"Ett litet barn kan bli nervöst om det inte får skratta."

Translation:A small child can become nervous if it is not allowed to laugh.

December 25, 2014

16 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

In my sort of English, I wouldn't call a child "it", so I try working around the problem by saying "a little child can become nervous if not allowed to laugh" or "a little child can become nervous if he / she isn't allowed to laugh."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Along with using gender-inclusive (aka neutral) pronouns, when necessary or comfortable, dropping pronouns altogether to avoid a taboo is common in my culture. So, "a little child can become nervous if not allowed to laugh" sounds fine to me. Though, I don't know how it is perceived elsewhere.

As for he/she, it still expects a child to be gendered. The world is a big place and those pronouns don't cover all of the bases. For example, I'm agender. Use of those pronouns excludes the possibility that I am the topic of the sentence, unless it is shown by context that the speaker is mistaken but intended for me to be the topic. I know for a fact that in Sweden, he/she misses a portion of the population as well. But, we might not have learned that if we hadn't run into a sentence that asks us to do something unexpected in order to prepare for a language and culture that are not our own. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Helmut83

In Spanish you use the male gender when you are talking about both genders at the same time.


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

I don't particularly like using "it" for a child but didn't want to jump to gendered language of "he / she" so I used they... Which I got wrong, my exact translation: "A little child can become anxious if they cannot laugh"


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

The problem is "cannot". At the risk of sounding like "I don't know, can you?", we really don't want to inadvertently teach the difference between being allowed to and able to incorrectly.


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

I thought that might be the case, but when it came back around to the same question in the lesson I tried to use the closest possible version to the recommended translation whilst also using "they" and it was still marked wrong.


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

Ah right, sorry, I didn't register that. We tend not to use "they" about singular children. Perhaps we should evaluate that a bit more closely for the next tree. I do think "it" is more natural than the alternative, though... but we do accept both gendered options equally.


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

Permitted to is not accepted??


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

I assume singular de isnt a thing in Swedish? If it were, youd use it here, right


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

Correct, Swedish doesn't really have that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juan49481

Is a child an 'it'?


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

If not explicitly gendered, sure, it can be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul395293

Personally, I'd never use the pronoun 'it' to describe a child (or any human being for that matter). It just sounds dehumanising.

'It' is fine to use when describing an animal whose gender I don't know (or for livestock).

When describing a human whose gender I don't know, I would always use 'they'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul395293

No, not where I come from. The pronoun 'it' is far too dehumanising to describe ANY human being.


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

Är det bättre med "hen" istället för "det"?

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