Translation:Do the ladies speak English or Spanish?
Only by the context. There is a tense which expresses something is happening now, that would be "están hablando", i.e. estar + participle. (I already finished the German-Spanish course and learned that there; English speakers know the concept of continuous tenses, they don't exist in German.)
The comments on this and some other topics show some basic flaws in this approach: (1) This is not an English course. Yet the user interface is in English. (2) This is not a translation course. But for most questions the students are asked to translate an English text into Spanish or re-write Spanish sentences in English. The problems are obvious. I don't know what percentage of the people using this course are fluent in English. Shortcomings on that side may make it difficult to accomplish the task. Translating a text means that you first need to understand the meaning. Then you put that meaning into the target language, preserving the style and level of formality or informality. That may mean that the structure of the original sentence changes.
But that is not how duolingo works. You are expected to translate the original text almost word for word. I have noticed that even moving the word "sometimes" (a veces) from the end to the middle of a sentence upsets the system. So, now I stick to word for word translation. I have also learned to use American terms instead of British English. I also pay attention to what preposition I am expected to use. I'm learning how to please the system - and I may even learn some Spanish in the process.
So, unless you know of a better free course, keep your head down and do as the Big Brother says.
The differences are subtle but real. When it is about languages, we use 'speak'. IMO your translation is reasonable but has a slightly different meaning. Check out https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/speak-or-talk
A consistent problem with Duolingo. Questions are not asked as questions (go back an listen to the audio). This sentence is "The ladies speak English or Spanish." The problem is amplified because there is no consistency to subject-verb placement in Spanish. Ugh. [and while we're at it, I read this as "Ladies speak English or Spanish" and not "THE ladies"]
Los verbos están mal usados. En español no es lo mismo "hablar" que "estar hablando". La traducción de Duplingo es incorrecta. Las mujeres pueden hablar inglés, español, francés y ruso pero en este momento estar hablando en español. Duolingo confunde y traduce mal.
Ewan83, Trust me, I'm glad I'm not a man trying to figure out what to call a woman these days! But to err on the side of respect is better than to show disrespect, IMO! I LIKE respect and polite behavior; I believe the world could use more of it! I don't pay a lot of attention to "politically correct" speech, personally.
Like EugeneTiffany said above, I think Duo is trying to teach the difference between Señoras y mujeres.
Las is definite article for Femlaes and Los is for Males, Right? Do we have for neuter?
You can tap on somebody's Duolingo name in the comments and it will take you to their profile you can see a lot of things it tells you about that particular persons stuff like what language they are learning and you can see what league they are in. What friends they have. There is also a chart that tells you about your xp and compares you with the person who is looking.
if anyone is asking"are the ladies speaking English or Spanish right,here is the answer. so if you were asking them you would not even have to ask because"are" means they are doing something right now so if they are speaking a language you would know witch one it is or was if you speak English
Greetings. SInce my previous comment on this post, I have learned a bit. My current understanding yields a translation of, "Do the ladies speak Spanish or English?" My only ongoing question has to do with punctuation. In English, without proper punctuation, this sentence could mean, "Do the ladies speak Spanish, or do they speak English?" OR it could mean, "Do the ladies speak (either) English or Spanish?" The difference is in whether the ladies speak only Spanish, or only English; or, whether they speak English or Spanish, equally. "Las senoras hablan ingles o espanol?" means, "Do the ladies speak either English or Spanish?". "Las senoras hablan ingles, or espanol?" means, "Do the ladies speak English, or do they speak Spanish?"
I would recommend that you never use 'madams' in the plural as it has another meaning that would be extremely inappropriate here. This sentence isn't speaking directly to the ladies, it is asking someone else a question about the ladies. If question were being directed at the ladies, it would be, 'Do you speak English or Spanish, ladies?'
No, not quite. As a form of address, with no actual name being used, the speaker would say, "Ma'am, do you need help?" (Just an example.) "Ma'am" is the accepted contraction of "Madam", or "Madame". But in Duo's question, the proper translation is "ladies". There will probably be objections from some who feel that there should be no difference between "ladies" and "women", but I am old-school, and in my mind there is a clear (sometimes very clear) difference. I hope that this explanation helps.
NishminCoo your suggestion - "son hablan" - combines two conjugated, personal, verb forms, something like saying in English "are speak".
As in English, the progressive/continuous tense in Spanish is formed using a verb + participle (gerundio). Spanish uses "estar" not "ser" as the conjugated verb so "they are speaking" could be translated as "están hablando".
See this ThoughtCo article on the Spanish progressive.
Hello, Julie204804. So sorry, but especially in North American English, the two words do have different connotations. Aside from that, I am confident that no English conversation would include the question, "Do the madames speak English or Spanish?" Please take my word that "ladies" is the preferred translation here. All the best, and may you and yours stay safe in this turbulent time.
Hello, GetrudeAgy. Yes, I can fully understand your frustration, when the difference seems to come down to just two letters (en). However, Duo's question properly translates as, " Do the ladies speak English or Spanish?" That is different from your answer, as I am sure you will agree. As for myself, I do feel that there remains some ambiguity here. "Do the ladies speak English, or do they speak Spanish" is still different from, "Do the ladies (who are from France) speak (maybe) English, or (we hope) Spanish?" I hope that I have helped, and not merely added to the confusion. All the best.
I am sorry that you feel that way, Richie835810. However, the two words are different in both languages. "Mujeres" translates as, "women", and "senoras" (apologies for lack of accent) translates as "ladies". Put aside for the moment, please, your feelings about the equivalency of "ladies", and "women", and try to consider them as different WORDS, just as "cats" and "kittens", or "rocks" and "stones" are different words. They have similarities, but they are not identical. If you really want to progress in learning Spanish with Duolingo, then my best and most heartfelt advice is to try to give up your grasp on what you hold as accurate English, and embrace Spanish, as presented in the Duo lessons. Not perfect, but pretty close, and also . . . free. All the best, and please stay safe.
Hello, HeavenliBl. You did not provide your actual, complete answer, so I can only guess that you may be referring to, "Do the ladies speak English or Spanish?" This sentence is correct, with the exception of the ambiguity resulting from a lack of punctuation. This could cause the reader some confusion as to whether the question being asked is, "Do the ladies speak English, or do they (on the other hand) speak Spanish?" OR, "Do the ladies speak (one or both of) English or Spanish?" My point here is that punctuation is important. I hope that I have been able to help you. Merry Christmas, and please stay safe and well.
Hello, joEPQ9. Your query is not very detailed, but I assume that you are troubled by the objection to your use of "women", when the correct word here is "ladies". Putting aside all societal standards and judgments, the simple fact is that these are two different words. "Cups" and "glasses"; "plates" and "platters"; "weeds" and "flowers" . . . they all have some degree of similarity, but they are not the same. I hope this helps. All the best.
madam is not generally used as a synonym for woman/lady.
It is a polite form of address e.g. "Excuse me, madam...": this may be how you have seen Duo using it.
Otherwise, it may refer to a woman who runs a brothel. In British English it can describe a young girl who is "too big for her boots" e.g. "She's a right little madam".
Hello, Wilytalk. I am just a student, like yourself, but I am a lifelong speaker of English. It is my opinion that the word "madams" has very limited use in everyday English. In the context of this question, it is my opinion that "ladies" is the only appropriate translation. All the best.