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"A família espera pelo carteiro."

Translation:The family waits for the postman.

July 21, 2013

47 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

I suggested they should accept "mail carrier". Even if the Portuguese sentence is using the masculine (that is what we usually do when we don't know the gender). I have learned that "mail carrier" is the more politically correct/respectful way of calling a person who does that for a living (at least in the US), and it should be correct for a male or female. So I'm hoping I'm right in requesting that the translation should be accepted. =)


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

In support of vivisaurus, mail carrier/letter carrier are the terms used by the United States Postal Service, which means that , from a practical standpoint, mailman is now an obsolete term in the US and will fall out of use as we old-timers die off.


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

If it was a mail-woman, wouldn't you specify "pela carteira?"


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

I am not sure "mail-woman" exists in English... does it? Mail carrier/Letter carrier would cover both, though, and that is why it should be accepted even if it is a mailman. You could say carteira in Portuguese, I suppose, but we just use the masculine name by default if we don't know the gender, so this could be one of those situations. Please note that I'm not asking them to stop accepting "mailman", just to add "mail carrier"/"letter carrier" to the list of accepted translations, since many people call them that (even if they know their gender). =]


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drewarnold72

vivisaurus Your understanding of mail carrier vs. postman/mailman is correct. Also, you are correct that DL should accept mail carrier as a translation for carteiro.

Mail carrier is gender neutral, whereas obviously, postman and mailman are only masculine. Further, you are correct in saying we don't really have the feminine equivalent of postman or mailman in the US. Although, people would know what you meant if you said postwoman or mailwoman, we just don't say it. Thus, today mail carrier is a pretty common word to use to describe someone who delivers mail. In fact, I that that's what the US Postal Service actually calls them. It is also worth noting, it is pretty common to see a female mail carrier in the US today, which probably explains the gradual move away from the words postman or mailman.

It might also be helpful to to note that it is common in the US to see the names of types of occupations changing...sometimes gradually, sometimes quickly...to a gender neutral form vs. just using the masculine or feminine form depending on the context. Another example, is the move away from airline stewardess to flight attendant, with flight attendant being gender neutral. This is true even though there is already a masculine form of stewardess, namely steward.

One exception to this trend of occupational names become gender neutral in the US is the the corporate boardroom. Still today, the word chairman of the board is very common and there is little consensus use on how to refer to a female "chairman". This short wikipedia article gives you an idea of how many variations there are on how to describe a female chairman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chairman. As women take on more and more corporate board leadership roles in the US, you have to think we'll settle on a gender neutral term sooner or latter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mnguyen129

Chair or chairperson are the gender neutral alternatives. For example, you'll see this used a lot in legislative committees.


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

Interesting!! Thanks for that! =)


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

Thanks, drewarnold72! =)


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

Great suggestion on "pela carteira" that I thought of too but backed off for fear of confusing with "wallet, desk or card" - all were discussed earlier by many of the same folks here...
And post-woman is frequently used in the UK at least colloquially.


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

There seems to be an issue with the translation grammar. Although a family refers to a bunch of people it is still in a singular form. As such the correct translation should be "The family WAITS for the postman". the only time we would use WAIT is if the sentence were "the families WAIT for the postman". Problem reported


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

Thank you for reporting, SelwynMont! It has been fixed! =)


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

Shouldn't both be accepted? It's common for groups like that to be treated both as singular and plural in everyday speech


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

especially in British English (and more frequently among Canadians than USAmericans)


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

No, the Portuguese sentence refers to one family, not a group of families.


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

I know. Single groups are often referred to in the plural in English because people often don't feel comfortable talking about a group of people as one single entity.


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

Usually family is treated a plural, like police. Similarly, same treatement for team names. - The police ARE here, - Ireland HAVE won the match, - The family WAIT for the postman.


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

"Police" = plural. You don't say "a police." And in your example, "Ireland" is synecdoche (or elision?): the meaning is, "members of the Irish team," not the entire country.

Similarly, though more subtly, If you are using "family" as shorthand for "the members of the family, individually," then you'd use a plural verb. (That family fight constantly." i.e. the members fight with each other.) When the action is done by the family as a unit, you'd use the singular verb. "That family fights with the neighbors all the time." "The family with 4 small children boards the plane early."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/midmo63359

Family is a collective noun (denoting a group acting as an individual) and therefore should have the singular verb form. See "The Elements of Grammar" by Margaret Shertzer (English)


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

I agree, but collective nouns are treated differently in different English-speaking countries. In general, Americans tend to use singular verbs (CNN has released a new show) while those in the UK tend to use plural verbs (the BBC have a new programme).


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

I totally agree.


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

why do you use "pelo" in this case and not "para"?


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

Esperar is a verb that does not require a preposition. "Eu espero você". If you use "por+o, a, os, as" it means you expect something a lot to happen."eu espero por você" / "espero pela resposta". Esperar para + verbs. Temos de esperar para ver o resultados = we have to wait to see the results. But if you use esperar+verb now esperar means to hope


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

Hi Paulenrique I did not understand what you wrote here exactly. What is now the difference between "Eu espero você" and "Eu espero por você"? PS Thanks for all the comments you've done in the brazilian forum. I already learned a lot from you!!


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

There is a slight difference between them. "Eu espero você" simply means one is waiting for another person. As someone got off the car and asked "você vem comigo?" (Are you comin with me?) "Não, espero você aqui no carro". When you use por that sounds like you expect that so much. Two friends talking on the phone and one lets his friend know the he is going to visit her soon, then she answer: "Estou esperando por você", that is, she is really looking forward to meeting him again. Got it?


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

Could you say "esperar POR" means "longing for" or is it just "hoping for" or even "waiting like crazy"? Which one would you use to translate it?


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

dont know if i got it. in short, is that true? "esperar você" = "wait for" and "esperar por" = await ? i dont really understand your phrase..:"that sounds like you expect that so much." (I am no english native neither ;-))


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

Awaits is usually used to non-living things. Esperar por = you REALLY wait for that! And now?


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

Is there any common/usual way in English to tell these apart? Or just add 'really' when 'por' is used? I don't see 'por' being reflected in the accepted answer, so...


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

yes, that's a possibility!


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

In New Zealand we call the person who delivers mail the 'postie', but I feel like that is probably too local to suggest as a translation?


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

I've heard it some in the US (probably still counts as an affectation, but you'll likely be understood). I think it's from the UK originally (and perhaps also OZ).


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

Thanks. And is there this differance for other words/sentence as well? And if I got it right, I would use por, when I omit the the "ver" = Temos de esparar pelo resultados.


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

We have prepositional verbs, that is, verbs that require preposition. It doesn't follow strictly the same prepostions as in English, so it's something you learn over the time.. The sentence you submitted is right. If you omit ver we have "pelo resultado" as por+a = pelo. Plus, if you use esperar+que, now esperar means "to hope". I hope you got it = Espero que você tenha entendido ;)


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

Should it not be [A família "esperam" pelo carteiro] ?


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

no. although the word family may indicate a lot of people, the word itself is singular, so it's the 3rd singular form. (this is the why in English we say "the family waitS..." and not "the family wait..."


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

Yet if you answer, "the family waits" they currently mark it wrong, which is incorrect.


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

Yes, at least both should be the right answer. I hear "the family waits" in english and in translation I just follow what i will say not word by word.


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

I just had the sentence "my mother waits for the postman", which was "minha mãe espera o carteiro". Why did that sentence not have "pelo" but this one does?


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

There is no clue for guessing that. If you look above you'll see the difference between "esperar" and "esperar por"


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

What about, the family wait for the postman. In english family is one unit!


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

The family = it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hth2007

can postman mean mailman


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

Yes, postman, postal worker, mailman, and mail carrier are all different names for the same occupation.


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

The English verb 'wait' requires a preposition - 'wait for'. It is only used by itself if the context gives the reason. "Is the doctor running late?" -- "Yes, I am still waiting [for my appointment with him]"


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

Thank you very much GlennaSol


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

It's letter carrier (formal) or sometimes mail person or postie (borrowed from the brits?). Mailman is still understood; still sometimes used (especially if your mail person is a man), but (at least in urban areas) if you use it as a default term, that marks you as someone who doesn't notice or doesn't care about gender discrimination in professions.

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