I know that it's probably not easy for beginners, but the concept of the double stress in nouns with more than two syllables which are followed by a personal pronoun should have been introduced. Being a native speaker, the construction (and most importantly, the pronunciation as) "την οικογένεια του" instead of "την οικογένειά του" (notice the double stress here) sounds completely false to my ears. I'm reporting it as a mistake.
EDIT This sentence was edited, June 30, 2016. We do say nuclear family in Greek. It is πυρηνική οικογένεια.
This has been edited>((Yes, I would say 'οικογένεια' covers all the family. Nuclear family as we say in English is not used.))
That's a very interesting question. Thanks for the input.
So I got this one wrong because I used (singular) "they" and "their". If the sentence wanted to be explicit that the subject's gender is unknown (or the speaker doesn't want to reveal the gender of the subject, etc.) would you use "Αυτό" to start the sentence?
It also gives me the impression that Greek is not conducive to stretching the truth/being dishonest about a person's gender, at least in regards to words that have both masculine and feminine declensions but no neuter (like φιλός και φιλή) :P
Yes, we are working on including "they/their" singular as an accepted alternative to "του/της " etc. But then we encounter the problem of the nouns which are gender specific. As you mention "φίλος/φίλη". I'm wondering how we can adapt those words since the original sentence is always in Greek, making them comprehensive to those who are still unaware of the use of singular "they/their..." etc will be a real challenge. The team will be consulting with linguists re this issue. Any advice you can give will be appreciated and thank you for bringing it to our attention.
We will consult with the teams of other languages who encounter these lexical issues.
Sorry for the late reply. I've had a hard time coming up with a response largely because I feel like my only qualification is that I speak English natively. That being said, how I feel about the subject is that for a beginner's knowledge (at least in English) learning gender-neutral pronouns/words isn't probably necessary and is something that I would think would be easy to pick up after you've gotten past the beginner phase.
I'm still not sure exactly how Greek handles many of the situations where "they" (and other gender-neutral words) would be used in English. Despite that, I get the feeling that it won't be hard to learn gender-neutral usage later on, even (as example) if I stick with assuming "φίλος" is a male friend and "φίλη" is a female friend. But as I say, that is nothing more than my gut feeling on the issue.
All of this being said, I can appreciate the desire for completeness. If you wanted to tackle the subject in this course, perhaps offer a section dedicated to the topic of gender-neutrality, and for Greek -> English sentences you could accept words like "Του" meaning his, but always have the "Another correct solution" suggestion be "Their <so and so>". I know Duolingo sentences tend to be short and it's hard to supply context, but creating sentences that refer to veiled/unknown speakers would make it more natural for users to translate pronouns to "they/their", e.g. "An anonymous person made the report. Their story was interesting" if you had these two sentences in Greek I would think when someone sees "Η ιστορία του" that translating it to "their story" is more natural than "his story," or at least it seems more natural to me.
Yes, English works differently both linguistically and culturally. This sentence made sense to me because in Spanish one introduces someone with "te presento a" and it's similar in other languages (German: Darf ich Ihnen vorstellen). Introducing people with words related to presenting is a common and very old cultural ritual in many countries. In honor-shame cultures such presentations are very important, and Greek has deep roots in honor-shame culture going back to Homer. BTW: this verb is related to the noun παρουσία that in the Greco-Roman world was (among other usages) a political term that referred to the emperor's arrival / presence / coming to the provinces. The Jesus movement used this term to refer to their king's impending return / presence. The Latin corollary is adventus (the season of Advent waiting for the king to come).
It could be 'an introduction' but not necessarily. "He" could be "presenting" his family to an audience for example which would lack the intimacy of an introduction.
But yes many of our sentences are not smooth going sometimes we just can't come up with meaningful sentences that adhere to the constrictions of this type of teaching program.
Comments are always appreciated and we are often inspired by ideas we find on this page. Thank you and Happy New Year.
so what is the distinction here? In this sentence, what is the person actually doing? Is this somehow different from a personal introduction? Regardless of what this means in Greek, though, it seems to me "He is presenting his family" is not really proper English, and should probably not be accepted...
yes, "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present..." is quite common and makes perfect sense, but "He is presenting his family" does not lead an English speaker to think of this scenario. If anything, the sentence should specify "on stage." Even then, we would say, he is introducing his family on stage. If you do a google search for "presenting his family" you will mostly find entries that say things like "he is presenting his family with a gift." Totally different. So my two cents is that there needs to be context added to this sentence or "presenting his family" should not be accepted, regardless of the Greek...