Translation:The dog is light, the human is heavy.
Duo is again trying to teach English to a native-speaking Englishman who's actually here to learn Polish, rejecting
"The dog is light, a human being is heavy" in favour of
"The dog is light, the human is heavy."
I'm unsure what exactly Duo disliked, so here's my reasoning:
- Dogs come in a wide range of sizes, and some are at least as heavy as an average person - hence "THE [specific] dog";
- "Human" is strictly an adjective. At school I'd have been admonished for using "human" as a noun (acceptable in colloquial/spoken English only), which would have been corrected to "human being" (adj. + noun).
EDIT: Duo also rejects "The dog is light, the human being is heavy", insisting on "human" as a noun. So Duo, a mere virtual being, negates the possibility of a "human being"…
[6 Jan 2018]
Not accepting "human being" was an oversight, it's been added now.
You said '"Human" is strictly an adjective. At school I'd have been admonished for using "human" as a noun (acceptable in colloquial/spoken English only), which would have been corrected to "human being" (adj. + noun).' As a native speaker as well, I have to say that I find this surprising. Using "human" as a noun has been a common part of English for me as long as I can remember. I checked a few dictionaries too and I see it in all of them (for example, Cambridge and Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary)... Possibly its acceptability is a relatively recent development?
"Possibly its acceptability is a relatively recent development?"
You're probably right. I first learned the rule in the UK ~1965 from a rather conservative English teacher. We pupils were comfortable with "human" as a noun in (mostly US) science fiction (e.g. by Asimov, ~1930's onwards), a usage which our teacher intensely disliked. However, even he was willing to bow to 'usage' in practice once it became overwhelming.
The German-English half of my Cassell's German Dictionary (UK, 1978 edition) still lists "human" as an adjective, allowing the noun for colloquial use only.
The current Cambridge dictionary's acceptance of "human" as a noun implies that, at some time over the past 40 years, the UK finally caught up with US usage ;-)
[10 Jan 2018]
I've read the linked discussion, and I still don't understand why "person" is an inadmissible translation of "człowiek" here, as IN ENGLISH "human" and "person" are interchangeable when comparing a member of homo sapiens with a dog, regardless of how Polish distinguishes between the words. Or at least, that's how things seem from my native Anglophone perspective.
https://en.bab.la/dictionary/polish-english/czlowiek < 'person' should be accepted.
Also, 'a' and 'the' should be interchangeably correct because Polish doesn't have articles like 'a' and 'the'. It's up to the interpretation of the receiver translating back to English.
Dictionaries don't take context into accout. In this sentence we are comparing two species, so the term 'person' is misapplied here. Also, I don't see a reason to mix articles arbitrarily. Like: A dog is light in general, but this human in particular is heavy? It's quite a weird thing to say.
Dictionaries literally inform you of the grammatical context for different interpretations of a word. That is fundamental to their function and not arguable. Man, human, and person, are all valid noun interpretations of człowiek.
Polish doesn't have definite and indefinite articles. In a native speaker's mind, the function of these words is fulfilled by context instead of words. For this reason articles are a major pain point for Poles and most Slavs learning English. Without adjusting for English grammar, the translation of the words is "Dog is light, man is heavy." Specificity must be inferred from context. We are not given any context, it's a random sentence in a language course.
"The dog is light, the human is heavy" -does not- compare species, it compares specific individuals of those species. The definite article is specific.
"A dog is light, a human is heavy" -is- a comparison of species because it uses the indefinite article. It is referring to any dog and any human.
"A dog is light, the man is heavy" or "The dog is light, a person is heavy," are still valid, whether or not they're awkward. Consider them as responses to questions like, "Why did you save your dog from the building fire and not your neighbour?" or "Why did you save your dog and not one of your neighbours?"
Your example adds in extraneous words not in the original statement and not necessary for translation.
I agree that in theory the two articles shouldn't need to be the same but the example you give doesn't work for me.
Why did you save your dog from the building fire and not your neighbour? Both of those are definite - the dog vs the neighbour. If you want a context where the dog/a person really works I think you need something much more extreme, e.g.
A man and a dog go missing. You know the dog. You don't know the man or anything about him. You search a well for them. You drop a hook (or something) and catch something and pull it up and find it's the man. Someone asks you 'Was that a surprise? Did you think it was the dog?' and you say 'No, I knew it wasn't the dog because the dog is light and a man is heavy.'
I think the articles in the answers accepted for this sentence should match, because I really had to work to find that context and would have to do similar for the other way round (a dog/the man) and that that is so unusual wouldn't be at all obvious to a Polish speaker if we accept mismatched articles. Granted, this course is mainly for English speakers learning Polish but it is also used by many Polish speakers, after the English for Polish speakers course.
"Both of those are definite - the dog vs the neighbour." Yes, when the question is framed around 'your neighbour'. Not when it is framed around 'one of your neighbours'. Then you would either use 'a neighbour' or go plural (which in this case isn't an option).
The main gripe on articles is not even mixing. "A dog is light, a man is heavy" is not an accepted answer either. There is no context off of which to decide if the statement is a generalization or contextual, so I don't think only the/the should be valid. a/a should be valid even if mixed articles aren't accepted.
There are course examples of single noun phrases where indefinite and definite articles as well as the bare noun without an article get accepted. I think this one just needs some tweaking to feel more consistent with the rest.
Becky57701 I took a screenshot, can you advise me on where and how to provide it?
I haven't come across it again in the form of written in Polish, type it in English. Though I think I reported my answer should be accepted.
I did however just come across it again in the form of, spoken in Polish, type it in English. And I reported it again.
Here you go Becky. I believe I came across this particular instance in Adjectives 2. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uUBpYuyAVpibR8_wv-5qchFXA8Uja02W/view?usp=sharing
Ah! Okay, this particular problem can be explained easily: you were cleverer than you needed to be! This is a 'type what you hear' exercise and you've heard Polish, translated it to English and typed that. Duo just wants you to type in Polish.
That's why it's giving you both the Polish answer it wanted and the English translation at the bottom.
You might want to check some more reliable dictionaries yourself before writing your comments.
dictionary.cambridge.org lists the following translations of człowiek:
human (as istota ludzka)
man (as osoba jako przedstawiciel cech ludzkich)
you, one (as ja lub ktoś)
fellow (informal, old-fashioned), a man
human (as a person)
Note that there is no person listed as a translation of człowiek in dictionary.cambridge.com and also not in diki.pl, and pl.pons.com, and even gives the individual human as the proper connotation of person, so there is no reason to accept it here.
If you read this sentence discussion prior to writing your comment, you would have noticed that many users earlier suggested person as a valid translation of człowiek in this sentence and yet, for three years, the team of volunteers (both Polish natives and English natives), clearly after some research, refused to add this to the alternative translations.
Edit: I am not claiming that a person is never an acceptable translation for człowiek.
"5. human (as a person) " That as you wrote it appears nowhere on the linked Cambridge page. And lower on that page it has a section of translations originating from other dictionaries, including "human [noun] a person" from PASSWORD Polish-English Dictionary 2014. Why would Cambridge keep that on their page, hmmm?
Google Translate, also lists "person" in the additional results for człowiek.
Let's look at pl.pons.com - https://pl.pons.com/tłumaczenie/polski-angielski/człowiek All these phrases they list where człowiek takes the translation of person.... "człowiek o dużych wymaganiach" "person with high expectations" "to taki sympatyczny człowiek! he's such a likeable person!" "człowiek z klasą classy person"
The only source mentioned so far that in no way confirms person as a possible translation of człowiek, is diki.pl.
"ten człowiek" = "this person", sure, that's fine. Or "On jest dobrym człowiekiem" = "He is a good person", that's definitely correct.
"człowiek" on its own, in the meaning of "representative of the homo sapiens species", does not translate to "person".
This is all that I have to say on this matter: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/19428542
Thanks, It is quite obvious that the answer requires two "jest" It is just a question as I would probably not say the second "jest" in my language.
I am still struggling with the pronunciation. Is it possible to add pronunciation tests in duolingo Polish? Or is Google speak detection not that good for Polish?
We decided not to accept 'The dog/a human' because you have to work so hard to find a context in which that's natural (see my very silly story about a lost dog, a lost man and a deep well, above), and I think the same applies here.
Plus St Bernards exist and are very, very heavy, so 'a dog' as a reference to the species wouldn't help us justify the choice of articles.