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  5. "Hon talar inte engelska."

"Hon talar inte engelska."

Translation:She does not speak English.

November 18, 2014

83 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TimothyC2

Why can't I say "She Speaks No English"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anrui
Mod
  • 5

"She speaks no English" is not a correct translation for "Hon talar inte engelska" since this sentence could mean two things.

Either "she" can't speak English, or she is simply not speaking English at the moment. Since it could be interpreted in both ways we only accept "She does not speak English".

"Hon talar ingen engelska" would be a perfect translation for "She speaks no English".


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

Does inte negate engelska or talar?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan-Olav

It negates the verb talar


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisWilli599175

A fine point, but as a native British English speaker, I would say that 'She speaks no English' and 'She does not speak English' are interchangeable in common usage. If wishing to convey that she is not speaking English at the moment, 'She is not speaking (in) English' would be used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pnj2411

Sorry but this is looking at it backwards. "She speaks no English" is one of the (several) correct translations of this Swedish sentence, and should be accepted. The fact that there are one or several other, and perhaps better ways of expressing that English in Swedish is not a reason do disallow the answer. It's particularly inappropriate since we are at such an early stage, and "ingen" has not been introduced yet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anrui
Mod
  • 5

But allowing "She speaks no English" gives the misleading impression that this is a good translation of this phrase, which it isn't. We are very liberal when it comes to translations where there are no "perfect" translations. But in this case "Hon talar inte engelska" and "She does not speak English" are perfect translations. Therefore, we are not liberal.

You say that ...the fact that one or several other, and perhaps better ways of expressing that English in Swedish.... But this does not really hold either. If we listen to the radio and I ask Does she speak English? you wouldn't answer She speaks no English.

The fact that "ingen" has not yet been introduced does not change anything as we always want to teach the best way of saying something.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pnj2411

Well I disagree that it gives the impression that the translation is good (which I would not claim), just that it is good enough, given the stage we are at. And arguments involving an invented context for the translation of a question for which for which there is none are not valid. Duolingo is littered with examples of less-than-optimal answers being accepted even where 'perfect' translations exist. Forgive me being blunt, I am very grateful that this course exists and cognizant of the effort expended by you and others. And I am also closer to agreeing with you than my reply would suggest :)


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

I think this is making things a bit too complicated. Since we've got a situation where the two languages actually correspond pretty perfectly: "Hon talar inte svenska" = "She does not speak/is not speaking Swedish", and "Hon talar ingen svenska" = "She speaks no Swedish" there's no need to mix these two expressions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anrui
Mod
  • 5

It is always difficult in cases like these and we have discussed it in the team. Our conclusion was that the translation isn't "good enough" and that it therefore should not be accepted. Everybody will of course not agree on this, but we have to make decisions and stick to them.

I know that there are loads of bad accepted answers on Duo, but that does not mean that we should be lazy and give in.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Niiin3

one should not get comfortable learning a new language in a "wrong" way, just because one doesn't know any better.... that's why one should take any corrections, to improve right from the start!


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

Well since we are beating this to death, I would like to point out that the accepted translation "She does not speak English." means that she peaks NO English. At least as an American speaks it. It never means that she is capable but is not speaking it at the moment. If you used it that way it would immediately mark you as a non-native speaker (in the U.S. and in my opinion). For that we must say "She is not speaking English." (present tense) or "She was not speaking English." (past tense). This leaves unsaid whether she is capable of speaking English or not. But by all the arguments put forth so far "She speaks no English." and "She does not speak English." are suffering the same meaning. If the Swedish is actually ambiguous on this point so that the phrase can mean either then we should look for a translation which has the same ambiguity or we should accept both meanings (in my opinion).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/calhob8

Because it would translate into "hon talar ingen engelska"


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

because it does not sound good. It sounds better as "She does not speak English".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roxanne389195

Thats an incorrect sentence. That indicates that no English is a language


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

It's a perfectly fine sentence. The word "no" can mean the opposite of "any amount more than nothing", which is the case here.


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

Quite a rare sentence to hear in Sweden.


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

Why cant it be 'she do not speak english'?


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

In English, third person singular (he, she, it) subjects get a special verb form ending with -s. Like, I read, you read, they read but She reads. For do, that form is does. I do, you do, we do, they do but he, she, it does.


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

And other users, please don't keep downvoting this when it's already at the bottom of the page! A lot of our users aren't native speakers of English and I think we might as well have explanations about things in English grammar too. Why not learn two languages at the same time?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lagolas2010

This is the most useful way of learning with Duolingo, perhaps. You choose the course of your target language and learn the language that's also used in the country where this language is from (the language that you also need/want to learn)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sharath501515

Terrific explanation !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/g.uh

1-What's the difference among Ingen / Inget / Inga? 2- When inte comes before or after the verb? 3- Talar or tala?


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

ingen is for en words, inget for ett words, and inga for plural, regardless of gender.
ingen bok 'no book', inget hus 'no house', inga barn 'no children'.

In a normal Swedish sentence (a main clause that is not a question) the verb always comes in second place, and since it would be odd to start a sentence with inte, it will come after the verb. But in subclauses, inte goes before the verb.

tala is the infinitive, but talar is present tense (used for all persons: jag talar, du talar, hon talar …). The infinitive is not used directly with a subject. It is either used with another verb, like jag tycker om att läsa 'I like to read' (att läsa/to read are infinitives) or to speak about the verb action itself: det är roligt att läsa 'it is fun to read'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vidhula.A

Why cant I aay "she doesnt speak english" it said "she does not speak English"


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

If you put exactly she doesnt speak English, you should just be told you have a typo. If you put she doesn't speak English, it shouldn't complain at all. So I'm not sure what might have happened.


[deactivated user]

    Said about no Swedish younger woman ever!


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

    Does "cannot speak" and "doesn't speak" translate differently?


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

    cannot speak 'kan inte tala' and doesn't speak = talar inte.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sharath501515

    I believe 'kan' is the equivalent form of 'can'

    Is there any equivalent for 'do' as well?


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

    In pronouncing TALAR the stressed syllable is 'ta' (second-to-last), in pronouncing ENGELSKA the stressed syllable is 'ska' (last), is there a tip that would let me know when I should stress the last or second-to-last?, or do I just have to "remember"


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

    The stressed syllable in engelska is the first, e. Generally Swedish nouns have the stress on the first or second to last syllable, (and in compound words, secondary stress on the other part of the word) but there is no hard and fast rule. If it's on the last, the word is usually a (French) loan word.

    Blehg has made some very helpful videos about Swedish pronunciation that you may want to check out: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6502614


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

    What does the 'talar inte' actually mean; is it a phrase in itself, because I presumed 'inte' was like 'in', so I translated ''She doesn't speak in English''. Can anyone help?


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

    Literally, it means 'She speaks not English', but in English you use the construction with the verb do with negations, instead of just adding the negation like we do in Swedish. So you say She does not speak English instead.


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

    It litrerally means


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

    What do you mean? :)


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

    You put "litterally it means" and i beleive its "it litterally means"


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

    It's actually spelled literally with just one t and I chose that word order because of the contrast with what follows: literally it means that, but... Maybe I should add a comma though.


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

    Both ways are fine, there's just a small difference in meaning – they fit in different contexts. :)


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

    It might just be how you say it... I would userly say "it literaly means" but you say it the other way around with "literaly it means" :) and lol i spelled it wrong 2 times in a row....


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

    Is "inte" like "not" and/or "no"? Can I use it to answer a yes/no question? I ask that because my native language is portuguese and we only have one word for no or not.


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

    Inte is like 'not' and nej is like 'no'.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mercedes433920

    Why does it use the verb talar for speaking rather than pratar which seems a lot more common when you are in Sweden?


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

    pratar is a more colloquial word but I don't share your impression that it would be more common in this case – the standard way to say you speak a language is to use the word talar, although pratar is also ok.


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

    Why doesnt: She doesn't speak english work in this?


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

    It's an accepted answer. Might have been some glitch.


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

    It should, if it doesn't


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kelsey.han

    How are you supposed to recognize the difference between "Hon" for a female vs a male?


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

    Hon always means she. He is han


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

    She didn't speak english is why incorrect???


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

    didn't speak is past tense so that would be pratade inte
    pratar inte is present tense so that's doesn't speak


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kvu18

    Talar and inte can mean she does/ doesn't speak blah blah blah. But how am I able to know in n which way ot uses them??


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

    What do you mean?


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

    "talar inte" means "doesn't/don't speak". So "talar" means "speak" and "inte" means "not".


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

    There was not a single tab that said "does" or "not" in my case.


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

    So it is used just like ikke in Norwegian?


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

    Yeah ikke and inte are used the same way


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Monse2083

    I write don't!!! Why its not the same ???!!!!


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

    English uses "doesn't" for he, she, and it, and "don't" for everybody else.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RezaTavaso1

    Why i couldent say; she dose not speak english.


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

    Doesn't is the same that does not


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/indigo413451

    I got it right and it said i got it wrong


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

    Pronunciation of "talar" is unclear


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamuelCous9

    Why not i can't say he doesn't speak English? Does not is the same as doesn't


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

    Yes, but "she" isn't the same as "he".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamuelCous9

    Why can't i say she doesn't speak english?


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

    If that wasn't accepted, there was a bug.


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

    She must be a foreigner, I believe almost all Swedes speak English :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ggbr6

    "He doesn't speak English" is wrong?


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

    Yes, hon is "she" and han is "he".


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

    Does not and doesn't is completely same.


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

    Yes, and they're supposed to both be accepted everywhere. Duolingo creates the contracted versions automatically.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toma223368

    Why i can't say 'she doesn't speak Swedish'?


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

    Because the sentence says engelska, not svenska. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephan881810

    Duolingo is getting more frustrating everyday: Today I did several lessons totalling more than 100 xp however only 20xp were credited. what is happening here?


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

    I have no idea, but that sounds incredibly annoying. Unfortunately, you're in a random Swedish sentence thread, which isn't a very good place for finding advice. I would recommend posting in the troubleshooting forums instead: https://forum.duolingo.com/topic/647


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yaroslav622140

    i wrote "doesn't" and it didn't passed


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

    That's definitely accepted. We have loads of error reports for people writing "Swedish" instead of "English", though - so I'm guessing you had a minor error like that. :)


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

    Why isn't 'she doesn't speak swedish' acceptable?


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

    Because the sentence says engelska, not svenska. :)


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

    Ok. Should have read the sentence properly. Apologies


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

    No sweat. :)

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