"Spaniens flagga är gul och röd."

Translation:Spain's flag is yellow and red.

March 15, 2015

21 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardWalsh901

The natural way to say this in English is "The Spanish flag is yellow and red" but it's not accepted.


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

It's a different construction - den spanska flaggan.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardWalsh901

Well, the two languages use different constructions all the time. My point is that the concept is more naturally translated as "The Spanish flag" and that requiring answers which are not natural English is counterintuitive. Is there a difference in meaning or usage between 'Spaniens flagga' and 'den spanska flaggan'?


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

Sure they do, but when the same construction is idiomatic in both languages, we tend to not like rewrites, as they detract from the purpose of learning Swedish.

I actually disagree with you - for instance, Google offers 353 000 hits for "the flag of Spain", and Wikipedia's article on it is called "Flag of Spain".

Potentially, I guess "the Spanish flag" could have a broader meaning in specific contexts, but that's kind of ridiculous, I think, so it adds nothing to my argument. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardWalsh901

Well, I'll be damned if you aren't right! I wonder is this a regional thing as it sounds completely weird to my ears but there's no arguing with the internet


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

Could very well be!


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

Yeah personally I have no problem with "Spain's flag is..." OR "The Spanish flag..."

In fact, I think about flags a lot and I know what a lot of the world ones are, and when I went through in my head, I realised I had different constructions for some countries! e.g. It would definitely be (for me) "Sweden's is blue with a yellow cross." - or "New Zealand's flag is almost the same as Australia's." but then it would be "The Australian flag." I don't really know why.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RichardWalsh901

New Zealish people and their lack of an apposite adjective!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahferroin7

Late answer, but that broader meaning aspect is why 'Flag of Spain' is more common. 'Spanish' is the name of the language, the name of the nationality, and the adjectival form of the name of the country. However, the language is not unique to Spain (at least, as long as you don't consider American Spanish as a separate language), so 'The Spanish Flag' could be talking about a flag associated with the language (which is not as strange as it sounds, notice how all the languages on Duolingo have a flag icon associated with them).

That differentiation in meaning is technically possible for any construct like 'The Spanish Flag' for any country that has a name linked with a language like this, but it's unusual in most other cases because Spanish is one of the few languages that's sufficiently widespread that people may associate 'Spanish' with the language before they associate it with the nationality or the name of the country.


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

Every time I hear "gul" I want to say gold. I keep having to correct myself. I know there's only a one-letter difference, but really...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerda82

I know, right? You're not the only one who's having trouble with that. I see that you learning Dutch as well. Maybe it helps to think of the Dutch word for yellow, next to Swedish one: "geel" and "gul".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerda82

Graag gedaan :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ryagami97

Och blå, vit, grön och rosa :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dano2664

For some reason it said that "Spain's flag is yellow and red" was wrong. Any reason why? It accepted a similar possessive country construction on a previous translation...


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

Probably Duolingo acting up - the sentence is certainly correct, and accepted in the admin interface.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kats437366

Anyone else apart from me who would say red first? Haha


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

Yeah me too. I suppose you could argue that 'yellow and red' is 'more correct' because it has more yellow than red, but yes I think in English we've developed idioms of certain colours first when we say two or three colours, no matter the context. It's probably to do with 1 syllable versus 2 syllables. For example, "blue and yellow, green and yellow, black and yellow..." but then try "Orange and purple..." could be "Purple and orange." Yellow is perhaps a special case because it ends in an open vowel sound, so "and" is a bit clumsy after it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ezupo1

there isn`t more yellow than red, the yellow part is the sum of the two red parts. i.e ...1+1=2


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

Actually, if we count the coat of arms, then the red parts are even larger. :p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ezupo1

a very good appreciation!

Learn Swedish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.