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  5. "Στην Αμερική μιλούν αγγλικά …

"Στην Αμερική μιλούν αγγλικά και ισπανικά."

Translation:In America, they speak English and Spanish.

October 8, 2016

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rob676803

Portuguese as well. And many non-european languages (such as Guarany, which can be found in Duolingo)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

This is from an article in the NY Times newspaper:

"While there is no precise count, some experts believe New York is home to as many as 800 languages..."< :D

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/29/nyregion/29lost.html


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erick194570

And in how many languages the newpaper is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aindriuGeary

depends which country in the Americas


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manuel_Lujan

I think it means the US, not the Americas.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

It actually means the continent, but see my other comment about it :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaleighStarbuck

Does this mean "(When) in America, they (that group of people) speak English and Spanish"? If the intended meaning is "In America, English and Spanish are spoken" shouldn't the phrase be instead Στην Αμερική ομιλούνται αγγλικά και ισπανικά. (using the passive verb)? I was not aware that Greek allowed the impersonal use of "they" in this manner like English does...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

Yes, Greek uses third person plural forms of the verbs for impersonal statements (meaning something like "the people", Στην Αμερική, οι άνθρωποι μιλούν αγγλικά και ισπανικά). But "they"="αυτοί" is not used for impersonal statements. If you said "Στην Αμερική, αυτοί μιλούν αγγλικά και ισπανικά" you would talk about some particular "them"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaleighStarbuck

Interesting. Σ'ευχαριστώ! When is ομιλούνται used? Does that mean more like "are being spoken"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

Yes, ομιλούνται is passive voice and means "are spoken" or "are being spoken". It's impersonal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaleighStarbuck

Hmm, so is ομιλούνται an acceptable alternative then? Can the sentence be Στην Αμερική ομιλούνται αγγλικά και ισπανικά. ? Is it just more formal to say it this way?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

I don't think it should be accepted here, as it uses different syntax and grammar. But yes, they mean the same thing and the passive voice is (as always) more formal and refined.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmatafonov

in other question the same phrase was written μηλουν τα αγγλικα και ισπανικα. Is τα needed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

No, they are not needed, it's not wrong either.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/no.name.42

Does "Αμερική" refer to the USA or to the Americas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

It refers to the entire continent, America. It is possible that someone uses to word "Αμερική" to refer to the USA, but that's an inadvertent,colloquial mistake. USA=ΗΠΑ in greek (Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες της Αμερικής)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/robert672165

Then French should be added. Canada is part of the North American continent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

That's correct! There are many many other languages spoken in America, too. The sentence is not absolute and does not exclude other languages the way it is phrased :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AniOhevYayin

Υπάρχουν επίσης εκατοντάδες γηγενείς (ιθαγενών?) γλώσσες. I tried to write that there are also hundreds of indigenous languages. Not sure about the correct Gk word for "indigenous." A great aspect of DL is that it can help with indigenous language learning. There is already Navajo. I hope DL develops Dakota/Lakota (US), Katchiqel (Guatemala), among as many others as possible. Loss of language is loss of culture.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

Yes, Duo has taken a small step in that direction. One of the main problems is finding enough speakers to create the courses.

Greek has "ιθαγενής" but also, "αυτόχθονες", "εγχώριος", and "ντόπιος".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/languagepotato

When I say this to an average native speaker of English, they'd assume I'm talking about the U.S.A. If I say this to average native speaker of Spanish, they'd assume I'm talking about the entire Americas. I'm wondering, which one does the Greek version imply?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AniOhevYayin

Invariably in DL "America" refers solely to the US. Unfortunately, US English has a history of using "America" in exclusionary ways (including but not limited to racist and xenophobic rhetoric). The reality is that many languages use "America" shorthand for the US. I see DL Gk as reflecting common usage of a term to refer solely to the US to assist language acquisition. It will be interesting to hear from native Gk speakers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/languagepotato

Uhm, I think you might have misunderstood my question. My question isn't about changing an entire language because some people disagree on something. I also didn't bring up anything about imperialism, I'm just a language enthusiast.

My question is more about how it is actually used (in linguistic terms, I'm a descriptivist, not a prescriptivist).

My question therefore is: In everyday Greek (regardless of whether you agree with it or not) would Αμερική be understood as the entirety of North and South America, or just as the U.S.?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

@languagepotato

I'd say that for the average Greek, yes Αμερική usually means the USA unless otherwise defined. Let's not forget the huge numbers of Greeks who have emigrated to the US (everyone has an uncle there), not to mention the influence of Youtube, TV, and the cinema. But I think that usage is not unusual around the world.

But I'll repeat I'm sure whoever created the sentences on this course were just aiming at teaching vocabulary and syntax. Duolingo maintains a very strict non-biased program of teaching.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/languagepotato

That usage definitely isn't unusual, in both my native languages (Dutch and Moroccan-Arabic) we use it the same way as in Greek.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

@AniOhevYayin

There is no implication. Our sentences are not intended to present a demographic statement regarding nations and languages.

All we are doing is teaching words and syntax with the intent to give the learner enough material to go on and create any sentence they like. Yes, we use the US form of English but otherwise, we try to be as equal and unbiased in all our statements as possible. That is one of the primary aims of Duolingo.

If you find any statements showing a bias do let us know and we will correct them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AniOhevYayin

Thanks. The thing I like to point out is that the term "America" when used just of the US is problematic. Certainly that lexeme reflects the usage in a lot of languages in our postcolonial contexts. Implicit bias is with all of us as human beings; DL teaching the use of that term exclusively for the US reflects not just language usage but reinforces the way that word is exclusionary. As a word borne of colonization, I question whether it can be divorced from that context even though people do not intend it to be problematic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/languagepotato

I see you're using U.S. to refer to the country of the United States of America. Do you then also think that it's wrong for Spanish speakers to call this country Estados Unidos (United States) since the official name of Mexico is Estados Unidos Mexicanos? Should i as a Dutchman be annoyed that my country is being called Holland in many languages? It's just a simple linguistic difference between some languages, calling these sorts of phrases problematic does nothing but further complicate communication. There are some words that may sound problematic to some people and completely normal to other without either being wrong. If I say the older N word in English (the one that ends in o) for example, I'd get scolded and rightfully so. If I say the same word in Spanish, there are no or barely any negative connotations. The point i'm trying to make is: don't conflate local politics and global linguistics


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AniOhevYayin

Thanks for sharing your perspective. Peace.


[deactivated user]

    On parle fraçais icitte avec.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/troll1995

    Ça, c'est vrai.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

    As luck would have it I was speaking to a class today about the USA and told them that in America 300 languages were spoken in the home. So, of course, French is spoken in fact there is even a dialect from the time that parts of America were a French colony. Louisiana was purchased from the French in 1803. The language is called Louisiana Creole French and an effort is being made to prevent it from dying out. Have a listen here I think a native French speaker will be shocked.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bonbayel

    And there's another version of that spoken in Maine and New Hampshire along the Quebec border (but i've heard it in Portland, which is quite far siuth.)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erick194570

    I really hope they refered to the continent and no the coutry that wants to be called as if it was the whole continent.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jasonalcant

    Και Ελληνικά!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martin110596

    Μιλουν.....can it also be translated with "they talk" instead of "they speak"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

    Μιλουν.....can it also be translated with "they talk" instead of "they speak"?

    In general, yes, but not in this context, which is about languages.

    We say "I speak Greek" in English and not "I talk Greek".

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