Translation:In America, they speak English and Spanish.
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
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...
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"
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.
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.
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.?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.