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"Ayer nosotros cogimos un taxi."

Translation:Yesterday we took a taxi.

March 1, 2018

46 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ignatznkrazy

Usually Duolingo's Spanish is pretty Mexican, but you can't say this in Mexico. As far as I understand coger is fine in Spain but considered extremely profane in Mexico.

I took a class with a bunch of native speakers mostly from Mexico, and when the prof said coger un autobús, there was plenty of laughter. The lesson was about dialectical differences, and it was a memorable example.

Duolingo really should let people know this so they don't use coger inappropriately.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elizadeux

Would "Tomamos un taxi" would be better in Mexico?

Someone has mentioned this issue in every sentence with coger that I've seen so far. If I come across any where it hasn't been mentioned, I'll add a link to the wordreference description. "Note: Connotación sexual en varios países de Latinoamérica." I wonder if they are filtering it out for the schoolkids?

Speaking for myself, I'd rather be aware of this as I sometimes read books published in Spain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonathanbost

Yes, I've always learned "tomar un taxi" for "take a taxi," and my Spanish teacher explained never to use "coger," although you'll hear it in Spain.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonathan691496

Never use "coger" for anything?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JenR82

I mean, except....you know


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clinto47

"Yesterday we f<#×ed a taxi" not accepted but here I replaced the word "❤❤❤❤❤❤" because duo replaces the word with hearts" Now I know what those hearts mean. LOL


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gary695526

Tomaste means "you took". Tomamos would be "we took".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elizadeux

Good point. I've fixed it. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay977736

We screwed a taxi huh?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harley588854

Pretty much what the English phrase means.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrayNathan

To be brief--I was not familiar with this word, so I looked it up on SpanishDict and found out it meant the F-word. Then I read these comments and was grateful to learn its more common use. However, when I asked my Latin friend to translate this sentence after I pronounced it, he translated as Duo had done. When I told him about all the comments, he then laughed and explained its other uses, especially "quieres coger." https://www.spanishdict.com/translate/coger


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carmen201245

All this is really interesting and funny but...can we please talk about the sentence and the meaning of coger as it is supposed to mean here? Also, what verb should we use. If this verb isn't appropriate?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elizadeux

Coger is appropriate in Spain for taking a form of transportation. In Latin America, use tomar. Punto final.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bhtharp

I asked a guy on the street how to catch a bus when I was in Mexico, using the verb coger. He gave an ornery grin and said, No se, supongo por atras. What made things worse was I asked my host's grandmother at the dinner table why he responded that way, and the table got very quiet. The grandmother broke the ice with a short laugh and quickly moved to another topic. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AniOhevYayin

Thanks for relating these stories. Muy divertidas. At least this sentence and the ones you used did not have the preposition en.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fred.sudak

So the answer seems to be... That even native Spanish speakers disagree on this one. http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/122220/to-coger-or-not-to-coger


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaggiePye

Yes, it's a regional usage. But since Duolingo tends to focus on Latin American Spanish, and there are multiple regions of Latin America where coger is not used except in the vulgar sense, it's absurd that Duolingo would encourage its use.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArgleBargle1961

I disagree. It seems to be chaos out there. This is great: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKKCVctGucA.

Enjoy the laughs. Meanwhile, I have very blunt language lessons with an Iranian man. He's an advanced student, so we don't talk about the basics of English and the subtle things you might say and what groups of people to say them to. Some of our discussions revolve around the more subtle uses of sexual slang. ALL languages have this.

I know why duolingo keeps things g-rated, but I think the biggest thing lacking on this site is addressing obscenity and profanity. Before anyone reacts badly, let me point out that small children know that there is normal language, and there is language confined to adults. I knew this as a child. However, adult language learners of languages get fenced off from knowing the things they should not say... things any child would know. "Coger" needs a warning label. Maybe a warning about mis-speaking "mierda" and "miedo."

Yes, I'm fully aware that middle-school and high-school students are learning here, but, geeez, adults, think back to when you were that age and the language you knew was inappropriate. How did you know? You weren't ignorant of the F-word, you just didn't use it. I'm still learning Spanish, but I'm lucky to have picked up on a few things that can be taboo and I avoid. IMHO, Duolingo might be wise to address this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buzzylittlebee

I strongly agree. It's already nerve-wracking as a language learner to dive in and have conversations with native speakers without having to worry that I'm accidentally going to be coming on to everyone in the room. The fact that these things are completely unaddressed adds to the anxiety. Implications actually aren't addressed at all, such as "salir con" meaning to go out with [on a date] just as it does in English, but we're left to confirm that from each other in the comments.

I think the reverse ideally should be addressed as well - sentences that are implicitly sexual in English but innocent in Spanish. Te quiero comes to mind, though admittedly you probably won't run into the situation of needing to say this to strangers. (I language learn with my dad, though, and we just have an unspoken agreement to avoid saying "I love you" in anything but English. The lines between familial, friendly, romantic, and sexual love are not really ever spelled out and accidentally using the wrong one is just a grossly uncomfortable thought lol)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jewelofthe1

Is it? While it really only practices latin american verb conjugations, a lot of the expressions, pronounciations and vocab are very Spanish. Ive never heard anyone use almozar, for example in this hemisphere, some of the other vocab, purse, groceries, rooms, foods, greetings, are recognizable, but not common, in my experience. The flag for the course is the spanish flag (compare the US flag rather than UK for the English course).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elizadeux

The flag doesn't mean anything. Each on of the 20 Spanish-speaking countries has some vocabulary that is unique to that region.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SantiagoHablando

Just like in English, dirty minds will hear what they want and any misuse of the language should be a shame on them, not us when we are using it properly and with respect.

That being said, from what I understand the verb, 'tomar', can be used in any Spanish speaking country as meaning 'to take' and so in order to avoid insulting anyone and for simplicity's sake, I feel it's best to stick with using 'tomar' for most of these 'taking' occasions.

I will say though, from a language-nut's point of view, the careful usage of two-toned words (i.e., innuendos, sexual or not) should not be avoided all together because of embarrassing instances like these.

Learning a language requires learning not only how it is used but how it is abused as well.

My advice, be cautious but don't be afraid!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaggiePye

This isn't a matter of "dirty minds will hear what they want." You're NOT using the language "properly and with respect" if you use coger to mean "to take" in Mexico (or Argentina, or a few other countries), because you're not respecting the way the word is actually used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

Dirty minds may hear what they want, but really, do you want a tourist getting assaulted for accidentally insulting someone because they have a high horse attitude about using words that are offensive in the country they're in?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

I am surprised to see this in a supposedly Latin American based Spanish. That said, there are plenty of complaints on the forums from people who want to learn Spanish Spanish about leaving the word out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaggiePye

But Duo has come firmly down on the side of "this is a course in Latin American-based Spanish." It's one thing to have answers using coger accepted, quite another to build it into the exercises.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elizadeux

It's mostly Latin-American-ish. There are a few exceptions like this one and a few vosotros conjugations thrown about here and there.


[deactivated user]

    Sugerencia, para no tener problemas usen el verbo "tomar"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael854637

    "Coger" is the word of choice in Europe.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yleexot406

    While "el perro" is the common word for "dog", in Spanish you can use 'la perra" to indicate a female dog. There is a perfectly acceptable direct translation of "la perra" into English, but that word has taken on a more commonly used derogatory connotation, so I doubt if Duolingo would ever attempt to use it. If it were to be used, I would think a warning would be in order. If they are going to use"coger", I also think a warning should be in order.

    There are many words that have different meanings in different countries, but most of them will either identify where you learned the language or perhaps cause a little amusement from your unusual choice of words. But there are a few that can be the source of severe embarrassment. It is these that Duolingo should provide some warning about. For "coger", OK in Spain, but refrain from using in Mexico, Uruguay, etc.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ActionCat2000

    "Earthy" translation of "coger" aside, I would think "tomar" would be preferable because if "coger" means literally "to take", doesn't that mean you are in fact STEALING the taxi, or is that reading too much into it?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buzzylittlebee

    From what I can gather, that's reading too much into it. Coger appears to be the verb of choice in Spain, and not in Latin America. It's as simple as that. Whether you default to "coger" or "tomar" depends more on where you'll use it/who you'll be speaking with than on the literal definition of either word. They both mean "to take."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harley588854

    Of course in English one of the meanings if 'take' is to 'have sex with'.

    It's interesting to see people getting their knickers in a twist about 'coger' but not 'take'.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

    Yes, but that is a rare usage, and it usually implies violence. In many Latin American countries, it's the first usage people think of, not something WAAAY down the list. The use of take in normal situations just wouldn't get you into trouble in most English speaking countries, whereas it might in Mexico.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yleexot406

    "to catch a taxi" is an English idiom (and slang at that) and does not really translate into Spanish. In Spanish you would either use "coger un taxi" or "llevar un taxi" ("take a taxi").


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buzzylittlebee

    Tomar, not llevar, for Latin America.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yydelilah

    Is the "nosotros" required?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShYe13

    What happened to tomar? I don't get why we learn a phase in two different ways without any explanation as to the difference. Or did they actually STEAL a taxi!?!?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/buzzylittlebee

    While I agree that Duo should explain this itself, if you read the rest of the comments on a sentence you find strange, you will usually find the answer. Tomar is the preferred verb in Latin America, while coger is the default choice in Europe. This one should come with an extra warning though, as the verb coger apparently has sexual connotations in Latin America and should just be avoided entirely (unless, I suppose, you are recounting your conquests of public transportation vehicles).

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