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.
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'.
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
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.
Ok, actually a question. Can something like this translate to, "Don't have a cow, man"? Haha.
"Hast du nicht eine Kuh!" ??
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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).
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"