"The waiter speaks Portuguese."
Translation:El camarero habla portugués.
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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.
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.
@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.
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.
—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.^^
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 !!!
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.^^
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 :)
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!
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.