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"Min mamma är polis."

Translation:My mother is a police officer.

3 years ago

41 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Nraith
Nraith
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One of the answers was, 'my mother is a police.'

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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Yes?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rumnraisin
rumnraisin
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Just to provide some apparently needed context for discussion on this thread, and not to take either side of the debate, here are some pages where the usage is discussed and a few brief words summary of their content:

http://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/4995/when-to-treat-police-as-a-singular-noun-and-a-plural-noun

http://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/22142/police-are-or-police-is

http://www.englishlessonsbrighton.co.uk/police-uncountable-plural-noun/

A number of upvoted answers on those state "a police" is incorrect. The smaller comments there mention "The Wire", just as cayvie has mentioned it on this thread, but those who have left comments also say such things as "It's hard to tell if this is dialect, slang or jargon, but I believe the show is generally considered to be realistic in its use of language" and (from a different poster) "I think that usage is a regionalism."

Which isn't to say those regions aren't widespread, see http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2014/09/a-police.html for a few examples of where it has been used - and they are widespread, although not numerous. Also notably they are often in a highly colloquial, vernacular, or slang style. Even though this blog post finds references for the usage, it concedes 'We doubt that “a police” will slip into common usage.'

There is a lot more debate about it easily found, for just one example: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/101751-A-Unique-Collective-and-Uncountable-Noun-Police


I suspect the reason this keeps coming up is because learners are writing "My mother is police" without any article, and Duolingo is (mis)correcting them to "My mother is a police" as the nearest alternative in its list of accepted sentences. If this happens to you, and "... is police" does occur in your regional variation, rather than leave a comment here, why not use the error reporting facilities to report that your sentence should have been accepted. :) That way the course team can put it into the list of accepted answers. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ictram
Ictram
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Late reply, but you also have to consider that there are also people who use the English courses that aren't native English speakers (including myself). I suspect that's why they're a little bit more forgiving when it comes to certain accepted answers. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porpsi

"A police" is wrong in English. Omit the a or add officer to the end

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zmrzlina
Zmrzlina
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No, it occurs occasionally and we will allow it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porpsi

things that occur occassionally can still be wrong. I occassionally spell occassionally wrong, but it's still wrong.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JB__Stockholm

The meaning is clear, especially for non English speakers so it's fair to allow it, as far as learning Swedish, not English, is the reason why we are here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Svetsurge

'My mother is a cop' works too ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/obitonye
obitonye
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Why A policeman?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wonderlili18

Just wondering-- in situations like this, an "en" or "ett" is not needed for it to translate as "a... _" Are there any rules about this??

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
Arnauti
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I wrote some about it here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6122883

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EleanorWil

My mother is a policeman? My mother is a police?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cayvie
cayvie
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have you seen "the wire"? they say "a police" all the time in that show

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptainIkag

My mom is an officer is not an accepted translation? Policeman and officer can be synonymous in English.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toast776

As an English speaker I would only substitute officer for police officer in the context of talking about police related things. Without context it could mean something like an officer in the military.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptainIkag

Still they remain synonymous and very few people would assume it to be a military officer.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gentoomaniac

My mom is a police - sounds wrong for me... The Swedish version sound also a bit of. Or am I just missing the point here :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
Arnauti
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The suggested English version is My mother is a police officer. There's a long discussion about 'a police' in English in this thread, but it's just an accepted answer, you don't have to use it. Unfortunately we can't control what is shown as 'another correct answer' so this may be shown to you depending on what you input.
Min mamma är polis is totally normal in Swedish, it's the most natural way of saying it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gentoomaniac

Thanks for the clarification. :) I'm using Duolingo on Android and there it showed 0 comments to this exercise when I clicked on the comments. Now on the web I see the comments you are referring to. As for the Swedish version: thanks here too for clarification. Learned something new :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
Arnauti
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I know comments don't show up properly on mobile platforms, I really hope Duo will fix this soon!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shayla-anne

Its interesting seeing how different english speaking regions can vary so much in the way they form sentences. Like in this example I would have considered "My mother is a police." improper english or an incomplete sentence. (Ex. my mother is a police....woman? Officer?) But I suppose Duo has to accommodate for all possible english translations.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lorenagay
lorenagay
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Odd, it says there are already 27 comments, but none show up!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
Arnauti
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Let me guess, you're on a mobile device? there's a bug with these unfortunately.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stephen874691

So it failed me for breaking police women into two parts the algorithm needs a little latitude.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
Arnauti
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We don't really control typo handling, but as far as I can see, you'd only get a typo for police woman, whereas police women would be failed for being plural instead of singular.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mumblemee
Mumblemee
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'My mother is a policeman.' love the alternative translation suggestion. :D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlisterEP
AlisterEP
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So police and police officer are the same?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/icannotfly

How do you make the distinction between "the police" as a whole and "the police officer" as an individual?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoakimEk
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"polisen" can mean both, and you need to figure out from context. You can specify an individual with "polismannen" (possible for any gender but biased towards male) or "poliskvinnan" (female). (The word "poliskonstapel" can also be used but sounds oldfashion.) For the police force one can use "Poliskåren". Often you can tell since one usually begin with undetermined "en polis" for an individual, but the police as a whole is always determined ("polisen").

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EzuPo

My mother is a policeman or policewoman?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Paolog5

How we can call who is working in the police corp but is not officer, but a simple other administrative worker?

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel
devalanteriel
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Probably by some other name entirely, which depends on the profession or tasks rather than on being in the police corps.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Byx-

Shoutout to the mods for accepting "cop"

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Firefly540
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I put "My mother is a police" and it worked. Made me laugh.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PogoPaters

Could you say "my mum is in the police"?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PatruAloeil
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”My mom is a police officer” didnt count...

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Erin982828

Loving all the Swedish gender equality

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TopRival75

Would 'Min mamma är en polis' be grammatically incorrect in Swedish?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/devalanteriel
devalanteriel
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It's not ungrammatical per se, just unidiomatic to the point of being wrong. Unless you want to point out specifically that you rmother is one police officer.

6 months ago