Both are correct translations; "patatas" is typically said in Spain while "papas" is typically said in Latin America. Source: http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/potato?toolbar=true
Absolutely. I didn't think about that, but especially with the two items being of different genders, that would have two articles. I just googled papas y frijoles and got a lot of hits. It may be a Columbian dish. Both most types of beans as well as potatoes were originally from the Americas, so it may essentially be quite old. There is also a book entitled Papas y Frijoles; Cuentitas y Poemas Para Honrar a Mi Cultura.
That's actually quite a significant question that isn't being discussed by Duo at all. As a matter of course normal Spanish rules would require both nouns to have articles, whether or not they had the same gender. That's something different in Spanish. The fact that it doesn't here, suggests that patatas y frijoles was somehow a standard paring or dish, like Arroz con pollo or our bacon and eggs. If the things combined to create what is considered one thing, the rule doesn't apply. I did do some research on this. It seemed to have some validity as an entity. I even found a book entitled Patatas y frijoles which basically was talking about growing up in South America. But I didn't find the quantity or the quality of hits I would have gotten had I googled either arroz con pollo or bacon and eggs, so I have no idea how widespread it is.
Good question, but I don't think there's a good answer. In other words, I think this sentence should take the definite article for both or neither of them. Requiring it for one and not the other seems to be an overly literal translation. It's possible there's a dish called "potatoes and beans," but I doubt it would be expressed in Spanish using "y " rather than "con."
If Duo rejects a translation that includes both "las " and "los," it should probably be reported. It seems to me that saying "las patatas y frijoles " is a bit like saying "the (specific) potatoes and (some) beans," with the parenthetical words added to clarify the sense of the phrase."
Yes. I came into this discussion to find out whether there was a particular Latin or Spanish dish called potatoes and beans, but I had the same feeling. Actually I hadn't even realized that this impression was based on the lack of the second article. I just recognized it as being one thing. I suppose if they used equal parts of potatoes and beans in the recipe, y would be appropriate. Con does generally assume a lesser amount in a food. That's why the Spanish name is Arroz con pollo, but we would call it Chicken and/with rice, since the chicken is more "important" as the protein.
This is a strange one. Patatas y frijoles is actually the name of a particular dish in Latin America, although I have actually only seen it as papas y frijoles or papas con frijoles. As it is considered one thing, it only requires one article, which is apparently the feminine one. But if this were any sort of list in Spanish, ALL nouns would require their own article, regardless of gender. It's one of the ways that Spanish differs from English. I am surprised that this dish is used on Duo because it isn't a well known dish, at least I hadn't heard of it. I googled it just because it didn't follow the grammar rules. There is even a book entitled Papas y Frijoles.
In English, the nuance of "We try potatoes and beans" is that doing this is one of the permanent or longstanding characteristics of the group of people who "try potatoes and beans." Also, the nuance of "We are trying potatoes and beans" is that this group of people who are "trying potatoes and beans" do so on a regular basis or are actively doing so at the present moment.
English-speaking people often use simple present tense or continuous/progressive tense interchangeably in situations where Spanish-speaking people would mostly use present tense. Depending on the nuance to be conveyed, either interpretation of "Probamos las patatas y frijoles" is acceptable and correct English.
The translation says "THE potatoes and beans" as if it is a mixture like rice and beans. Would it be any different (i.e. requiring "los" for frijoles or no definite articles) if the potatoes and beans were segregated on the plate like the beans and rice are like in Mexican dishes ?
Let's (do something) is the we imperative form. Vamos is one of only three nosotros imperative forms that is irregular and the only one that is the same as the nosotros indicative form. All other nosotros imperatives use the related subjunctive form. So to say Let's try the potatoes and beans you have to make a subtle but important change. It would be Probemos las patatas y frijoles.
No, that would be Probemos. The "let's" do something is the English form of the "we" imperative. The nosotros imperative form uses the subjunctive. The only exceptions are with ir and irse. Vamos and vámonos are the imperative forms for these verbs. Vaya is only subjunctive.