Think of it this way: when you move to a new house, you are moving all the (moveable) furniture to that house ( which in turn is immobile, unmoveable)
To olefattguy: in fact, since its origin, 'mobile' means something that can be moved, or something movable, e.g., something that can be taken out of a place and put in another one.. I hope I have helped. Greetings. February 19, 2016.
In my everyday language (Indonesian) "mobil" is the word for "car" so it made perfect sense to me to put keys on a car... I had no idea.
Actually you can "move" the furniture, but you cannot move the house itself or the appliances (like the toilet or bathtub). That's the difference between furniture and everything else and that's why the root "mobi-" is used :)
I think it might go back to ancient Roman law. Items that were immovable (for example, land) were governed by different rules of ownership than items that could be moved. It is rather nice that knowledge of Roman law might help with modern Italian vocabulary. Of course, I could be wrong.
In Spanish (which i learned first) furniture translates to "muebles" so i had a small clue. I assume it's similar in other romance languages. It's very frustrating though when a word looks similar to something completely different and I mess up every time.
Pero no nos habían enseñado esta palabra antes de este ejercicio, o si??? creo que por eso es la discusión en este momento. A penas conocimos la palabra mobile, y que significa mueble.
Diego de México.
The problem is that it really is impossible to translate this sentence into English without mentioning the particular piece of furniture the key was left on. The logical solution to this problem is for Duolingo to accept whatever piece of furniture the student wishes to nominate, such as cabinet, chair, sofa, etc. Duolingo's own translation does not make sense in English. One would never say this.
The problem is that it really is impossible to translate
this sentence into English without mentioning the particular
piece of furniture the key was left on.
I agree with you. No native speaker would say, "I left it on the piece of furniture" -- (unless for some reason they didn't really know what to call that particular piece of furniture, I suppose, but hardly likely.)
I also agree - I opted to translate it as sideboard and got it wrong, of course. I realise the exercise here is to learn Italian, but in English furniture is a collective noun and we tend to name items of furniture. Duolingo needs to recognise this when providing translations if it is to be truly useful for all learners i.e. in Italian you might say 'mobile' but in English we would not say 'on the piece of furniture' unless there were only one piece in the room and you didn't know what it was called!
The problem there, though, is that since "mobile" means the broad category "furniture", you can't translate it as "sideboard" any more than you can translate "cibo" as "strawberry".
Agreed, which is why I knew it would be wrong as I wrote. However, I find it difficult to write something that is clearly not reasonable English so I am willing to be marked wrong from time to time just to see what DL will accept. Of course, keys on the furniture would be quite acceptable .
But the Italian sentence has the exact same problem - il mobile doesn't indicate what piece of furniture it is. Italian also has specific words for chair/table/couch/etc... So Duolingo shouldn't accept chair or sofa here because that's not a correct translation for il mobile.
I agree it is a bit of a useless sentence but so are many of the other sentences we get (I am never going to use - for example - gli elefanti sono i tuoi, or chi è l'uomo nella vasca? among many others)
It is confusing because in English furniture refers to the entire meublement, every chair,sofa etc in the room( or even house). In italian un mobile is one of the chairs, sofas etc. Luckily (for me) it is the same pattern as in Swedish, but I too was confused(albeit in the other direction) when I was learning this in English, way back when...
BUt this word, mobile, until here wasn´t been taught, was it? That´s why, the discussion over here is about this particular word. I heard Mobile in the audio, but i didn´t know that word yet. Only as all you say, like the mobile, the cellphone, or something that can be moved. but not this concept in italian.
In the old days in the old county, as I remember, furniture was very sparse, so, saying "sul mobile" made perfect sense if there was only one (or two) pieces in a room.
Native Russian and Ukrainian speaker here. In my languages real estate also means literally "The Unmovable" :)
And now I understand where the word for furniture ("mebel'") has come from. ;)
I don't believe DUO is trying to teach the word "furniture", SherryShel, they are actually trying to teach the word "mobile", because Italian is spoken here.
In English, we would never say, "The key is on the furniture." or, "The key is on the piece of furniture.", so I put, "The key is on the cabinet.", which is something we could say in English. However, this was rejected.
"Cabinet" is a specific piece of furniture. "Furniture" is a broad category. They are not interchangeable.
Interestingly, French takes the opposite approach by using
immeuble - immobile.
Usually a sing. noun ends with 'a', so is 'chiave' an exception or am I missing something?
i would think it to be 'la chiave"/le chiave if it is an exception what would it be like in the Pl?
Yes, it's one of the exceptions. Some words are -e in the singular and -i in the plural, and you just need to memorize whether they're masculine or feminine.
1) singular nouns with the ending "a" are feminine nouns, and form their plural with the ending "e"
2) singular nouns with the ending "o" are masculine nouns, and form their plural with the ending "i"
3) singular nouns with the ending "e" are feminine/masculine nouns and form their plural with the ending "i"
4) irregular nouns
you can consider the (3) "irregular nouns", but in reality there are a lot of nouns in that category
1) 35% - 2) 35% - 3) 25% - 4) 5%
In English "Keys" is often used for a singular set of keys. I.e my car key and house key are on the same chain and I refer to it collectively as "keys". Is this the same in Italian or would a set of keys be "la chiave"?
I know that a cell phone is a "cellulare," but could "mobile" also refer to a phone, following the British usage?
You can say "telefono mobile" or "terminale mobile" but they are both technical terms. "Telefonino" is a popular synonym.
Notice that chiave is unique in that it is feminine and ends in -e and then plural ends in - i , which is usually how a masculine noun works. This has tripped me up a few times.
Every singular noun that ends with -e ends in -i when turned into plural, regardless of the gender...at least, that's what my Italian teacher said.
I don't see anyone saying 'on the furniture'. That's just silly, since 'furniture' is most often said in referring to multiple items. The translation doesn't reflect an actual sentence in this respect.
"La chiave è sul mobile" for "mobile" there are three solutions in the help: piece of furniture, moving and mobile. But Duolingo accepts only "piece of furniture" or "furniture". Why?
Because the meanings "moving" and "mobile" are in turn a verb and an adjective, both of which would be hard to place a key on...
No, a mobile can be an object which hands from the ceiling and revolves, used particularly to hang over cots. So mobile would make sense, in a weird way..
Yes but mobile in Italian means mobile the adjective (ie. she is mobile) it doesn't necessarily mean mobile (the object that hangs from the ceiling) in English.
I'd like to know the answer to that too ... the english translation of the sentence is clumsy and would not be used
this one has me confused-i put a piece of furniture -wrong but i ask my self which piece of furniture- the piece of furniture- wouldn't piece suggest more than one-help
Got it wrong too. I am guessing Duolingo is just pushing my buttons and making me think about the words here. Like some of the other sentences, you wouldn't usually say this in English or Italian, or any other language!
I get that this is not a useful piece of English, but if I were to hear this in Italy, where should I go to find the key? To a dining chair, armchair, sofa, table... what?
"piece of furniture" has a general meaning (table, sofa, bed, fridge, ... are pieces of furniture), therefore in this case it is wrong to translate "... è sul mobile" with "... is on the piece of furniture" because if I tell you "La chiave è sul mobile" I mean a definite piece of furniture. So I would translate "mobile" with "cabinet", that is a more appropiate word in this type of sentence.
Every now and then I run a word through Google Translate. "Mobile" translates to English "Mobile." "Furniture" translates to "Mobilia". Piece of furniture translates to "Pezzo di mobili". When I use some other apps they sometimes have typos and things. And since I don't speak Italian, if resources don't agree, it's hard for me to know if I'm learning something incorrectly. :(
I don't think Google Translate is a good resource for lerners: it often gives very odd translations, and it gives no grammar information in its "definitions". My suggestion is to choose a good dictionary, and if you want to investigate further on some expressions, use online resource (e.g. http://dictionary.reverso.net gives a number example sentences that are translated by humans).
Now, regarding your examples: "mobile" translates to "mobile" only when used as an adjective, not as a noun. "Mobilia" is a quite accurate translation of furniture because it is a collective noun (it is singular), while "mobili" is just the plural of "mobile". On the other hand "mobili" is more frequent, both in spoken and written Italian. "Pezzo di mobili" is completely wrong: no italian speaker would use this expression, that almost sounds like an insult.
Yeah, I remember that "mobile" and others (French: meuble, Swedish: möbel, Danish & Norwegian: møbel, German: Möbel(stück), Romanian: mobilă, Portuguese: móvel) precisely because it doesn't move, so the contradiction sticks in my mind. :D
Where in the Italian phrase does it say "the piece"? I am not sure "mobile" includes "the piece".
Different languages say things in different ways. Italian is not just a word-for-word cipher of English. We say "piece of furniture", they say "mobile".
Yes, I agree. However, the translation is not incorrect to just say on the furniture since the Italian sentence did not specify what the piece of furniture is or that it is "a piece". I think both translations should be accepted that's all.
I just find this sentence annoying because if you were going to say this sentence, wouldn't you normally specify what piece of furniture it was instead of just saying furniture?
Duolingo should correct this answer. It's wrong as no one world wide says "I put my keys on this piece of furniture"! As well they should correct the three suggestions for 'mobile'!
First of all, we have a "new" concept in English: our mobile. To be fair in current Italian this is called "il mobilo". However "The key is on the piece of furniture" is just ridiculous in English and would never be said. I propose replacing this question with "La chiave e sul mobilo" meaning "The key is on the smartphone".
That would only be a valid translation if actual native Italian speakers meant it that way when they said this.
Mobile could be a cell phone in this case, or a car. The english translation in inaccurate.
In The sentence before it was without peace, that's why I used sui mobili and o faild, how stupid
For god's sake, who on earth says "the key is on the furniture " furniture is not a piece! It is not a distictive noun and it implys plural! if you want to teach the word furniture put it in different sentence.
(American English speaker) We need to learn to think in Italian. I was taught this word "mobile" in another course also, to mean "a piece of furniture," i.e., something that can be moved. BTW when I visited Italy I'm pretty sure I saw a sign that said "Immobili" to mean how we would say "Real Estate," something that cannot be moved.
Another sensible reply - it is a different language and we need to remember that it can't all translate back into our own language perfectly. Have a lingot.
I think they're trying to teach Italian, since this is an Italian course. Hence trying to teach "mobile" and what it means.