Translation:My husband is French and I am German.
Is 'but' not an acceptable translation of 'a' here? It is stating a clear contrast.
We use "I" when it means "+" and "A" when there is contrast, also after between.
why is Francuzem and Niemką capitalized here? I thought Polish only capitalizes country names
Demonyms (names of inhabitants and nation members) are capitalized in Polish if they refer to an area/group of size of a region or larger.
Ziemianin because Ziemia is a planet
Europejczyk because Europa is a continent
Polak because Polska is a country
Ślązak because Śląsk is a region
katowiczanin because Katowice is a city
This leads to this nice minimal pair:
Żyd because Żydzi is a nation
żyd because żydzi is a religious group
In English, they are called Israelis. I never understood why some people consider Jews to be an ethnicity. It is a religion. It would be like setting Arab=Muslim. Hebrews don't necessarily have to be Jews. I actually knew one that was an atheist but he kept it a secret he only shared in our online group because his family and community was EXTREMELY Orthodox and he didn't want to lose everything.
Well, they clearly do. Woody Allen claims that he's an atheist and also claims that he's a Jew.
See here: "A person who claims a cultural or ancestral connection to the Jewish people".
And we make the distinction by using the capital letter. So one can be "żyd" but not "Żyd" or the other way round.
There are some people that say the same with Christianity. The BBC even interviewed one that is part of a church.
A Jew is a member of the tribe of Judah (one of the 12 tribes of Israel) but now usually used to describe any person who is a Hebrew as most of the other tribes are presently difficult to identify.
Nationalities as well - but not adjectives that specify nationality/origin (unlike English, where both cases are capitalized).
- 'On jest Francuzem'
- 'To jest francuski ser'
What is the origin of the Polish words for Germany / German and Italy / Italian?
The most commonly found etymology for "Niemcy" is from the word "niemy" (mute) - as they were people speaking in a not-understandable language. If you can't communicate with them by words, you can use sign language. Just like with mute people ;) Some people claim that it comes from "Nie my" = "Not us", showing the differences between the nations.
"Włochy" comes from the name of one tribe, a member of which would be called "Wołch" by Slavic People (Latin: Volcae). It has been used to describe non-Slavic people, especially those living South from our lands, and eventually after some changes became the name for Italians.
That algorithm really needs to set its priorities straight. I typed 'My husband is French an I am German' - clearly a typo. But when I use the wrong vowel at the end of a word in an English to Polish translation, it is often recognized as a typo, which shouldn't be. But I guess the language admins have no further insight as how to change this problem? :/
Robin and the Correction Algorithm
"My husband is French, whilst I'm German" (my first attempt) was rejected by Duo in favour of
"My husband is French but i'm German."
So then - recalling similar problems when translating
"Jestem Amerykaninem a moja żona jest Niemką" https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13611259$comment_id=26477941 - I tried Duo's (less correct) while (a hover hint for the Polish a) - but Duo surprisingly rejected
"My husband is French while I'm German" too, now preferring
"My husband is French and i'm German."
So I finally gritted my teeth and placated Duo with ...and...
Now I'm almost as confused as Duo's skittish correction algorithm, whilst my Fluency Level heads downhill...
Well, algorithm is one thing (it can surprise you by suggesting a completely different word instead of just correcting a typo, or it can have a bug and reject a correct answer), and accepted answers are another thing. We did not accept "whilst" and "while" here until now, but they make sense, so I will add them.
Still, the closest translation is "and" :) I see four reports with "while" and none with "whilst", so people don't seem to try them often.
"My husband is French WHILST I am German" is categorically not good English. It's not literal nonsense, nor is it ungrammatical, but it's senseless: "My husband is French during the time that I'm German". WHILE is wrong for the same reason: the only respect in which it's not as bad as WHILST is that it's a word that's in common use whereas WHILST is not.
I believe that is "while" as "whereas", 2nd meaning as a conjunction here: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/while
And "whilst", to my understanding, may still be used as a synonym in Britain, although I understand it's not common.
It MAY be used, but it's not only not common, it's so uncommon and unnatural that its use would raise an eyebrow. Definitely, learners should not be encouraged to use it. Nor should they be encouraged even to use "while" for "whereas": it's an established usage, yes, but it's not very common, certainly not in speech, and has an archaic ring. If I understand the difference between I and A in Polish correctly, it would be better to translate A just as "and" and let the contrast speak for itself.