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Poor understanding of colloquialisms

Example from the text about figs: "Si eres cocinillas" - most people translate this as "If you are camping" because Duolingo translates cocinillas as camping stoves.

However, it missed the colloquial meaning of this word which according to this page: http://www.wordreference.com/definicion/cocinillas and the google translate of the explanation is "A person who meddles in domestic affairs, especially in the kitchen, not in its competence"

Thus "If you are incompetent at cooking" is much more intuitive translation than "If you are stoves".

Please add colloquialisms to the dictionary bank.
Or just 'incompetent at domestic skills' or something similar to the translation of 'cocinillas'.

June 12, 2012



I agree that the duolingo system doesn't lend itself to understanding why or how things work.

For those who don't know, -illo/-illa is added to word to form a diminutive. Once that's realized, cocinilla can be read as cocina + illa. Cocinilla.

For an understanding of diminutives, check this link. http://spanish.about.com/od/nouns/a/diminutives.htm


There are lots of expressions in english that don't translate literally at all. It would be good for duolingo to explain similar expressions in spanish. At the same time though, there are probably so many that it would be hard to explain each one. Having a native speaker do a quick read through would at least help mistakes be caught.


@SkylarEC - the example I gave may be a diminutive 'camp stove' instead of stove. But, it is also a colloquialism which means something completely different! I understand that it would be tricky to add all the pet-name forms and diminutives to the dictionary, however putting colloquial words would be handy.


@kibi13, La cocina: the cook, the chef. La cocinilla: the diminutive chef (chef-y, cookie, lesser-chef, cute little chef, etc).

I actually don't think most people would translate this as camping stove for two reasons. "Si eres" means "if you are". "If you are camping stoves" does not makes sense. Also, Most users of this site should be more familiar with the meaning "little cook" because of all the "Él cocina la araña en la cocina" sample sentences we've had to translate and retranslate through the exercises. The word should be fairly well associated with food and cooking.

Camping stoves is itself the colloquialism, not the other meaning.

However, I still see your point. You may want to mention this in the feedback tab. They may remove or clarify the sentence.

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