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  5. "Ο βασιλιάς νίκησε στη μάχη."

"Ο βασιλιάς νίκησε στη μάχη."

Translation:The king won in the battle.

November 25, 2016

17 Comments


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

The sentence in English "in the battle" is poor - its not the usual way of expressing that concept.


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

It is not always possible to have exact translations for the Greek sentences with the restrictions there are on the contents of the sentences and which words have already been learned. Add to that the fact that every language has its own means of exprssing certain ideas.

If you have a better English version please share it, it will help us all.


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

Hi Jaye - the natural English translation for that concept would be "The king won the battle" - its clear that the king is not personally fighting the battle (or possibly even involved at all). You could also say "the king was victorious in battle" but I think that's a bigger gap from the sentence than the first version. (I'm a native English speaker BTW). I can't think of a situation where you would say someone won in a battle. Hope that helps... let me know if you need any more.


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

Thanks @pavlosKRHTH for your info. If you had read the other comments on this page you'd have noticed that we cannot exclude the use of "in" because of how the Greek is worded.

We do however already have: "the king was victorious in battle" which I added some months ago as an alternative. But at this stage in the course development, we cannot alter the present primary translation. So, the alternative won't appear to learners but will be accepted as correct for those who use it.

It's not necessary to know whether the king took part in the battle and we should never read ideas into these oh, so simple sentences on Duolingo. And anyway, whether they won or lost it's all the king's responsibility and/or glory.

Just a side note our job in this course is to teach Greek and sometimes the English is not exactly what we'd say. We could distort the Greek to make it comply with the best sounding English translation but that would be doing a disservice to our learners since our mandate is to present the best Greek sentence and enough English to make that comprehensible. There is even a suggestion on this page to change the Greek so it complies with the English which would be defeating the purpose of teaching Greek. We don't want Grenglish do we?

That has worked well in the thousands of sentences we present. As for these irregular ones well, we native English speakers bite our tongues and carry on. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel...we are working on a new tree and hope we can get the Greek and the English to harmonize.

Again many thanks and we look forward to further input from you.


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

Does it say, literally, in the battle?


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

yes. Won the battle would be νίκησε τη μάχη.


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

So, are you going to add it as a possible translation or change the Greek sentence?


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

It is a possible translation :). Was it not accepted??? Anyway, i changed it to be the best translation, not just an accepted one.


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

It is still presented as "νίκησε στη μάχη" to incorrectly mean "the battle" but as Carmina pointed out, this should really be updated so that it either says "in the battle" in English or simply " τη μάχη" in Greek, otherwise it is not accurate and confusing to learners.


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

Yes, of course. It was the στη what seemed strange to me, because in English it is possible translate the in.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jon345104

Why στη μάχη and not τη μάχη


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

He didn't fight it by himself, he won it even though others died on his behalf.


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

It doesn't really say "in the battle". More like "at the battle".


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

σε is pretty unspecific - it could be "in, at, on, to" or probably a few others as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anne723596

Good Greek but bad English!


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

Hi, let me explain how this teaching a foreign language works...I've been doing it for over half a century.

You can give authentic sentences in the target language but the translations don't always come out smooth. Or you can choose to bend, twist, contort the target language so you get a nice smooth translation as has been suggested above...change the Greek so the English sounds better...so what if the Greek is unnatural. Would that be fair to our learners? Is that what we're here for? Translations may not be beautiful but they must be correct.

Well, we choose the former. Proper Greek and the best possible English to give the real meaning of the language we have devoted ourselves to teaching.

Please read the many other comments on this page, in particular, my long one above yours. And as I've said before...if you have a better translation then bring it on!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leon2018

The best English translation is "won the battle" . Give in since you have lost this battle.

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