I have to say that the translations on Duolingo are too literal. "Are you <insert occupation here>" is much, much more common than "do you work as <insert occupation here>".
It's not that the translation is literal, it's that the sentence isn't common to begin with, even in Italian. most common in Italian would be "Sei un ingegnere?" and "Fai l'ingegnere?".
I was taught to ask about occupations the way you have expressed. Why is DL using sentence structure that is not common? I am sure your crystal ball is not telling you all... however, as a Moderator do you not have some pull to improve the sentences. I am sure you have noticed that most complaints are of the same nature, and yet, nothing changes.
I can't change the sentences myself, what I've done in the past is alert Monica for the blatantly wrong ones I've found, and she fixed them pretty quickly; sentences such as this aren't common but aren't wrong either, so I can't see why they shouldn't be taught. I suppose they were added to the lesson for a reason, either to show that there's another way to say it or to show that come can mean both like and as.
I suppose I don't mind the odd sentence structure, but I'm truly annoyed that the article arbitrarily becomes irrelevant when it is said this way... The only thing that remains consistent in this language is its inconsistence. It's maddening.
This [ Lavorare come + profession ] less common phrase to specify an occupation may have use in an alternate or secondary context.
I am an actor but I am working as a waiter.
Despite our professions, today we all work as disaster response rescuers.
I am a chemist but currently I am working as a promoter in the sales and marketing department.
Look at "Tips & notes" (only in web version of Duolingo). There are three ways to specify an occupation in Italian:
Fare + determinate article + profession (e.g. Faccio il medico): by far the most common way. It describes the person's current role as an activity.
Essere + indeterminate article + profession (e.g. Sono un medico - I am a medic): similar to the English construction, it describes the person's professional category. It can be used even if the person doesn't currently work in the profession, and the indefinite article can be dropped in informal contexts.
Lavorare come + profession (e.g. Lavoro come medico - I work as a medic): more formal than the previous versions, it describes the current occupation but might not be the role the person identifies with.
"Are you an engineer?", "Are you an artist?", "Is he a professional basketball player?" using ESSERE in english (at least American english) is much more common.
Maybe "Are you an engineer?"
That sounds a bit more conversational.. but its important to also know the literal translation.
I translated "Tu lavori come ingegnere?" to "Do you work like an engineer?", and laughed when I came to the correct translation.
This is why....
First, I translated the phrase to "You work like an engineer". Upon seeing the question mark, I changed it to "Do you work like an engineer?"
I felt that though it may be a stange question, there is a chance I would ask a similar question of someone whose occupation is one that I am not familiar with.
I also thought that perhaps it would be a similar sentence construction with "Tu lavori come un cane." ( "You work like a dog!"; meaning you work very hard. )
When I saw the right translation, I laughed at my own silliness!
Okay, over-thinking it.
Anyway, I think it is good that the phrase to translate is "Tu lavori come ingegnere?" as I learned another translation for "come".
-- Question 1 --
So, if I really want to ask "Do you work like a engineer?", please tell me if there is another suitable Italian word to use so as not to confuse with "Tu lavori come ingegnere?".
-- Question 2 -- Would it be rude to say "Tu lavori come un cane!" to a friend who is working like a dog?
( Io imparo lento come una tartaruga perché Io sono smemorata come un pesce rosso. Hehee... )
Edit: Thanks @michi819458.
In all other lessons "come" is "like", not "as". Although "do you work like an engineer" is unlikely, it is possible.
The voice drops at the end of the sentence: how can that possible be a question?
'You work as one engineer' this doesn't match what i expected or whats being said in comments. Think something is ofc here
Other than the question mark how does one know that "Tu lavori" is a question?
I was interested to see f.formica's comment as, at first, I assumed this was the normal way of saying it, as it is in Russian (Czech etc): роботаю инженером (lit: "I work as an engineer"). So why does Duolingo mark "Are you an engineer?" wrong?
I do not understand the reply. Doubtless it makes sense in Italian but it does not in English
I type "Do you work as engineers?" it says X "Do you work as engineer?" Good English have.