Mazzorano thank you so much for writing the duo memrise course. Please could you write a level for this chapter. It is so hard trying to learn all these new verbs. I'm aware you are already working hard to add new levels for later chapters so may not have the time. Please know that all your hard work is very much appreciated. Thank you.
It was funny to me at first but then I realized this actually wasn't such a weird sentence (well, maybe more weird that it's in Hebrew) but I mean people say their pets are learning English a lot. Like whose cat or dog doesn't know the word food? My cat even understands when I tell her I need to get up (and probably far more amazingly tends to get off me so I can, though often she makes ticked off meows while doing so).
Much more funny though if you mean the cat studies vs is learning. I like the image of a very studious cat with a little pair of glasses sitting in front of a textbook. Haha.
And it's strange to me that they are not proper nouns. Why is "English" less proper noun than "Tel Aviv"?
Also, is it true that in most languages language names are not proper nouns? For example, in English and French and German you can't add a definite article before a language name; doesn't it mean it is a proper noun?
I think you are overcomplicating it :)
Language names are just not proper nouns in most languages, including Hebrew. In French you can definitely add a definite article to language names. Ja parle le français is just less natural than Je parle français, but both are correct. In Slavic languages there is no definite article, but language names are not proper nouns either. English is the exception here, as it treats language names as proper nouns.
Back to Hebrew: You can use the definite article with language names when it's appropriate. For example:
- My French is good = הצרפתית שלי טובה
- I am practicing my English = אני מתרגל את האנגלית שלי
In other cases it's not appropriate, like:
- I speak Russian = אני דובר רוסית
Oh, I kind of think I understand what you are asking, but you're going to have to give of an exact example if I'm wrong. Names of cities and streets are proper nouns, the whole name, so south of the Mason-Dixon line, East Coast, etc. But most of the time we don't know if it's "double Gloucester cheese" (Gloucester is a place, but is the cheese a brand name or is it named for the location? ) and have to look it up. If there are place names or proper nouns in the word then those get capitalised, but only if it refers to the place name, that would already be capitalised... Like: I like swiss cheese (not capitalised because, it's not Swiss - who knew?), or: my dog is a collie, but I've always wanted an Alaskan husky or an Irish setter. Most of this stuff that there is confusion over, like some things have the same name as places but aren't named because they come from those places.. Like french fry. There is no exact standard in this area, some dictionaries say different things for different words, I usually don't think about it unless the keyboard app prompts a capitalisation, then I search to find out. Registered trade marks are capitalised too, like Jeep or Perrier. What is the distinction in Hebrew?
Update: apparently Gloucester is named for the region and type of cow. Some places say capitalise and others say don't. When in doubt I'd rather capitalise, if you're wrong (personally) I think it doesn't look at as bad as if you leave something lowercase. (The first looks like an accident, and most people wouldn't even notice it, but the second looks like you were lazy about typing or editing. But that might just be me).
The only time a proper noun might not be capitalised if it was a name purposefully written that way (trademarked), like iPhone or Ebay.
Thanks Teri. When I wanted to write down the syntactic distinction in Hebrew I realized it's just the same in English. Can you or can't you add "the" to the noun? If you can't: proper noun. If you can: non proper noun.
Returning to language names: in English you can't add "the", so proper nouns, and indeed they are capitalized. In Hebrew - hmm, we don't normally add ה, but it doesn't sound ludicrous to me.
No, Troy, that is definitely not the reason. Did you read the previous posts? If so, you should have seen the second comment in this thread, in which Yan (Ynhockey) explains the answer to S.Longstride's question, and he adds in a subsequent reply that language names are not proper nouns in Hebrew. If that wasn't clear enough, consider the following.
The nouns that don't take the definite article are proper nouns. Thus, if your statement were true, Hebrew would never use "את" before a proper noun. But "את" is used before any definite noun that is the direct object of a transitive verb; that's what it's for. E.g.:
Here's a current (2019-12-26) quote from the Israeli newspaper "הארץ" on haaretz.co.il/
בתל אביב יודעים לחגוג את חנוכה כמו שצריך.