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  5. "El español es un idioma inte…

"El español es un idioma interesante."

Translation:Spanish is an interesting language.

April 22, 2018

66 Comments


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

Why is it "un" and not "una"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marcy65brown

"Idioma" is one of several masculine words ending in "-ma": tema, problema, programa, drama, clima, etc.


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

Thanks for the "-ma" tip!


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

This rule is true for words of Greek origin ending with "-ma." However, words that are not of Greek origin are typically female (e.g. the llama / la llama, the dame / la dama).

The reason for this is that in Greek these words were originally neuter, and they remained neuter when they were absorbed into Latin. However, as Spanish diverged from Latin, those neuter words became masculine.


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

Thanks!!! Knowing the history behind the rule helps keep the rule in mind. Here's a lingot!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marilyn563586

THANKS for the explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nunie19

Thank you that's worth a Lingot


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brendan45679

Idioma vs. langua, whats the difference? Unfortunately this is something duo doesn't do so well, give any context for which words are appropriate in what situations


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

Briefly, idioma is used when talking about a certain language, like the language of a country or of a specific group of people. Spanish language, the language of the court, etc.

Lengua/lenguaje is used when talking about how someone expresses themselves, or when talking about speech itself. Foul language, colloquial language, the likes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael307373

Thanks RyagonIV! Great explanation.


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

Wish i can give you a lingot! Thanks for your explanation!


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

Ryagon, would it help to think of "idioma" as "language" and "lengua" as "vernacular" or "linguistic expression?"

Thanks for your explanation!


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

If that helps you remember these words, then sure, that sounds good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pat92981

Yep another good explanation RyagonIV


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

My Spanish textbook contains a chapter called Aprendemos lenguas extranjeras. Is it correct to use lengua this way?


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

Hawwah, sure, that's fine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael307373

I believe the difference matches the two English words they most often directly translate to: 'idoma' = 'language' and 'langua' = 'tongue'. In English the word 'tongue' can be used in place of 'language' in certain contexts. Likewise in Spanish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy178665

According to spanishdict.com lengua=tongue or language and lenguaje=language.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andy178665

I don't mean to imply that "idioma" doesn't mean "language".


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

Is "el" really necessary before "espanol"?


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

Yeah. You're making a statement about the language itself, so you need the article here.


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

Ok I get it...a general statement. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Empezando80

Is there a guideline/rule for using the definite article in Spanish?


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

The definite article in Spanish is used whenever you're referring to something specific. That's pretty much it.

The biggest difference to English is probably how generalisations are handled. English doesn't use articles when you make a generalisation (i.e. claim that some property applies to every instance of some noun), but Spanish does:

  • Snow is white. - La nieve es blanca.
  • I hate apples. - Odio las manzanas.
  • Children don't pay taxes. - Los niños no pagan los impuestos.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Empezando80

Thank you, very helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Canadansk1

Definite articles are used with names of languages in Spanish when the language is the subject of a sentence.

El japonés y el alemán son lenguas difíciles. Japanese and German are difficult languages.

El español me gusta mucho. I really like Spanish.

When a language is the object of a verb, the definite article is not used.

Yo hablo español. I speak Spanish.

Quiero aprender español. I want to learn Spanish.

Me gusta estudiar español. I like to study Spanish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/caz587041

Thank you! That explains why in the 'why don't you teach me german?' one, there is no 'el'. (Por que no me ensenas aleman - i think, from memory)


[deactivated user]

    No kidding.


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

    Why is it 'El Español' and not just 'Español'


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

    We're talking about the concept of the Spanish language, the language itself. It's an abstract noun here, like "love" or "death", and those usually use the definite article in Spanish.


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

    That it is, my friend. That it is.


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

    You have that right!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonesjr876

    Sí, es interesante


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carol813821

    Can not understand the child


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/m.moqaddem

    the language word is not appear in the choices


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0KyfnlOF

    Idioma (el) is the word for language


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/THOMASPESC2

    idiom means language in English (technically) , does idioma mean something different than lengua


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

    "Idiom" does not precisely mean "language".

    Idioma is slightly different from lengua, but colloquially they get interchanged quite a bit. Idioma refers to the language of a particular people or country: "El español es el idioma de muchos países de América del Sur." Lengua is a bit broader, referring to that systematic communication form in general: "Actualmente estoy aprendiendo cuatro lenguas." I would use lenguas in the above sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/THOMASPESC2

    Sounds like translating the phrase as Spanish is an interesting idiom is a better one than what Duo likes


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

    But "idiom" does not mean "language" in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xboy-Hodub

    Do you put 'el' or 'la' when it's a proper noun?


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

    "Proper nouns" are names of things and people, and you usually don't give them articles, like "George" (Jorge), "Spain" (España), or "Walmart" (Walmart).

    The español here is a nominalised adjective, i.e. an adjective that you're using as a noun to represent some concept. Nominalised words (including other types like verbs or numerals) are always masculine in Spanish.

    EDIT: Slight correction here. Nominalised adjectives are usually neutral and use the neutral article lo, like in "Espero lo mejor" - "I hope for the best." The español in this sentence is an actual masculine noun, referring to the Spanish language. (Sep. '19)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarah533242

    Gave me this same sentence earlier to write in english and it was "una" then. Now she's saying "una" and it's marked wrong...


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

    Idioma is a masculine noun, so it never takes una.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelSan410611

    Literally contrdicts the lesson before where 100 people are fighting about idioma/legnua. The previous lesson (in my flow) marked idioma as incorrect.


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

    When do you use idioma vs. lingua?


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

    Idioma refers to the language of a country or a specific group, like "El idioma de Argentina es el español." The term lengua rather refers to a way of speaking, or when talking about the concept of language itself. "No me gusta tu lengua" - "I don't like your language."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CrystalWil60664

    What is the difference between idioma and lenguaje?


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

    I explained that above. In short, idioma refers to what you'd usually call a "language", the form of communication that a specifc group uses to exchange ideas. It's usually bound to that "group" idea, so idioma would be used for the language of a country or the language of professionals, scientists, lawyers, the likes.

    Lengua and lenguaje refer to the way of speaking, and to talk about communcation itself. Lenguaje is what you'd use to talk about colloquial language, dialects, and the like.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CrystalWil60664

    Thanks for responding. After I posted, I’d actually contacted my friend who is Puerto Rican and native speaker. She explained it the same way.

    Thanks for responding so quickly.


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

    It is absolutely correct


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreaGonz109592

    I got 2 words out of my mouth "El espanol" before it counted my answer as wrong before I could even say the entire phrase. Straight up//


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

    Andrea, that sounds like the Duolingo app doesn't have permission to access your microphone. You should check that.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Filip712290

    Estoy de acuerdo!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RajivSriva4

    while speaking the sentence most words change color to blue but sometimes one or two words remain grey . Does it mean that Duo did not catch those due to pronunciation?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tDgIu3X3

    Are Spanish speakers ever reminded (as are English speakers) not to run their words together?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Edricus007

    If interesting means confusing then yes !


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peg-es-bonita

    It's a beautiful and cheerful sounding language and, so far, seems pretty easy which is great for a natural born English speaker because most of us aren't even as good at English as many Europeans ;-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarilynHug3

    Gotta slow down...not a race. I typed: Spanish is an interesting idioma.... I translate and my mind re-translates!!


    [deactivated user]

      why is it "El español" i never understand


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

      I agree with this sentence


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neill267038

      My answer was identical to 'the correct' one, AGAIN!!!!!


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

      When this happens, please reproduce your answer in the forum, using a cut/paste or screenshot if possible, so we can see what you actually wrote. It is likely you have a small error somewhere that escaped your notice. I have never, ever, had an "identical" answer marked wrong. I have often thought my answer was identical, but eventually, I have always found my mistake.

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