"Они пьют разное молоко."

Translation:They drink different milk.

December 17, 2015

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/g_gabelopes

Why isn't "They are drinking a different milk" accepted? I have already reported it, and as I haven't got any answer I am wondering...

December 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JeffA2

As a native English speaker, "a different milk" sounds odd. Possibly you could say "They are drinking a different kind of milk" but I don't think that is quite what the Russian sentence means.

December 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasAan

I think "they are drinking different milk" is odd as well.

January 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/g_gabelopes

I know it does sound weird, the thing is there are many odd sentences all around Duolingo, and this is like this to simplify sentences. Still, my point is there IS an implicit article there, "They drink different milk" is even weirder.

December 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dogdogcat

To me it sounds fine. Like if your child said at breakfast with friends - "What are you putting on their cereal?" You might respond - "Oh, honey, they drink (a) different milk" as you pour them soy milk. For me I can usually find a question that will give this answer - it's just formulating it correctly.

In any case, it gives us a chance to exercise our new adjective "разный" with a neuter noun.

March 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/patfinegan

As a native English speaker, it sounds perfectly normal.

November 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/agriffin95

I agree, I'd never hear the words "a different milk" in a sentence.

June 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AllanShade

> I don't think that is quite what the Russian sentence means. It is mean exactly this. One person drinks cow's milk, another person drinks soy milk, они пьют разное молоко.

September 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AndreasWitnstein

That would be «Они пьют другое молоко.». The word ‘разный’ generally means “different” in the sense of “various”.

May 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BrunoBauwe

Yes, this is also what my Russian teacher said.

November 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/belobog00

Smells like ultraviolence to me...

September 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WynterIvy

That was my first thought as well.

September 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex119913

Yes, my thought as well^^

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Bretton913529

;)

May 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BrettMiciek

Okay, difference between nominative and accusative? I'm just not getting it

June 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503

The accusative is the noun which is having something (the verb) done to it. In this case it's the milk, which is being drunk by "they". "They" is nominative, "milk" is accusative.

October 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/YTcassadyDodson

can someone tell me what "different milk" is? It sounds horrifying xD

October 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/patfinegan

The sentence is grammatically awful. It's how a Russian tourist might describe purchasing skim versus whole milk. "My family, they drink different milk. Give me different milk!"

A modest improvement, "They drink a different milk", has been proposed and ignored too many times to count. I will abandon my diet and celebrate with a glass of whole milk if the DL Russian team ever corrects this.

June 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kundoo

"Разное" means "different from each other". I.e. one of them drinks, say, goat's milk, the other one drinks cow's milk, so together they drink different milk. If it was a countable noun we'd use plural here. "Они носят разные рубашки" - "they wear different (from each other) shirts". The suggested "a different milk" might be correct English, but it's an incorrect translation, because it suggests that they drink the same milk together, when the point of Russian sentence is that they don't.

"A different milk" would be "другое молоко".

It's amazing that English doesn't distinguish between two such different concepts.

June 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/patfinegan

I understand the distinction. That should be evident from my example of skim versus whole milk.

The problem is "they drink different milk" is no less ambiguous than "they drink a different milk" but is decidedly improper English.

Let us reconsider our hapless Russian tourist: "Hey, waiter. There was fly in milk. They drink different milk." Or, "Milk taste sour; they drink different milk." Same kind of milk, but nevertheless "different milk".

To summarize: omitting the indefinite article does nothing to imply the speaker is referring to the type of milk but does betray a fundamental misunderstanding by the speaker of proper English grammar. The preferred answer should be "they drink a different kind (or type) of milk" and an acceptable answer should be "they drink a different milk".

June 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

I don't think you do understand, actually. I initially added the answer with the indefinite article, but on a second reading, it really is incorrect. "They drink a different (kind of) milk" means that A and B together drink some kind of milk that is different from other kinds of milk, but both A and B drink this different milk, they drink the same kind of milk. But the Russian sentence actually means that A and B drink different kinds, i.e. they do not drink the same kind as each other. So the acceptable translations would be "they drink different milks" and "they drink different kinds of milk".

July 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/patfinegan

Got it. Unfortunately, not one of DL's now-accepted English translations rules out A and B drinking the same kind of milk.

The bane and beauty of nearly any declarative English sentence is that it is prone to multiple interpretations. Duolingo's suggested answers are no exception.

I've been a commercial lawyer for 33 years. Like most such lawyers, I've made a living writing incredibly long sentences that, by virtue of their many qualifiers and legalese, pre-empt unintended interpretations. Yet we still wind up in court, arguing about -- what else? -- what a contract or document actually means.

If you intend to rule out the collective third-party "they" (parties A and B) drinking a different kind of milk than C (C being the first-person group or speaker), you need a longer sentence. Period. I suggest, "They are each drinking a different kind of milk" or "They are drinking a different kind of milk than each other." Both are long-winded, but that is the nature of the beast.

Lest this not be sufficiently evident, note that the shortest English translation of War & Peace on Amazon is 587,287 words, yet the Tolstoy original contains only 188,088. English sentences cannot, as a rule, attain the same level of precision as Russian ones without a series of qualifiers. In the case of War & Peace, the required ratio of additional verbiage was 3:1. By that standard, my proposed translations are a bargain.

July 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

Avoiding ambiguity isn't necessarily feasible. The accepted answers are certainly ambiguous, but they're also natural ways to express the meaning of the Russian sentence so they have to be accepted. Your more verbose sentences are also accurate translations, I'll add them as accepted answers.

July 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/patfinegan

I am grateful Duolingo has adopted this more expansive approach.

Until 16:20 EDST 2 July 2018, the required translation of "Они пьют разное молоко" was "They drink different milk," which had the twin defects of being hopelessly ambiguous and improper English. This generated a firestorm of criticism because the equally ambiguous but grammatically correct "They drink a different milk" was rejected ... until July 2, 2018 -- fully two years after the controversy arose.

I am overjoyed that genuine English has finally been embraced. Memorizing awkward, pidgin-English expressions to complete a Russian-language exercise was, to put it mildly, frustrating. Thank you so much for all the energy and heart you and fellow DL volunteers have invested in this course. It has become truly excellent because of it.

July 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

Well, thank you :-)

(Inquiring minds want to know. Did you celebrate with a glass of whole milk?)

July 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/patfinegan

Milk packet, nee pack

Indeed I did, except we call it a packet, not a pack, and we only find them in old movies. :-)

July 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hypernova2718

If the Russian means that, among themselves, they drink various types of milk, could we not say "They drink various milks" as an acceptable translation, or something similar?

I think what is making things difficult for the English is that "different milk" is read as only one type of milk by default, while if we wanted to specify that there are several kinds of milk involved, we would say precisely that: "kinds of milk", "types of milk", or something similar.

Maybe it would help if we had some more examples in which "разный" is used in the singular. My dictionary only gave examples in the plural.

July 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/clairelanc3

Why not "a " different milk?

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Kundoo

"They drink a different milk" would be "они пьют другое молоко".

"Разное" means "different from each other", "various", while "другое" means "different from something/someone else", "other".

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Litchic22

They are drinking different milks was accepted with 'milks' underlined, as though it was a typo. I was thinking of -almond, soy, goat milk etc.

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Wolfy1127

Молоко is singular, that is why it is underline

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Hackenback

Is it goat milk? Soy milk? Almond? Wtf is different milk?

September 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Praktyss

Синий молоко?

February 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LuigiLinguine

Молоко плус?

March 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/clairelanc3

Your correction goes " they EACH drink a different milk. А ведь не было написано " каждый из них пьёт разное молоко"

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Theron126

What did you try to answer? This sentence means that they drink different milk from each other. Sentences like "they drink a different milk" won't be accepted, those would translate "они пьют другое молоко".

I'm also not sure how you even saw this sentence. We actually decided to remove it from the course this morning.

July 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/clairelanc3

Why in the plural?

July 14, 2018
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