, la ciencia es muy importante :))


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hwodzak

Mucha gente se opone a esta frase, pero no entiendo por qué. Es un hecho que, desde un punto de vista biológico, los humanos son animales. ¿Por qué los niños no deberían saberlo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kiciadab

A person is an animal should be accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

I am not aware of a species that science would call "a person".

"człowiek" in this sentence is basically "homo sapiens".

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