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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"?


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!


Whoa! Ratchet back MelCohn. The idea of these bizarre sentences, is not too make you feel warm and cozy about farms or animals. The subject matter here is irrelevant. The whole idea amigo, is to get your attention, so that you will remember the Spanish names of the animals and internalize the construction of the sentences. Read The Yellow Elephant, by Tansel Ali. It focuses on the importance of improving your memory skills. One of the key techniques in the book is to picture weird and/or impossible scenes in your mind and attach them to what you want to recall in the future. This works with almost anything, languages, science, music, math, names, etc. Please note; the very things you are disturbed about, really have your attention! So you will undoubtedly remember them well, from now on. Buena suerte, with your studies amigo and take a look at that book.You'll be glad you did. P.S. Try meditation, it can be a powerful life changing tool when applied correctly. I recommend two other books. Unbeatable Mind and Kokoro Yoga, by former Navy Seal, Mark Divine. Namaste, Edo.


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.


How do you say 'chill out' in espanol?




*tranquilo! You could also say cálmate!


¡Serenidad ahora!


Geez chill out. They're just teaching new words in a fun way.


@JanetMermaid "Geez chill out. They're just teaching new words in a fun way." Jenet I am with you. Duolingo team did a great job with putting together this program. I am grateful every day for being able to use it for free. There is a reason why these stories have animals in them at this stage of learning. They know want they are doing.


Why do you want to be dead serious all the time. Chill! It's learning. It's more fun when taught like this. We came here to learn, not remember some sentences that would be useful on a farm.


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.


Plate should be accepted. We even say in English "Bring a plate" (meaning bring a dish/plate of food to share at a potluck).


You can't cook a plate.


Really?! The photo of that animal dictator criminal bachar al asad who killed many syrians and lebanese people!


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


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.


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


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


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.)


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.


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.


This is ridiculous


Why was 'This plate' rejected


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.


As an editor and ESL instructor I have to disagree with the English translation of this sentence. I've ignored many duo lingo translations that end the sentence with a preposition but this one is particularly egregious. Without further punctuation the only possible way to write this in English is "The cow cooked this dish."


... many duo lingo translations that end the sentence with a preposition but this one is particularly egregious

"It" is not a preposition. It is a pronoun.


I think Sebastian meant "one" to stand for any translation as opposed to a translation that ends with a preposition. That is, I think he meant just "but this translation is..." not "but this translation ending with a preposition is...".

The phrasing was ambiguous, which I must admit is something that an editor should be careful to avoid, but I suspect that he's not actually confusing "it" with a preposition, here.

As for the sentence structure being poor, I certainly agree. However, sometimes we must write down sentences as they actually occur in a conversation rather than how thoughts are best communicated in prose. This is how I view this set of sentences, as a case where perhaps somebody is explaining as they point to the selections in turn: I threw this dish together from leftovers. The cat cooked this one. This dish, the cow cooked it.

Yes, it's a bit awkward. But people do sometimes adopt such seemingly awkward phrasings when speaking.


I sure wouldn't eat it..lol


Can we not use 'meal' instead of 'dish'?


"Meal" would work as a translation for "comida", but it doesn't really work for "plato"; they aren't interchangeable.

"Meal" refers to the whole dining experience, from beginning to end, including multiple courses, and is often meant to include drinks as well. "Este plato" would refer to a single, specific dish within the meal and would definitely only mean food, not drinks.


Ah makes sense. Thanks!


"Plate" should be accepted .Haven't you heard of the #2 enchilada plate. They aren't talking about a ceramic. Spanish has multiple meanings; and english doesn'?


i envisioned the sentence like... well, would you look at that...this plate (everyone look!!) the cow cooked it. The plate meaning all the foods on one plate, vs. the one thing you cooked, on the plate...how do you know which of these scenarios are indicated?


I don't think it matters.


Plate or Dish should be accepted in this translation. Perhaps it is because my parents were British, it is common to say "That was a great fish plate" or "we are having a mixed grill plate for dinner" Here is an explanation of from the English Language Learners website.. "This is an example of synecdoche, a figure of speech which uses part of a thing to mean the thing itself. In this case the word plate (or, in other locales, the dish) means a plate of food."


I dont think you would say that in general conversation.. You would say - The cow cooked this dish


Seriously, it is not often that one would say "The cow cooked this dish"! :) These sentences are just translation exercises to help us learn object pronouns.


Has it always been "este plato"? I thought it would be "esto'.


Yes, it has always been este plato, never esto plato. It is confusing because the singular is este and the plural is estos.

Esto also exists and is a neutral form. There is more info on the Web.




"Esto" is only used as a pronoun, not an adjective. It is gender-neutral, so it would also be used primarily when the gender of the noun it stands for is unknown, either because you don't know it or because it is vague.

  • (You point at an unknown device): What is this? = ¿Qué es esto? ("esto" refers to some unknown thing, so the neutral gender is appropriate)
  • (You received really bad news): This is horrible! = ¡Esto es horrible! ("esto" refers to the general idea of the situation that you are in, not any specific noun, so you can use the neutral pronoun)
  • (Looking at books): This one is interesting. = Este es interesante. ("este" refers to "libro")
  • (Looking through T-shirts): This one is nice. = Esta es bonita. ("esta" refers to "camiseta")

When the noun is given, you cannot ever use "esto":

  • I want this book. = Quiero este libro.
  • I want this table. = Quiero esta mesa.

Confusingly, the plural of "este" is "estos". There is no "estes" with this meaning.

  • I want these books. = Quiero estos libros.
  • I want these tables. = Quiero estas mesas.

The rules are exactly the same for the "that" pronoun/adjective family. "Eso" is gender-neutral and can only be used as a pronoun, and "ese" has "esos" as its plural, not "eses".


"this plate, the cow cooked it" was marked wrong? a plate is a dish is a serving of food!


I think it's because in this case, "dish" refers to the food on the plate. So you wouldn't actually cook a plate, but the food on it.


This dish the cow cooked is the same as this dish the coe cooked it. I don't know why my answer was wrong. Because i didn't finish my sentence with it even though I am already talking about the dish.


As I said in another reply, Duo is following a formula in this section and they require you to provide a translation for "lo", because understanding pronouns is the whole point of the lesson.


Dude I'm just sick of getting the answer wrong when I put plate instead of dish for plato.

At no time in my life as an American English speaker have I ever asked for a dish of food. Always a plate.

Even on menus at Hispanic and Spanish restaurants here, it's small plates, chicken plates, seafood plates. Never dishes.

Be nice if they'd change it already


I tried "this dish was cooked by the cow" as more idiomatic English. List a heart


Very different sentence. The original has two clauses, your answer has only one. The original had the object pronoun lo, and you managed to avoid translating that. And that was the main point of the exercise.

Idiomatic is good, but you must also preserve meaning accurately.


Plato es plate in english


This dish the cow cooked is the same as this dish the cow cooked it. I don't know why my answer was wrong. Because i didn't finish my sentence with it even though I am already talking about the dish.


This dish was cooked by the cow. This really is a the more common way and sounds better, don't you think?. Perdone.


Perhaps, but that is not the point of this lesson. We're learning to put the "it" before the proper verb.


This dish the cow cooked


These sentences sound awkward, but they have a formula that DL is consistently enforcing, and you need to use “he”, “she”, or “it” for “lo” or “la” and use “them” for “los” or “las”. You did not translate “lo”.


The cow must be a female


It's "plate" not ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ "dish"!


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.


My ex is a cow, and it's because of the way she cooked. Haha


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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