The sentence literally means, "More can the pen than the sword." Meaning that the pen can accomplish more than the sword, with no mention as to might, power, strength, etc. That being said, Duolingo marks everything other than "Mightier" as wrong because this is not really an idiom, but a quote. Using something other than "Mightier" is basically equivalent to using "87" in the Gettysburg address.
I know this is a very famous quote rather than an idiom per se, but I actually like the literal translation better. Saying the pen can do more than the sword is exactly what is intended in the quote, is that how it would actually be said in Spanish? (assuming this quote is even known in Spanish)
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
EZMickey is referencing a reference. It's from "The Avengers." Cap, who in present day was not understanding much of the modern references and pop culture (being from the 40s), was finally able to understand a joke about flying monkeys which appear in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939). Thus he remarked with excitement, "I understood that reference."
Sorry to say it but - No, your answer is incorrect. "More can the pen than the sword" is just an almost word for word translation of the spanish, but that is not how we translate spanish, or most other languages if we want to make sense.
If we simply aim for a literal, word for word translation, our answers will be comically inaccurate.
Your answer really doesn't make sense...More can the pen? More WHAT can the pen? The phrase, commonly used in english, is "The pen is mightier than the sword".
In this instance, Duolingo is definitely right.
I understand that duolingo is correct in this case because the literal translation is not commonly used in english, and indeed makes little sense. I was saying that even though that is the word-for-word translation, anything other than the original quote (or part of it, anyway) would not carry the same intended meaning. I do see the confusion towards the word-for-word, though. We could sacrifice the word order, which isn't that strict in Spanish anyway... "The pen is more able that the sword" seems more like it. Thanks for the feedback.
I disagree with the sentiment that word-for-word translation of a Spanish idiom is wrong by the reason "that is not how we translate ... if we want to make sense". If the intent of translating were to provide some impressive understanding of English, and in particular the "more common" use of a particular English idiomatic expression, your explanation might help. But if as I think the intent of translating to English here is to show an understanding of the Spanish idiom, a word-for-word translation should suffice, provided it is valid English and does convey at least the literal meaning of the Spanish idiom. I, for one, am using DuoLingo Spanish units to improve my Spanish, not my English, and I value accurate translations of Spanish idioms over inaccurate use of a similar English idiom just because it may be arguably a more common phrasing in English.
this: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham Lincoln November 19, 1863
the pen is mighter than the sword, but both can ruin a good shirt!
by Dr. Cuthbert Soup, advisor to the ill advised.
if you have not read Soup's book A Whole Nother Story. the "timely advice" he gives at the end of each chapter is abolutly classic!!! a couple other of his quotes are.
You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him participate in syncronized diving
Those who forget the past are condemed to repeat it, because after all as a wise man once said those who forget the past are condemed to repeat it.
Thomas Edison invented many things, including the name Alva, in fact at the time of his deathe he held ber thousands of patents. Which is a lot of wheight for one man to be carrying and is probably what killed him.
I don't think there's any problem with the meaning - "more powerful" and "mightier" are equivalent.
But in English this isn't just a proverb or an idiom, but a direct quote from a 19th century play by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, which says "The pen is mightier than the sword." The phrase eventually became popular enough to have an entire Wikipedia page devoted to it:
Your trivial piece of 19th century history for the day :)
I would guess that valid translations of idiomatic expressions elude enumeration even more than the simpler phrases which sometimes still need help in this free language-learning system. :) Duolingo does allow reporting of such things, should you want to offer it via the flag icon. (Disclaimer: I use their apps but do not work for Duolingo.)
Yes, greatness can also mean power. I suppose greatness has more meanings than mightiness, and is a more subjective measure, because although it generally means better, it can also mean larger. I think I personally would have accepted "the pen is greater than the sword", even though it is not the exact proverb.
A feather whose central quill is cut to a point with a sharp knife becomes a pen and is used for writing. In English it ceases to be called feather and is called a pen. In Spanish it retains the name "pluma" even after the feather has been converted to a pen. In French "nom de plume" means pen name. So in Spanish a feather pen is simply a pluma, convert that to English and it is a pen and not a feather. This is hard to deal with between two languages, but it sounds like you are the native speaker of a third language which makes it even more difficult.
The idiom we use is "The pen is mightier than the sword." Above, cquark gave a nice reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_pen_is_mightier_than_the_sword
I'm a native English speaker, and I answered "sharper." Mightier does sound more correct to me, but sharper came to mind first (I'm not the best example though- I often have trouble thinking of the right word).
A quick google tells me that nobody uses "sharper," which is kind of strange because we use sharp to refer to intelligence or humor.
this course is getting on my nerves i've been redoing for like 7 times and it's all because of the stupid dictionary and even if the answers are logical and it can work it's still counted a mistake all because i wrote stronger instead of mightier of because i wrote dog not a dog
Actually, William Zayne, i used the word "stronger", not mightier, because it is a real idiom and not a quote, perhaps quotable from movies, shows, books where they happened to use said idiom. The app is just trying to teach you a language also, so take what you can from it especially considering its free. Maybe shell out the money for Roseta Stone and youll get what you paid for? Just wish everyone would stop complaininy about an application they got for free.
You can't give lingots on the app, but the desktop version has a "give lingot" button next to the up and downvote arrows. 2 Lingots are earned by completing a skill, 1 by reaching a 10 day streak (2 more for 20, 3 for 30, 4 for 40.... so on), and 1 for putting a document on immersion. There might be 1 or 2 other ways. HTH!
I think they should have accepted "The pen is able to do more than the sword" instead the system marked is as 'wrong' and gave me the answer "The pen can do more than the sword" which makes definitely sense, too. But why didn't the system accept it? Anyway I think even if I think my solution is correct I think that the translation above on this page "The pen is mightier than the sword" is the best and is better language, but I'm still concerned about the other translation.
Fun fact: the United States of America was literally argued into existence. Patriots wrote articles and made speeches on why the king of England had given up the rights to the colonies through what they saw as unlawful taxation. In this case, the pen (or ink) was literally mightier than the sword. :P