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"Mijn oma is naar Amerika gerend."

Translation:My grandma has run to America.

July 27, 2014

69 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Assile

I would say that this is a very strange sentence from the perspective of a Dutchman: there is a bit much water between here and America to be able to run to it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhynn

Perhaps it's said by a Dutchman living in Canada?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DogePamyuPamyu

Canada is in America... :P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marktic

While yes, technically this is true, America refers to the USA 99.9% of the time. As a Canadian I felt the need to point this out.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrBallon

I think that this in rethoric is called "Totum pro parte" there is also " Pars pro totum " among the spanish speakers use to say that the dutch speak Holland instead of Nederlands.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmitabhS.B

A little while after my last post on this subject it occurred to me that I had a plausible explanation for why most of the time even people not from the USA, mostly use "America" to refer to the USA, and not more broadly. Since, surely, it isn't because everybody outside the USA, thinks the USA is so great! And it's a very obvious answer, once you think about it. If you understand the word "America" in the widest way you plausibly can, you're referring to the Western hemisphere in its entirety, and very few people have much reason to think or talk about the Western Hemisphere in its entirety all that often. Clearly you can say "I am an American" - meaning "I am from the Western Hemisphere". However, very few people have much reason to be thinking or talking about the Western Hemisphere as a whole all that often, and many reasons to be thinking about specific areas and specific countries. Surely, people who live outside of the USA use the names of their countries and neighboring countries much more often than they use the term "America" to refer to the Western Hemisphere as a whole. And this is undoubtedly also why when most people use refer to "America", they are referring to the USA, and not the Western Hemisphere as a whole.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

You have it. There are three countries on the North American continent.
T'he Dominion of Canada, the United States of America and the United Mexican States. Shortened, they become Canada, America and Mexico.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmitabhS.B

For some reason I am not seeing a reply button to your post Kiegregonis. So I will respond here. There are several other countries in the North American continent - from what I understand all of Central America is considered to be part of North America aside from the part of Panama which is south of the Panama canal. I don't know if any the Caribbean countries would be considered part of North or South America, so I will say nothing of them. However, Canada, the USA, and Mexico are by far the largest countries in North America. And we are definitely in agreement regarding the fact that people know these three countries by shortened versions of their full, official names.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

The reply threads only go so far. I'm never quite sure whether Central America ( Guatemala, Belize Honduras, el Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) are considered part of the North American continent or their own thing. Which is why I didn't include them. By the way, Belize and Costa Rica are the only countries among those seven without republic of in front of the name most commonly used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Assile

Very much possible, it just struck me as kind of weird. You usually don't run to a country, so perhaps something like a supermarket would make more sense?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhynn

But why do sentences always have to make sense? Nonsensical sentences stick much better!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeniusJack

And they make you think about your translation, so you're not always able to guess just because it makes sense!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/southsidered

Learning a language means being able to express weird things just as easily as everyday things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoseOlivar817253

That is in fact something that marks native speakers !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DogePamyuPamyu

It's also possible that the speaker's Grandmother is so old that there was at the time a land bridge. She could have ran across Europe, through Russia, across the land bridge between it and Alaska then down through Canada and into the United States.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marcuslangford

strangely no-one considered the meaning of run to be "run away". odd that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Assile

Probably because 'run away' would be specified as 'weggerend', never have I seen or heard anyone use just 'rennen' to describe it. (Native speaker)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eanxious

It's pretty impressive, her being an "oma". An elderly Dutch lady running all the way to America? Very impressive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MokeiAkita

I have walked to America, twice. But once I started in Canada, and the other time I started in Mexico.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rebekasto

Or..."Mijn oma is naar amerika gerend...als kind."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stationary1

Een 'oma' hoeft niet zo oud te zijn. Mijn vrouw is een oma maar zij is nog maar vijftig.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mullac1992

Maybe she ran From the Netherlands, through Germany and Poland, then through Russia, and used a pedalo to get to Alaska!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/israellai

Or maybe she just rode a bike across the sea. You know, the Dutch do everything on bikes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Grodmannen

Well, they do love their bikes, but they don't use the verb "rennen" for it...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Navysealstra

America is also the name of a city in the Netherlands (near Eindhoven). Although running across the pond is much more impressive ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrBallon

Maybe it was during the Last Glacial Period.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chinmayhej

Is there a rule as to which verbs take "zijn" in the perfect form, and which ones take "hebben", like it is in French, Italian, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vytah

Verbs of motion generally use zijn, like gaan, komen, rennen, zwemmen, fietsen, and so on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/plasma991

I am also confused why this sentence uses "zijn".. Why is it not "mijn oma heeft naar Amerika gerend"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eanxious

As far as I know, vytah is right, this is Verbs of Motion. When you use a verb like eten, drinken, spelen, etc., you use hebben. But for verbs like "rennen", "gaan", "komen", you use zijn as they are "Verbs of Motion". A good way to tell the difference is to think of it this way: If the verb brings you from A to B, use zijn.

"Ik ga naar ierland." "Je fiets naar india." "Mijn oma komt naar amerika." These sentences and their respective verbs involve the person going from A to B. This means they are verbs of motion and zijn should be used in the past tense.

"Ik drink water" "Je houdt van me" "Hij speelt sport." These verbs do not involve going somewhere and therefore you should use hebben in the past tense.

I hope this helps!! ^-^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReneeDubuc

It said in the tips and notes sections a few verbs require "zijn" when constructing the perfect present tense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erven.R

America? Does that mean USA or South/North America. :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Assile

Officially we call the continent "Amerika" and the country "Verenigde Staten van Amerika" but we also refer to the country as "de VS" or just "Amerika".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Erven.R

Ohh. The same with out country lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JudithL1

I got some weird sentences as well. Mainly reading animals and non-mammals drinking milk.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Boyslie36

Damn, these Dutch grannys must be physically fit :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LuckaPop

...said Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jake3389

Maybe this person's grandma ran across the border between Mexico and the US to avoid the border patrol. After learning Dutch, this person tells the story of their grandma to some Dutch friends.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alan1066

i notice alot of american english is used in these lessons, and english english is lacking in places.. such as "gran" and "nan" not being accepted


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

Well, the course was developed in the US and the Dutch to English course teaches American English, Report the gran and nan, but there are SO many different ways of saying grandmother and grandfather - we use gran and nan in the US to (among some people, grandma for one side and nanny or meemaw or gran for the other, to make it easy to differentiate between Mom's parents and Dad's parents.) that I;m not sure it is reasonable to accept all of them.,.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnuithetBroek

There is a town in the netherlands called Amerika.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marvincorea

Mijn oma, the ultra-runner!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MokeiAkita

I am mystified ny the use of the verb "is" to express the past tense. Or is it the past perfect tense? Why is the verb not "heeft"? What does the choice of "is" over "heeft" in this sentence tell us?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simius

Take a look at the last section of this page: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3859133


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nikbels12

Maar opa niet. :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MattRobins1

Is there a reason granny is accepted, but not gran?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabrielCeder

Duolingo's grandmother drank some red bull


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrDubbs

Question about the connotation of "run" in this context: Does it only mean physically running, in some Jesus-esque transatlantic journey, making it hilarious? Or could it also imply, as in English, fleeing to America, ie from persecution or annoying relatives?

Or could it imply a "quick trip" kind of thing, as in "He has run to the store quick"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Grodmannen

"Rennen" clearly means literally running here, there's no room for any other interpretation. How the granny managed to achieve that impressive feat is a different story...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrDubbs

k, coo, thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FirstFloop

Is she by chance Mexican?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Royston18240

In my English world, that sentance would contain the word OFF. i.e. my gran ran off to America. Suggesting she did a moonlight flit and possibly deserted grandad and or her family. Then it does not indicate that she physically ran.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CJ.Dennis

She must have really long legs!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/josefderry

would it be more suitable to add ''uit'' in the sentence, ie: my grandma has run off to America


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Grodmannen

You mean "uit" as a translation of "off"? No, that does not work at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Grodmannen

To render the "off" part in "run off" you'd need to form a separable verb with the prefix "weg-": wegrennen. Although that would always mean literally running, which isn't the case with "run off". "Weglopen", however, could be used in the non-literal sense of "run off".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/josefderry

Thank you. Your explanation is very helpful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Splatblob172

I live in the uk, and unless grandpa can run across to the other side of the pond then that is very weird


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateHoyle

It should say, "My grandma has run off to America!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateHoyle

In English you can say, "My grandma has run away to America." You need to say "run away to" or "run off to" in order to mean that somebody has left for another country.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Grodmannen

It's similar in Dutch, you would use "weglopen" or some other verb for that meaning. "Rennen" in this sentence is to be understood literally - it's a deliberately absurd sentence!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/edwardshor3

I said, "My grannie ran to America." This strikes me as acceptable, niet?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MsLMarvel

"has run" sounds very weird to me, as a native English speaker. Is this really the most accurate and appropriate translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Klgregonis

Why does it sound weird to you? It's the verb have plus the past participle of run (run, ran, (has) run) .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MsLMarvel

I mean it's technically correct and a direct translation, but I feel that "My grandmother ran to America" is a more accurate translation because its the way people actually speak. It's a very old fashioned way to speak and consequently, it took me a while to formulate the sentence. It's neither here nor there, just an observation...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wolfgang292928

The mumbling male speaker and a strange sentence is too much of a good thing...you are kidding us, eh ?

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