I don't see how the distinction between a hare, a rabbit and a jack rabbit is helping to teach a language.
If you had a choice wouldn't you prefer an accurate vocabulary over an inaccurate one? And where would the divide between what is helpful and not helpful come? Would we be doing our job if we were not accurate?
If I had the choice I would want all lessons to be in the context of normal conversations that you would have in operating within real life. This particular distinction is of no use at this point in my learning when I can't even hold a basic conversation. The quicker a learner gets to conversational ability the quicker learning momentum can kick in.
Yes, good point and I'd have to agree. This is only the fifth skill out of 73 and we have covered only basic ideas and are trying to build up a vocabulary base and while I'll admit that a "hare and a turtle" will not ordinarily be useful in daily conversation this is the Animal skill.
We do encourage cooperation from the community and if you would like to give us some ideas for alternative sentences on the "New Tree Development Forum" they would be greatly appreciated.
"Hares and rabbits (Leporidae) together form a group of lagomorphs that includes about 50 species of hares, jackrabbits, cottontails and rabbits. Hares and rabbits have short bushy tails, long hind legs and long ears...... The term "hare" is generally used to refer only to true hares (animals belonging to the genus Lepus). The term "rabbit" is used to refer to all remaining subgroups of the Leporidae. In broad terms, hares tend to be more specialized for rapid and sustained running while rabbits are more adapted for digging burrows and exhibit lower levels of running stamina" http://animals.about.com/od/haresrabbitsandpikas/p/hares-rabbits.htm See also http://animals.about.com/od/lagomorphs/p/hares-rabbits-pikas.htm, where we see our Greek word in use. Leporidae must be based on Latin. I asked my husband what he would call a smallish rodent with long ears that hops, and he said "you mean rabbits?" He found a source that said that although these animals were once considered rodents, they are now their own group, which includes pikas. From the above it sounds like there are more species called rabbits than hares. Maybe there are more hares in Europe and more rabbits in the US???
@"bonbayel, you are quite right about lagomorphs etc but rabbits and hares are different species, in the same way as we are different species from apes and monkeys despite all being primates.
There may well be more hares in the UK than in America but although they were common, they are now relatively scarce here and on the verge of becoming officially vulnerable due to loss of habitat and illegal hunting. Rabbits on the other hand are numerous to the point of being considered vermin and it is illegal to release any rabbit into the wild, even a wild rabbit which has got into your vegetable patch!
Another trivia fact which you might find interesting is that not only are hares less well adapted for digging burrows but they actually spend their lives above ground and do not burrow at all. Even when breeding they dig "scrapes" which are bowl shaped depressions in the ground. Whilst rabbits, as we all know, dig burrows, sometimes to the extent of undermining the affected land.
By the way, I think Americans would call a hare a Jack-rabbit—if they were aware of the difference. Of course some people know the difference, just like they can distinguish more than 5-10 different birds, but for a common American, hares are in fairy tales and Greek fables, like this one, where we'd call the turtle a tortoise, equally mythical.
Well, I'm an American from a big city and while I don't know all those bird types I do know the difference between a "hare" and a "rabbit" and I also don't see any reason that we shouldn't have variety in the course. Let's not forget this is a Greek language course where "hares" and "rabbits" are distinguished.
We include the definition in the drop down hints so it's not such a struggle to write it. Jackrabbit is also accepted as correct. Btw a jackrabbit is a variety of hare.
Just saying both could be accepted. I would say rabbit if I saw only one such animal, but might be able to pick out a jackrabbit if there were only 2. And I've never been able to disinguish what a species is. For me the difference between Jack-rabbit and Bunny rabbit is like between a Lab and a poodle. But maybe not for a biologist. I'm a physical scientist and historical linguist.
Yes, they are accepted. I'm fascinated by your professions. So diverse and so interesting. I see the word "linguist" and my eyes pop open then "historical". Oh, that is one of the most riveting fields of study I can imagine.
You are a virtual treasure trove of info and as here always with interesting and informative input. I was never aware of the large variety that existed. As for the population of either in Europe or Greece, in particular, I have no knowledge. I do know that hares are hunted while rabbits are bred often in someone's backyard but also as a commercial undertaking. Both rabbit and hare are eaten in Greece and rabbits, of course, are kept as pets.
Yes, but they are not and we do have "hares" in America. We could just as well have used κουνέλι (rabbit) here but a bit of variety keeps us on our toes. :-))
What the hell is the distinction between a rabbit and a jack rabbit?
I grew up in Arizona snd Colorado. I can tell you a jack rabbit is very distinct. The ears are remarkable. Bugs Bunny may have a bunny cotton tail, but he definitely has jack rabbit ears.
I have a Bachelor's of Science degree in biology, and I have never learned the distiction between a rabbit and a hare. Apes and monkeys, yes definitely. Maybe it's because I'm from the US, and we don't have many hares here? I've heard of a snowshoe hare. The reason for separation though never came up in four years of studying animal life at a university known for its veterinarian program. Also, I've never personally used the word "jackrabbit" for anything, but I have heard of it. If you say "hare," I guess "hare" it is. I still have no idea what you are talking about.
Read my long discussion of this above (or maybe you already have!) I was reading a novel about trappers out west in about 1840 who talked about "Jacks", so even they had no clue about hares. In another question I discovered that Greeks tend to combine toads (φρύθνος) and frogs (βάτραχος) as frogs, while they keep hares (which, I think, tend to be more vertical) and rabbits separate.
Thank you JacobNatse. We were really taken aback when we noted how many people refused to accept that a "hare" and a "rabbit" are not the same. Poor Aesop (Αισώπος) would be turning over...
Ο λαγός is hare Το κουνέλι is rabbit Η χελώνα is turtle and tortoise...? But turtles and tortoises are different, like rabbits and hares are different.
It's odd but in Greek, we do take care to distinguish a rabbit from a hare but not a "turtle" from a "tortoise". I've just looked up "tortoise" is a few good dictionaries and all but one give the same word as for "turtle" (χελώνα). That one gives "χερσαία χελώνα" = land turtle stating that in colloquial usage it is "χελώνα".
Of course, on Duolingo we accept both "turtle" and "tortoise" for "χελώνα".