"She sings softly."
Translation:Lei canta piano.
Is 'delicatamente' wrong here? Being a musician, my first instinct was to use 'piano' but, since it did not appear as any of the dictionary hints, I figured it might not be proper Italian, so used what seemed like the most reasonable of the dictionary hints instead. :(
I almost did the same thing, but then I realized Duolingo was showing us the many meanings of piano (plans, floor, softly). I guessed because it was my last translation and I had hearts to spare :)
Because delicatamente has a bit different meaning and it cant be used in this case.
Piano appears to have over 3 million different meanings. Doesnt it get confusing?
It's all related, my friend. I believe it originally meant "flat", which diversified into "plain" (i.e. not with jutting extra stuff), "soft" (i.e. not with prickly thorns), "plane" (turning it to a noun), "floor" (i.e. a level element of a building), "plan" (because paper is flat, I'd say), and "piano" (no idea there). As an adverb, it means "slowly" and "carefully", probably evolved from "plain" and "soft".
Piano can also mean "quiet", and the Italian name for the musical instrument is "pianoforte", which means "quiet and loud". The thing is, that the closest predecessor to the piano was another instrument (I can't remember its English name), which could be played with one level of loudness only, and when the piano was invented, it was "a breakthrough" in music, because loudness changes could also be a part of music now :) hope it's interesting
the fact is that softly does not mean "piano". Softly from soft= "Old English softe, earlier sefte, "gentle, mild-natured; easeful, comfortable, calm, undisturbed; luxurious," from West Germanic samfti, from Proto-Germanic samftijaz "level, even, smooth, gentle, soft" (cognates: Old Saxon safti, Old High German semfti, German sanft; and from a variant form with -ch- for -f-, Middle Dutch sachte, Dutch zacht, German sacht), from root *som- "fitting, agreeable." If referred to voice, piano means not high, low, quiet. Full stop. For pianoforte: first was called fortepiano (both in Italian and English), even before "harpsichord" (clavicembalo)
Very interesting etymology! Are you a linguist?
Also, can piano also mean 'calmly' or 'calm down' ?
No, I am not, but I like etymology (which means " the study of the true reason of the words - Greek ετυμολογία). Piano, as adjective, has never the meaning of calm or calm down. It can signify : level, even (superficie piana=level (or even) surface); smooth (a smooth forehead); clear, plain, simple, easy ( the meaning of this sentence is very clear, in simple (o plain) words); plane (plane geometry). In grammar "una parola piana" is a word having the tonic stress on the last but one syllable (G. and E. paroxytone). I would say no other meanings (as adjective!)
You'll definitively like the discord about ancient, endangered, and extinct languages then :P
Anyways, that surprises me. I really thought 'piano' could mean 'calm/calm down', but apparently it cannot. A friend of me used to say that often.
Well, it can be if he notes that you are going to be angry, so his "piano" means "go slowly, be quiet", but in this case "piano" is an adverb (the opposite of fast), not an adjective. To list all its meaning (as a name and as an adverb) i would have spent an hour (and I wrote as adjective...)
Why is it piano and not pianamente? Or does "piano" not have an adverb form?
Piano is also an adverb, as it's here ( = softly; quietly; gently). Pianamente has a different meaning: "in a simple manner/ in a silent manner