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"O homem é responsável por seus atos."

Translation:The man is responsible for his acts.

June 10, 2013

26 Comments


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

Should it also accept "Man is responsible for his actions"? I'm sure that's what it means although Duolingo often insists on a more literal translation and it's a 50/50 choice whether I should translate the definite article or not!


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

This sentence takes the "humanity" meaning, indeed. And actions is accepted.
Ato is sinonym of ação.


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

I'm not a hundred percent sure, but...I know in English it's still acceptable (Although outdated in my personal opinion :P) to use "man" to represent "humanity" or people in general, but I don't think it goes the same way for Portuguese, at least not in the singular form, as I've heard "Homens são..." used in a way to mean people in general.


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

It is a very old quote, the English saying "Man is responsible for his actions" is attributed to the 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant. Armed with this piece of information I used Google to search for Kant along with the Portuguese sentence and my first hit (surprisingly from the Kennel Club of Brazil: http://www.kennelclub.com.br/obediencia/cao_cidada_02.htm) mentions this:

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), filósofo da razão já ponderou: "O homem é responsável pelos seus atos e tem consciência do seu dever".

As this is a very old quote what you say could still be correct in modern Portuguese.


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

Kant wrote, "Der Mensch ist für seine Taten verantwortlich," with the definite article, required in German as in Portuguese. In English there is no exact equivalent. "Man" means "mankind," a collective. Der Mensch can mean "Mankind" but also "The human being," which is the literal sense here. "The man" distorts the sense of the dictum. Simply "Man is responsible . . " is possible, but sounds awkward.

So the Duo translation above is not accurate, if grammatically correct. The most natural way to say it in English would be "A man is responsible for his actions."


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

Philosophically correct English - the person - would probably be most true to the original Kant quotation. Fortunately, for the engineer in me, we are trying to learn Portuguese (and a lot of English that I did not learn in school).

Kant might have said: No easy answer to understanding people!


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

In modern terms, I'd say, "A human being is/Human beings/People....are responsible.....


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

Good point, I think it should, but don't take my word for it.


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

"People" should be accepted too. Reporting....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielChui1

Thank you for this post, I agree with you Davu.


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

Could it be: "The man is responsible for his DEEDS" ?


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

They accept "The man is responsible for his acts" and, at least to me, your version sounds like an improvement on that (I'm probably showing my age).


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

"... showing my age" No, no. It really sounds better, I've heard (or read) this phrase before.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Doro675431

As Kant's original quote is: "Der Mensch ist für seine Taten verantwortlich." , deed would indeed be the best translation .


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

Is 'the man is responsible for their actions' not a correct translation?


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

To a native speaker this would definitely mean this man is repsonsible for someone else's actions, so it's an okay translation, but not of Kant's apothegm. We know the man is a "he." The "their" and "they" creep in when the antecedent is not gender-specific. In speech most people now would say something like "Every teacher is responsible for THEIR own syllabus." This is still offensive to my ears, and I would prefer, "Every teacher is responsible for his or her own syllabus." "If a teacher sees someone cheating, they have to report them" is colloquial English, but sounds awful. In writing we'd find some way to avoid the plural pronoun representing a singular noun. I hope.

"The man is responsible for her acts" is also good, but only if it means the man is responsible for what the woman did. Without the Kantian context, I think both have to be accepted because they do convey meaning in a grammatically correct way.

[I'm sorry, I first left out the word THEIR above and totally botched my meaning.]


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

Although strict grammarians might wring their hands, the use of "they", "their", etc. as a gender-indeterminate pronouns actually has a long history in English, going as far back as Jane Austen, Shakespeare, and Chaucer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they


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

I think I was in error above in allowing for a translation that makes a man responsible for someone else's actions. "Seu" has to refer to the subject of the clause. So "Men are responsible for their acts/actions" or "A man is resonsible for his acts." "The man" would mean a specific man, which I suppose is a possible intention here, but I take the sentence as a statement of a moral principle.


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

I have often found that Duolingo does not accept "their". In this instance it is clear the subject is male, but I recently had a case where it was impossible to tell what gender the subject was. Acceptable answers included the words "his" or "her" but not "their"! Go figure :s


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

It accepts 'The man is responsible for her acts.', but not their. I realize it's referring to the man, but the actions could be done by more than just the man. I agree, it's often hard to know which answers duolingo is going to accept :s


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

Well, knowing that, their should be accepted too.


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

Since DL requires the definite article here I suppose they are speaking of 'one man' and not the human race, they could have said ' that man' and no one would be confused


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

It's still not good written style to use "their" when the antecedent is singular. In speech it's used almost universally and very carelessly when the antecedent is singular but could be masculine or feminine.


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

I'd say that "their" is an excellent way to address the "his/her" split. I'm a supporter for advancing that usage!


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

Is this sentence correct: "O homem é responsável pelos atos dele"?


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

Yes, it is also right!

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