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"Il paese era vicino ma non si vedeva."

Translation:The town was near but it couldn't be seen.

July 26, 2013

42 Comments


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

Why "town"? Is that another meaning of "paese"? I have only seen it meaning "country" before.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mariaelena256

yes, it also can mean town


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martin135869

Indeed, i would think that "il paese" is exact opposite of "town".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeffrey.eggers

I have a totally different question. I translated "non si vedeva" as "it was not seen" rather than "it could not be seen." Does "non si vedeva" really imply an inability to see rather than accidently or intentionally not looking?


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

Same here - is it actually wrong to translate it "it was not seen"?


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

Couldn't?? why?


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

Il . . , paese, era , vicino, ma, non, si . . , vedeva.
The, town , was, close , but, not, itself, was seen.
~ The town was close but could not see itself.
~ The town was close but could not be seen.


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

The Italian imperfect is sometimes translated by the English conditional. Well worth looking up the conditional eg on about.com


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan534792

Sadly no info


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

According to the site: The country was near but we could not see it.. Where does the "we" come from?


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

Evidently it's an interpretation of the passive. You could say "it could not be seen" but someone might express it also as "we could not see it." There's no word in the original the explicitly represents "we".


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

Is it correct then that when "si" is in there somewhere that it's an interpretation of the passive? I remember a previous exercise in there referring to "...si comprano al centro commerciale" as "is bought at the shopping centre"...?


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

"si vedeva" is a passive construction, something like "it was seen". The passive is often formed with "si", but "si" also has other uses.


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

thanks for stressing this - it had me foxed - have a lingot - DL is great - so very often traditional grammar books aren't overly useful as they don't of course know why you opened the book. Here a puzzled but focused question can, very quickly at times, elicit a focused bit of guidance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BartS1965

interpretation …! come on!


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

If this is idiomatic Italian, of course I would not argue, but I did not think that "non si vedeva" necessarily implied a lack of ability to see rather than just the act of "not seeing it" i.e. "you didn't see it." So where is the inability to see implied in this construction?


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

That sometimes happens with vedere. Lo vedi? could be Can you see it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bazza9

I'm also confused about the "it". To me there is no Italian word for "it" in the sentence - such as "... non lo se vedeva", but to leave it off in the English is not acceptable to Duolingo. Am I right in deducing that, where it is clear what one is speaking about, vedere does not need the "it". Also, does the omission of "it" in the English translation actually make it wrong (rather than just weird), or should I feed that back to Duolingo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phil521387

can anyone explain why "the town was close but one did not see it" is wrong?


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

The awkward, unusual construction of the sentences in English is irritating.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jae633849

"The town was close by but it wasn't seen" accepted as per March 2018.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tessa904278

I wrote The town was near but it could not be seen. This was marked incorrect. Isn't this the same thing?? I reported it. I'm getting very frustrated with this.


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

How can you tell, that "non si vedeva" applies to the town? Couldn't it mean, that I didn't see much some friend who was living in that town?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LINBUR0100

In this construction, it is typically expressing the impersonal "one" person. As in "one can not see it". It is conjugated as third person singular in Italian, and translated as "one" or as "you" in English. As I understand this construction, it is not correct to translate it as "we" because that would be written differently in Italian. (In English, "one" or the ambiguous "you" of recipes and instruction manuals are both impersonal forms, and therefore are valid translations of the Italian "si" form. But "we" is only used in English by royalty and is very presumptuous, so it's rarely used in this way.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randonneur3

'The town was near but you did not see it', 'you' meaning 'one'. No good for Duo, but.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bruce55312

"The town was near but 1 could not see it" is accepted. But not "I could not see it."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnneBcklun2

In english passive mode is often translated with one


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/catherine267924

I put "but one could not see it". Could anyone explain why this was not accepted. Thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jae633849

Il paese invisibile!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John242575

surely paese translates as country, not town?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phil521387

It is to do with the derivation of the word. "Paese" comes from the Latin "pagus" which can means a village/town or the area centred on any settlement, and therefore the land around. The idea of a "country" containing many cities and areas simply did not exist in Italy until fairly recently, so the word that was already used for a smaller area had to be used for bigger ones. The French have the same problem with "pays" which generally means a country (nation), but often is used for a much smaller area that is in some way coherent, often centred on a town - "Pays de Bordeaux" for example. What a French person means by "mon pays" depends on the context.

At the risk of going on a bit, there is a similarity in the way English uses "country" and "county". In early modern English, such as in Shakepeare's plays, the word "country" often means a much smaller area than it does now, such as what we would now call a county, or at least an identifiable area. English has split the meaning of the two words, but at one stage they would have been synonyms. That is because they derive from the area controlled by a count.
In post-Roman Latin "pagus" was used for the land controlled by a count or "comes". So, in mediaeval Europe a "pagus" (pays/paese) was roughly the same as a "county" which then had to be scaled up to do the work of describing a nation. English made the useful distinction between "county" and "country", but we very easily might not have done, and our "county" would have the same ambiguity as "paese"/"pays".

Hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Caperucita804455

When did paese start meaning town? Never mentioned before.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/phil521387

It's hard to say exactly when, but sometime in late antiquity (500-600 CE?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roseanna223913

When is it a town and when is it a country


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helena222222

Completly false again!!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BartS1965

MUCH discussion over this one DL! So ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oromariposa06

Paese is country not town


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Per1meter

PAESE MEANS COUNTRY, NOT TOWN.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helena222222

"il paese ", do not is "the town" DL give us false informations!!!


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

Italy has a long tradition of city states. I wouldn't dare to claim, that paese is a country, not a town. ;-)

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