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  5. "Είσαστε συγγενείς;"

"Είσαστε συγγενείς;"

Translation:Are you relatives?

September 10, 2016



Simply ng, with n very slight


Is the pronunciation of "συγγενείς" /sing.je.'nis/ or is it /sig.je.'nis/?


It's sing -ge (sort of like get)- niece.


I really hear no ng sound there. Does she have a regional pronunciation or something?


No, I she doesn't have a regional pronunciation. The problem is explaining the slight difference between just the "g" sound and the "γγ". What you don't want is a hard "g" sound. Follow the recorded it's normal.


It's not a "hard" g indeed, but not because of it being γγ. There are natives that pronounce αγγλικά with a hard g (as in get). The issue here is that ε that palatalises and "softens" the g sound, turning it into this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiced_palatal_stop


One only needs go to a Greek neighborhood and order a γύρο to hear it in life.


If I were following the recording as it sounds coming out of my computer's speakers, i would make a very hard "g" sound indeed. It sounds to me as if she is saying a true double G sound, both ending the syllable with a hard G and beginning the next with a hard G. It sounds, though, as if it is safer not to pronounce it as I hear it, but rather in accordance with the rule that this is a "ng" sound, presumably ending the first syllable with a "ng" and beginning the next with a "g", as in the English "finger," rather than "singer."


OK, the rule says it should be ng but in reality both ng and hard g pronunciations are used (personally I use the hard g). The hard g may be even more popular already.


Can you also translate this as - we are related?


I don't have too much problem if the correct grammatical English translation sounds a bit clunky (as the accepted answer does) as long as I can trust the Greek to be natural everyday spoken Greek as that is the language I am learning and I don't want to accustom my ear to sentences that would never be used in normal conversation.


The Greek is fine and exactly how we would say it. Yes, it's very wise to concentrate on the language you are learning since often translations can be stilted etc. In this case, of course, both the Greek and the English as shown in the heading are correct.


Do you mean, "Are you related?"? Yes, it technically means the same thing, But "Are you relatives?" is a bit more accurate ^.^


What is wrong with "You are relatives?"


Your sentence is not correct question word order. It needs to be "Are you relatives?"

Yes, there are cases where you can use regular declarative sentences to ask a question when you are shocked or surprised. "You ate the whole cake?"

However, in this case, it would have to be "You're relatives?'' because "You are is used only for declarative sentences. And since there is no context here and there is a question mark you should view it as a simple question.


"You're" is simply a contraction of "you are." It is precisely the same word order and can be used wherever "you are" is. The only difference is that it is less formal and might not be acceptable in more formal written speech.

As to the translation of a question, as you point out, there is no context in any Duolingo sentence. The translator, therefore, must make up a context. Any context the translator makes up should be acceptable, so if the answer is grammatically sound, it should be accepted.

English does not have a language authority and it is spoken natively by hundreds of millions of people around the world, so any normative rule about the emotional context of the way a particular word order is used is unlikely to be very well-founded.


Alternative meaning of συγγενείς is listed to be “cognates”. Then why does my answer which is “Are you cognates?” gets marked as wrong?


When you say "alternative meanings ..." I'm assuming you're referring to the Drop Down hints but even if you mean a dictionary there are still reasons why "cognates" doesn't fit here.

"Cognate" describes words that are related...

"The general rule is that cognates have similar meanings and are derived from the same root (origin). A fine example is the word for night in almost all Indo-European languages:[1]

nuit (French), noche (Spanish), Nacht (German), nacht (Dutch), nag (Afrikaans), nicht (Scots), natt (Swedish, Norwegian), nat (Danish), nátt etc etc..."

When referring to human relatives it might be used in legal documents.

In neither of these cases could you ask them a question such as in this exercise.

And as for the Drop down hints just as a dictionary might give numerous definitions of a word it doesn't mean that they can be used interchangeably. For example...a "bank" might be a place where you save money, or it could be the side of a river.

It's always best to choose the first word in the Duolingo hin


" You are relatives? " sounds ok to me, especially if spoken with surprise. As for "context" it sometimes appears to me that it could be suggested that this is missing from other examples .


especially if spoken with surprise.

Exactly. This is a "surprise/confirmation" type question; you might use it when you heard something surprising and want to confirm that you heard correctly.

It's not a neutral question-for-information.


That's right and it was mentioned some time ago in other comments. More common I think would be "You're relatives?" but both are possible.


I think this should also accept "are you family?" - at least where i am from we would use "relatives" and "family" interchangeably in English to describe anyone in the wider extended family (and "family" more often - "relatives" is more of a formal word)


Yes, I've added "family" to the correct translations. Thank you.

In Greek, we use the word "σόι" meaning "kin/kinfolks/extended family".


Growing up in the south (i.e. southern U.S.) I want to translate this as "are you all relatives?". We tend to indicate the plural use of "you" by adding "all", and contracting it to "y'all". People from the north then laugh at us for doing this. But it is quite useful to do it this way, just like how all of the articles, pronouns, nouns, adjectives, etc. are declined in Greek! =)


Having lived in the south I'm very aware of the use of the "y'all" however we have decided on this course not to use any regionally restricted expressions.

We do not laugh at them but find they enrich the language in the places where they are used. However, with so many varieties of English, it's not possible to include them all.

In any case, since there is the plural "relatives" it's clear that the "you" in this sentence is plural.


Could this be asking whether those addressed are relatives of the speaker? Or if one were at a family reunion, one may ask someone whether they are relatives or guests.

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