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  5. "Este plato, la vaca lo cocin…

"Este plato, la vaca lo cocinó."

Translation:This dish, the cow cooked it.

June 15, 2018



I'm in the farm section. I grew up around farms. You can actually come up with better sentences then farm animals cooking and cleaning. Real work happens on farms. I don't see dogs checking into hotels over in the other sections, and that is more realistic! You could set up some scenarios like "Watch out for the cow manure in the field" or "Can you feed the chickens, please?" or "Close the door so the horses don't get out." I like children's storybooks well enough, but I also like real life. These sentences are just getting a bit irritating.


I think the point is to force us to think through the syntax and grammar and not just grope and guess the answers. It makes no sense for pigs to clean floors. But it de-naturalizes the sentence, forcing us to rely less on context clues and more on what we know about Spanish word-oder (syntax) and conjugation. There are deeper, linguistic-based, second language acquisition principles at play in Duolingo than we realize. Having algunas cercos clean some pisos is not simply meant to make some of us laugh (or confuse my six-year-old when she "helps" me with my Duolingo). It is designed to program our brains so we retain and can then recall our second-language knowledge. Google "brain-based learning AND second language acquisition" for more info.


Although I didn't take the time to do the googling you suggest, Miguel, I agree with you that there is probably more going on with Duo's prompts than we realize.

My question isn't about the prompts being "silly" but whether it would be as productive to use prompts that do not cause learners to complain about the English syntax. I think that could be possible by not confining prompts to one sentence. For example, couldn't the one above have been ¿Pruebas este plato? La vaca lo cocinó. Perhaps that could have achieved Duo's purpose--and more--without the distraction of "weird English"?


Hi, The humour in these lessons aside, let's self teach among ourselves. May I suggest that you post a new thread on the forum, with a raft of just the sentences and asking proficient speakers to please tell us how they say that? And to post pictures so we can learn by association? Perhaps some common signs too! (Anything that sounds like a complaint may bring on unnecessary arguments.)

I hope you might want to invite replies how things are said in different areas.

PS I can't do this because I don't know farms well enough although I'd love to live on one. I do dream to.


I agree. They could have easily made this unit a bit more useful to someone that might actually find themselves on a farm and needing to speak some Spanish.


And much more boring to the rest of us!


How do you say 'chill out' in espanol?


Would this be acceptable? This plate (as in dish or plate of food), the cow cooked it. DL marked it wrong.


I thought that dish and plate were synonymous in English. They are in other sections of Duolingo.


There are subtle differences in the use of 'dish' and 'plate' in English. We can say 'do the dishes' (meaning wash the plates) but we would never say 'cook this plate'. In this instance, one would say 'cook this dish', referring to the food/meal/recipe, not the plate it is served on. At the same time, I have often heard on Masterchef the judges referring to a 'plate of food' which could also be expressed as 'a dish', although the use of 'dish' would be a more general reference to the recipe than the specific plate of food in front of you that you are judging for flavour, texture, appearance and presentation, etc. I am very intrigued by 'nuance' in language and can't wait to get to that level of expertise in Spanish. It'll take years, I know and it'll probably never happen if I don't get to travel and live in a Spanish speaking part of the world again. Hey ho! In another life, eh?


Good post! There are many examples of words that have very similar meanings, yet are used differently depending on the situation. You illustrated that well for dish/plate.

Also, you embrace learning those nuances! That is a good example to follow.


This sentence, my school teachers would all hate it. In English the most likely way to make it acceptable would be to punctuate it as follows: This dish? The cow cooked it. If DL is not going to open the punctuation can of worms (fine by me!) I would suggest allowing a more proper English translation like: "The cow cooked this dish."


"The cow cooked this dish" is now accepted. 05 March 2019


The "it" seems redundant in English. "This dish, the cow cooked" flows better but was rejected.


I think that their version is training our mind to 'think Spanish'.

For myself, I'd prefer two presentations where required: a literal one and a well-translated one. But that could become messy and still bring on debates.


The sentence that you proposed, David219902, is NOT colloquial English. In fact, it does not even have the same meaning as the sentence of the lesson.


I had the same answer rejected too and would say this is perfectly accurate English


Hilarious how angry some get at these unusual farm animal questions. Maybe it's effective at searing information into brains, the way annoying ads do.


I think there is some method behind their madness. I picture in my mind animals doing these things. It slows me a little, but that is a good thing. I have a tendency to speed through the lessons.


Maybe it should of been "The cow cooked the dish". Equally dumb but somewhat more understandable


It is now accepted, but 'this' dish, not 'the' dish. While we're on the subject of grammar, RahulSood1, you said 'Maybe it should of been'. This is not correct English, although many people, annoyingly, make this error. It is 'should have been'. How would you translate 'should of been' from English to Spanish? (Just think about it.)


Were I a duobot, I'd shoot down that English translation at once!


Just made a long explanation. Computer dumped it. Shorter version: "plato" as thing to put food on—DL happily takes "dish" or "plate". When the food on plate is the focus DL is much happier to see "dish". Go with the flow, reduce your error count and report.


I put 'This dish was cooked by the cow' seems a reasonable translation but not accepted.


You switched to passive voice, and DL doesn't accept that unless a translation like that is much more natural and colloquial English. Better to punctuate it correctly, as mojavejeeper did above.


This is ridiculous


Why was 'This plate' rejected


Dish and plate mean about the same in this context in English. You have serve a nice Spanish dish, or this plate of Spanish food mean the same thing.


You could argue that, but "dish" is a better translation.


plate of food ? dish ? i sometimes use google translate to check and a little bit worried they might be thinking they are dealing with a crank when i ask about cows cooking dishes ?


I had the answer as above but changed it to "The cow cooked this dish" as it is a more likely to be said this way in English. It annoys me to no end getting marked wrong for this.


Our job is to translate accurately, not to improve the sentence.


The cow cooked this plate should be accepted


In this context, the best translation for plato is "dish". Try not to be influenced too much by words that sound or look alike.


The cow must be a female


Maybe they are referring to a fat cook? It's a stupid sentence and I can't understand anybody ever using it!


Doubt it. Though "vache" in French can have just that meaning, this student has yet to see "vaca" used that way anywhere (Though with the speed el castellano has been changing in recent decades, just about anything can happen!). A more common injuria for your unfortunate cook involving an animal would be "cerda."


These Duolingo sentences are translation exercises. Even if they don't make sense, they can easily be translated accurately. They feature useful points of language. That is what we require to learn Spanish.

I wish nonsense sentences like this had been introduced earlier in the Spanish tree. (They are in other trees, for instance the Dutch tree. Example: "Excuse me, I am an apple.") Illogical but grammatically-correct sentences put the emphasis on translation and keep users from trying to figure out and arguing about contexts.


When one is learning a language, it would be much more valuable and sensible to have content that is logical. Grammar and good usage operating in logical sentences is a much more useful tool for people starting out. A robot could translate illogical sentences but a person would generally want to say something significant or at least, this person would. the rest is a waste of my time. Bottom line is that I want language I can use practically. When I get better I can play with humour but I can't imagine when I would use my time to utter ridiculous statements as you seem to enjoy doing.

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