Translation:Today is May first.
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Its irritating, but not offensive. I imagine the app was made by Americans who have no knowledge of us British speakers and no awareness of the fact that our correct way of speaking is different from theirs. It would be nice to have a whole course for British English speakers though because there are so many differences!
Actually, I think it would be fun for there to be two (at least) different forms of English taught. I would love to take the British English course, translating it into American English! It'd be great if there was an option for speakers of British English to learn American English, too. Both are English, but they evolved so differently...
In British English you would never say 'may first' or 'july second' etc; we always say 'the first of may' or 'the second of july' so it's hard to get the English right because we always have to think 'how would and American say this'. It would be good if you could offer the words a British English speaker would use as well and accept both answers
In the UK...
Saying the date:
- "the first of May"
- "May the first"
Writing the date:
- "1 May"
- "1st May" (⇐ this is the one I was taught in school, but current style guides seem to favour the one above.)
"Today is 1st May" is exactly the same as how I would write this sentence, normally. ^^
It is annoying, but I think these days it does accept alternate ways of writing the dates most of the time? For me it's not been bad recently at at least, though I'm not sure about this particular sentence. This course used to be extremely bad when it came to accepting alternative ways of writing dates a couple of years ago, pretty much only accepting the US date format. I think things have got much better in this regard now, but not perfect quite yet.
The reading of this sequence of kanji depends on the context.
If it is part of a date, you should read it as "tsuitachi". This word means "the first day (of the month)".
If it is talking about a period of time, you should read it as "ichinichi" or, less commonly, "ichijitsu". These both mean "(a period of) one day".
But there's even more to it than that. See this page in Wiktionary.
We don't ever say or write "first May".
We do write it this way: "1st May", which is pronounced "the first of May".
Or you can write "the first of May" or "the first day of May".
It's a bit like how we don't ever write "Queen Elizabeth second".
We write "Queen Elizabeth II", which is pronounced "Queen Elizabeth the second".
Are you certain you didn't make any mistakes? It definitely used to accept all of the following:
- "Today is the first of May."
- "Today's the first of May."
- "Today is the 1st of May."
- "Today's the 1st of May."
"Today is 1st May." is the only one I remember still getting rejected the last time I used it. If it's not accepting those four versions above, then they must have removed those alternative translations, which would be very strange and unlikely. ^^