"Quanti anni hai?"

Translation:How old are you?

June 1, 2013

This discussion is locked.


Just a minor complaint -- "how many years do you have?" should be accepted.


I have to disagree. If I ask an Italian 'Come vecchio sei?', would I be understood as asking his age? Probably not. This is an important example of languages working in different ways. If Duolingo accepts your answer, they will just be coddling us, not teaching us.


The problem is how often Duolingo requires an exact literal translation. Most of the time it expects us to give a literal translation, even if it doesn't make much sense in English. When it goes against that, as it does here, it can be annoying, because it lacks consistency.


The problem is theyre using the same lessons for both sides, explaining the lack of consistency between literal and non-literal bequests


I just think that asking "come vecchio sei" would be a little rude xD


Exactly! But if we just learn Italian words and insist on imposing English structure upon them, then we're bound to offend native Italian speakers who aren't familiar with English.


Yeah, I see so often how people complain about lessons always thinking about the english and never about the italian, people seem to forget what they're studying xD


It is not a matter of disregarding italians it is a matter of proper teaching. How are we to learn what should be literally translated and when it shouldn't be when it is never clarified.

Additionally, when the phrase is in Italian and it is asking for me to translated to English it should accept 'how many years are you' because that makes sense in translation. Now if I flip it and translate carelessly from literal english to italian I can see how it would be seen as rude.


Like, "how much aged are you?


What if you want to ask, "how many years do you have, to do this work?" as if you want to know the time, that a person was given to complete something.


I am Dutch and in our language we say "how many years are you", so I feel like it should be counted as correct. Besides, sometimes duolingo wants us to translate literally...so why not here?


I know Dutch and German (which I'm also learning) are brothers of the Germanic language family. While I expect them to share some differences despite looking similar (unsure if Dutch's grammar sentence structure is similar to German's), I wonder if German shares a similar phrase and meaning.


Agree with MariannR, It's better to have the implied meaning than the literal translation. Grazie


Except that they require literal translations everywhere else!


Agree and disagree. If you are learning a language, keep it simple for beginners. If the translation is not literal but abstract, you are creating confusion. Should be avoided for the beginner.


But With Just​ Literal Translations, They Might Misinterpret A Phrase Or Just ​Be Confused.


They'll be adhering to correct linguistic learning, not coddling us.


But they're not asking "Come vecchio sei?" to be accepted as Italian. That would be silly, because you've made it clear that is not correct Italian.

They're asking for "How many years do you have?" to be accepted as English. Which is fine, because that's correct English.

It may be a little antiquated, but it is a usable statement that can give us a memory peg on which to hang "How old are you?" -- which until we receive this answer seems completely disconnected.

The one thing I will say to the contrary is that "How old are you?" is a subset of "How many years do you have?", as the latter can mean (for example) "How many years until you die?". So perhaps Duo is penalising because it would include questions that Italians would say in a different way.


I'd say "how old are you?" comes from "what is your age?", not from "how many years do you have?".

"How many years do you have?" would not likely be understood as asking for someone's age, but for time spent or left.
How many years do you have?
While the unsaid part would be understood as:
"on the job" / "until you've served your sentence"
Or even as a response to "tell me your story".

I have never heard it used in English to ask for someone's age.
Other than "how old is he/she"
and "what is his/her age",
I've only heard
"how many years/months/weeks/days is he/she".
Never "how many [insert time] does he/she have".


This is true even if you speak of objects.
"How many years does this bottle of whine have?"
would be understood as "until it spoils" / "until it finishes aging".
"How many years is this wine?"
is what you'd ask to find out its age.


It's Not A "Subset" Of "What Is Your Age", It Means The Same Thing.


To me languages should be comparable which can help spur learning.

I've met this a good few times on DL like they'll say the jacket of the girl 'la giacca della ragazza' and in English it can now be translated to 'the girl's jacket'. In the past it would have been otherwise (The jacket of the girl). I for one enjoy the historical language of English more and to boot it helps me fit into my brain that learning a romance language is a lot more easier if compared to older English.

My favourite example is that in older English one would have said that they have hunger rather than being hungry itself.

Can you imagine Thor (Chris Hemsworth) say in a loud booming voice after a fight, " Mother, I'm hungry, give me some food!" Or rather "Mother I have hunger, feed me!"

Seeing the differences and similarities can assist the brain a great deal.

To me in a formal English setting perhaps for an interview, in my opinion, to properly request someone's age it seems more fitting to ask, "How many years do you have?" Have as in to own, rather than to be "How old are you?" Which seems to be informal.

Try it this way "how many years (do) you own?" Rather than "how many years (do) you be?"

Do is in brackets because I'm unsure if it's required.

Just strictly expressing my opinion


In addition you can check out this website it explains how old English the verbs were conjugated and how the number and gender mattered to the nouns https://lrc.la.utexas.edu/eieol/engol/0



It should at least be accepted, with an extra note saying the context was the subjects age.


No, you would be missing something at the end in English. "How many years do you have left?" or "How many years do you have to do....." We don't say this for someone's age in English. We always say "How old are you?" and the answer would again always include the word "old" as in "I am 21 years old." http://context.reverso.net/translation/english-italian/How+many+years+do+you+have+to...




It Wouldn't Necessarily Contain The Word Old, You Could Just​ Say The Number, Perhaps Preceded By "I'm", I'd More Expect To Hear "I'm 21" Than "I'm 21 Years Old".


in school? Working? trying to find a job? For an English speaker your translation does not make sense in the context that you want to use it.


It shouldn't because this isn't a sentence that should be transliterated. It is an idiom and it means "how old are you?".


This is not an idiom.

An example of an idiom would be: "Sono al verde"->"I am to green"->"I am broke" (as in penniless), as there is no literary rhyme or reason to why the two sides are connected.

This has a logical connection, as "How old are you?"="How many years do you have [on this planet]?" It is perhaps an antiquated way of saying it, but an idiom it is not


It should...as a direct translation


Thank you!! I was just about to say that. When i studied italian in university it literally translated to that and its correct. Italian can not be translated word for work into english no language can


Scots Can Probably Be Translated Into English Word-For-Word,


It can be confusing when you translate from italian. how i go about it, is to realize than italian, spanish, french (romance languages) translations can be more similar to each other than to english. In spanish, the translation is directly the same.."how many years do you have". I don't know any german, but perhaps similarly a german speaker may find it easire to learn english than an italian/spanish speaker?? Curious to hear more comments on this


I did the same thing. But a literal interpretation may not convey the correct meaning. My husband told me this. Commication is the response it elicits...


For anyone having trouble with this, this is how ALL Romance languages ask about a person about his/her age. While the Italian sentence literally asks, "How many years do you have?", it would sound improper if said languages had a word to word version of "How old are you?" for English speakers. I had a person trying her Spanish on me ask, "¿Como viejo eres usted?" and I got confused what she meant, but helped her as I quickly picked up on what she's trying to say. In short, you CANNOT treat the language you're all learning like your native tongue. It's a different world.


Would you also use this with babies younger than one year old?
"Quanti anni ha la tua bambina?" (For a neighbor's few weeks old baby girl.)
Or would it then be something like: "Qual è l'età della tua bambina?"

I've been answered by an Italian that the most common way,
albeit colloquial, would be to ask "Quanto ha?"


Not To Be Confused With "Quanti Ani Hai".


Since the literal translation is a valid sentence, it should be accepted


Can you ask a sober addict this and mean the litteral meaning? Like you do in English.


I came here to see if anyone addressed this. For someone in recovery, they acknowledge the amount of time sober. If I wanted to ask how many years they've been sober, some places I believe people ask "how many years do you have?" In Italian, would they phrase it the same, or totally rephrase it?


How many years do you have should be accepted, because this is the literal translation. You will confuse people with this being an error.


A lot of native English speakers are of the opinion that "how many years do you have?" should be accepted. I think that It would be okay to accept it as long as DL gave a disclaimer like "you have entered the literal translation, please do not mistake the literal translation for the meaning of the phrase, which is ...". I don't think that anyone is getting confused about the meaning of phrase. It's just that most of us need to memorize the literal translation to be able to recall the idiom.


The literal translation IS a meaning of this question. A disclaimer denying it would be misleading.


Seriously? You require painfully literal translations everywhere else to even the ugliest of phrases, and now, once you've trained me to not answer idiomatically, you mark a literal translation wrong? Stupidaggine!


I tried both "What age are you?" and "What's your age?"... both were rejected. So apparantly only one idiomatic answer is considered correct and all the rest discarded. After 4 years you would think DuoLingo would have sorted this out.


Without a context I can't say for sure that the someone asking this question want to know someone else's age. If I say: "My wife has 5 years until her retirement" then I may be asked "How many years do you have?" I want to learn Italian, not english, so I would like to know if "Quanti anni hai" would be correct for italians in the same context.


Never ask this to la donna


Would: "Cosa è la tua età?" (What is your age?) be understood?

While I understand that Quanti anni hai?
would be the common way of asking someone's age,
like How old are you? in English,
in many languages there is more than one way of asking this.
(The common way, the polite way, and sometimes even more.)


"How many years do you have" --------> that's literal translation of how italian people ask for someone's age that's why the translation goes "Quanti anni ha". :)


DL which answer do you want??? Two slots back i write How old are you . That was marked incorrect. This this what age are you....incorrect.


"What age are you?" is how we ask "how many years" you have. I want my heart back.


I agree. The literal translation teaches the meaning of the words and how sentences are constructed in Italian.


Yes, it's our first idiom. If it bothers you, think about "It's raining cats and dogs." That does mean that actual cats and dogs are falling from the sky if translated literally. By extension, it should mean that the ASPCA has trucks chasing all major storms to rescue all the falling animals. Fortunately, it really means that it's raining hard: gravity is pulling millions of droplets of condensed water vapor back to Earth's surface. This non-literal meaning explains why you're more likely to see ASPCA trucks on sunny days. Idioms are one reason we need human translators, and therefore need Duolingo to train human translators. A computer does not know how disgusting, painful, and of course inhumane it would be to make it rain cats and dogs (literally).


I would have thought that Quant'anni hai? could also be used.


"How many years do you have. How old are you?" I put both options... and was w r o n g .


"Hai" is informal you (tu), if you are asking someone in a more formal situation (Lei), would you say "Quanti anni ha?"


I am struggling a little on the listening questions and i put quanti anni ai - this should have been marked wrong and this has happened on several similar exercises


'What age are you' should also be accepted. It's commonly used in the UK and is as close a translation as 'How old are you', but of course it wasn't acceped! (Sigh). Reporting it.


Eleventy seven

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