"Mój mąż jest Francuzem a ja jestem Niemką."

Translation:My husband is French and I am German.

December 23, 2015

31 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

Is 'but' not an acceptable translation of 'a' here? It is stating a clear contrast.


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

We use "I" when it means "+" and "A" when there is contrast, also after between.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

What is the origin of the Polish words for Germany / German and Italy / Italian?


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

Interesting - many thanks!


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

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? :/


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

No, we don't :/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinB896941

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",
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...


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

"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.


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

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

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.


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

And that's the main answer. Other options are simply acceptable.


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

I understood that 'a' was used for and, when it was surprising and nowadays international marriages are common-place.


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

No, it's just simple contrast. If person A is French and person B is German, then it's a contrast. They have different nationalities. I don't think any grammatical rule could be based on whether something is surprising, that's way too subjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leeves2

Can "Francuz" and "Niemka" mean "a French" and "a German" respectively? Is 'My husband is "a" French and I am "a" German.' acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

You can't say "a French" in English: it would have to be "a Frenchman". I don't know why that is: in the same way, you can't say " a Scottish" ["a Scot", yes], "an Irish", " a Welsh" "an English" - though you CAN of course say "a German", "an Italian", "a Norwegian" etc. Why that should be I don't know. But I would think "My husband is a Frenchman and I am a German" should be a perfectly acceptable translation for the sentence.


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

They are nouns, so I'd say that actually do mean "a French" and "a German", but as I was told, "a French" shouldn't be used for a single Frenchman in English...

We can say that "Franzuz" means "a French man" and "Niemka" means "a German woman".

Oh, DerrickMcClure1 was faster than me :D So I can just add that "My husband is a Frenchman and I am a German" is indeed accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatherineJ480062

So do the voices suddenly change halfway through this unit?


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

The voices suddenly changed somewhere this week for some people ;) We have finally started A/B testing using the Google TTS voices and I hope the experiment proves they are a lot better than the old voices.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CatherineJ480062

They are definitely clearer and easier to understand.


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

Why would you use Ja Jestem instead of just Jestem. It seems you're saying I I am German??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

When you're switching between different people mid-sentence it doesn't hurt to spell out the pronouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

It's a contrastive sentence. Same verb, but different subjects + a contrastive conjunction.

https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/34960446


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DerrickMcClure1

The practice is the same in (say) Italian: normally you don't need the subject pronouns because the person and number are shown by the verb endings, but you do use them contrastively, or if the subject has to be emphasised for any other reason.


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

It did not accept "My husband is French whereas I am German" - "whereas" would be acceptable in this context? (I did take a screenshot, but can't seem to paste images into the comments, within the app)


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

As screenshots are concerned, you'd have to upload it to some image hosting website and just paste the link here.

But there's no need to, "whereas" indeed wasn't listed as an accepted answer but it makes sense here. Added now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Franek1171

Is there a rule of thumb as to which nationalities get capitalized and which do not? The previous sentence did not capitalize American or British (the Polish translated words, I can't spell them).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

Nouns denoting nationalities are capitalised, adjectives are not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryCarson15

Is there an easy rule for the various endings of nationalities -there seem to be so many according to whether it is an adjective or a noun?


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

In Polish, all demonyms (words used for people from specific countries/cities/areas) are nouns. In English, most of them are adjectives/identical to adjectives (I'm not sure), although you have words like "a Pole" (I am Polish vs I am a Pole). So basically, those demonyms don't differ from any other nouns in case of grammatical endings. You could treat this Polish sentence as "My husband is a Frenchman and I am a Germanwoman" ;)

It's a different thing with the actual adjectives, as in let's say "a German car" or "a French footballer" (it may refer to a person, but there's a noun to refer to, so "French" is an adjective in Polish as well, unlike in our sentence here). Those are adjectives in Polish, and it's worth mentioning that adjectives for nationalities (which are also use for the languages) are lowercase: "niemiecki samochód", "francuski piłkarz".

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