Every isle is an island, but not every island can be called an isle. For example, you can't call Greenland an isle, but you can call it an island. In this cause the sentence seems to be talking about a special custom or way of life that is different in the islands. Which would hint at the island being big enough to have an impact that far away, as to be compared to it. Does that make sense?
Can anyone answer the question more clearly? We tend to speak of an isle having a small island in mind, but this doesn't mean an island has to be small to be an isle (the British Isles being the case in point). Plus, it accepted "isle" in every other sentence. PLUS, it is easier to associate and remember that the French word for "isle" is "ile", so this REALLY should be accepted.
But the thing is, English is used among different groups of people. What people say in Hawaii, is different from what people use in NYC, and what people say in England. I would default to "It is different in the islands." and I'm from Kansas, but I have many friends in NYC would would default to "It is different on the islands."
I think I understand what this sentence (in French) means, and I thought about how I would express that thought in English. I am a native speaker of English. (Although ... [disclosure!] -- I have never lived on [nor "in"] the British Isles -- nor any other islands.)
I tried using the English sentence << "It is different on an island." >>.
That English sentence was rejected. It elicited a response of
<< (X) You used the singular "island" here, instead of the plural "islands". It is different on islands. >>
I realize that the French phrase "dans les îles" does contain the plural noun "îles", which means "islands", and I realize that the literal translation of that phrase ("dans les îles") is something like "on islands".
(or even "in the islands").
However, that English sentence ("It is different on islands.") is not the way I would say it in English.
In English, I would express that thought -- (the meaning of the French sentence "C'est différent dans les îles.") -- differently.
I would express it by saying [something like] << "It is different on an island." >>.
Just my 0.02.
-- Mike Schwartz
Native English speaker here. I agree that "It is different in the islands." is probably the most correct translation, however, "It is different on the islands." would also be a very widely used phrase amongst American English speakers, especially in NYC where there are many people who originated from "the islands" in the Carribean.
Ah the great English debate in NYC. Are you standing IN line or ON line (a shortened version of "on the line"). I agree that "It is different in the islands." is probably the most correct translation, however "It is different on the islands." should be an accepted solution. The drop down for dans literally has "on" as an option.