"Lapolicíanorteamericana"

Translation:The North American police

5 years ago

101 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/rmcgwn

There is no such thing as a 'north american police' very strange sentence.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

rmcgwn, In English yes, you are right, there is no such thing. But in Latin America, this sentence is not strange at all, just to our ears. They are referring to the police of the United States. Since all Latin Americans consider themselves to be Americans, from the Americas, in order to differentiate, they use Norteamericano interchangeably with Estadounidense, which is much harder to pronounce. :-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JGarrick62

Some info for non-natives of the US:

I think perhaps the reason this sounds so strange to the ears of native speakers in the US is that there aren't any "American police" or "US Police." It's not that we don't recognize Norteamericao or even Estadounidense, but that no such entity exists. The closest thing to a national police force that we have would be the FBI, and they are never called "police." An individual member would be an agent and the force as a whole is just the FBI or perhaps the bureau.

All other police agencies in the United States are at the state or local level, so we would say the "Minnesota State Police" or the "NYPD" (New York City Police Department). Almost anywhere in the US, if someone refers to just the police they are talking about the local police department in their own town or city.

Just to add a little confusion, we also have county level "police" which are called the Sheriff's Department or some very close variant of that nearly everywhere in the country.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Securinega_

In Spanish language we capitalize 'nombres propios' and we never do it with 'nombres comunes' so, there are capitalized words like:

España, Méjico, Manuel, Julia, Europa, América or Nueva York

and no capitalized words like:

español, mejicano, manuelino, juliana, europeo, americano or neoyorquino.

So, when we are talking about 'policía' we could be referring to an official organization or to a common concept like this:

el Departamento de Policía de Nueva York, el policía neoyorquino,

la Policía Municipal de Madrid, el policía madrileño.

Then if I say "la policía española me multó" Spanish police fined me, I could be referring the police from Madrid or Seville, etc. So, "la policía norteamericana" North American police, could be the police from New York, Los Ángeles, etc, not an official department of American Police.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

Securinega, Good explanation. Àlso: The Spanish police gave me a ticket. :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Securinega_

Melita, siempre eres un encanto.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

Securinega, me haces sonrojar ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seamus747
Seamus747
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Thank you for the wealth of cultural information.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SGuthrie0

Yes, I agree.

I answered "U.S. police" and was marked wrong. However, if I were in Mexico, and a policeman from the U.S. was there, I would call him a "U.'S. policeman".

And If I were speaking of the police in the U.S., in general, I would say something like, "The U.S. police are generally not corrupt.."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Leish88
Leish88
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Excellent explanation! Joe

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizsue
lizsue
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Canada is part of North America too, and is a separate country from the United States.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/simoncrequer
simoncrequer
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So is Mexico funnily enough!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

But never call a Canadian an American. Whoa! I made that mistake once. Seems us estadounidenses have such a negative impact on them that Canadians do not consider themselves one.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/victoriaclowater
victoriaclowater
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Canadians don't consider themselves estadounidenses because Canada is not the same country as the USA.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ana_militz
ana_militz
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Vicki, I live in South America and we don't call ourselves americans

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LockeSchyler
LockeSchyler
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We DID try to take over their country. Twice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

True...but we did that to Mexico too.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JuniorPolyglot

I didn't know that. BTW I'm Canadian and yes, you are right, vicki.kura, I do not consider myself Canadian, I consider myself... well... Canadian.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

Vicki, you are surprised that Canadians do not consider themselves Americans?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shirlgirl007
Shirlgirl007
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well, yes, we are Canadians, would you be ok to be called a Mexican, after all, still in the "Americas" right..

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joshua6261

my teacher made me say estadounidense a lot of times in spanish class (it's a fun word to say)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vickyvullo99

We actually are from America, because america its not your country is the continent.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/simoncrequer
simoncrequer
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In most English speaking countries, the continents are called North America and South America, and together they're called The Americas.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Esn024
Esn024
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In Canada, "America" by itself always refers to the US, the continents are called "North America" and "South America", or collectively "the Western hemisphere" (sometimes also "the Americas", but not very frequently). If I was talking about the northern half of the US, I would say "northern US" or "northern America" (but never "North America"). If someone says "North American police", I would assume they are talking about some sort of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) police force, which would be strange because such a thing doesn't exist yet.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnAnders46342

America IS our country. It is ALSO the continent. No other country on ANY continent has America as a part of its name, so there should be no confusion as to which country is being referred to.

The formal name of Mexico is The United States of Mexico, but I have never heard a Mexican (or anyone else) complain about our use of United States or U.S. as an abreviated name for our country. But let us shorten it to America and we are hegemons trying to annex two continents.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bueno837007

Have we not established that the same word can have more than one meaning?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fedor-A-learner

but that's so tupid, considering that north america is a continent

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RSvanKeure
RSvanKeure
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If the sentence refers to police in the U.S., DL should accept "The United States police"--but it doesn't!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hloch
hloch
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as a Canadian I feel very uncomfortable being lumped in with the States

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BenYoung84
BenYoung84
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The North American Kilted Yaksmen.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joehhendrickson

It is a problem that the United States of America choose such a general name for itself. We are not the only country in America and are not the only country that uses the phrase "United States" in its name.

The efforts to clarify this by using the phrase North American doesn't really help. Hearing a Mexican use the phrase norteamericano referring to an American, when Mexico is just as much a part of north america as the United States , just highlights the fact that we have no real name for our country.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dakota_Marz

I have a name for us "The United Empire of Immigrants"

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/OlofSanner
OlofSanner
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Just for comparison... (This is technically speaking from my personal perspective) Swedish citizens are European and are also EU Citizens. Though in Norway (not part of EU), Norwegian citizens are also European, but they are not EU Citizens. So, technically: In my book (and in English) all citizens in North and South America are Americans (and additionally either South or North Americans), and citizens in USA are US Americans. But that is just the technical aspect. The diplomatic aspect: Talking to people from USA , I probably would refer to them as US Americans, and From the North American continent. Talking with other North Americans (than USA) I probably would refer to them as citizens of their country (Canadian, Mexican etc) and from the North American continent. Could that be useful and a tool for differentiating geographical issues without stepping on any sensitive toes?

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Esn024
Esn024
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But America is not the name of a continent, at least not here in Canada. North and South America are continents (collectively "the Western hemisphere" or "the Americas"), while "America" by itself always refers to the US.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TexMexChica

Honestly, my first thought was the border patrol. :/

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dkat
dkat
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Agreed. North America is Mexico, USA, Canada and quite a few islands of other nationalities. While police in the USA are very local and vary from one city to the next, it would be understandable if you referred to 'American police' as a subject matter but no one in the USA would know what you meant by North American Police and I suspect that is true of any of the other countries in North America.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/geneven
genevenPlus
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I'm with you . It would have to be a police force run in common by the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. there's no South American police either that I know of.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnSpanish0

And France. There are french islands off the east coast of Canada. They even use the Euro as currency. 30 minute ferry ride.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WilhelmJuan16

it did not accept `Murican

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TobyBartels
TobyBartels
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I understood this to mean the kind of police that one finds in North America, not a single North American police force.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RSvanKeure
RSvanKeure
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This sentence should be removed.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CBWJR

That is correct

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolynH.3

I agree.

6 days ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Peddler931

Norteamerica is often used to mean the United States alone. Does it actually include Canada and Mexico, or is the term: "America del Norte" used to mean the entire continent?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MauroQuil
MauroQuil
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When it comes to describing USA nationals many terms are used interchangeably, each country or media vehicule having their favourite (estadunidense, norteamericano, americano, etc). Estadunidense is the only one that is 100% ambiguity free, but it sounds unnatural to many ears. 'Americano' sounds very natural for most ears, but is resented because it discards the "rest" of the American Continent as irrelevant and not worth mentioning. "North American" sounds more politically correct to South Americans because it only discards Canada and Mexico, and we don't realize they may resent that as well!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Veekhr
Veekhr
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I'm kind of surprised that "usanio" or "usania" hasn't caught on more then. I don't think it would sound rude and is easier to pronounce than "estadunidense"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

Mauro, in fact the word is estadounidense. Estado Unidos morphs into estadounidense. Say it three times very quickly

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dakota_Marz

Why is everyone saying that "Estadounidense" is so hard to say? Literally just seperate it into seperate words "Estado-Uni-Dense" say it a few times and there you can say as fast and as many times as you want.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

Actually, three is a magic number for remembering things. I agree that it is an easy word to say, but a bit harder to remember.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnAnders46342

Mexico's formal name is The United States of Mexico, so surely estadounidense can't be 100% ambiguity free. There is no other country with America as part of its name, formal or otherwise, so surely America or Americano would be less ambiguous, even if some are bothered by it.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Esn024
Esn024
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In Canada, there's no such thing as an "American continent". There's North and South America, together called "the Western hemisphere" or sometimes "the Americas". Is it different in the Spanish-speaking countries?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Coayuco
Coayuco
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Norte América is everything from Panama up to Canada and Greenland. However, norteamericano/a refers specifically to people and things from the United States.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnSpanish0

Nope, North America starts about 70 KM from the Guatemala border. Some parts of the very southern border are in central america. Politically the bridge at the Belize Mexican border has a sign on it that says "welcome to central america' in english as Belize is an english speaking country.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BenYoung84
BenYoung84
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There is no such continent as Central America. Central America is a region of North America.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Iago
Iago
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Yes, Canada is definitely part of Norteamérica :) So is Greenland, and so is Mecixo and Cuba and Jamaica and all of Central America too. Norteamericano could mean anyone from North America.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Coayuco
Coayuco
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The translation is wrong. It should be "The American police". Throughout Latin America people and things from the US are referred to as norteamericano/a. There was an exercise that said "Hablé con la norteamericana" and DL translated that as "I spoke with the American woman". Clearly they are being inconsistent.

Of course, technically there is no such thing as "the American police" (the FBI,maybe?) but this is a cultural reference rather than a reference to a specific organization.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learning_3445684

When Team America (the World Police) is not fighting evil doers over seas, they have a smaller subset called the "North American Police" that takes care of continental issues.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/john3811
john3811
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Maybe it is refering a group of cops at police conference that are from canada and mexico, a clunky sentence but its like a lot of other duolingo sentences

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/armstrongclyde

So is 'norteamericana' a word to talk about just the US, all of geographical North America, or just the US and Canada (as in the two English European countries contrasted with the Spanish Hispanic countries)?

I've seen quite a few different opinions here, but in the end I would like to know how the word is actually used by native Spanish speakers versus how it should be used.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Securinega_

Which should be used is clear, "estadounidense", but what is used by people varies. I think in America it's norteamericano mostly used, but in Spain some people say estadounidense (very few people), others say norteamericano and others just americano. It's depending on the occasion. Informally it's very widespread the use of yanqui in Spain, like gringo in America.

You know Estadounidense is excessively long to say... (so please, put a real name to your country) ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seamus747
Seamus747
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The word "estadunidense" has been used in several comments. I gather it refers to someone from the United States of America (and not the United States of Mexico!), but can you please explain the word? Is it a compound made up of abbreviated forms of the Spanish words for United States?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BillyRicch
BillyRicch
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"Estadounidense" and "canadiense" refer to nationality, like on a passport. "Norteamericano" is more commonly used and refers to people or things from the United States or Canada. My advice is to avoid the term "americano" or to use it only with extreme care. If you use it, you may find yourself inadvertently stepping onto a "politically correct" land mine. Many Spanish speakers use "americano" to refer to all people or things from the entirety of the Americas, so using it to refer only to people from the United States comes off to some as exclusionary and neo-colonial. I used to teach English to international students from Latin American countries in the United States, and some were offended that English uses the term "American" to refer primarily to people from the United States. Of course, all languages have their potential areas for cultural and political misunderstandings, but it would be a dull world if all languages worked the same way.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/THeNeeno

Yes, it is quite a bit like saying “Unitestatsian". It is the standard way of referring to citizens of los Estados Unidos de América in Spanish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

Seamus, in fact the word is estadounidense. Estado Unidos morphs into estadounidense. Say it three times very quickly.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zekecoma

Personally this sentence makes no sense whatsoever.

You can't tell if it's Canadian, Mexican or American. I guess, North America has their own newspaper that covers three countries. Same with South America.

Estadounidense is hard to pronounce and just just ugly.

Calling Americans as norteamericano is pretty much saying Mexicans and Canadians aren't part of North America.

You can't call US citizens americano because it frankly pisses off South Americans. But calling Americans "norteamericanos" isn't pissing off Canadians and Mexicans?

I honestly see nothing wrong with calling US citizens "americano/a" as "America" is in the name of the country. Yeah, it may refer to both North/South Americans, but we already have "norteamericano/a" and whatever the word is for South Americans, so I don't see what the big deal is with letting us Americans have "americano."

Try calling a Canadian an American and you'll just offend them, even if they do live in North America. North American wouldn't offend them, just American does.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cupcake.addict

Why is the (North) American police officer not accepted?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Coayuco
Coayuco
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A police officer is an individual. "La policia", as used here, refers to a cultural institution: all the police organizations in the US.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hunter18288

A police officer would be el policía rather than la

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kassandra8286
kassandra8286
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Wouldn't a female police officer be "la policía"? I wrote "The American policewoman" and it was rejected.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/octavi.ers
octavi.ers
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Warning to non-spanish travellers...About Phonetics!!!! Remember that in European Spanish, we don´t say as the teacher here does; that sounds like "POLISIA"...we say more just like "POLITHIA" (like TH in "think") More phonetic examples: dinner=Cena......we say "THena", not Sena as in Southamerican. four hundreds= cuatrocientos....we say "cuatroTHientos" but our brothers in SA say "cuatroSientos".

P.S. And I love this diversity!!! que viva lo latino!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Securinega_

Good, but I guess everybody here knows the speaker is a Mexican woman and she talks with seseo. Maybe it's worth to tell. Anyway latino is the whole language and the diversity here is between American Spanish and European Spanish, like between American English and European English, isn't it?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/octavi.ers
octavi.ers
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totally agree! I am sick and tired of eternal bitter discussions on Internet I read mainly Youtube), where European- and American-Spanish speaker argue pointlessly about what type of Phonetics sounds better...even insulting each other..Does it happen with English accents wolrdwide? I am afraid not so fiercely (:---/ .....P.S. By the way, if you do a search on Internet, it is widely refered "Español Latino" or "Español Internacional" as a different language than "Español Castellano" or "Español Europa". I didn't make the rules...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AchyuthanS

I think such arguments in english are not as bitter as you have explained. People fiercely pull each other's legs about the accents, but not as much as to take it seriously. In fact, a good proportion of stand-up comedy thrives on differences in accents. :^)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Securinega_

I don't say anything about the different "languages" that you say. I just tried to explain the name for American Spanish couldn't be español Latino. That's stupid. You can call música latina, or cine latino, or economía latina, política latina, países latinos, or everything latino as shortening for latinoamericano, but the whole language is latino and the way to speak it in America (obviously) is the American Spanish. Diga lo que diga Google.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/octavi.ers
octavi.ers
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it could be "stupid" but as diva Celine Dion sings :"that's the way it is".= here in Spain the European Spanish is called "castellano" and "American Spanish" is called "sudamericano" or "latino". We can't help it, it is cultural. (you see, AchyuthanS? no sense of humor at all, even Questioning all-mighty Google, how heretic!!)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Securinega_

I'm afraid this is not a question of senses of humor, it's just you have not understood my previous comment, please read it again.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/traindrivermark

Not in the south of Spain, the pronunciation is more like Latin American Spanish there.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Securinega_

Well, in the south of Spain there are several different ways of speaking. There are people that speak with "seseo" and they pronounce the c, the z and the s as an s, but there also are people who don't do it, and there even are people who speak with "ceceo", and they pronounce those same letters as z sounds. As you see, the matter is complicated. ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AristocratFairy

In Spanish "norteamerica" is used to say USA and América del norte is used to say "USA, Mexico and Canada"

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FraserRew

Heaps of comments, but I don't think anyone's raised this: as it's the police of North America, shouldn't it be "La policia DE LA norteamericana"?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DreamsOfFluency

I thought this, too, because I immediately and erroneously thought that norteamericana was being used as a proper noun identifying North Americans. I think because of its similarity in sound to "americano", which most English speakers, I believe, understand as a noun. But, both can be used as either a noun or an adjective.

Apparently, in this sentence, "norteamericana" is an adjective, so it takes its place behind the noun like other adjectives. In order to use the word "de", we need to follow it with a noun. According to google translate, the phrase "La policia DE LA norteamericana" would be translated as "the police of North America". I'm not sure what you had in your Duolingo question, but mine was translating from the Spanish, "la policía norteamericana", so translating to "the police of North America" would be incorrect.

Notice also that norteamericana is not capitalized. According to a post above, this is because in Spanish, they do not capitalize common names. So, since norteamericana was not capitalized, that was a hint that it was not a proper noun, but an adjective. Notice that "de América del Norte" does have capitalization, so it demonstrates that is a proper noun.

Of course, this hint goes out the window when we text and type, or even in our answers in Duolingo since capitalization and punctuation are not required.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew291617

Freeze! NAPD! We're sending you to Canadian Mexican American prison.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joe814027

I think that when someone is saying americano, it is referring more to country than continent. I mean really people take more pride in their country than their continent. world cup, olympics, etc. I am American is what I would say. And my dad's side is Mexican. I hear I am mexican. not I am North American. Our country also has America in the name. Canada, Mexico, etc , do not have America in their countries name.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WyltonTheWhyte

where abouts? It's a big continent!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/liamhammond2

why not Canadian

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/geneven
genevenPlus
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Because the phrase is meant to include law enforcement officials in all of North America.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bnoblin

Lots of great discussion here, historical, cultural, practical. Mostly of course from immigrants to the continent. I wonder what it was called for 10000 years by its original inhabitants and a note on national police force; the FBI is training police in every one of the jurisdictions mentioned and the MIGRA/ICE could be considered national police as they arrest people everywhere regardless of state or local jurisdiction. Thaning all for this elucidating thread♡

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/calebcamar

esto no sirve`

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/splittongue
splittonguePlus
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nice start of the chapter about countries, for a spanish course... :P

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/outdoor-pete

I am sure this is a colloquialism by the comments here but the plain truth from a native English speaker in the US...this in not what we use so a lot gets lost in translation here. My take away is that if I were in a Spanish speaking country this would refer to any law enforcement in the US. It almost seems like the way we may refer to police, no matter whether they be state, local or sheriff departments, as. 'cops'

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jfox11

or the Norh american cops

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/D.EstherNJ

Ladies and gentlemen, the NAP (North American Police)! They like to sleep when there's no crime . . .

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/marihaley

I wrote: The American police and was counted wrong, with the correct translation give as The American policeman. What's that about? Here is it The North American police, even though in other statements norteamericana was translated by DL as American (notwithstanding the many criticisms of that translation). DL I think a little consistency is in order.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Flara11
Flara11
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I wrote "the American police", it said policeman?

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/horch9

The police are north american....no? Picky much?

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/horch9

That famous tactical team: The mighty North American Police...out to serve justice to the continent!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Barry182846
Barry182846
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So canada mexico and usa have a joint police force now? I learn so much from Duolinguo.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zola-Magician

Why is American police incorrect?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Iris150201
Iris150201
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Wouldn't "The American police" be correct?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dinera3
Dinera3
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If Melita2 is correct and this term means the US police to Latin Americans then duolingi should not mark 'American police' wrong. Otherwise, as rmcgwn says, the translation duolingo gives is a nonsense.

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Caroline112600

I like your dog

1 week ago

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