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  5. "Człowiek jest zwierzęciem."

"Człowiek jest zwierzęciem."

Translation:A human is an animal.

December 14, 2015



To say this sentence is killing me!


Same. I'm glad it only gets harder.


To spell this sentence is killing me.


I'm killing this sentence


It killed me just to understand it


Good thing I am a native Slavic language speaker and it's relatively easy for me to pronounce)


As my coworker famously quoted: Człowiek człowiekowi wilkiem, ale zambi zambi zambi


"Zambi"? A nie przypadkiem „zombie” (polska wymowa: zombi)?

PS: This sentence, by the way, is very interesting. The first half is a classical proverb which shows the efficiency of a case-based system, despite the bigger challenge in learning it. All you need is to deduct the verb (jest) and it's fully understandable. The second half shows what happens, when you introduce words that can't be declined. It might be easier to learners, but it is taking that advantage away. „zombie zombie zombie” is understandable only because it is directly comparable with the previous part and normally would need to be clarified with auxiliary words.


No tak, też myslałem że jest "zombi" ale Google powidzał że jest "zambi" i... Polish is not my native language so I usually defer to anyone else. At least to me, the pronunciation is close enough that I can reasonably hear either version.

But that's what I love about this sentence. You just can't decline Zombie so that's what you get. Plus: to a Zombie, a Zombie is just a Zombie. It's a very egalitarian society.


"Człowiek człowiekowi wilkiem, a zombie zombie zombie" Paulo Coeljo… Що дослівно в перекладі: "Людина людині вовк, і зомбі зомбі зомбі".


Homo homini lupus... / Homo homini lupus (est)
Człowiek człowiekowi wilkiem/ Człowiek (jest) dla człowieka wilkiem
Zombie zombie zombie - (Jeden) Zombi (jest) dla (drugiego) zombi - zombi


I feel that the article "a" is not necessarily needed in the English translation. Therefore, I believe that "man is an animal" ought to be correct as well. What do you think?

Yes, I read the comments about whether or not "man" is gender neutral or not in this discussion board, and I feel that it is since it does come from "human" or "mankind." However, I'm not entering that conversation, I just want to focus on the article "a" here. :)


I think you're right, let's hope we're right ;) Allowed now.


Dzieki bardzo, Jellei!!


"Dzięki, Jellei!!", or:
"Dziękuję bardzo, Jellei!!"


Albo "Dzięki wielkie Jellei!"


so this helped me - ł in polish is like the w sound in english.


Relatively few languages have this (Polish)"ł" = (English)"w" sound.

Polish speakers are often easily identifiable because they can say "You're welcome" instead of "You're velcome".


After reading the other comments regarding the use of "man" as meaning human, and many American English speakers who consider the term to be sexist, or out of date, I have felt those who don't understand the use of "man" in this way, are pretty ignorant of the use in the English language. They seem to display this ignorance by wanting to change the use and make the language more cumbersome rather than try to learn the common useage.


Why is there zwierzę for dogs and cats, but we are zwierzęciem? I looked it up on Google and was told that zwierzęciem is beast but zwierzę is just animal? Someone please explain this to me.


From what I understand, zwierzę is the nominative case (aka default) form of the word, and zwierzęciem is the instrumental case form of the word. The verb "to be" (być I think) in Polish requires the object to be in the instrumental case, but you could also use to constructions, in which both nouns would be nominative.

So, "Kot to zwierzę" and "Kot jest zwierzęciem" both mean
"(A/The) cat(s) is/are animal(s)" and same for człowiek,
"Człowiek to zwierzę" and "Człowiek jest zwierzęciem".

(I'm a Russian speaker and it works a bit differently so sorry if I am mistaken).


That makes so much sense. Thank you!

Also, I'm surprised you knew that from Russian. Russians don't normally use the word "to be." My Russian professor said it's used in religious context like Бог есть любовь or something like that.


Google takes most often used phrases - zwierzę in singular instrumental is not very common, it's mostly sth is an animal or with an animal - but with an animal, we don'write a lot, more ofen plural animals, or the species name or diminutives -zwierzątko, zwierzak, with leaves us with very common expression -you/he is an animal (or I guess a beast).

That is why we do not trust google translate.


Apart from the two ways of defining things, there are two different words:

zwierzę - an animal (no matter how big or small)
zwierz - an animal, but, in hunting terms, the very big and wild one (the
beast, when mad...)

In the past, there were some big social events organized, associated with
the hunt or hunting for the "big animal" (polowanie na "grubego zwierza").
Nowadays, the expression might be used as a figure of speech meaning:
"the hunt for the boss or the head of a criminal ring, the "big fish", or like.


In scientific terms, humans (man) are part of the animal kingdom. I am not offended when a phrase says "man is an animal", as in all humans are mammals and all mammals are animals, because I think of it scientifically, not socially. Anyone can choose to be offended by what a phrase says. Language is always evolving, but I wish to learn what the connotation is in Polish, translated as best as possible into English. Not having to be the center of the universe, I can accept that concepts can be different wtih others. Try seeing it from another point of view.


d'accord pour tout! and a lingot for the reaction!


Can i say ,,to,, instead of jest ??


Yes, "Człowiek to zwierzę".


Why not "A person is an animal"?


Person isn't a biological term, it predominantly refers to the social characteristics of a human being. I could imagine hearing "This person is an animal", but a as general statement, not really...


Am i right in thinking the first word sounds like it starts with a "T" sound in english?


No, not really. It's roughly the first sound of "chance".


Well, one Greek philosopher (Aristotle, if I don't make a mistake) told that human by nature is a social animal..But it's not a common opinion))


Don't worry people - we hardly ever say zwierzęciem. And this sentence btw is ridiculous! Super rare in any context to hear this. Don't bother.


Is the last wird pronouned correctly by Duolingo? The stress is on the last syllable.


All sounds are correct, but stress should be like usually on the second syllable from the end.


I laughed a bit when i saw the word victm


It feels like the speaker gave it an extra syllable. Does the first z in zwierzęciem sometimes blend with the w and sometimes not?


Can anyone explain the rule of when is it best to use 'to' and when is it best to use 'jest'


I'd say that the Instrumental form (with 'jest') is always more elegant. But generally they're interchangeable, unless the sentence is like "He is a doctor" (with a personal pronoun on the left side), then the 'to' option is really quite clumsy and we wouldn't accept it.


Why not "Człowiek jest zwierzę"?


"An X is a Y" type sentence using "jest" requires the use of the Instrument case for "Y". Please see https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/16373167/A-guide-on-X-is-Y-and-This-is-Y-constructions for more details.

An alternative form using "to" is also possible, in which case "Y" is in the Nominative.


Ha! The amount of political correctness in the comments!


A human is NOT an animal.


I beg to differ.


Człowiek nie jest zwierzęciem.


Un humain n'est pas un animal.




22222 As an english speaker in england and of an age to have learned political correctness not grown up with it. I have to agree that man as human is still in commpn use here, though the use of he in this sense isn't. In some occupations, particularly in the public sector, man would not be acceptable and some female friends would jump down my throat for it. English is an evolving language and gender awareness must stretch to more tjan 2 nowadays. The gender neutral it sounds more offensive than he and most of the alternatives to man are clumsy. With our ref result the UK is om the brink of social revisionism and our language is likely to reflect that so don't expect it to become non discriminatory and inclusive anytime soon because our rulers arent like that


But humans are not animals. Does anyone still read the Bible?


Humans are direct descendants of primates and are therefore animals, biologically speaking.

There's nothing wrong with this sentence.


This is just a theory, and more and more it turns out to be inaccurate.


There is a big difference in the meaning of "theory" in the everyday language and the scientific language. Calling a scientific theory "just a theory" is an oxymoron. In science, a theory is the most important thing we can conceive: it's our best understanding of a given concept.

It doesn't mean it is absolutely true, of course, because in science you never assume you are 100% right. If new information is discovered, we modify or replace older theories to better describe the nature. Still, you should not quickly dismiss them just out of this inherent fact.


I don't disagree.


I love how people discredit themselves right in the beginning by dropping "this is just a theory".


Not at all. This is basic philosophy of science.


It is true that humans are not animals as in beasts. But we are animals as in "beings with a soul". Some people don't care about their special place in creation and behave like mere beast animals.


No, we actually ARE animals as in beasts. Also, my cat is more of a gentleman than most people. ;)


OMG what is this, since when are humans animals?


Duolingo should not suggest "man" as a definition of czlowiek. "Man" in this sense is no longer reflects current usage in English. The Polish term is gender neutral and corresponds to "human" and "human being".


When "man" is used in the abstract, it still has a gender neutral connotation. This is just basic grammar, and is still widely used today.


No, not that much. It is used but "Humans" has become the more common usage. "Man" is somewhat passe. Sorry - no accent on my keyboard.


It is still used often enough in certain contexts (especially philosophical / religious). Usually, when used in this context, the article is omitted. E.g., "Man is a fickle creature" as opposed to "the men are fickle." The former clearly refers to "mankind," while the latter refers to a group of men. In this case, "man" is preferable over "people" because "man" is more abstract.

I agree that in everyday language, "man" is not used as often in this sense (in part because your average person does not engage in that type of subject). But it is still used often enough that it is useful to be aware of. It also depends where you are--I spent seven years in England and noticed that the English use "man" in the gender neutral sense more frequently than Americans.


That is a rather elitist comment.

Firstly, I have a terminal degree and am well aware of the various uses of the word "man" - and have been since I was a small child. Man = male vs. Man= the species in general,are terms easily understood by even "ordinary people."

I've known many academics - yes even in the fields of religion and philosophy, and many prefer the more inclusive term " human" or humanity, etc. The word choice often reflects personal ideology. But, yes, "man, " signifying the species in general, is a correct usage. Use it to your heart's content.

Secondly, you would obviously be surprised by what ordinary people choose to discuss.


You're missing the point. It's not elitist to recognize reality, and the simple reality is that many English-speaking people no longer use / are unfamiliar with certain grammatical constructions like the subjective mood or "man" in the abstract sense. That's not to say that they don't ever engage in religious / philosophical discussions, but that they when they do, they're less likely to use those constructions.

My point is that there's a big difference between something being archaic and not in everyday use. In a basic course like this one, it still makes sense to teach proper grammar even if many people get it wrong (my wife is Polish and she says many Polish people mess up grammar, just as many English people do) or don't use certain constructions. But it's probably not worth teaching something that's purely archaic. I would say that "man" in the abstract sense is not archaic and thus worth teaching, even if it's not in everyday use.

As far as academics, you're right. It is unfortunate that everything these days has been politicized, including grammar.


rvabbott, the point is your initial comment may be perceived as quite arrogant and offensive. Instead of the "more of the same" argument, you could have edited it to make it sound a little bit better.


If I may add in response to the subsequent comments made in response to my original statement (above) that the more pervasive use of "human beings", "humankind", "humans", "persons" rather than terms such as "man" or "mankind" in the United States and other parts of the English-speaking world is a response to a growing awareness of how language can be exclusive. While it was acceptable in earlier generations to use "he" to mean "he and she", this would be frowned upon by a good many people in the United States and elsewhere. While not all English speakers will agree about inclusivity and exclusivity of language, the Duolingo users should be aware about possible connotations of their choice of words. Someone who is interested in being inclusive with their word choice should be aware that "man" in the sense of "humans") carries the connotation (perhaps not for rvabbott) but for many speakers of being sexist and exclusive. This was my original point.

In Polish the term czlowiek is wholly gender-neutral (just like "Mensch" in German or "person" or "human being" or "human" in English). If you choose to use "man" or "he" to mean both sexes, beware that there are English speakers who will interpret this as exclusive, sexist, and discriminatory. Thus, my point that Duolingo should not introduce it as an equivalent (though accept it from those who choose to use this kind of language). Obviously, such complex issues will not be accepted by all persons everywhere. Ultimately, it is a personal choice. So if rvabbott encountered the word "man" used in this sense during his studies in the UK, it does not negate the fact that many persons would still take offense at this use today. English does not have grammatical gender (unlike Slavic, Germanic, and Romance languages, but rather natural gender. If you choose to talk about "man" and "he" interlocutor may be inclined to understand an exclusively male reference.

The fact that an exclusive reading is always available – even when unintended – is exploited in the Lord of the Rings movies when the warrior reveals "I am no man". So even if you do not intend to have an exclusive reading, learners of English should be aware that choosing "man" for "human" or using "he" when you really mean "he or she" may be regarded as exclusive, sexist, and discriminatory by some English speakers. Using "human", "he or she", "they", "people", etc., and other gender-inclusive language is considered normal by many English speakers and runs no risk of unintentionally causing offense.


The standard on Duo seems to be that they list many possible translations that are not all completely equivalent. Also, I'm not sure how much your point applies here since this course is to learn Polish not English. I think it's assumed that the people taking it are already familiar with English.

I think your point was pretty well-made though.


Other thing that has to brought up after so long explanation, is that while "człowiek" means a man or a woman, Polish people are more likely to use "człowiek" than "mężczyzna" when talking about a man, but much more likely use "kobieta" than "człowiek" when they talk about a woman.


Not sure where you're from, but in the US, and England, Man is still widely understood to refer to Humanity or mankind. Maybe not by PC-obsessed snowflakes or millennials but most educated people instantly understand it. ;-)


And young generation is slowly rejecting this 1984 fake language too.


I certainly do not agree that a human is an animal!


Agreed 100%. The issue of changing language and culture regarding "Man" -being mankind in general is very interesting and relevant. Duolingo is a great site - but keep out the evolution garbage. It's just needless and only creates controversies.


Humans are not animals. Duolingo is a great site and a great resource. Keep the political evolution garbage out. Just for starters, animals don't have a conscience, don't have spirits, and don't understand morality. There are thousands of words and phrases to teach grammar without creating needless controversies.


It doesn't matter whether you agree with something or not. Duolingo is for learning languages. It's here to teach you how different things are said. You can shape your personal world view elsewhere.


Most people don't believe in soul even.


You are talking from the perspective of a secular society. Most people do NOT live in such societies. Something to be mindful of...


Also, please understand, the word animal literally means "a being in possession of a soul", since it is derived from the latin ANIMA. Man and beasts both have souls, but beasts don't have higher intellect, but only lower intelligence. That is the difference.

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