"They are an Italian family" should be accepted and I have reported it. Here is a useful definition of a collective noun and its gramatical usage, American commenters please note: Examples of collective nouns include group, crowd, family, committee, class, crew, and the like. In the US, collective nouns are usually followed by a singular verb ( the crowd was nervous), while in Britain it is more common to follow a collective noun with a plural verb ( the band were late for their own concert).
i dunno "It is an..." sounds kinda strange and impersonal in the family context. "they are an ..." sounds more, well, familiar.
It's all about context. "Who is staying at the bed and breakfast next Friday?" "Let me look. It's an Italian family."
I agree and i put "they are" despite knowing family is singular. lol
"Es" at the beginning of a sentence translates as "It is" like it or not. And not as "they are". Like it or not. However much anyone would like to mold Spanish to their own taste, it is to no avail.
That's not really how translation works, though. Oftentimes word-for-word translation leads to less natural if not downright incorrect results.
For example, would you translate "¿Cuándo son tus vacaciones?" word-for-word as "When are your vacations?"
Translating it correctly as "When is your vacation?" isn't a matter of "molding" Spanish to one's taste, it's a matter of correctly communicating the same concept across multiple languages, each with different rules and quirks.
So how come "se llama" also translates as "name is", not just "is called"?
Then how would you translate "no es una familia italiana "? See how "pluralizing" it doesn't work now?
In English we would not say "It is an Italian family", no. "They are an Italian family", is correct.
actually, depending on context, it is wrong. you would use "it is" because "family" is a cumulative noun. even though it is made up of several people, it is one body. kind of like how you would say "a team".
"They're a good team" sounds fine to me. And yes yes I do know about collective nouns, and also that English grammar is evolutive.
I think AE and BE differ oncumulative nouns. I was taught that if they act differently, use a plural verb, like the family disagree on where to go, but the Galilee likes going to the moves together. But personally I just use singular with the actual collective noun, but could see using they here.
Nevertheless, "Es un familia Italiana" translates as, " It is an Italian family."