"Pants or a skirt?"

Translation:Spodnie czy spódnica?

June 10, 2016

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/albanaich

Trousers not pants in British/International English

June 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Sure. However, Duolingo focuses more on American English (which personally I don't love), so if it's translating English to Polish, then it will look like that. But if you get the same sentence to translate from Polish to English, then surely trousers will be accepted.

June 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/albanaich

I'm finding interesting problems with the syntax of the English, especially preferred word choice as in 'shut the door' and 'close the door'. I'm finding the Britsih usuage is often slightly more direct and closer to the literal Polish. I have to add 'extra' American words that are not in British English or the Polish to get the answer.

June 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/albanaich

Or to quote Gowers (you know Gowers?) In England 'Boy meets girl' in the USA 'boy meets up with girl'

June 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Well, I never noticed such syntax differences... that's sure interesting. I'd rather expect British to be more 'complicated'...

June 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/albanaich

Well I'm a native speaker of British - its considerablly less complicated than American English. You can check Gowers, the Complete Plain Words'

I used to speak German (20 years ago) quite well and syntax of American English is quite heavily influenced by German. In the 19th century there were almost as many German speakers in the USA as English, German was once proposed as the national language.

In German (which is in turn influenced by Polish!!!) there is a tendency to beat a sentence to death. That is, words are added to exclude every possibility of ambiguity. It is an 'explict' language, every possibility is expressed. Polish is similar in that it is difficult to be ambigous, its difficult to interpret sentences in a way different to that intended.

British english is the opposite - meaning is implicit in the context. British people delight in playing context against meaning. (understatement, irony) and non-native speakers (even those who are fluent) have difficulty with it.

June 10, 2016
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