"Großbritannien" only refers to the Great Britain, while "das Vereinigte Königreich von Großbritannien und Nordirland" refers to the whole United Kingdom. Is there perhaps a shorter version of "das Vereinigte Königreich von Großbritannien und Nordirland" but still refer to the whole of the UK, like the english words "the United Kingdom" and "the UK"?
Can you simply say "das Vereinigte Königreich" or "das VK" when talking about the UK?
Das Vereinigte Königreich seems to be as short as it gets according to the German Wikipedia article (a great way to explore German concepts).
That same article does however acknowledge that Großbritannien is often used to mean "the UK" (i.e. including Northern Ireland) in Germany in every context except diplomacy.
Is "We are coming from Great Britain" really wrong? If yes, please explain why :)
It sounds odd to me -- "coming" doesn't sound like something that you can be in the middle of doing while you are speaking.
"We will be coming" sounds reasonable, on the other hand.
But wir kommen aus... is not about travel; it's about origin. "Where do you come from? Where are you from? Are you from England?" -- that is something that does not change, and so the present simple tense is used: "I come from Germany. I am from France." We don't say "I am coming from Germany" or "I am being from France".
GB - great britain - cancels out Northern Ireland, unlike UK - United Kingdom
However, the German sentence we are asked to translate uses Großbritannien, so that's fair.
My comment would be that I haven't really seen "GB" used as an abbreviation in writing or speech - only on number plates and so on. But then, I haven't spent much time there.
none of us who live on this island make the distinction in normal conversation
Whichever does it literally mean, all across Europe, but of course outside the British Islands, England=Great Britain=United Kingdom in spoken language and are distinguished only if it is useful for the conversation, exactly the same way in English Holland=Nederland unless you are speaking of how the Holland differs from Zealand or stuff like this.
How we spell Grosbritannien or use UK or whatever shouldn't come into it at all. It's asking us how it's translated into English. Not German. It's ok for them to be picky when it comes to German correctness but "Duolingo German" should not be correcting us in how we translate this part into English
Yes, Duo should correct things when they are translated incorrectly.
If the sentence was "Ich habe einen Stein." and I translate that as "I have a bird." it certainly should be marked as wrong.
Question. What about "Engeland"? Could that be used or is it wrong to use it?
·England - England, a part of the UK (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).
·Großbritannien - Great Britain, i.e. England, Scotland and Wales. They are all countries with in the UK
·das Vereinigtes Königreich (Großbritanien und Nordirland) - The United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; abbreviated «the UK»), which includes England, Scotland, Wales (i.e. Great Britain) aswell as Northern Ireland.
Please take a look at this image: http://goo.gl/vJ3gUK
By the way, that image doesn't convey the population size of each area.
Scotland is geographically almost as large as England but has only around 1/10th of the population. Wales and NI have even fewer people than Scotland.
You are completely right, it does not convey that. Nor does it convey the distribution of sheep or cows.
Seems weird names have language translations I never understood how Rodney my name could be different in any language I mean it's my name introduced to the world by the people who gave it to me not some historical interpretation of it. I'm not sure if Great Britain is any different why can't we use the name according to it's origin? I'm just trying to figure out what would the rules be for translating seems like you just have to memorize them.
I'm not sure if Great Britain is any different why can't we use the name according to it's origin?
The same reason why we say "Spain, Germany, Russia, Japan, China" in English and not España, Deutschland, Rossiya, Nihon, Zhōngguó [with the correct tones, please!].
Personal names are usually not translated.
City names are usually only translated if they are famous and well-known in the language (e.g. we say "Rome, Moscow, Warsaw" in English and not Roma, Moskva, Warszawa).
Country names are very often translated, especially for countries that have been known to English speakers (or German speakers, etc.) for a long time. So we have English names for China and Japan but not for Tuvalu or Vanuatu.
Why doesn't it let me put the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?
Despite the literal meaning of "Great Britain"/Großbritannien only referring to the largest of the British Isles, in common usage Großbritannien can indeed refer to the whole UK. However, to best translate the target sentence, it would be best to use a similar level of verbosity. If the original sentence didn't make the effort to use the full official name, there's no reason to translate it that way. There's also even the possibility that you've been overly-specific - the speaker could have been referring to only the island, without context, and you've then changed the meaning.
I would argue that from the perspective of English-speaking Americans and Australian, England would be an acceptable substitute for Great Britain. UK or the United Kingdom is used far less than the other two. England, United Kingdom and Great Britain seem to me focussing on the political distinctions rather than geographical which is how Americans and Aussies view the matter. Either nationality would be quite surprised to book a flight to, say, England and land in Belfast, Ireland.
Belfast is in Northern Ireland, which is in the UK (but not Great Britain or England) :-)
It's a minefield isn't it?