"František is not interested in that strange person."
Translation:Františka ten zvláštní člověk nezajímá.
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.
If in this phrase František is the subject... Why is "František" changed into the accusative case instead of "that strange person"?
Subjects are always in the first case in Czech. Here, the subject is "the strange man". Consider the German sentence "Sergio interessiert mir." or the Spanish "Sergio me importa." it works the same. It's the construction "to be of interest to someone" that confuses you. You could say "František se o toho zvláštního člověka nezajímá." if you really wanted to have František as a subject though. :)
Short nitpick: the German sentence would be "Sergio interessiert mich" (Akkusativ, not Dativ). The idea is still correct, though. It only seems that the English and Czech sentences do not align because of the way the verb is used here.
Who is not interested in whom? In English, František is not interested in the person. In Czech, the person does not interest František. The meaning stays the same. What confused me most is that in other sentences, zajímat is used like in the English sentence ("be interested in something", not "interest something"), however, apparently, that is what the "se" is for.
exactly. The reflexive "zajímnat se o ..." is "to be interested in", whereas "zajímat" is rather "to be interesting".
Btw., the same in German: "sich interessieren für" vs. "interessieren".
But in the original sentence: Frantisek is not interested in that strange person it is: Subject (Frantisek) Verb (is not interested) Preposition (in) Object (that strange person). Am I mistaking? So the only translation should be: "František se o toho zvláštního člověka nezajímá." so Frantisek stays the subject?!
This is one possibility to translate the English sentence, using "se zajímat o X". But in Czech there is a second way of expressing the same thought, using "zajímat" (something like "being interesting") in a construction like "X is interesting (for) Y", which has no common counterpart in English.
zajímate se = to be intereset, you are right, but we have more options and the non-reflexive zajímat is one of them. Here the person is the object and the thing that interests is the subject.
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.
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?
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!
Is it possible to phrase this sentence: "Ten zvláštní člověk nezajímá František"?
As long as you preserve the accusative - "Ten zvláštní člověk nezajímá Františka".
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.
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.
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?
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.