As far as I know, England is part of an island and therefore on an island...
That is correct literally, but is is a strange way of saying it in English.
Quite right. In English we would say "England is part of an island" but Duo marks this as wrong. It shouldn't.
The problem here is that sometimes you need to avoid the literal translation because it would be said differently in English, at other times you don't
It is a strange way of saying it in German, too. It sounds as if England was something put on top of an island.
England isn't an island. It's part of the British Isles. England, Scotland and Wales make up one island. However, England isn't "on" an island so it's a strange translation
I think that “on an island” is still the best way of (concisely) translating the German expression. “In an Island” sounds wrong and “part of an island” is correct but less close to the original. I don't think anybody would bat an eye if “on an island” were referring to a city, but I suppose a country is large enough that we think of it as being a rather important component of an island rather than merely being “on” it. Still, this is the only available expression to convey that a piece of land (big or small) is located within the confines of an island.
A city is a physical thing. A country is a concept. That's why a city can be on an island, but a country is not.
A city is no more of a physical thing than a country. The land on which the city or the country operate is physical, and so are the people that inhabit it and the infrastructures that make it inhabitable, but the city or country themselves are both mere concepts made real only by conventions.
The city is a loosely defined cluster of buildings (a physical object). The country is an arbitrary separator of jurisdiction (a concept).
Country maybe a mere concept, but it can define a very specific area in the physical world.
I was about to agree with you until I realized I wouldn't think twice about saying "Haiti is on an island." I think the difference might be that Haiti and the Dominican Republic are two completely different countries. However much autonomy Wales and Scotland might have been granted, it was granted to them by England so we think of it as one country. That's what makes it awkward to hear "England is on an islsnd." Nevertheless, it is correcf.
I think (almost certainly) the Scots and (possibly also) the Welsh might disagree with the statement that "we think of [every country on Great Britain] as one country." The British terms for England, Scotland, and Wales are "country", so I suspect even the English would not object to saying that "England is on an island."
it was granted to them by England
England (and Wales) were united with Scotland (Under a Scottish king). England has never been in a position to grant autonomy to Scotland. The British parliament (which of course has Scottish members) can grant autonomy in various areas.
Wales had less say in the matter of joining England... that was decided by Edward the First in around 1283... and I think he was more French than anything... (depending on your definition)
England is the individual country. Great Britain is the actual island it's part of.
Nope. It's part of the British Isles, and is one of the countries in the United Kingdom (the others being Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland)
I think the Scots and Welsh might have something to say about that.
German is known for being very "literal". I think that's my fascination with the language.
Great Britain is a geographic term referring to the island also known simply as Britain. It’s also a political term for the part of the United Kingdom made up of England, Scotland, and Wales (including the outlying islands that they administer, such as the Isle of Wight). United Kingdom, on the other hand, is purely a political term: it’s the independent country that encompasses all of Great Britain and the region now called Northern Ireland.
Adding my vote to those who consider the English sentence wrong or poor. "England (Haiti, Brunei, etc.) is PART of an island..." would be far better,.
lgm217 how wrong you are. Going West England stops at Offa's ❤❤❤❤. Going North it stops on a line between Carlisle and Berwick. Not an island but part of an island. If I said Wales or Scotland were islands I suspect you would disagree. Aber, paß auf, unsere Deutschen Freunde finden unsere Streiten um solchen Dinge ein bißchen lächerlich.
Great Britain is invariably referred to as an island, but if you have an example I'd like to see it.
May I ask why you chose that wording? Is that really the first word that came to your mind?
In my experience, "island" is the normal word in English and "isle" is only poetic or in fixed expressions such as proper nouns. So it made me wonder whether you were "trying to expand Duolingo's vocabulary" on purpose.
In which case, I would like to ask you not to play games like that. We've got enough work already without adding poetic synonyms that are not used as much. To show that you understand the German word Insel, use the English word "island". And in reverse, please translate "island" to Insel and not to a poetic synonym such as Eiland. We don't need Odem or Haupt etc. as suggestions in the database.
I would suggest people who are not confident in English should not use the App, because the translations may affect their language .The translations given are meant to bring the general meaning in the sense but not how you would say it in English, in other words, you would need to know what Duolingo is trying to say in English and put the focus on learning German, so in this example I say in my head " yeah I know they mean England is part of an Island" and I would not say in conversation to someone "England is on an Island" , although literally correct but not used in speech that way.
The problem here is that the original German phrase is based on a lack of knowledge/understanding of the politico-historical basis of the British Isles. I have, from the start, assumed this programme to be created and managed predominantly by people from North America (American spellings, even for English words) so I am not surprised by this further example of lack of European knowledge.
It is part of an island, certainly not on an island. Which island is it on top of?
England is a part of Great Britain, it is not on top of it. It's not a carpet.
As a native born englishman living in Scotland, England being on an island sounds right to me. Likewise Germany is on the continent.
England is an abstract concept. It, or any other abstracts, do not physically exist "on" anything. For this concept to work, you need another verb, like "locate" or "exist." If I wrote this, every editor/proofreader I have ever worked for would have gleefully if not scornfully circled this with a big red marker and pinned it on the bulletin board in the lunch room.
I agree that England is on an island in that Scotland and Wales are also on the same island, but in normal English speech we say "is an island" rather than "on an island"
"Set in a silver sea?" I agree, that is what many English people would say, but it is inaccurate on two counts. First, "England is an island" ignores two rather large chunks of land (Scotland and Wales) that share the island. Between them, Scotland and Wales constitute 43% of the area of Great Britain, England 57%; so England is just over half an island. My second point is that England, technically, is on several islands, including not just the mainland but some fairly sizeable lumps like the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Sheppey. There are hundreds of them, but let's not get Scillies about it.
"England is on an island" sounds unnatural.
"England is an island" is the correct translation, but it was marked wrong :(
Great Britain is an island. England is a part of Great Britain along with Scotland and Wales.