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"František is not interested in that strange person."

Translation:Františka ten zvláštní člověk nezajímá.

September 9, 2017



I actually disagree with the translation provided. The original phrase in English is "František is not interested in that strange person", so "František" should be the subject. "František se o toho zvláštního člověka nezajímá" is an accurate translation. For avoiding confusion, then the English phrase could be rephrased as "That stange person doesn't interest František" or otherwise totally rethink the examples...


In Czech there are two different ways you can express "František is interested in that person".
The first one is rather similar to the English sentence, with František as the subjekt: "František se zajímá o toho člověka". Note you have to use "zajímat se o" (="to be interested in") and put the person into accusative case after "o".
The other possibility, which was used here, is just the other way round. It is more like "that person is interesting for František". Here the verb "zajímat" (without "se", = "to be interesting") is used, "the person" is the subject, and František the accusative object. You can see this from the cases used. Františka is not the subject. Unlike in English, you don't get the roles in the sentence from the positions, but from the cases.


I've run across this sort of thing before, and i don't disagree. But how would one know which andwer the program expects?


There are currently hundreds of translation permutations accepted for this sentence. Is there any particular answer that you tried and that wasn't accepted?


Yeah. I think it was pretty close to the phrase that fehrerdef mentioned: "František se zajímá o toho člověka" (it was about an hour ago, and I didn't take a screenshot, so I think that's at least close to what I wrote)

I might have had some details wrong ( I think I might have written "člověk instead of člověka). If that's why it was incorrect, I'm fine with that. But the program didn't tell me what was wrong with what I wrote. It just told me that I needed to use the answer where František is used in the accusative.

As some of the others pointed out, coming from English, it is more natural to use the form where František is the subject and "strange person" is the object.

Also, now that I think about it, that's also one of the points of this lesson. How to use "se" and "o" properly. Upon reflection, I think that's why I attempted the answer that I gave. I was trying to practice that skill. ( Although it isn't lost on me that using František in the accusative is also one of the points if the lesson).

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is if there are circumstances when the "Františka ten zvláštní člověk nezajímá" answer is better to use and if there are circumstances where the reverse is true?



The answer you gave here in your comment: " "František se zajímá o toho člověka" is obviously not accepted, because it's far off. It's missing both "not" and "strange" from the translation. On the other hand, "František se nezajímá o toho zvláštního člověka" is certainly accepted as one of the many possibilities.

You see, if you don't give us the exact sentence you used, we can't tell you why it wasn't accepted. Using the wrong case of any noun would of course be one of the reasons, because it would've been an ungrammatical sentence.

Duolingo is a machine, it will try to guess what you meant and maybe give you a correct answer close to your failed attempt, but it doesn't always work. Hence the forum where you can ask about alternative solutions.

That said, "Někdo(nom) zajímá někoho(acc)" (lit. "Someone interests someone"; the person in nominative is the object of interest, while the person in accusative is the one who is interested) is the more default way of expressing interest in Czech.

The "reverse", i.e. "Někdo(nom.) se zajímá o někoho(acc.)" (lit. "Someone interests themselves about someone"; the person in nominative is interested in the person in accusative) expresses slightly more than just interest, it encompasses the meaning "Someone is curious about someone else" - asking questions etc. It may also involve a romantic interest (a fancy).

In the negative, "Nezajímá mě" sounds a little harsher, more dismissive than "Nezajímám se o něj".

Either way, both structures are more or less equivalent and it won't matter much which one you'll use. You'll encounter both.


If in this phrase František is the subject... Why is "František" changed into the accusative case instead of "that strange person"?


So, then, a better translation would be, "That strange person doesn't interest František," "person" being the subject and "František" the object. Otherwise, Duolingo has it backwards.


Well, it's a closer translation, but not a better one, though you would rather not use it in English.


@va-diim. Exactly. English likes to have the option to avoid the passive. 'Better' could be decided in a context. [I have stored both versions in my lexicon. Thanks @tragram]


"is not interested in" is not passive voice either


What you need to see here is that the original sentence was in English, and in English, Frantisek is the subject, so he should stay the subject in czech too, or am I mistaking?


No. The construction is different in English and Czech. The meaning stays the same, but in the Czech sentence "František" is not the subject. The Czech sentence is more like "that strange person is not interesting František", so František is the accusative object.


I translated this sentence as "František se nezajímá o toho zvláštního člověka". But Duolingo's right answer is "František nemá zajem o toho zvláštního člověka". What's wrong with my answer?


Your answer is also correct.

"mít zájem o + acc" = "zajímat se o + acc"


Your answer is now accepted. It may have been added soon after your report.


František doesn't interest that strange person?


No, exactly the opposite. Your sentence is equivalent to "That strange person is not interested in František". Our "to-translate" English sentence is equivalent to the Czech "That strange person does not interest František". Gramatically it is like "SP does not see/like/feed/hug F"--so SP is nominative and F is accusative. Yes, having the subject in one sentence end up as the object in the translation is absolutely an absurd thing to do at this point in the course. But I guess we all learn to pay a little more attention and have something to keep in mind next time!


František is the subject in this sentence. "not interested" is what he is.


or at least, in the English sentence it is. In the Czech translation, he's not?


In the Czech sentence Frantisek is the accusative object.


Is it possible to phrase this sentence: "Ten zvláštní člověk nezajímá František"?


As long as you preserve the accusative - "Ten zvláštní člověk nezajímá Františka".


why not Frantisek se zajima o toho zvlastniho cloveka?


You are missing the negative.


I agree with Miguel236367 and va-diim. "František isn't interested in that strange person" is a different sentence in English than "That strange person doesn't interest František." They're not just different word orders for the exact same thought.


I am asking about the Czech to English Translations, I read all what the others had to say but to me they both have the same meaning The subject is interested Or not .. in the Object But one czech translation has se o and the other not. that is what puzzles me. OK if both constructions are allowed then Duolingo needs to accept both for both exercises.


Both versions are accepted. But of course you have to use the correct cases (they differ between the two versions!), or else the sentence could mean just the opposite.


I will take note again when i repeat it. Thanks


I don't understand why 'O toho zvlaštního človeka František se nezajímá' is not correct. I understand that is can also be phrased with František as the object, but surely both are, at the very least, equally correct.


The second position rule for "se".


"František is interested in Žofie." Translation:František se zajímá o Žofii.

Please !!! What is the difference between this translation and

František is not interested in that strange person." Translation:Františka ten zvláštní člověk nezajímá.

Apart from the negative meaning?


This has already been answered. Please read the other comments, particularly those by VladaFu.

In short: There are two different constructions with the same meaning:
a) reflexive "se zajímat o": "X (nominative) se zajímá o Y (accusative)".
b) non-reflexive "zajímat": "Y (nominative) zajímá X (accusative)" (or, alternatively with another word order, but preserving the caes: "X (accusative) zajímá Y (nominative)".

Both mean "X is interested in Y".


I figured out why the sentence gets marked bad. The correct sentence should be "Frantisek se nezajima o toho zvlastniho cloveka." and it is marked correctly. If you forget to put "that strange person" into accusative then the system tries to make Frantisek accusative and that's why we fall down this strange rabbit hole with flipping the subject and object and turning the verb into non-reflexive.


The system does not try turning anything into anything. The system only tries to find the closest match to your sentence AND normally tries to show the main translation that you can see above.

That said, what you suggested is another valid translation. Just not the main translation we selected here.


Thanks for the information VladaFu, I get what you're saying. By 'tries to make' I was referring to that pattern matching. The main translation is only shown in this sentence example though and the non-reflexive use is confusing without any information about it in the Tips sections. It would be helpful to have the usage introduced to the users in this or a prior section, because this is the main translation. Thanks again!


In the sentence "František se nezajímá o ta zvláštní osoba", is the only problem the accusative case ("tu zvláštní osobu")? Or is there also a problem with my grammar?


Well, not using the accusative is a problem with the grammar.


"František se nezajímá o tu zvláštní osobu" is accepted.


I tried: František se o toho zvlastni cloveka nezajima, but it was rejected. Why?


Since "člověk" is masculine animate, you need "zvláštního" there (rhymes with "toho").


Ahhh... the famous Fourth Gender (masculine animate) of Czech.... i forgot.


But you only half-forgot :D because you used "toho". Masculine inanimate would be: "František se o ten zvláštní strom nezajímá." (the whole "ten zvláštní strom" is the same in acc. as in nom.)


I tend to write down correct answers in a note book and had "Františka nezajímá ten zvláštní člověk". This Phrase came up again, but I typed "-išek" instead of the "-iška" ending. Instead of saying there was a typo it said it was wrong. Have I got it written down incorrectly somehow or is it because of the name ending being wrong it made the whole phrase incorrect? Thank you. K, UK.


Hi, using the wrong ending means using the wrong form (case), which renders the whole phrase wrong, of course. "František" is the nominative case, it doesn't fit into the sentence where you need the accusative "Františka". It's like saying "Me is happy" (instead of "I") or "Do you see we?" (instead of "us"). I'm not sure why you expected that to be marked as a typo.

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