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  5. "Der Schweizer hat eine Kuh."

"Der Schweizer hat eine Kuh."

Translation:The Swiss man has a cow.

August 28, 2013

138 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/3SarahBee

I didn't realize 'The Swiss' was singular


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

Wouldn't it be "have" if it were plural?


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

It's the same in English. A person from Switzerland is a Swiss, so if a specific one owned a cow, then "the Swiss has a cow". It's no different from the demonym "a German".


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

No we don't say that, a person from Switzerland is Swiss, more than one person is Swiss too, so "The Swiss have a cow" is what we (English) would say!


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

You're correct, but I think you've misunderstood my point. This sentence specifically has "Der Schweizer" meaning "the Swiss [person, specifically singular]". Some were questioning whether omitting the word "person" was correct English. My point was that in English, the demonym and the adjective describing someone from Switzerland are both "Swiss", in the singular as well as the plural, e.g. "the Swiss is Swiss" in much the same way as "the German is German". It's one of those quirks of the English language that it sounds peculiar, which is why many on here were querying it, but it is "correct" English.


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

Actually "the Swiss" to me refers to ALL the people of Switzerland. So "The Swiss have a cow" would mean "The entire population of Switzerland shares a single cow".


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

I'm in the US and I only know one German person here. So if I were to refer to him to one of my other friends I would call him 'David the German', or 'the German' so people would know who I was referring to. This 'Swiss' person in this lesson could be the same way, at least that's how I took it. Maybe this Swiss guy is in Austria and his neighbours are commenting 'The Swiss has a cow'.


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

It's just treated that way in German, I guess. Just another of the many differences from English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pada.online

It is pretty simple and straightforward:

  • der Schweizer (singular, masculine) = the Swiss (man)
  • die Schweizer (plural, masculine) = the Swiss (men)
  • die Schweizerin (singular, feminine) = the Swiss (woman)
  • die Schweizerinnen (plural, feminine) = the Swiss (women)
  • die Schweiz (country) = Switzerland
  • die Schweizer Bevölkerung (singular, feminine) = the Swiss population

Any questions?


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

I interpreted it as the Swiss as in the Swiss peoples. Is there a way of saying that easily or would you have to say die Schweiz Menschen or something like that?


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

Several people would be "die Schweizer". If you want to add another noun, you could say "die Schweizer Bevölkerung", for example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bogg22

How come it is SchweizER Bevölkerung or is it because it is 2 nouns rather an an adjective then Bevölkerung?


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

... Is it just "Schweiz" that needs a definitive article among countries, or do we have rules for these things? I definitely do not recall that "Frankreich" or "Deutschland" need an article preceding it


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

You only need the article for countries that have a different gender than neuter.


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

Unfortunately, this rule doesn't really work. It's "Das Vereinigte Königreich". You can't leave out the article there either.

EDIT: I gave it some thought and although I couldn't find an authoritative reference confirming it, I suspect that leaving out the article is the exception, not the rule. I suspect the rule to be:

For destinations you go to, you normally have to use an article with the noun. The article is not used after the preposition "nach" (if it is used to indicate the destination).

As you use the preposition "nach" for most countries, it looks like leaving out the article is the default case , but I think it is not. If we move from countries to general places, the pattern becomes apparent:

  • Ich gehe nach Dresden/Sindelfingen/Österreich/Kasachstan
  • Wir fahren in die Hauptstadt/Oper/Vereinigten Staaten
  • Wir fahren in das Gebirge/Ausland/Theater
  • Wir fahren in den Schwarzwald/Ural/Ruhrpott
  • Wir fahren auf die Zugspitze/Malediven/Bermudas
  • Wir fahren zu der Oma/Königin/Funkaustellung
  • Wir fahren zu dem Watzmann/Berg/König
  • Wir fahren zu dem Festspiel/Theater/Schaf

I would feel better if I could back up my observations with a reference but at least it seems like a pretty good heuristic. I couldn't find any counter example.


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

How do you say the Swiss people? Could you just say "Die Schweizer" for that as well?


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

Yes, "die Schweizer" is fine. You often hear "die Eidgenossen" as well.


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

It's just like the word 'waiter' i guess. der Kellner; die Kellner (masculine sing, plu) die Kellnerin; die Kellnerinnen (feminine sing, plu) right?


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

I am from Switzerland = "Ich komme aus Der Schweiz" so why is it "die Schweiz" there?


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

Die Schweiz is a feminine noun .. in your sentence aus puts it is in the dative form (die becomes der)


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

Now I understand @pada.online it's still too complicated. It should be like modifying Spanish nouns with a, o, as, os. And el, la. los, las. Why the f do Germans have to complicate things so much. How so we know between one Schweizer and another. Jesus Christ, no offense.


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

Thank you for the reminder.


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

thank you it is very useful


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/viktorine.k

any options for agenders?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnbax10

i find it strange it refers to 'man' instead of 'person'.


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

Switzerland is an exception because its called the Switzerland aswell


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taxgirl17

Wait...how come as one of the definitions you have dairyman as a translation (which makes the most sense when he has a cow) and it is wrong!


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

It's being accepted now, luckily for me. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M132T003C

It’s being rejected now for some reason… (I have reported it.)


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

It is not wrong anymore :/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/98esined

So I got it right and no alternative option but I just want to know if "The Swiss man has a cow" is accepted. That seems like a much better English sentence than what I gave.


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

It was rejected for ages and ages - months at least - but I just tried it and it is finally accepted. Actually, it looks like it's now the preferred translation over "the Swiss has a cow", which is great, since that sounds extraordinarily unnatural (at least in my region).


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

Don't have a cow, Swiss man. - Bart Simpson.


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

Is this a common stereotype? Like in Australia they have a stereotype about New Zealanders having sheep


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnbax10

i think it is an expression instead....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ioana.stan

I thought it's a reference to Milka chocolate and the purple cow in the ads.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/William101890

It specified 'the Swiss man.' Is there something here that make the person male, or should it be person?


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

The Swiss woman would be "die Schweizerin".


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

Is 'man' necessary ? Can't we just say 'The Swiss has a cow' ?


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

That used to be the default translation, so it should still be accepted.


[deactivated user]

    Ok, actually a question. Can something like this translate to, "Don't have a cow, man"? Haha.

    "Hast du nicht eine Kuh!" ??


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

    The equivalent to "don't have a cow" is "mach dir nicht ins Hemd!".

    If you wanted to translate it literally, you'd need to use one of the imperative forms of haben, and say "hab keine Kuh!", "habt keine Kuh!" (for plural), or "haben Sie keine Kuh!". None of those would really make sense to a German speaker who didn't get the reference, though.


    [deactivated user]

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Scarlet2906

      Why is it "The swiss MAN has a cow"? I don't see Mann.


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

      As you could probably tell if you read the rest of the thread, the suggestion used to be "the Swiss has a cow" (this should still be accepted), but lots of people pointed out that it's very unnatural English - in the same way that "the English has a cow", "the Irish has a sheep", or "I'm a French" would be. At some point, after many reports, "the Swiss man has a cow" became the suggested translation.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorinDorin4

      I love how in the first sentence 'the Swiss' appears he is associated to a cow:p


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

      For a Brazilian, this sentence is a kinda funny


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/k3EzAMT7

      Another sad day for Duo translations! It seems they've had trouble with this one before judging from the list of comments. "Der Schweizer hat ...." is a singular construction so it couldn't be referring to the Swiss people as some have thought. "The Swiss man...." is redundant, unless you wanted to make clear you weren't referring to a Swiss woman. But to mark "The Swiss has a cow" incorrect is just silly.


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

      This is not a sentence used in English! - "The Swiss (Man/Woman/Person) has a cow" would be correct.


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

      i like how i wanted to just peek at one word then it showed me the whole sentence


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laila182399

      a very importand sentence to know if you're going to germany


      [deactivated user]

        What a cliché.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StridingDream17

        Why so much obsession with "The Swiss"? xD


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

        ...to make Swiss cheese


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BruceTaylo8

        Duolingo should accept "Switzer" as a synonym for "Swiss n.". It's in the OED, as well as the online Merriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Switzer


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anurag24505

        DuolingoWierdness


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

        in the audio for "der" here it sounds like the voice is in agony or something.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard830305

        The corrective statement in the statement does not have the word "man" in it. The translation above does. Perhaps I will report it.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bruce645450

        The Swiss fellow has a cow. was not accepted.


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

        Regardless of the German rules, I'm translating this into English and we don't write "The Swiss has...", we write "The Swiss have...".


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

        But this is talking about a single person so it should be has not have


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

        German Duo loves talking about the Swiss


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

        "Eine kuh" is accusative???


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Girlcatlove1524

        Yes, in accusative feminine nouns still use 'eine'


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TANTAN464777

        What a stereotypical remark. LOL


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard830305

        The pig had a cow because she was not milked on scheduled time.


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

        So it's not Schweizer mann. Scheizer means Swiss man? I screwed this up twice.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jude484365

        Talk about stereotyping!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jude484365

        Talk about racial stereotyping!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ems747

        Stereotypes... :P


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Frank313433

        In American English slang to "have a cow" can mean to "get very upset". The most famous example is Bart Simpson saying "don't have a cow, man!" when telling Homer Simpson to remain calm.


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

        Duolingo is so random lol


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Claudia847487

        It's the same in Enhlish. A person from Switzerland is a Swiss.


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

        Why not "the Swiss has a cow"?


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

        This certainly teaches me that I have to be exact and specific.

        Since der Schweizer refers to a man who is Swiss, I took it for granted that 'The Swiss has a cow' was enough.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulCole11

        "The Swiss has a cow" not accepted ☹️


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

        You don't need the man bit in modern (as opposed to archaic computer) English. 'The American has a gun' seems exactly right. so 'The swiss has a cow' should be correct.


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

        More likely to be: 'The American has a gun, The German has a beer and the Russian a missile"


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewFee3

        The Swiss has a cow should be accepted.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rose173982

        The swiss? Is correct!!!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rose173982

        Your comments about the swiss down below are broken English the swiss is correct !!!!!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marcin721045

        Previously der " Schweitzer" was an acceptable answer for "the Swiss". Not sure why it's not in this case.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan272864

        Where's Bart Simpson when you need him?


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

        Man is not listed in possible words


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

        And the Duolingo obsession with cows continues


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/e.brown

        The clues also give a definition of Schweizer as a dairy man which would make sense in this case but it considered it to be a wrong answer.


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

        I just deleted a post the other day (I've now un-deleted it) that claimed it was now being accepted. Are you 100% sure that "dairyman" was the reason your sentence was wrong? Thanks!

        Edit: Seems others are reporting it as incorrect too.


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

        wouldn't Swiss people be offended to learn that you use the same word for them as "dairyman"? lol


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

        We use the same name for them as they use for themselves...


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drpr87

        Many Swiss speak German as their native language, so they use it as well. I suppose there could be dialectical differences though. At any rate, I doubt it bothers them overly much. (The other official native tongues there are Italian and French)


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

        There are four official languages in Switzerland; you forgot Romansh. :)


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

        I haven't seen anyone else post this, so I want to make it clear: "Swiss" is the singular demonym for Switzerland, as well as the plural.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_adjectival_and_demonymic_forms_for_countries_and_nations

        I find it odd that some are getting angry about it when the exact same rule applies for "German", "Indian", "Chinese", "Italian", "Australian" and "Indian" (and probably a load of others).


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

        It's not the same for German/Germans, Italian/Italians, Indian/Indians, Australian/Australians.


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

        Good point, although the point I was making was about the singular demonym, rather than how it pluralises. I could be wrong, but I think that that is a different matter ("Swiss" is both singular and plural…like "Chinese"…and "moose").

        However, my point still stands that the complaints that der Schweizer should translate to "the Swiss person" are inaccurate. The equivalent would be an argument that der Italianer should translate to "the Italian person".

        I figure these discussion boards are to share knowledge—albeit primarily auf Deutsch—and it was something I thought might alleviate some of the confusion (and animosity).


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard830305
        • believes there be a glich in the program and I will contact mein friend in. Hanover to see/ask how it is spoken. This needs to be put to rest. Hallo mein Freunde. Auf.

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

        For context, Switzer is an obscure/archaic English word for a Swiss person


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gunce1

        I would know if every Swiss is notral about all matters


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

        And it's purple.


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

        I translated it as "The Swiss citizen has a cow" and got it wrong...


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

        I keep getting mixed up with schweizer and schwester


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Sapphira-

        How am I going to know that it was a "Swiss man?" Huh Duolingo? Give me an answer! >:(


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

        • Der Schweizer (male Swiss) • Die Schweizerin (female Swiss)


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

        I would and nobody I have ever met would use 'has' in this sentence. The Swiss person has a cow. Or the Swiss, as in the Germans/French/British have a cow. The translation is a very poor one.


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

        Surely we don't refer to individual people as the country they're from? "The Swiss", "The Spanish", etc :/


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

        The Spaniard, the German... why not?


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

        The British do NOT speak like that "The Swiss HAS a cow", we would say "The Swiss HAVE a cow"!!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gorn61

        This is "The Swiss" in the sense of "The Swiss man", not in the sense of "The Swiss people".


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

        English speakers don't generally say 'Swiss' to mean 'Swiss man'. I have never heard it used as a singular demonym (in the way for example one can say 'the American').


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Belboz99

        I tried "The Swede has a cow" and it wouldn't accept it.


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

        That'd be "der Schwede hat eine Kuh".


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

        Why would we refer to a person as the country they are from, it sounds wrong to me!


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

        Us Swiss have many cows in all (I don't since I'm from the city). Der Schweizer in German means "the Swiss person". If it was "the Swiss have a cow" it would be "Die Schweizer haben eine Kuh." It would also logically be wrong. So for it to be logical, it would be "The Swiss have cows" which translates to "Die Schweizer haben Kühe"


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hoja.de.Arce

        "A German, an Austrian, and a Swiss walked into a bar---OUCH!" It's not the most common way to say it, especially in conversation, but it's not incorrect.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard830305

        SWISSMAN/SWISSWOMAN

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