1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "В нашей компании много стран…

"В нашей компании много странных людей."

Translation:There are many strange people in our company.

March 27, 2016

51 Comments


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

Why would "There are many strange people at our company" not also be an acceptable translation?


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

Or for that matter, "At our company there are many strange people"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt.Lacrosse

I agree and would argue that at our company is more accurate because it refers to people who are employed at the company/firm.

To say, "There are many strange people in our company," implies that the strange people are among us, among our number, in our presence, those with whom we are gathered: our friends, acquaintances, those with whom we have chosen to spend time.

Reported - March 2021


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

I can't speak for the Russian, but saying "at" in the English sentence could mean that you are referring to visitors of the company's building.


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

I had the same answer marked wrong. Reported April 2020.


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

What is wrong with the translation 'In our company are many strange people'?


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

Is English your native language? I'm Russian, but I'd rather add «In our company THERE ARE a lot of strange people»


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

Ok, I'll remember that. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Draoi-

Is this company as in a business, or company as in our immediate surroundings?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vik84w

I think компания can mean both.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

According to https://translate.yandex.ru/?lang=ru-en&text=%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%BF%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F Компания means:
1. company, business, firm (общество, бизнес, фирма)
2. party (сторона)
3. bunch (куча)


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

Strange as in weird people or strange as in unknown people?


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

As in wierd people.


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

Sounds like every company I ever worked for.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulHamilt19

Using "there are" is a bit redundant here. Are is sufficient.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

You are in fact correct.

Many strange people are in our company

In this sentence, it is evident that "people" is the subject of the sentence. "In our company" is a prepositional phrase that functions as an adverb describing where the people are.

In our company are many strange people.

In this sentence, the word order is inverted for emphasis. In our company are many strange people, "people" is still the subject of the sentence, even though it follows the verb. "In our company," the adverbial prepositional phrase, happens to go before the verb.

These formations are analogous to these sentences:

  • He is here. (Subject, verb, adverb.)
  • Here he is. (Adverb, verb, subject.)

Sentences that should therefore be accepted:

  • Many strange people are in our company.
  • In our company are many strange people.
  • There are many strange people in our company. Note - "There" is actually an expletive*. "People" is still the subject of the sentence.
  • In our company, there are many strange people. Note - "There" is actually an expletive*. "People" is still the subject of the sentence.

* "An expletive is a word that does not function grammatically in a sentence but plays an important rhetorical role." James A. Chapman, Handbook of Grammar Composition (3rd Ed.) (Pensacola: Pensacola Christian College, 1981), 27.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

"In our company there are many strange people" is idiomatically much more preferable to "In our company are many strange people". You've got the rest spot-on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

Jeffrey, thank you for your input. Because it is impossible for you to speak for all English speakers on what is and is not idiomatically preferable, I will therefore assume you are speaking of your own stylistic preference (well-noted on both of your posts on this thread). I would avoid trying to influence others to speak the same way. I am a native English speaker and, depending on what I want to emphasize and the context into which I am speaking, can see myself using any of these variations, and my choice in that context would be appropriate to the situation and completely and naturally understood. Cheers


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

I am all for the creative use of English, (I'm a definite supporter of the proper use of the Oxford comma, for instance), but I am not attempting to influence people to speak "the same way", nor am I saying that dropping "there" is wrong. It is somewhat odd and stylized. (As an editorial choice, I would rather stress the word "many" while retaining "there": "In our company there are many strange people." That's just my preference.)

The reason I find "In our company are many strange people" to be an unusual or odd sentence is that the subject ("many strange people") comes after the verb, a word-order which is usually reserved for questions, not declaratory sentences.

When the subject comes after the verb in a declaratory sentence, usually a token or place-holder subject ("there") is used to clarify the fact that the words preceding the verb ("in our company") are not the subject, and that the reader/listener can expect to hear the actual subject after the verb.

Also, by using "there" as a token subject, the sentence avoids the possible confusion creating by placing the adverbial phrase "in our company" in a position where the reader/listener normally expects the subject to be.


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

Grammatically it is, but most English speakers will expect to hear "there are" - especially when the emphasis is on the existence of the subject, rather than the location.


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

Most Americans would not consult a grammar book and would just say “there are many strange people in our company”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

If you are referring to me, which would be understandable since I did just that on my own post on this sub-thread, I might agree that most Americans would not refer to a grammar handbook, though this American surely did. I did so because at the time, the person to whom I responded had at least one downvote. He had made a recommendation on English grammar which I was not sure if the developers would take into account due to the downvote. Therefore I backed him up with a published handbook used in more than one school. (I have seen the Russian developers frequently take to the forums to discuss English usage to ensure they are adding grammatically correct English versions.)

The OP never asked which version is more common, and commonality is beside the point; the OP simply wished for a grammatically correct usage to be accepted -- which it ought to be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

I have to disagree. The point of becoming adept in a language is to learn how things are usually said, not stylized, odd or out-of-the-ordinary usages. In advanced language courses, that shouldn't be an issue, but at basic levels, it's important to learn what constructions you can commonly expect to encounter, not unusual ones.


[deactivated user]

    What is this case that requires "х" as a word ending?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

    Много takes genitive. The х ending indicates genitive plural.


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

    Is foreign people not an acceptable translation in russian?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

    Foreign as relates to from another country is иностранный, which certainly seems from first glance to have common roots with странный, which means strange. One might also use чужой, as in, "in a strange country," в чужой стране." Странный человек is "strange man." (Source for all definitions: Katzner's, 1994.) Whether иностранный or чужой has different connotations or better usage, I cannot answer.

    In consulting my dictionary, I do not see that the Russian use of странный connotes anything to do with those from another country. My own English usage (and others from different geographical areas may disagree) is that I only use "stranger" to mean "foreigner" when I am considering the Bible's use of it - strangers in a strange land - but not in everyday use talking about resident aliens or foreigners. For this sentence, I would myself probably stick to using странных людей to mean strange people, meaning oddballs (or anyone in my department :)) at work).


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

    Thank you so much for replying, you've given me a lot of useful info!

    I asked mainly because in my mother tongue, Serbian, which is fairly closely related to Russian, we use страни човек / страни људи (which are nearly identical phrases as странный человек / странные люди, only our transcription differs) almost exclusively for foreigners, and never for odd, weird, strange people – I find such linguistic differences very interesting :D

    On the other hand, we say чудан човек / чудни људи for odd, weird, strange people (and never for foreigners), which is weirdly similar to чужой :D Funny how that turned out :D

    Anyways, I thought I'd share this in case you or someone else finds it interesting :) Thanks again!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

    That is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Languages are so cool. :)


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

    In Russian "чудный" means "miraculous". There are a lot of "bad friends of an interpreter" in Russian and other slavic languages. Sometimes it can be funny.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kirsten54022

    complete word selection is not available.


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

    Can компании in this sentence mean companions? My answer was 'in our company are many strange people' which as a native English speaker to me has the meaning of being in the company of strange people rather than the commercial business meaning. Is this the same in Russian or is the word компани strictly limited to business interests?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeffrey855877

    According to https://translate.yandex.ru/?lang=ru-en&text=%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%BF%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F Компания means: 1. company, business, firm (общество, бизнес, фирма) 2. party (сторона) 3. bunch (куча)


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

    Is странных in genitive singular or plural? I think it's singular, because of the word людей is a singular form of people, but i'm not sure of it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

    It is genitive plural, since людей is genitive plural. (Люди is an irregular plural to begin with (plural of человек), similar to how in English people is an irregular plural of person.)


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

    Thank you! I get confused and I thought the opposite.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErikKaufma2

    is the word "strange" in the genitive or prepositional case?


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

    Genitive. "Много" requires the genitive case.


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

    Sure, there is.


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

    Does not accept "at our company". Reported Aug2019


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

    what's wrong with " in our company are many strange people"?...


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

    Thanks to everybody's contribution on the matter. My "frustration" is due to the following: when the program responds by saying "the right answer is..." It implies that the one given was wrong. Which was, apparently, not the case here. I think the program should put the emphasis on the correct use of the Russian grammar, not the style used in the English translation., as this can easily lead to endless subjective discussions. Also keep in mind that the goal of this series of lessons is to learn Russian, not English nuances of expression. Having said that, I really do enjoy the course and congratulate all the people involved for their efforts.


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

    Well, while it is not technically grammatically incorrect in any way, it would be an unusual usage in English and it is unlikely that a native English speaker would phrase it that way. It's not WRONG, just not usual usage.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

    Respectfully I disagree that “it is unlikely that a native English speaker would phrase it that way.” I am one, and I would use this based on context and on what I wished to emphasize. There is nothing wrong with the phrasing, and I hope that the moderators eventually add it as a valid translation.


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

    Equally respectfully, I didn't say that no native English speaker ever would. I said that it was unlikely. "One swallow does not a summer make."

    I repeat: It's not WRONG, it's just not common usage.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

    Without devolving completely into “whose strawman fallacy is more strawmanny,“ :)) I did not say that you said no English speaker ever would. Instead, my point was simply that you cannot speak to the likelihood or unlikelihood of a phrase’s usage if you are not completely familiar with how each English speaker speaks.


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

    Do they work at an Odeon cinema also?


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

    Can company mean people you are with or having over? As opposed to a company you work for?


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

    Both two sences


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karen852780

    when everyone goes back to work, this sentence will be well used.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/F4yY9kZj

    The initial 'в' is not well pronounced.

    Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.