"For donkey's years!"

Translation:Faz séculos!

February 17, 2014

24 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

Where does that come from


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

It is a very common expression in Portuguese and the english expressions is used in many places as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LadyMar1923

Sorry, but as a native English speaker (and teacher), I've never heard the expression in English.


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

I understand the Portuguese ("Centuries ago!"), but it's the first time I see this English expression :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pmm123

In US English, we would say "It's been years!" "It's been forever!" or sometimes "It's been centuries!" I have never heard "For donkey's years," though I have seen it in written UK English.


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

Have also heard 'a dog's age' used in American English....


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

Where is this used in english?


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

Heard it and used it many times as well....Im in Australia


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

It seems to me the translation that would be understood by the widest English speaking community would be "it's been centuries." It appears "It's been donkey years" is a much more localized expression though I too have never heard it said. Duo lingo should stick to the most widely understood translations and stay away from localized expressions until the lesson unless of course the purpose of the lesson is to teach localized English expressions which in this case it is not. Just saying.


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

Localised to where? What you are really saying is "I have never heard of it so Duo should not teach it". What about the phrase "in a jiffy", should that also be avoided because it is almost entirely American?

You cannot avoid idioms because only some people use them or have heard of them or because some other people have never heard of it. Everybody has an equal right to the language, nobody's idioms are superior to anybody else's after all. Duo should include ALL expressions (or at least as many as possible) because when you say "the most widely understood translations", the question becomes most widely understood where?


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

yes, they should avoid "in a jiffy" for sure. And phrases like "fish and chips" as well. Idioms should be contained within a subtext on the tree called "idioms"


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

Duolingo does have an idioms section. This particular phrase was included here because of the imperative. And "fish and chips" is not an idiom, it is the name of a meal that consists of, literally, fish and chips.


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

Because of what imperative? Its vital importance? Its authoritative command? Its essential urgency? What exactly is the imperative here, this is entirely an idiom, I.E. a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.


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

There is no imperative here at all.....

Duolingo might have put it here because of "Faz", which can be (but it is not) the imperative form for "tu".

  • Faz um favor para mim = Do me a favor (imperative)
  • Faz séculos = It's been centuries (no imperative, but uses the "same" word).

There is a little confusion in the system about picking those words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yellowred42

I haven't heard the expression "for donkey's years" in donkey's years!!!!!! hehe.

Speaking seriously though this expression should probably be in a different section like idioms for example rather than in the imperative section. It is probably much more common among English speakers who grow up in UK or British influenced English speakers rather than American English. I certainly heard and used it frequently growing up in Africa.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fallacy79

Quite a popular expression here in London, UK


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

I have never ever heard this phrase in english in my 44 years speaking it. My girlfriend, born and raised in Brasil, however, did recognize the translation. Lost in translation somewhere??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlung1

I'm a native English speaker. I have never heard that expression donkeys years. I don't mind that they use it in other places. I'd just like to know what it means.


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

It's equivalent to "For ages" or more simply, " for decades". It's not literal, it's an idiom, so a 3hr movie can be said to go on for donkey's years. The idiom stems from the perception that a donkey has a hard(er) life, so a donkey's years are longer and harder than say a horse's. It's not just for things that take ages, it's for tedious things that also take ages.


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

Common expression here in the North of England, pleasantly surprised to see it on Duo Lingo.


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

Well that's a new English idiom that I learned. Since it was a multiple choice question where I encountered it, I was able to look at the Portuguese selections and decided that "Faz séculos" was the one most likely to be somehow connected. But then I decided to check the comments to find out more.

Interesting.


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

Why is " Faz anos! " not acceptable in pt?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OJorge15

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