"El español es un idioma interesante."

Translation:Spanish is an interesting language.

April 22, 2018

62 Comments


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

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

April 22, 2018

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

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

April 22, 2018

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

Thanks for the "-ma" tip!

June 18, 2018

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.

July 15, 2018

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

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

June 27, 2019

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

THANKS for the explanation.

March 24, 2019

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

Thank you that's worth a Lingot

February 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anne813720

Because un is solo and una es feminine

May 16, 2019

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

Idioma is masculine here anything that ends with pa or ma is masculine

February 13, 2019

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

Except for papa, etapa, Europa, carpa, culpa, trupa, ropa, copa, sopa, arma, alma, crema, coma, suma, flama, llama, dama, or pluma.

It's really only a fraction of words ending on '-ma', '-pa', or '-ta' that are masculine.

February 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anne813720

It is un because it is one and feminine

May 16, 2019

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

August 18, 2018

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.

November 25, 2018

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

Thanks RyagonIV! Great explanation.

November 25, 2018

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!

June 27, 2019

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

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

June 27, 2019

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

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

August 25, 2019

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

Yep another good explanation RyagonIV

January 25, 2019

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.

September 10, 2018

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

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

October 20, 2018

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

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

October 26, 2018

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

Is "el" really necessary before "espanol"?

February 13, 2019

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

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

February 13, 2019

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

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

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephPasc16

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

October 9, 2019

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.
October 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosephPasc16

Thank you, very helpful.

October 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RogerJames5

ALL languages are interesting! I wish I had more lives to learn/learn about them! An extra language is never a burden. Do you hear me, Brits?

July 9, 2018

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

I hear :-))

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rayz100bc

Es verdad

March 27, 2019

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

the language word is not appear in the choices

June 27, 2018

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

Idioma (el) is the word for language

August 15, 2018

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

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

December 14, 2018

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.

December 14, 2018

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

December 14, 2018

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

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

August 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ESK_22

Nos sabemos

January 3, 2019

[deactivated user]

    No kidding.

    January 25, 2019

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

    Sí, es interesante

    February 24, 2019

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

    Sí, sí.

    May 5, 2019

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

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

    May 17, 2019

    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)

    May 18, 2019

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

    Keeps marking me wrong - can't see the error

    May 19, 2019

    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...

    June 5, 2019

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

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

    June 5, 2019

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

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

    July 1, 2019

    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.

    July 1, 2019

    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.

    August 7, 2019

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

    When do you use idioma vs. lingua?

    August 24, 2019

    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."

    August 24, 2019

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

    OMG- They use this phase a dozen times!!!

    September 10, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AverageTeen12

    That it is, my friend. That it is.

    September 19, 2019

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

    What is the difference between idioma and lenguaje?

    September 26, 2019

    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.

    September 27, 2019

    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.

    September 27, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ibrahim953516

    What is the answer?

    May 18, 2019

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anne813720

    Una es masculine

    May 16, 2019

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

    Una is a feminine article.

    May 17, 2019
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