"We need the names of their mothers and fathers."

Translation:Potřebujeme jména jejich matek a otců.

September 14, 2017

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Isn't plural of "mothers" "matky"?


It is! But in this sentence, we need the GENITIVE plural (OF their mothers), rather than the nominative. And... that would be "matek."


That's what I think is hard with Czech, it's kinda crazy!


Can't "the names" be "ta jména"? Use of adjective in accusative case from earlier lessons.


Strange. Not completely impossible, but unnatural. I would translate that using "those", not using "the".

Translate the whole blocks, not just individual words and certainly not individual articles. "the names of their..."="jména jejich..."


Is it matek, because matk would be difficult to pronounce?


Yes. In Old Czech you can sometimes find similar words without this vocal, e.g. desk instead of desek.


proč bych nemohl napsát "potřebujeme jmena jejich matek a tatínků"?


Two reasons. The course sticks to formal "mother= matka" and "father = otec". You can get mom and dat and in such a case we go for máma a táta. The system does not have diminutives at the moment.

The second one is, even if we did accept 'tatínek:, nobody would ever mix it with "matka". Once you use diminutive for one, you use the same for the other, because it just simply sounds funny.

Potřebujeme jména jejich maminek a tatínků....


Regarding word ordering, why is "Potřebujeme jejich jména matek a otců" wrong? (We need their names, Mom and Dad)


Their/Jejich belongs to the fathers and mothers, not to the names.

We need their names, Mom and Dad. is a completely different sentence.

[deactivated user]

    What about "Potřebujeme jména matek a otců jich?"

    The preferred answer uses a possessive pronoun instead of chaining another genitive...

    Is chaining the genitive like this incorrect?

    Is it technically valid but too awkward/unnatural sounding to accept as an answer?

    Or is it just an overlooked variant that should be accepted?

    FWIW, Google Translate gave the same English translation for my sentence as the preferred answer... although I know machine translators sometimes get it wrong....

    (Edit: not only does Google translating my sentence give the English sentence of this exercise, but reverse-translating that sentence back into Czech actually arrives exactly back at the exercise's preferred answer.

    So, Google seems to agree that the possessive-pronoun version is preferred... but also makes them seem equivalent. Is it just too awkward/strange to accept?

    EDIT 2: On further thought, it seems the most direct English translation of my sentence would be "We need the names of the mothers and fathers of them." Is that as awkward in Czech as in English? If so, I guess I can see why it's not accepted...

    Have I already answered my own question?

    Or am I just really really confused?


    As a fellow learner and a native AmE speaker, I'd just like to say that (1) I enjoyed reading your stream-of-consciousness analysis and (2) I think you actually did answer your own question! So -- if I'm right about the latter -- a big "Good Job!" from me! Maybe you'll also get something more substantial from one of the Czech natives on the team! :-) PS: A few lingots can't hurt, right?

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