Translation:They are fish.
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This could be a source of confusion, as so many Italians (especially from Northern and Central Italy) have plural-like surnames. Lombardi, Latini, Verdi, Pesci, Rossi, Leopardi, and so on. But I guess this has never ever been a real problem.
Sono Pesci. Pensi che io sia buffo?
I translated to I am fishes because there wasn't a signifier. Normally I think that if the first instance of the subject talking about other people you would start with "loro", for example, and from then on wards you can remove "loro" from speak/text. Is this a fair assumption?
I agree that the subject must be known to the audience, but I wouldn't be so categorical as there are other ways of sharing knowledge of the subject. Since duolingo provides no context, everything goes, but it's awkward associating a singular pronoun such as I with a plural name; on the other hand, the sentence could be translated as "I am pisces", as in the astrological sign.
No you can remove the subject (io, loro, etc) from the start. You only have to specify if it's unclear.
In this situation you would actually have to specify the subject if the subject was io. Why? Because when someone says "sono pesci" it is much more likely that they are trying to say "They are fish."
ie. What are they? They are fish.
I am fishes is a much more unlikely sentence for someone to say. (Under what circumstances would you say that..?) So if you did actually want to say it you would say io sono pesci otherwise people would assume you are saying the more common one - "They are fish"
In real life there's a lot more context to go on - gestures, facial expressions,the surroundings - in Duolingo there's not a lot of context. Therefore if in doubt, you should assume it's the more likely sentence.
Hope that helps.
While I agree that it is ridiculous to say 'I am fishes" it does make it difficult when something is out of context...also Duolingo has a reputation for putting strange things together i.e. the animal section? Something about monkeys reading the newspaper. It's hard not to expect a weird answer when there is already a history of strange answers.
In Italian, just as in Spanish it's very common to skip the subject, because if you use it in every single sentence, like you do in English, in those languages turns out being rather redundant, hence, the only times when you must use the pronoun, is when the subject of the sentence is unclear
I'm pretty sure; English is my first language. I did find a rare instance when you would use the word "fishes" if you're talking about multiple species of fish. http://grammarist.com/usage/fish-fishes/
The link you provided says the same thing: "The collective plural of fish is always fish... When referring to two or more kinds of fish, the plural is fishes."
I saw so many people who can't find the difference between "io sono" and "loro sono" . I am italian so I know it. "Io sono" is "I am" so we must use the singular form : "Io sono un pesce" - "I am a fish". Instead "Loro sono" means "they are" and we must use the plural form: "Loro sono dei pesci" - "They are fishes." If you want a help you remember the plural and singular form: Io sono un pesce (singular form) Loro sono dei pesci (plural form)
If pesci is the noun version of fish then how do you say the verb version as in "to fish"?
"pesci" is plural, for the plural the personal pronoun is "loro"
singular io-tu -lui/lei plural noi-voi-loro
You can say neither "io sono pesci" because io is singular and pesci is plural, nor "io sono pesce" because you have to put an article before "io sono un/il pesce" *I'm a/the fish", the article is necessary because you define what you are.
"Pisces" is a latin name for the 12th zodiac sign, which, indeed, means "fish" or "pesci" in Italian. It has to do with the "Greek world", mythology and astrology.
In this case, it sounds to me a confusional matter of word formation. But, this statement is a very very weird one, if not in a poetical sense.
Hope this helps! ;)