Translation:This pair of glasses is magnificent.
OK, folks. I think this is a case of British vs. North American English.
In North America, "a pair" takes a singular noun, as do nouns like "army", "council", "government", etc., which, while singular, imply numbers of individuals. In Britain (or at least in England), one hears, "The council are prepared to vote," or, "The regiment are moving to a new location", while in North America, the verbs would be singular.
I don't know this for sure, but I'm willing to guess, given the "In English we would never say..." remarks above, that this same principle applies to "pair".
One of the first things I learned here on DL, is to be cautious about what one would "never say in English".
Plural can be used in British English if referring to a pair of people, but not if referring to a pair of glasses. http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/pair http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/pair.html
There is a pair of glasses on the mantelpiece.” “Pair” is singular in this sort of expression. Note that we say “that is a nice pair of pants” even though we also say “those are nice pants.”
Like other collective nouns, pair takes a singular or a plural verb according to whether it is seen as a unit or as a collection of two things: the pair are said to dislike each other; a pair of good shoes is essential
I think this one's a toughy. I agree technically a pair of glasses is singular, but it still sounds wrong to say my pair of glasses is thin framed. I think, perhaps because we only occasionally say a pair of glasses - more commonly just glasses - it sounds natural to always refer to them and not it.
Everyone's focused on "is" versus "are". I'd say it's more important to note that in most cases you would simply say "these glasses", which would definitely be plural. You would only say "pair of glasses" to quantify them:
"I only have one pair of glasses." "There are three pairs of glasses on the table."
But to refer to a particular pair you would just say "These glasses are magnificent."
Probably because the program is U.S.-based. They've done a pretty good job of accommodating differences (colour/color, kilometer/kilometre, etc., but they often miss actual terms: trash can, but not dustbin etc.
Perhaps one of the weirdest accommodations is "Brit" for a British citizen. I'm not sure if they accept "Yank' for an American citizen, "Canuck" for a Canadian, "Aussie" for Australian, etc. :)
Meanwhile, I hope your spectacles are magnificent, or august or even epic...
I don't know... I would say "my pair of pants are tight", "these pair of pants are tight". Maybe the dictionary says it's wrong, but I think a language is a living, changing thing, and it's quite evident that "(these) pair of ____ are" is a common way to say the phrase, at least in Commonwealth English.