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.
I think in English and in Italian you would include "to do" or fare http://context.reverso.net/translation/english-italian/How+many+years+do+you+have+to...
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.
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".
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
I agree. Although "How old are you" is the obvious idiomatic translation, DL should recognize a grammatically correct literal translation while we're learning the essentials of grammar. That's not "coddling". I did the "how many years do you have" just to test DL. Of course, it should also accept the idiomatic answer.
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...
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 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
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?"
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?
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.
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.)
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.