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  5. "你不是加拿大人吗?"


Translation:Aren't you Canadian?

November 17, 2017



This is a really awkward phrase in english. I think the closest you could really get would be "You're not Canadian are you?". "Aren't you Canadian?" suggests an expectation that the subject is Canadian and disbelief that they might not be.


I agree with your assessment of the sentence meaning (expectation/disbelief). But in my opinion, "Aren't you ..X..?" isn't awkward at all, and is actually perfect in certain contexts. As you said, it suggests expectation, and is almost looking for confirmation of what you believe to be true.

Here's a silly example... Maybe you meet some people who look like this and they ask you to guess where they're from:

"... Aren't you Canadian?!?"
" 你不是加拿大人吗?"

While this exact sentence would rarely come up in conversation, here are some other negative questions that use the same structure:

"Aren't you going to work today?" (said to someone sleeping in) "Isn't the bookstore the other way?" "Wasn't that amazing?!?" "Don't you love duolingo?"

Of course others may disagree, but to my ear it sounds fine! (Native English speaker - Ontario, Canada .... and yes, I have a hat like that!)


So, aren't you Canadian then?


But wouldn't that photo be the least likely use of the phrase "Aren't you Canadian?" I would ask that question if someone I thought was from Canada told me they grew up in Africa or something.


That photo could also work for that question. What problem did you have with the photo?


I didn't see the part where they were asking you to guess where they are from. It would work fine in that scenario. Notwithstanding, the question is very context-driven, and most people wouldn't use it even in the situation provided with the picture... most people would just say "Canada". The question "Aren't you _?" is inherently rhetorical, whereas in Chinese I don't believe that is the case.


It is not necessarily rhetorical, but it does imply that I am right probably, but tell me if I am wrong. There is the possibility that I am wrong. They could just be wearing costumes and are not Canadian at all. The very fact that they asked me to guess where they are from would make me suspicious that maybe they are not from Canada.

The Chinese question covers both types of questions, but since it uses the negative we should too. “Are you not Canadian?” is also accepted as correct, I think.


How did you insert a picture?


@BenMcMilla2 that is exactly correct. To make it a perfectly neutral question "are you Canadian?" but still using this form, you say "ni shi bu shi jianada ren" -- which means "you are not are canadian." You can use "bu" to pose positive negative questions. Note that my example has no "ma" - "ma" is only used with yes/no questions. I hear this form about as often as the simpler "ni shi jianada ren ma?" (and actually, I DO hear this sentence occasionally, as for some reason they are shy to ask if I'm American.)


I can definitely see this question being used in a sitcom or at the end of a punchline, so context dictates use.


This isn't an awkward sentence in English at all.


Depends on the context. Clearly there is a backstory if you are posing the question in this way in English.


And the same is the case in Chinese.


I wrote You are not Canadian, right? What's wrong with it?


你不是加拿大人吗? basically means “I thought you were a Canadian, how could I be wrong?” so it has the same meaning as 'you are a Canadian, right?'


The phrase "You are not Canadian, right?" would be "你不是加拿大人,对吗?" in Chinese. In this case, you are pretty sure that the person IS NOT Canadian.
In the sentence above, "你不是加拿大人吗?" - "Aren't you Canadian?" the opposite is the case. You are or were pretty sure the person IS Canadian, but something causes a doubt. For instance:
A to B: How is the weather in Australia?
C to B: Aren't you Canadian?
A to B: You are not Canadian, right? I thought you were Australian.
B: C is right. I am Canadian, but my family lives now in Australia. And they had a thunderstorm today.


, That's also correct.


The character 'dui' translates to 'right', so therefor that answer probably was wrong, even though the meaning is the same.


I wrote the same thing and got it wrong.


"Aren't you Canadian?" implies that I think that you are Canadian, but tell me if I am wrong. It is much closer to "You are a Canadian, isn't that so?" or "You are a Canadian, right?"

You are not Canadian, right? implies that I think that you are not Canadian, but I want you to verify that.

They are both yes or no questions, but they come from different angles.


That's what I wrote too! It should also be correct.


你不是加拿大人吗? basically means “I thought you were a Canadian, how could I be wrong?” so it has the same meaning as 'you are a Canadian, right?'


Why doesn't 加拿大 have 国 to denote a nation? Are there rules to help me know which countries use 国, and which countries don't?


I can't say for sure, but based on my knowledge, only country names that are otherwise one chatacter get 国 on the end.


This is "Canadian" not "Canada". My question would be why do some of them need the "nation" character for the person?


I'm pretty sure Gou is the sign for Kingdom/State/Republic, one could argue this to correlate to Canada being part of the Brittish common wealth while America has had imperialistic and exploitative tendencies inherited from their Brittish suppressors...

But when you think a bit further you may realize that the countroes that get assigned the Gou-sign also have that in their english name;

United KINGDOM United STATES of America Peoples REPUBLIC of China

So it has no degratory significance that they make some country names only phonetic.

When talking about nationality one must translate more literally for it to make perfect sense. I.e. a Canadian is a person pf Canada, there for in Chinese will be a "Canada person".


I don't know why they downvoted you.

Your statement looks perfectly true


I see that the individual characters for 加拿大人 translate to "add gets heavy people" - are they calling Canadians fat? :p - or is it because it phonetically sounds similar? haha


Like most country name it is semi-phonetic, grabing a couple of characters to represent the sound. The key is in Cantonese 加 is pronounced something like ka, and most of the early Chinese speakers in Canada were specifically Cantonese speakers from GuangDong province.


That explains it. The Korean also uses the "ka" sound.

Most characters mean totally different things when put together with other characters rather than by themselves.


It's interesting to look at all the readings in different dialects, plus how they were imported into other languages. As I understand it it's allowed linguists to get a very good idea of how Middle Chinese sounded.


The 大 at the end is actually accurate taking into consideration the size of Canada


This doesn't make sense... I put, "You are not canadian.", and it said correct. But, here, it says the translation is "Arent you Canadian?", and those alternative translations are not similar... was I right?


I wrote "You are not Canadian?" and it was marked wrong, no idea why.


Duo does not generally accept statements with question marks as questions (probably at least partially because Duo normally ignores punctuation) . You need to reverse the subject and verb to indicate a question (or use "do" when appropriate)


I wrote the same and it was correct 12-9-17.


Yes, accepted. "You are not Canadian?"






Aren't you Canadian? is expecting the listener to affirm that yes, indeed he/she is canadian. I don't think this Chinese version is doing that at all? I think it translates as You aren't Canadian, are you? which is expecting the listener to deny that they are Canadian?

Aren't you Canadian? and You are Canadian aren't you? are not the same in English.


I believe the Chinese sentence expects an affirmative, as "Aren't you Canadian?" does in English.


Doesn't "Aren't you Canadian" expect an answer more like "what? no, what made you think I was Canadian?"?

While "You are canadian, aren't you?" expects a more affirmative answer such as "yes, yes of course your are correct, so I am!"?

(Literal translation something like : You not are canada person, yes?)


Yeah yeah! Shout out too all my fellow Canadians out there!


I think a better translation could be "Are you not canadian?"


Canadian must be capitalized in English. “Are you not” and “Aren’t you” mean the exact same thing, so one is not better than the other and both should be accepted as correct.


I'm from Argentina, I would respond to the questions: "Aren't you Canadian?" with a No, and "Are you not Canadian?" with a Yes. I think that's ok.


Dear Duolingo – please read the various comments in this thread. Various people have said it in different ways (some more clearly than others) but .... THERE IS A SEMANTIC PROBLEM with this question & answer. It is ambiguous and confusing to many of us learners. The Chinese question is phrased supposing that "You are NOT American?" , but the American translation of the question "Aren't you American?" or "Are you not American?" both suppose that You ARE !! ... People commenting in this discussion are correct. Bad question or lesson.


It is frustrating when the correct answer is given and the system returns an error but they all match up!!


Did you have the multiple choice?


I had to choose the characters which I did and they matched exactly the answer given but I was told my response was incorrect


I would take a screenshot and put that in a bug report through the help button below. Verify which instructions you were given which could change whether they want English or Chinese though.


Why is "are you canadian?" Wrong?


不 is negative, are you Canadian would be 你是加拿大人吗?


Yes, like @hanslandaaa said, 不 means "Wrong", or in some cases with the correct characters can mean, "Are not", "Isn't".


because there's a character "不" before "是". "你不是..." - "You are not...".


There's a 'not' in the question.


Because there's a 不/not in the sentence


Because of the不 in the sentence. The direct translation of "Are you Canadian?" would be "你是加拿大人吧? " :)


Only reason I could think of is because 不 is in there. I think it's right but for this course gotta use all the characters when translating


Why is "Aren't you a Canadian person?" wrong? Since "人" means person, that answer should have been correct.


You should just think of it as a nationality, since it's a compound word.

Country name + 人 = nationality.


I agree with BenMcMilla2's comment. The Chinese version is effectively saying - I think you are not Canadian, is this right? Whereas if you asked someone the question 'are you not Canadian' in English, you are basically implying that you thought the person WAS Canadian. Think the difference might seem subtle, and more so given the two are literally interchangeable.


The options to choose from are confusing. Aren't should not be separated in the choices.


I wrote Aren and Duolingo marked me wrong before I finished the sentance. Frustratingly absurd


Can someone explain why u can't just say 是不是 instead of the way it is?


I'm seem to have missed the lesson where they taught 'Canada'....Was there one?


In the previous lessons, where they taught you the characters for jiā, and .

  • 加拿大。 Canada



On my system there was no "previous lesson" and no lessons that taught what these words meant. We have to go through all those pages of matching characters with sounds but there is no way to find out what it all means. Its only when they start the sentences near the end of the lesson that you can hover over the characters and find out what they mean. Very frustrating and a slow way to learn.


Just click on words you don't know for hints.


Ahhh, makes sense now .. "add", "catch", "big" wasn't saying canada to me at all...so they've just taken 3 words which produce a similar sound and put them together to make somthing that's phonetically similar to "ca-na-da"... same as "ying" sounds a bit like "eng" in England?


This is it I think, so you didn't miss it. It is in the hover hints.


most of my learning so far has been from talking and listening to people. That is a terribly bad pronunciation of "jianada"


你不是加拿大人吗? :-)


I'm not understanding why something like "You are not Canadian, right?" isn't accepted. It seems to be a much more natural rephrasing of the suggested answer, and is structured closer to the literal translation.


Your translation is wrong the question in chinese is negative


You are not canadian right seems similar to what was posted here


Whoa that's so crazy, Canada is phonetic in Chinese!


What i wrote is the same required answer


Double check the instructions as sometimes they want the answer in English or other times in Chinese, but they give you the translation anyway, even if they don’t want you to translate.


Doesn't sound right to me. I would express it as "You are not Canadian?".


Yoy are not Canadian?


I answered "You aren't Canadian, right?" and it marked wrong. This collection of tiles feels awkward. I would think a better option would be "Are you not Canadian?", but that wasn't an option.


Yes, your answer is wrong. The right answer is "Aren't you Canadian?" or "You are not Canadian?"
The one who is asking the question thought the person was Canadian and has now learnt otherwise, so they are asking again, just to be sure. Your version "You aren't Canadian, right?" would be "你不是加拿大人,对吗?"


Aren't you Canadian? Are you Canadian? Same question, nothing wrong.


They're rhetorically different.


It is theoretically possible that the Chinese sentence also has this "pre-expectation" meaning.


I think this should translate as "You aren't Canadian, right?"


It'd be 你不是加拿大人,对吗?


I think that "are you canadian" should be accepted


"Are you Canadian?" and "Aren't you Canadian?" are rhetorically different. The same goes to 你是加拿大人吗? and 你不是加拿大人吗?.


OK................how the hell am I supposed to write in Chinese when my keyboard does NOT have symbols??? Why is the test suddenly asking me to write a vocal question in Chinese???!!! It's ridicules!


You can download a software keyboard to use on your current keyboard and check the keyboard layout. Some work by having you type pinyin and give you choices of characters with that sound. https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=ONvyXKyVLYr7-gS6toOYCg&q=download+chinese+keyboard&oq=download+chinese+&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-hp.1.2.0l8.2580.14786..16130...0.0..0.373.1835.13j2j1j1......0....1.......8..41j0i131j46i131j0i155i3j0i3.KdS8Uo1lasA


Agree. I am afraid to say that this course needs some corrections here and there.


aren't you canadian does not match this phrasing. This is a positive statement where as the chinese is a negative.


“Aren’t you Canadian?” is the same as ”Are you not Canadian?” isn’t it?


Aren't you Canadian?/Are not you Canadian? is saying "I believe(d) you are Canadian. Will you tell me otherwise?"


Same with the Chinese, waiting for a yes or no.


Maybe we shouldn't use contractions to make things easier for non native English speakers


I agree. In addition, there are more and more English speakers that have a very low level.


Yes, that's what I wrote and I got it wrong, too. I feel like it should be right.


Did you try reporting it?


"Aren't you Canadian?", is not a negative sentence. It is closer to "arn't cha" slang meaning "You are Canadian, right?" A negative sentence would be "You are not Canadian, correct?"

Aren't is along the lines of other colloquialism words like ain't, yall, y'all, and all yall. Please, please, please remove Aren't from the English phrases as its HEAVILY reliant on verbal context and not taught as a conjunction in schools.


aren’t = are not

It is definitely taught in American schools. It is not considered slang as some of the others that you mentioned.

It is not a conjunction. It is a contraction which is optional, but very commonly used.


The word aren't is slang and only used by a minority of the population. I wonder about the merit of teaching words that are not grammatically correct.


The word “aren’t” is a grammatically correct contraction used in standard English. It is not slang. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aren't



"加拿大" LOL! "No, I'm 安 二美日可呢."


wish I knew what you wrote, it might be funny but I don't know enough Chinese yet to read it.


That's a transliteration of "America" lol.


America gets "美国" lol!


Ever considered how close it is phonetically to a spanish pronounciation of "Mexico"? ;) Me-ji-co vs. Me-i-go :3 hehe

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