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  5. "Lei parla."

"Lei parla."

Translation:She speaks.

January 7, 2014



i can see it already... there will be a "la scimmia parla" exercise somewhere


Umm... I have not reached that level. Could someone explain what that means?


this sentence translates to "the monkey speaks". The joke is in reference to an earlier exercise in which you would see a monkey reading a book for some reason...


I don't see very many pictures in my exercises; only very rarely in a multiple choice exercise at the beginning of a lesson. Have they been discontinued? I would enjoy more pics and they would activate an additional learning modality. They would also steer me away from translating and towards thinking in Italian more.


The mice speak ? weird


"She is speaking" should be fine, right?


Yes, “She is speaking.” is also a correct translation of «Lei parla.». In fact, that would be the common translation.

In Italian, the present progressive, as in «Lei sta parlando.», is only used to emphasize that an action is in progress, such as when describing concurrent actions; otherwise the simple present is used.

In English, for action verbs, the simple present is only used in narrative sequences (“She speaks. Then the door magically opens.”) and for habitual or regular actions (“What happens when you pull this string? She speaks.”). Otherwise, the present progressive is used.


thank you. i'm so glad to see your comment.


Notice no one below takes notice, though!


"She is speaking" not accepted in Jan. 2018 (I reported).


Not accepted March 30...


And still not on December 21st!!!! Also reported.


Also reported January 4, 2019


Didn't accept it for me either. I also just reported it


so that being the case , why doesn't duo accept "she is speaking"?


Thank you. But it marked it wrong for me.


no, because it is not happening now. it is just like "she speaks" really. just that... she has the ability to speak.


but "Lei parla Inglese" means both "She speaks English" and "She is speaking English", doesn't it?


not really... the continuous form in Italian would be "Lei sta parlando in Inglese"

adding to this, there are two forms of verb "to be". "è" would mean something permanent, like in "she is beautiful". but lets say she is not really beautiful, but she puts on nice clothes and becomes beautiful, you would then use "sta" as if saying "she is so beautiful today!"


Ah ok, I didn't know Italian did both present tenses. Fair enough!


Yes, however DL has been accepting both the simple present and the present progressive in their exercises. It is not consistent to suddenly not accept it in a random instance and without an explanation.


I also think that taffarelbergamin I reading elements into the given sentence that are simply not there. There is no indication whatsoever that the meaning is limited to the ability to speak.


you're being too literal. In fact he's right about common usage.


Common usage is not the same as gramatical usage. You see... "She speaks" seems to be the same as "she is speaking" because of things like "be quiet while she speaks!". During this moment, she is speaking and we should be quiet. But this is actually a general purpose. We are not only talking about now, but everytime she speaks, we should be quiet.

The same as you suddenly get surprised that she is speaking English and you say "she speaks English!". You are refering to her ability to speak English and not to the fact that she is right now speaking English.

The difference is very subtle, but she speaks is not the same as she is speaking.


Yes. English would translate it as both depending on context. for example . "She speaks English" (repeat or habitual) 'She speaks all the time' (habitual as above) but must include now have logical integrity. '"She IS SPEAKING this Monday'' (future: cannot be translated into Italian continuous tense which only allows what is occurring at that (this) moment. Just be careful because it is English that allows this overlap in the continuous tense--something is happening at the stated time or I am goING to do something next year--a planned action. Italian is very specific so Duo asks you to use English that reflects the limits if the Italian


Are you really saying that a "present tense" verb can't indicate that it is happening now? I'd be more inclined to accept your explanation if we didn't keep getting sentences like "il cuoco cucina un pesce", which Duo is quite happy to allow to mean "the cook is cooking a fish". I agree that Italian also has the construction using sto + gerund, but I question that to use that is the only way to render an English present continuous. It's far more flexible than that, especially in normal conversation.


Why is "She is talking" not accepted?


It sounded like 'Lei parda' to me.


she speaks is the same as she is speaking


Marked wrong for "she is speaking". Doesn't look like they take much notice of reports that we think our version is OK. Or of discussions. "She speaks" - full stop - isn't anything I have said in English- perhaps if I were talking about a doll, or a robot.


'She is talking' is not accepted. I reported.


"She is speaking" is a correct English translation of this sentence. Another translation could be, "She does speak."


I have just been told that "she is speaking" is a wrong translation although it normally seems happy with use of a continuous present in English. How else could you say "she is speaking" in Italian?


lei sta parlando

use of gerunds with the 'stare' verb


I am learning French and German, and have only been doing Italian for a few days, so I am confused by the subtle distinctions being brought into this topic. Je parle and ich sprech both translate as I speak or I am speaking. Why the difference in Italian?


It's confusing because in German they don't have the ' i am speaking ' since it's translated just the same as 'i speak' hence 'ich spreche'

But in Italian we can have, 'io parlo' - 'i speak'

OR 'sto parlando' - 'i am speaking' (now)


"She is talking" is also correct.


Last lesson I answered "she speaks" for Lei parla. Now the answer for she speaks IS Lei parla. :-(


It depends on the contexte, because parlare can either mean to talk or to speak


she says is not correct?


not really. One speaks Italian. One doesn't SAY Italian. One says a word, or a sentence, or a quotation, but one speaks the truth, one tells the truth or a story. It's just variants of similar ideas.


I put she is speaking. why is this incorrect?


Because it is not happening now. it is just like "she speaks" really. just that... she has the ability to speak.

The continuous form in Italian would be "Lei sta parlando"

Adding to this, there are two forms of verb "to be". "è" would mean something permanent, like in "she is beautiful". but lets say she is not really beautiful, but she puts on nice clothes and becomes beautiful, you would then use "sta" as if saying "she is so beautiful today!"


I understand your explanation, but I was under the impression - I could, of course, be wrong - that the italian present indicative case contained multitudes. Where the present progressive tense is unequivocally translated in English as the verb ending "-ing," the present tense could render several translations: in the example of the verb "parlare" the third person "parla" could be understood as any of the following "speaks," "is speaking," or potentially "will (in the very near future) speak."

Unless, the present indicative case necessitates a direct object in order to access those additional translations.

What do you think?


I think your assessment is very valuable. I am definitely just an amateur with my Italian but I have discovered that Italians use the present simple in many situations where in English we would use the present continuous.

So for that reason and because not everything translates well from one language to another directly, the concept behind what is being said needs to be taken into account.

In that regard, I think what you've said is very important. The logic behind the structure of Italian is totally different to English and all students need to be aware of this.


You are right and the amateur expert above is carried away. Translation is never a literal proposition.


Thanks very much for your comments. I am an English teacher struggling with Italian. It's a beautiful language but the logic, structure and concepts behind it are very different to English, so I am trying to re-wire my brain accordingly!


Thank you :) I'm happy to help! I am Brazilian and live in a region of Brazil (south) where most of the population is Italian and German. My family is originally Italian and we speak the Veneto Dialect from about 1900~1930 highly mixed with Portuguese, so I decided to check what Duolingo has to offer and was not disappointed! Now I'm learning Italian, Spanish, I'm keeping my English sharp plus reverse engineering the English course for Russian speakers to learn Russian hehehe


Strangely enough, I have taught English in Moscow twice and my online students are Russian. Because of the sanctions and the economic crisis there, the majority of students have now dropped out. The rouble has lost a lot of value and they can't afford it now. if you'd be interested to get in touch via my website, it's: caccamoenglishonline.com


No problem. Good luck with your various projects.


Thank you very much Anthony, but I already feel comfortable enough with my English level, so I rather maintain it using a free platform like Duolingo. Unless you teach Russian as well... then we could talk a bit more...


Taffarelbergamin - please see my reply elsewhere in this thread (which was meant to answer your earlier post). My point is that either Duo needs to be more consistent, or it (and you) should admit that the language is more flexible than you seem to be claiming.


different between parla and parlare ?? or is it just to make it short ( English is not my first language)


parla is a "conjugated form", a version of a verb that matches the subject in person and number and shows a particular time (tense) and aspect (completeness) and other morphological possibilities, as do most Indo-European languages, esp. Romance languages. In these languages an "infinitive" is a basic form of the verb that shows only its base semantic meaning without time or person. In Romance languages all conjugated forms can be derived from the Infinitive. Parlare is an infinitive. Parlo, i speak, parli, you speak, parla, s/he speaks... etc. -- all derived from Parlare. - ARE is the class and identifying suffix for this infinitive.


What is the difference between parlare (lei parla) and dire (lei dice)? How do I know which to use? Grazie!


Speak/Parlare = to make communications sounds [I speak Italian]; Say/Dire = to express an idea [I say what i think]. Very similar ideas but very different in most languages.


I too was disappointed when my translation 'she is speaking' was not accepted. Reading the discussions and grammatical explanations have clarified things for me. Thank you!


I dare to say, you're being misled either by non-native English speakers, or more importantly by people who didn't learn grammar in detail at school (I can see those a generation younger than me, who weren't taught it at school in English, French and Latin struggling as adult language learners at my Adult Ed classes,) Even OU language courses begin with " a noun is the name of something, a verb is a doing word" . Have always been grateful that Latin was obligatory for university entrance when I was young; it's provided a framework for learning other languages, especially Italian (much lexical similarity, same for French), but even with German (all these damned noun cases!)


She is speaking is the same as she speaks in english


It is not. It seems to be like that because of things like "be quiet while she speaks!". During this moment, she is speaking and we should be quiet. But this is actually a general purpose. We are not only talking about now, but everytime she speaks, we should be quiet.

She speaks: applied in general not only to the present but also to the future as in "every time she speaks". She is speaking: applied specifically to the fact happening in the present.


She is speaking sounds more usual "she speaks" is an odd sentence -- as if it is surprising that "she" speaks


is the translation she speaks just the same as she is speaking? I made that answer and it was marked wrong.


No one is offering the formal? 'Prego, Lei parla'


I understand (and reluctantly accept) the comments below about the difference between 'she speaks' and 'she is speaking'. However, on that basis, wouldn't 'the men think' be the only correct answer for the next sentence that comes up? Instead, it accepts either 'the men think' or 'the men are thinking', suggesting it can mean either they have the ability to think or they are thinking right now. Doesn't seem consistent.


How is it the formal "you" doesn't work here? "You are talking"?


La scimmia scrive Shakespeare


italian, apparently.


Why not, "she is speaking?"

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