"What color is the bedsheet?"

Translation:Τι χρώμα είναι το σεντόνι;

January 13, 2017

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Gitirana
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Wouldn't work ποια είναι το χρώμα του σεντόνι?

January 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826
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No it wouldn't. First problem, you need ποιο instead of ποια, since χρώμα is neuter. Second problme, you have to match του with σεντονιού, not σεντόνι, since you're talking about the color of the bedsheet. Genitive is used for that.

That's why Ποιο είναι το χρώμα του σεντονιού is an acceptable answer, but not Ποια είναι το χρώμα του σεντονιού. ^.^

January 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gitirana
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Oh, ok, so, except for the mistakes you have mentioned, this answer (Ποιο είναι το χρώμα του σεντονιού) should be added as "another correct solution"... Probably after the 'beta stage', or something like that, as you mentioned in another topic.

January 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826
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We could add it as an alternative, but the thing is, this one wouldn't be word-to-word translation of the English sentence. We might want to keep it like that, since Ποιο είναι το χρώμα του σεντονιού could be a different sentence. ^.^

January 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gitirana
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Hi again, Dimitri!

Ok, I admit that, in the present case, maybe the best translation is the one given in Duo. ("period")

Now talking not about this specific case, but about translations in general, I suppose the best translations must come from a native speaker of at least one of two languages involved... As I am NOT a native speaker of Greek, of course, and neither of English, I can't argue about specific cases involving Greek and English, but I would like to talk about a possibility from Greek to my native language, Brazilian Portuguese, and about translations en general.

Since I started studying Letters in a university (in 1982), or even before, I usually hear that not always translation should be done word by word. Instead, there are times in which this kind of procedure will produce bad results, artificial "monsters" in the language to which one is trying to make a translation.

In the present case, the word by word translation may be a good solution for English and Greek, but, judging from the point of view of Portuguese considered in Brazil suitable for traditional grammar, we shouldn't translate, in this case, word by word... The sentence given would not be "wrong", but would sound like oral language only, "popular" way to say something.

In a book, it wouldn't be acceptable "Que cor é o lençol?" ("What color is the bed sheet?"), but we should write "DE que cor é o lençol?" (which WOULD be "OF what color is the bed sheet?", in a word by word translation to English!). I say this judging from my studies. I am not, as we say, "owner of the truth", but I am a Portuguese teacher in Brazil, and I really would consider a word by word translation from English to Portuguese, in this case, a solution only to oral, popular language.

Doing my lesson today (review of "Objects", I think), I found, by some great coincidences, some situations in which collaborators from Duo itself seem to use some good (or at least acceptable) translations which are not word by word. Here are the examples I found an hour ago, there:

1) Η κουρτίνα του δωματίου σου είναι μπλε.

The curtain in your room is blue. (given by Duo)

2) There are five mirrors in my house.

Στο σπίτι μου υπάρχουν πέντε καθρέφτες

(here the difference was just the sequence of words, which sounded better in different ways, in each language, I suppose)

3) Η αποθήκη είναι κοντά στη σοφίτα.

the storage room is near the attic

(In this case, a word by word translation would include "at" ("at the attic"), as suggested by Duo itself, which shows "στη", in the original sentence, translated as "at the"...)

4) The curtain in your room is blue η κουρτίνα στο δωμάτιο σου είναι μπλε (I had it right, but Duo gives:...)

"Another correct solution:Η κουρτίνα του δωματίου σου είναι μπλε."


To finish: I know that Duo is a great gift for us, we must thank you so much for your kind work, and there is this situation of more than one person working, so there may be differences in the solutions, but I am mentioning this problem just to help. You seem to prefer only word by word translations, but some others who work here accept translations which are more free...

I suggest you to accept more free translations, WHEN it is a more common way to say something in the second language, with the same meaning as in the first from which we want a translation.

Thanks for you attention!

:D

January 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826
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First of all, thank you for taking time to write such a long comment. I really appreciate it ^.^

I totally agree with the point that not all translations should be word-to-word. In some cases, idiomatic or not, it's not even possible. Also, a word-to-word trnaslation isn't always right or gramatically correct. You'd have to take other elements into account, such as word order, syntax etc.

Also, Greek is a language that's pretty flexible. Flexible, meaning that sometimes, you can change the word order more than once, and the sentence would sill be correct, making perfect sense. Also, you can say one thing in many different ways, like in this case. ^.^

And that's why we try to also be a bit more flexible regarding the translations. Some cases do have a lot of alternative translations, some don't. That depends on a couple of stuff. For example, alternatives that are not too commonly used, were not originally "added", along with the best ones, at the beginning of the course. Sometimes, when you don't hear something pretty often in your everyday life, it "slips" your mind. (Of course, there is alays the case of alternatives not being added because no one noticed until someone left a coment of made a report. And that's why learners make our lives and their own much more easier here on Duo by doing that.)

I do think that is the case here as well. That one wasn't originally added, because it's more common to hear or see "Τι χρώμα είναι..." than "ποιο είναι το χρώμα του...". At least I don't hear it that often in spoken, nor say it :P We could of course add it, but wouldn't that be a better translation match to the English "What/which is the color of the bedsheet?", rather than "What color is the bedsheet?" ^.^

(Also, a personal note of mine. I think I would only say "Ποιο είναι το χρώμα του σεντονιού;", if someone asked me and I had to choose between some colors to pick the one that was the bedsheet's. It seems a bit more natural, almost like saying "Ποιο (από όλα) ειναι το χρώμα του σεντονιού;" - "Which (one) is the color of the bedsheet?")

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gitirana
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Oh, how nice to talk to such a lovely Greek lady!! :D I hope someday I will be confident enough to talk to a Greek speaker in your wonderful language!! :D Congratulations for your studies!! I wish you great achievements, and I hope you like to study other latin languages too, besides french, as I see you started Spanish! If you keep on it, soon you will be able to understand some words in Portuguese too, because they are quite similar.

Te dese(j)o grande suces(s)o!! (Σε εύχομαι μέγας επιτυχία!!) (?? Is it Greek?!) (I wish you great success!!)

;)

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Gitirana
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Again, thanks for your attention, Dimitra! You are a very kind contributor in Duo!! :D I completely understand what you say, and agree with the part I can judge! I just can't judge the part in which you consider how things sound in Greek, which way is more natural in Greek, because I'm too far from being able to notice diferences of details, I'm just a beginner! who has never even talked in Greek to anyone, in a "real" situation! :D Sorry!! Hahaha!!

But I guess you are right about not being convenient to add that sentence I asked about in the first place! I really just asked because I was comparing to how things would be in my native language, which, we know, is not a good criterion! ;)

I got curious to know what is/are your native language(s), and others that you know well! ;)

Bye! :D

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826
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You're welcome, and thank you for your kind words. ^.^

(My native language is Greek. I've been practicing English for a long time -pretty much since I started learning it, so for 11 years, I understand basic German (I don't practice German at all), and I'd like to think I speak French pretty decently. That's about it. ^.^)

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Bohuslav1
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Trying to work out whether to use "τι" or "ποιο" is usually tricky, but I was led to understand the the former is used in a general sense, but the latter in cases where "which" could be substituted in English.

This seems like a prima facie case of the latter, as there is essentially a finite choice of possible colours, and you are certainly able to say "which colour" in English - but "ποιο" was marked wrong. Does it really have to be "τι"and if so why?

June 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/georgeheath
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Είναι σωστό να λέω "Είναι ποιο χρώμα το σεντόνι" ή όχι;

August 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dimitra956826
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Όχι, δεν είναι. Μπορείς να πεις "Τι χρώμα είναι/έχει το σεντόνι;" ή "Ποιο είναι το χρώμα του σεντονιού;" Η πρώτη μετάφραση είναι πιο συνηθισμένη από την δεύτερη. Η δεύτερη θα μπορούσε να χρησιμοποιηθεί σε περίπτωση που είχες να επιλέξεις το χρώμα του σεντονιού, μέσα από κάποια άλλα χρώματα. :Ρ

August 7, 2018
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