"Idioma" is one of several masculine words ending in "-ma": tema, problema, programa, drama, clima, etc.
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.
Thanks!!! Knowing the history behind the rule helps keep the rule in mind. Here's a lingot!
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.
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.
Ryagon, would it help to think of "idioma" as "language" and "lengua" as "vernacular" or "linguistic expression?"
Thanks for your explanation!
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.
Yeah. You're making a statement about the language itself, so you need the article here.
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.
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?
idiom means language in English (technically) , does idioma mean something different than lengua
"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.
Sounds like translating the phrase as Spanish is an interesting idiom is a better one than what Duo likes
"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)
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...
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.
Literally contrdicts the lesson before where 100 people are fighting about idioma/legnua. The previous lesson (in my flow) marked idioma as incorrect.
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."
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.
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.