"Ile ona ma lat?"

Translation:How old is she?

May 10, 2016

17 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

Can the word order be changed here and retain the same meaning?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gabe81
  • 2785

Polish is quite flexible about word order, but in this case, this one sentence sounds natural.


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

There's at least this exercise: “Ile lat mają twoi rodzice?”

Not sure if this can be applied like: “Ile lat ma ona?” (sounds unnatural to me, but I'm not Polish) or “Ile lat ona ma?”.


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

I don't love those, although they're surely not wrong. "Ile lat ma ona?" ends with a pronoun at the end, and everyone here already knows that our team strongly opposes them. If you need to contrast "OK, I know John's age, I know Mark's age... how old is SHE?", then it would work, but otherwise, not really.

"Ile lat ona ma?" - I'd say it's not the greatest place to put the pronoun.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clarence.Victor

How would you ask the question: "She is how old?" when you don't believe the stated age as she looks older or younger. In other words, would "She is how old?" be a correct translation?


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

I'd probably just accent "ILE ona ma lat?" or just ask "Ile?".

But I don't think that we can consider "She is how old?" to be proper English, or at the very least, it's quite far from standard language that people learn...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clarence.Victor

It is quite proper in American English and easily understood in context. I suppose it may not standard for this course but it is no more of a stretch than some of the other phrases that are accepted. I admire your diplomacy in matters such as this and thank you for answering my question. English has a habit of making questions of declarative sentences by using emphasis and tone. Just wondering how often this occurs in Polish.


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

In Polish, yes/no questions are usually created by just putting a question mark at the end, although you can start them with the word "czy". So basically emphasis and tone are enough.

The thing we need to remember when considering English answers is that there are many people that learn English here. It's an official Duolingo recommendation to take the 'reverse course', so for example for Polish people who want to learn English to not only take English for Polish course, but also this one. And now, if a Polish student writes "She is how old?" on an English test... well, I don't think that would be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clarence.Victor

That is an interesting point. Over the years of trying to learn Polish with this course, I have wondered how much of the difficulty of answering questions is due to the large number of variables of students such as standard American and British English as well as regional differences. Now when you throw in Polish to English students it makes sense why sometimes translations are accepted and others not. Thank you for the explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oldy1978

"How many years old is she?"


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

I've never heard anyone phrase it in English like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oldy1978

Granted, it is a more literal translation however "How many days old is she?" and "How many months old is she?" are very common. "Lat" does mean years and the translation "How old is she?" drops that unit of time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

We don't love it, but ok, let's add it here.


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

There is an error in the translation: on = he. So please update the answer to he or change the polish to ona


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

The Polish sentence does use "ona". And the English one uses "she". Everything here matches.


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

I can assure you that it showed 'on' not 'ona'. It was the second time I ran into this strange mistake and I took it to my polish wife to double check. Perhaps an issue with the version of my android app? Anyway, this is all I can do to help. Keep up the good work!


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

Perhaps... we'd really need to see some screenshot to investigate. On my side, everything looks correct.

Thanks!

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