"Evde hırsız var."

Translation:There is a thief in the house.

2 years ago

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/S0R0USH
S0R0USH
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There is no "bir" so can "thieves" be equally acceptable?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
AlexinNotTurkey
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That logic only stands true when you are talking about objects in Turkish. This is not an object, but rather the subject of this sentence. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zubiz
zubiz
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I think no, bir is actually optional here, when the noun is singular it is generally understood as one. For thieves to be acceptable the original sentence had to be "evde hırsızlar var.".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/S0R0USH
S0R0USH
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That is what I initially thought too, but I was wondering if it could semantically mean either one even though most Turkish speakers would interpret it as "a thief".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zubiz
zubiz
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My feeling, as a native speaker, is that when you drop "bir" (or any word indicating quantity) the quantity is not emphasized anymore. What is really meant is there exists an unimportant / unmentioned number of thieves in the house, that number is certainly greater than zero, but should normally be assumed as one :D. What I can tell with confidence is that translating "evde hırsız var" by using "thieves" would not be correct. So yes, we interpret it as a singular thief unless specified otherwise, yet if it turns out that there were multiple of them we wouldn't call the person who told us this a liar since that person didn't use any quantity in the first place ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/S0R0USH
S0R0USH
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Thanks, That is a good way to put it! :) As a Persian speaker we do a similar thing as Turkish where we drop the "bir" and basically it works like your sentence where all you're implying is that At LEAST one thief exists. Now, I know how to explain it in my language once it comes out on duo ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zubiz
zubiz
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Yes, that's great because I really had a hard time explaining it. Part of the problem is that I couldn't find a way to talk about thieves in neither plural nor singular fashion. This made me think that some grammars force us to think in a certain way. For a native English speaker, your initial question makes sense because it's impossible to think of unnumbered thieves (It's either thieves or a thief) whereas there is no restriction in Turkish, and apparently neither in Persian. It's also an important question because, after all, you need to translate it.

The more I thought about it the better I realized that when you say "evde hırsız var", what you really, really mean is "the house is currently being broken into", as the turkish phrase doesn't give any information about the quantity at all. But since you need to use the word "thief" you must quantify it in English, which not only changes the meaning but also makes your initial question look important to an English speaker. English grammar, however, doesn't force us to further describe the thieves, such as their sex, color of their clothes etc, hence you don't ask about them, you only ask about their numbers. Uncountable nouns are different though. If the sentence was "evde ekmek var", you would translate it as "there is bread at home". Since you can speak about unnumbered bread, you wouldn't care to ask about how much of it there is and end up with a perfect translation.

So, the true answer to your question is that we don't make assumptions about the quantity in such cases, but since an English speaker absolutely needs to know about the plurality, I'd say "one" is a good choice as it is the minimum number to signify existence of something. If only the grammar allowed us to say something like "there is thief in the house"...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.ivanov
v.ivanov
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What is that thieves lack? :) [I mean the -sız suffix]

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/little-merman
little-merman
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It's apparently derived from the word "hayırsız" which can mean "lacking goodness/charity" or "worthless/useless". I think the former is more fitting in this case. Both "hayırsız" and "hırsız" are in use in Turkish today with "hırsız" only meaning "thief".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v.ivanov
v.ivanov
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Hayırsız is a familiar word, thank you very much, now I get it!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MoldovanMircea

Can a native speaker of Turkish tell me how you would say "There is a burglar in the house" as opposed to "There is a thief in the house"? Please, do not bother to answer if you are not a Turkish native speaker.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Selcen_Ozturk
Selcen_Ozturk
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Evde hırsız var. There is no difference.

"There is a burglar in the house" is already an accepted translation (since 12 months ago)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MoldovanMircea

Thanks for the answer. I hoped you would point out the obvious difference between burglar and thief. A burglar is always also a thief. But a thief is not always a burglar. A thief sometimes acts from within, doing an "insider" job. No need to break into the house.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Selcen_Ozturk
Selcen_Ozturk
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I didn't need to point out the difference, because you asked how we say it in Turkish. And there is no difference in Turkish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/o0Mira0o

@MoldovanMircea

Some languages don't make this distinction. Arabic is the same; 'thief' and 'burglar' are the same.

Just like there are no distinctions between 'tamr', 'balah' and 'rutab' in English - they all are 'dates' as far as English is concerned!

You will find many similar examples across languages.

Warning: I'm not a native Turkish speaker by the way ;)

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dagummace
dagummace
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How about "A thief is in the house"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey
AlexinNotTurkey
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It has been added :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rabbeya1

There is grammatical error please check it... Once again

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yomalyn
Yomalyn
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You'll have to be more specific :-)

1 month ago
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