"The waiter speaks Portuguese."

Translation:El camarero habla portugués.

June 20, 2018

This discussion is locked.


La camarera habla portugués - should be accepted.


That would only be if it was the waitress instead of waiter.


Actually, waiter is regarded as a gender-neutral term, because we use it when we aren't sure whether we're being served by a man or a woman (and there are obvious situations where this happens).


Or, in other words, when the gender is unknown, Spanish uses the masculine.


I thought this too, and then the picture accompanying the question was clearly of a female so I used " la camarera" and was marked wrong. Duo is consistently inconsistent


Not everyone gets a photo with the lesson. I did not have a photo.


Exactly my thoughts!


I used La camarera bc of the photo


I agree. English is a masculine dominant language. You can say "waiter" or "actor" to refer to a female and it's perfectly fine. You can also call a group of women "guys" and it's okay. However, the inverse is untrue. I agree that "la camarera" is an acceptable translation here, since "waiter" is gender ambiguous.


This isnt masculine dominance, though. Waiter and actor are not masculine. They are neutral. The definitions do not say "a man who...", they say "one who..." there is no gender specific term in english for a male waiter or a male actor.


It is regarded as "gender neutral" by those who don't know the problems related to "gendered" language.

For example, they are using the neuter "e" vowel instead of gendered spelling, for example "les" for "los/los."

Not that, at this time there is a movement in South American (argentina) to push for truly gender neutral language. They are using the neuter "e" form (example, "les/las.




You are politically correct here. Thank you.


@GraceandRu1I've a slight objection against a part of your comment that say

"...when we aren't sure whether we're being served by a man or a woman..."

Well, let's consider, in what condition we will say,

"The waiter speaks Portuguese."

Either— the narrator has seen (or saw, or had seen, or whatever !) the waiter speaking Portuguese while (s)he entered (or...) the place of action / while they (narrator and waiter) interacted lastly (or in case of regular customer, as usual).

or— the narrator somehow heard the waiter's voice but didn't/couldn't(/hasn't/hadn't) see(n) him/her.

or— ......

In both of the first two cases it's highly possibile (less in 2nd case though...) that the narrator is well aware of what (s)he, from own point of view, (whoa, don't tell me the world isn't judgmental!) thinks about the waiter's gender.

—How ?
Don't ask me, the narrator noticed, and so, already reminded us very very much well that the waiter "speaks Portuguese".


See but you have SO many assumptions in what you wrote.

I think it's actually quite possible this sentence could be used in real life. Consider a group of fútbol players hours out to a celebratory dinner. One person hadn't arrived yet, but the hostess agrees to to ahead and seat the party at their table. Then because the party is a group of Portuguese fútbol players, the hostess courteously tells the group their waiter will be able to speak portugués with them. But then the hosts forgets to mention the server's name before walking away. When the last member of the party arrives, the group shares the pleasant news with their friend.

I understand you're applying the concept of "Would this ever really be used?" toward lessons with Duo. However, there will always be a situation in which a sentence or question can be used. So it's really a waste of effort and time. Better to just make sure you can translate it, should it ever be used.


Well, partially, you got me wrong. It really feels like this sentence can be used in many ways. And, I'm not complaining at Duo at all.^^
I said that because, "sometimes", we may "intentionally" call someone "waiter" without regarding the gender. Maybe, they could like it that way. Or, maybe, it could be a small step towards gender equality...
And, there's nothing as assumption, all of the pre-mentioned situations can happen in the real world.
And thanks for sharing this wonderful story. :)

Happy learning! Have a lingot.^^


Actually, just because many people may use waiter to refer to both when the gender is unknown, that doesnt make it the rule. The proper way would simply be to say "we are waiting on the waiter or waitress" when the gender is unspecified. The same way youd say "he or she".


Language, and its rules, are constantly evolving. To many these days "waiter or waitress" or "he or she" is too clunky, long, and binary. While I was rebuked by my grade school teacher for using "they" as a gender-neutral word for a single individual, by the time I was in college it was accepted. I think we'll find more and more gender neutral options in the dictionaries and rulebooks as time passes


So waitress is a gender-neutral term, too, i suppose.


No it's not. No one thinks that. What are you trying to achieve here?


PX, 'waiter' can be gender-neutral because in English (and Spanish under certain circumstances), the masculine form of a noun/ pronoun does double-duty, representing not only males, but also females, when the person's gender is unknown. You should know this already.

None of that has anything to do with restricting the vocabulary of English or Spanish, and that would be obvious to anyone who wasn't trolling.


Yes, it does have to do with trolling. If you read what I said closely, you'll notice that I said that camarero is gender-neutral in Spanish under specific circumstances. Your observation that it is the Spanish which matters says absolutely nothing against my last post.


We are translating from English to Spanish. In Spanish it matters, if you say camarera or camarero. That is as easy as it can get. Obviously that has nothing to do with trolling.


How can waiter be a gender-neutral term then? Well, that isn't so important. What's achievable here is quite simple: The expansion of a language according to the needs of the people who speak it. Obviously that isn't a gender relevant thing, it's relevancy based on current needs of expression. Makes no sense to restrict a language, it's vocabulary, to the level of one small fraction of speakers, when both English and Spanish belong to the most wide spread languages on this planet.


we have some feminine gender words due to outdated usage from other languages like german and french. Other than that english is almost completely gender neutral. Waitress, stewardess, hostess, all relatively useless gender qualifications.


It's acceptable in English to call a female waiter a waiter.


Sounds absurd to speak for women like that. I'd ask first. Additionally it is an achievement of language to be able to visualize differences wherever possible.


I'm not speaking for anyone. This is not a discussion of how things should be, just of how they are. 'Waiter' can refer to a waiter of any gender and the app should reflect that.

It's worth having different words for important or relevant differences but there's no more point having a special word for a female waiter as there is for a tall waiter (waitall?) or a shy waiter (washyter?) or a black waiter (blaiter?). 'Waitress' is not an achievement, it's superfluous at best. However, we have it and it should be accepted for this answer. Because that's what this discussion is actually about.


I disagree, outlined that above. Makes no sense to restrict language to the needs of a fraction of it's speakers for one, and it's evolving all the time according to the needs of speakers as well. More importantly we are translating from English to Spanish, where any camarera doesn't want to be called camarero, because she isn't.


In english a woman can still be called a waiter.


It accepted me translating camarera to waiter in a previous lesson, but not here


What was the sentence?


Of course it would be only, if it was a waitress.


Bro, you have so many dislikes...


Came here with the same doubt too. Eg- When either 'maestra' or 'meastro' is accepted in general terms with "Another correct solution" displayed with the other gender, I think this should be accepted too.


Still not accepted 24Nov2020.


I think same....!!!!!!!!!!


I answered exactly as requested. That's the second correct answer


Waiter is male.


'La Camarera habla portugués' should be accepted because in the English language, the word waiter can be applied to both males and female, and therefore the individual translating can choose whether to use the masculine or feminine word for 'waiter' in Spanish.


mesero is another word for waiter and should be accepted


La camarera habla portugués should be accepted


"la camarera is "waitress" not "waiter"


Most people dont say waitress in English to refer to a female waiter. Its a bit old fashioned. She is a waiter is perfectly acceptable in English


This is not an advertisement for another Spanish learning app/site, but the link I will provide has the rules for the masculine/feminine issue that seems to be prevalent here. Skip through the advertising portions of the page and just read the 8 rules.

As to whether a female can be called a waiter, not in Spanish. If you are staring at her and you definitely know the gender, then she is a waitress. If there is a room of wait staff of mixed genders, then in Spanish they are waiters.



The waiter in inglush can be male and female so if i translate in female it should be eccepted


Couldn't it be la camarera?


There are a lot of arguments about this but disregarding them (for the purpose of this sentence translation):

"la camarera" = "waitress"
"el camarero" = "waiter"


You are correct that "la camarera" would most accurately be translated to "waitress," and "el camarero" would most accurately be translated to "waiter," but the inverse is not true.

The fact is that many women who speak English fluently prefer to refer to themselves as "waiters," and that is understood to be grammatically correct. The very link you shared above makes that clear if you keep reading it. Stubbornly refusing to acknowledge this invalidates both the lived experiences of many AND the English language as it is used.


The interesting thing is that it's the non-American dictionaries that refer to waiter as a masculine term. Merriam-Webster for example (an American dictionary) does not. This Duolingo course usually follows American form.


The word waiter is a job title or position nothing to do with gender either answer should be accepted


Why wouldn't -La camarera habla portugués - be accepted. Are we all assuming that the waiter is a man ? Isn't that sexist ? That's like saying "the teacher is ... " is going to be "el maestro ..." I would've said, "la maestra ... " It's the 21st century, people, get on with the gender equality !!!


The English sentence doesn't indicate the gender of the server. "Waiter" is gender neutral so "la camarera" should be accepted.


FIx this, the feminine should also be accepted.


Other people have asked why we can't use "mesero" but I suspect there's a reason. Anyone want to explain the difference between "mesero" and "camarero"?


I submitted feedback on it.


Maybe it is a female wsitress


Picture looks like a female, hence, la camarera should be correct


Dude, there are many type of questions that Duo asks. The visual animations are one of them all...

And, one thing, is it simply enough to just look from the surface and predict the depth of water?

It was marked right doesn't mean we thought correctly, right?
Remember school tests ;) !!

Hope it helps.^^


Can someone tell me the correct answer


"El camarero habla portugués"


don't understand it because it says 'CamerO' and then wants you to put 'HablA'?


Because camarero is 3rd person singular, and the present tense 3rd person singular form of hablar is habla. It has nothing to do with the gender of the waiter.


What's the difference between él and el


él - is used in places where "he/him" is used. Eg- He eats apples would be "él come manzanas" (Verbs are conjugated with respect to the Subject Pronouns. You can check that out here https://www.spanish411.net/Spanish-Subject-Pronouns.asp https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/subject-pronouns-in-spanish )

As all objects fall under a particular gender, with respect to the gender (el is used for objects under masc and La is used for objects under fem) el- is used to specify an object that falls under masculine gender. Eg - El carro (The car), El Gato (The cat)

Hope it helped a bit :)


Y is it habla and not hablas?


Because hablas is 2nd person - tú hablas = you speak. Ella/él habla = she/he speaks


In Spanish, there is an infinitive/dictionary form and a conjugated form of each verb. The infinitive verb simply means the action itself. It can be modified by changing the ending to fit the subject (an "infinite" number of modifications) which makes it specific to a subject.

Infinitive Form - Hablar

Yo/I - Hablo

Tu/You - Hablas

El and Ella/ He and She - Habla

Ellos and Ellas/They - Hablan

There are a couple more conjugations, but these are the most common ones. Also note that the last two letter modification is determined by the last two letters of the infinitive form. More details can be found on online conjugation charts.

In this situation, they are talking about a waiter (El and Ella/He and She) so it would have to be habla. (Please excuse the lack of accents, tildes, etc.)

Hope this helps!


I know, so masculine is excepted but not feminine? camarea?


Hay una diferencia entre las palabras mesero y camarero?


When I first learned (Castilian) Spanish, a language required an article: ...habla la portugués. Is this not true in standard Spanish?


"Ella camerera habla portugues" no?


Shouldn't the word mercero be accepted for the word, waiter? That's what i put and it marked me wrong.


I guess you got a typo; 'mesero' not 'mercero.'


It says 'El camarero' the waiter (a male)


i put "El camarera habla potrugués" How is that wrong?


And "portugués" not "potrugués"

You need to carefully compare your answer against the one that Duo displays to see where the error is.


'El' is masculine, but 'camarera' is feminine. They contradict.


New voice please!


Why EL? In "tips" you say we dont need any articles for occupations.


When a noun is the subject of the sentence the article is needed.


Emm didnt you say in tips that we dont use any articles for occupations?


Posting the question once is enough - please delete this duplicate.


Didnt you say in tips that we dont need to use "un" or "el" for occupations?


Posting the question once is enough - please delete this duplicate.


If you dont know the gender always default to the masculine in spanish. Thats just how the language works.


When this came up, the avatar was female... so why wouldn't it accept the feminine terms?

Perhaps if you are going to be picky, put some kind of gender identification in the sentence.


I wrote El mesero se habla portugués and got it wrong. Does anyone know why?


The waiter isn't talking to himself/herself/themselves in Portuguese.


Can someone explain why its not 'El camerero hablar Portugues' please? Rather than 'habla'.

[deactivated user]

    I got it wrong for a spelling error. Not cool!


    I too chose the feminine form due to the picture


    I also chose feminine form due to the accompanying picture


    Why was la camarera habla portugues marked wrong


    Because Duolingo expects you to use the corresponding gendered form in both languages, "el camarero" for the waiter and "la camarera" for the waitress.

    It doesn't accurately reflect the fact that in English we do often treat waiter as a neutral term.


    La mesera habla portugues should be accepted!


    Then it should have been written waitress speaks Portuguese .. and not waiter


    la la la la la la la la , anyhow , stay cool el duo


    Porque no se usan la palabra "mesero?"


    I think this should be accepted


    Why do i lose lifes for silly spelling errors


    I spelled portuges wrong. It should have been accepted. I didnt sign up to learn to soell in Espanol


    Why wouldn't hablo be accepted? If anything habla should be incorrect


    Allow me to break it down for you. Verbs are specific to the who and cannot be switched around for any reason. It matters not, the gender of the who.

    Hablar - to speak/talk ”Yo quiero hablar español."

    Hablo - I speak/talk. "Hablo inglés."

    Hablas - You(familiar) speaks/talks. This you are your friends, neighbors, coworkers, classmates family, and anyone else you know really well. "Hablas español muy bien."

    Habla - He/She/It/You(formal) speaks/talks. This is the verb conjugation you would use for the waiter. The waiter is a he(we know this because of camarero). In regards to usted, this verb conjugation is used when addressing everyone else that you have not lumped into the you(familiar) category. I won't put this into a sentence as this lesson's sentence example already does that for me.

    As to the rest of the verb conjugations of hablar, read the rest of the comments as this list has been posted several times. I suggest you read through every forum you feel you have a problem with because more than likely, your problem has already been addressed.. several times.


    Why can't it be "el camarero hablo portugués"?


    Because hablo is I speak. El camarero needs the he/she/it/you(formal) verb conjugation which is habla.


    Its only a spelling mistake


    Its a spelling mistake


    ❤❤❤❤ you I dont know how to spell Portuguese in Spanish, give me my points


    I can't spell Spanish and I have no intention of learning how to spell it correctly. I am just here to learn how to speak Spanish.

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