"El niño está débil."

Translation:The boy is weak.

February 20, 2016

42 Comments


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

I was so confused by this sentence when I first saw it without checking the translation...because in my native language, Croatian, "debil" means "a moron". :/ I thought that Duo is becoming rude. :/

February 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/writchie4

It means "moron/moronic" in a few other languages too. Check out: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/debil

The word comes from the Latin word debilis (weak, feeble, frail), but it's interesting how some languages (Spanish, Portuguese) developed words from the root to refer to physical weakness and some others (Albanian, Czech, etc) to refer to mental weakness.

February 21, 2016

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

It's nice to see that Czech and Croatian have the same meanings here, since we have a lot of similar words with the opposite meanings. For example, Croatian "divan" (wonderful) is in Czech "úžasný", while in Croatian "užasni" are people who are - terrible. :D Thank you for your explanation. :)

February 21, 2016

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

I can see where “divan” can come from in Slavic languages (in Russian — “divo” is one of the words for “miracle”), but in Russian “divan” means “sofa”, the word is of Turkish origin (same in English). “Horrible” is the same in Russian (ужасный/uzhasny). :)

And yes, we use the word “debil” as a slur (originally, from the medical term “mentally debilitated”).

February 23, 2016

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

I looked it up and actually, "divan" as an adjective (wonderful) comes from the verb "diviti se" (to admire) and it came to Slavic languages directly from Latin "deus" (God). It also has a different accent "dȋvan". Turkish/persian for sofa, however, is "dìvān". We have it in Croatian colloquial language but it is limited to some villages (probably all of them in Slavonia region). They addopted Turkish dìvān, but not as a "sofa", but as a "conversation". There is also a verb "dìvāniti" (to talk, communicate). But, today you can rarely hear "dìvān", it is used only by older people.

February 23, 2016

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

In Polish „dywan” is actually "carpet", while „dziwny” is "weird" and „dziwić się” is "be surprised".

April 13, 2016

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

Divan is also a type of poetry in Turkish/Persian literatures. I guess it comes from the "conversation" meaning of the world. So many similarities between languages.

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/valepika123

And in Bulgarian "debil" is mental weaknes :)

January 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vlid0o

"Debil" also means "moron" in Bulgarian.

March 16, 2016

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

Also in Dutch 'debiel'

June 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andreim1828

also in russian "debil"

October 17, 2016

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

ayyy, in slovak too ;)

June 5, 2017

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

In French, debil (débile) actually means crazy, stupid, and any other adjective as well! When I first learned that word, I felt awkward using it in a different context.

October 13, 2016

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

In russian debil (although the second sillable stressed, not first) is an equivalent of spanish imbécil. So I also feel some slight confusion when see this phrase :)

February 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/justine124

The same in Polish. I can't stop laughing when I see this sentence :D

October 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gail295388

' feeble' marked as incorrect. Odd considering it was given as a possible answer in a previous question in this section. I have found from experience only to give the answer that is expected and not to offer alternatives or you are marked down. Frustrating at times.

March 11, 2016

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

I also have found that the way to get the most benefit is to not fight the system but to give the expected answer.

Having said that, "feeble" is now accepted. Behold, the power of the report button.

August 2, 2018

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

I put week not weak. Facepalm.

April 24, 2016

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

Lol!!! :))

I sometimes write "sweat" myself, when what I really mean is "sweet", which is even worse (sweeter? ;) (... or sweater, perhaps, haha) ) since not even the pronunciation is the same, haha.

November 29, 2016

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

Haha I do that all the time with break and brake. :D :D English...

April 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanTully1

DL rejected "feeble" which my dictionary shows as correct. Certainly the word I would choose to describe a medical condition.

March 7, 2016

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

lame is listed as an acceptable translation of "debil," but is rejected when used

June 23, 2017

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

debil - in Russian means "mad", "crazy", a person with mental desease

March 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanTully1

In English we have the expression "feeble minded", not for someone who is raving mad, but for someone of weak intellect.

March 28, 2016

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

The man voice needs to lose the peanut butter in his mouth

June 4, 2016

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

oops with debilitated

June 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flint72

Yes, I too went for "debilitated" as it was the first word that came to mind. It think that perhaps it should actually be accepted, since they at the very least share the same root, and the meaning is the same.

August 13, 2016

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

hehe, like others have mentioned in their tongue, in hebrew it means an idiot, as well

October 12, 2016

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

I said the "child" is weak. Yes, niño means boy, but it also means child according to my learning, and it was marked incorrect. I think it should have been shown as "another correct answer".

October 23, 2016

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

The male pronounciation is seriously horrible! It sounds more like "estar debouïl" some sort of nonsense french.

June 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jakeames1

Would el nino es debil be proper

August 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andreim1828

except for the ñ

October 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andreim1828

I thought that debil meant devil :)

October 17, 2016

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

I used frail and got a wrong answer. Maybe this could be corrected.

December 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The.Other.Caleb

For some reason I'm imagining Emperor Palpatine saying this sentence.

March 1, 2017

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

It looks like the accent is on the wrong syllable here if her pronunciation is correct...

March 16, 2017

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

when is esta used and when is es used?

May 26, 2017

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

Está débil - He is (currently) weak because he is sick at the moment.
Es débil - He is a weakly child in general.

November 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tux14

It sounds like he's pronouncing debil with the accent on the second syllable and not the first to me. Others?

July 4, 2017

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

Yes, I hear it like that, too.

July 4, 2017

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

The boy is weak, but his heart is strong! ;)

August 20, 2017

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

Niño = boy this time but in other translations it had to be "child" and "boy" was rejected. Nice consistency!

July 20, 2019
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