the owl went out to eat dinner AND the owl left to dine were both rejected July 7, 2018. I reported both.
Both are better literal translations, but I'm confused here because I don't really know grammar--seems like in the english sentence "out to dinner", the word "dinner" is effectively a noun, just like "restaurant"., while "cenar" is a verb. But presumably "salio a la cena" isn't grammatically correct in Spanish, and it so, you can't literally translate "the owl went out to dinner."
I think its great when Duo's perferred translation is "natural" (in spite of difficulties as reflected in the endless arguments about what it natural), but I sure wish they'd always take the literal translation when it makes sense.
So what gives here? The Mexican folks I know always say "tecolote". Obviously good to know both words, but I thought Duo was largely Mexican/Latin American spanish?
The Spanish word is búho. Tecolote is a Nahuatl (Aztec) word that many Spanish speakers use, too.
Chris Davie, it is mainly Latin American, but it accepts answers from peninsular Spain as well as the Argentinian voseo forms. You might try supplementing it with the Lightspeed Spanish podcasts, which is run by a native speaker from Spain and her husband. I run into a bit of confusion with it sometimes because he speaks UK English, so I'm double-translating (UK English to US English to Spanish) occasionally.
(NOTE: Answer edited for corrections as new information was provided by EseEmeErre.)
Ahhh, thank you, EseEmeErre. Someone had told me that Catalan was another word for Castellano. I should have verified that instead of taking them at their word. I edited my above answer to reflect your correction in case someone reads my answer but not your response.
To follow up, a large portion of Latin America uses "Castellano" to refer to the language they speak, which is decidedly not Peninsular / European Spanish. It doesn't really distinguish between Spanish dialects.
Thank you very much for the information, EseEmeErre. I looked up some information online and apparently I've been not only getting two similar terms confused and not really using either of them correctly (Castellano and Castilian). Thanks for being the impetus to look this stuff up!
you will offend them if you call them dialects
Yes. I was referring to the various dialects of Spanish, not the other languages of the Iberian Peninsula. I referred to one of those other languages, Catalan, as a language not a dialect.
I'm glad to hear you say that, jml. I need the mnemonic: Dúo el búho está en el aula.
Saying went out to dinner is necessary for the translation to be accurate. You can go to dinner without leaving your house (or wherever you happen to be). Salir+a specifically implies going out to do something, whether eating dinner or watching a baseball game.
Owls don't just go to dinner, they go 'out' to dinner, they are very social beings and like to party hard, so they insist on going out whenever they have dinner.
I put "the owl left to eat" and that was wrong - fair enough - but the correct translation was given as "the owl went out to tea". Just kind of amusing.
Señor Buho me dijo que "The owl went out to dine" es correcto. 3 Septiembre 18. Yo pienso que "...went out to dinner" would be "...salió a cena." ¿No?
The verb cenar means "to eat dinner" which can be translated as "to dine" although saying "to dine" sounds a bit archaic or formal in English (at least to my ear). As I mentioned to GarethViejoLento, the phrase salir a literally translates to "to go out to" and when accompanied by cenar, the full phrase means "to go out to dinner." Think salir a + cenar (or any of the "meal verbs") as a set phrase which really only has one translation: salir a cenar (or desayunar/almorzar/comer) should always translate to "to go out to dinner" (or breakfast/lunch/eat)
The verb salir takes on slightly different meanings depending on the preposition that accompanies it. Salir para means to "to leave for", while salir a + [infinitivo] means "to go out to [infinitive]".
No, I'd say the more correct translation is "to go out to dinner." When you see salir a cenar (or desayunar / almorzar / comer), these words together form a set phrase that means one thing: "to go out to dinner (or breakfast / lunch / eat)". It looks as if Duo has added "the owl went out to dine" as an acceptable alternate translation, even though it's not the best or most natural translation.
But the Spanish sentence specifies dinner. The owl went out to eat (generically) would be el búho salió a comer.
I also agree that "the owl went out to eat" should be accepted, because it's the same thing as saying "the owl went out for dinner".
I disagree. "Went out to eat" would include "went out to eat breakfast" (salió a desayunar), or for that matter any of the morning meals, such as second breakfast or elevenses. You can also go "out to eat" a snack.
When you look into the comments because you laughed when you read the sentence and everyone just talks about grammar rules. Fair enough. Still funny though.
Duolingo translation: The owl went out to tea and also the owl went out for dinner,// Why is my translation wrong: The owl went out to eat, I should get a gold medal.
The verb cenar means specifically to eat dinner or to dine (though that seems a bit archaic). Comer means "to eat". Accordingly Duo accepts "tea" because that's how a significant portion of England refers to their evening meal. "Going out to eat" isn't specific to a particular meal, so it's not a good translation here.
Comer = to eat, and cenar = to dine/to have dinner. What don't you understand?
I agree, "the owl went out to eat" should be accepted, because it's the same thing as saying "the owl went out for dinner". I've reported it.