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"Găina mănâncă ouă?"

Translation:The hen eats eggs?

3 months ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/rami732525

Does the hen eat eggs?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coto.i
coto.i
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Indeed. There are so many literal translations from Romanian to English (and also from French to English) in Duolingo, while English simply does not work like that.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iguacufalls
iguacufalls
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Actually, it works in this context:
Person 1: I'm reading a story where a hen eats eggs! Person 2: really? The hen eats eggs? No way!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coto.i
coto.i
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Sure, it works. Many things work in spoken language, as the dynamic of the speech is influenced by how words and ideas come to everyone's mind, and how everyone interacts with the other participants in the conversation and with the environment.

The problem is that for many phrases the standard English translations don't even exist in Duo's database, otherwise the users would have not asked if they are acceptable or not.

This creates confusion, especially for people with not so much confidence in their English knowledge - many people here learning languages as English speakers are not English natives. This should be corrected.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
JamesTWils
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Which is why one should report that the option should be accepted.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coto.i
coto.i
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rami732525's translation (Does the hen eat eggs?) should replace Duo's (The hen eats eggs?), not just be accepted as another option. Duo's translation is bad English.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
JamesTWils
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It's not wrong, though that construction is less common, as it would imply surprise. If I knew nothing about sharks, I might ask "Does the shark eat salad?" If I knew something about sharks and saw the aquarium keeper dumping a bowl of salad into the tank, I might ask in surprise "The shark eats salad?" I imagine both sentences could be translated into Romanian with the form we see above.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coto.i
coto.i
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I know what you say, but this way of building the question - without inversion, just by intonation - is so frequently used on Duo that it leaves the impression that it's actually standard English; which is not. In Romanian (and also in French to my knowledge), on the other hand, this is standard; it isn't used only in specific contexts, as in your example.

I suspect this is due to the translations having been made by non-native speakers.

Here is another example (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26987887):

  • Phrase: "Ursul mănâncă carne sau legume? "

  • Translation: The bear eats meat or vegetables?

  • User question: Can I also translate this as 'Does the bear eat meat or vegetables?'

Please notice what the users ask. Both rami732525 here and PhilRushton in the other thread are wondering if what I and you agree on being standard it is, in fact, acceptable in English. It looks like Duo fails to make it clear what standard English is first, which is, in my opinion, the proper way to teach languages.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JamesTWils
JamesTWils
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I totally agree with you there, and it is quite difficult to remember, because most of the other Duolingo programs insist on the inverted word order in English. Incidentally, French often inverts the word order as well, e.g. parlez vous français?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelTwe6

As an Irish english speaker I would normally say "does the hen eat eggs?" rather than implying the question solely through vocal inflection - as I would have to do if I said "the hen eats eggs?". A question implied through inflection in my experience of speaking English tends to be used to imply incredulity - as in the example iguacufalls gives above. I do think "Does the hen eat eggs?" should be an accepted translation.

1 month ago