"Il cuoco ha il formaggio nel piatto."
Translation:The cook has cheese on the plate.
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I think Buthaina1986 is referring to the two "the" already in the English sentence, that may not have appeared in their word-bank, not to the third "the" that exists before formaggio.
The cook has cheese on the plate.
You are of course making an important point regrading the extra use of definite articles in Italian compared to English.
Users who wish to read more about it, may find the next couple of links to forum posts useful:
November 2019. This Italian part of Duolingo has been such a great experience for me, in general. However, I am confused about this. I wrote, "The cook has the cheese on the plate." The checker said that was incorrect. It should be, "The cook has cheese on the plate." How are we to know that there is not a specific cheese on the plate when translating? This is asking us to read minds, especially because in the lesson information it says you it is more important to use articles in Italian. I think it would be more fair if Duolingo accepted either translation. Thanks!
Many Italian pronouns (such as 'per', 'a', etc) can correlate to multiple pronouns in English. It is my understanding in this case that they may consider food to be "in" a plate, whereas an English speaker would consider it to be "on" the plate. Although the literal translation might be "in," the appropriate meaning in English would be "on." On a related note: in Italy, plates on which saucy foods are served are often high-walled and might even be considered bowls - perhaps this is where the confusion comes from?
In Latin, which Italian comes from, there is only one word "in" which means in/on, or into/onto if used in a different grammatical case. (In case you were curious, in/on uses ablative, into/onto uses accusative.)
I would assume that "on" is a French or German adaptation of the Latin word "in", which would mean that Italian never acquired a different word for "On top of". I can sort of see this with Latin "ad" (to), which can also mean "near" or "towards", and with certain verbs "in front of/before", where I would expect the dative or accusative.
Latin is fun. Italian is fun too. I'd recommend learning Latin after Italian, you'd learn a lot about grammar. More than any English class has taught me.
My crockery knowledge is not perfect but I would say 'dish' would be a more accurate description, in this case, as this incudes the rimmed bowl as well as the flatter unrimmed 'plate'. Personally, if I see the food is more than halfway below the level of the rim of the 'dish' then I would say that's in rather than on.
Wouldn't accept 'the cook has the cheese on the plate', even though the (admittedly ambiguous) definite article was present in the Italian, and could be referring to specific cheese. If it weren't there then both definite articles would be wrong, but it is there and can translate. Course needs editing for certain!
I am learning this language...can someone tell me the what would with using "sul" instead of "nel" especially in the context of the sentence above. With my small knowledge of the language so far, "sul" translates as "on the" while "nel" translates as "in the" shade some light please.
Many times, words do not have perfect correspondences between languages. This is especially true for prepositions. Sure, "su" literally means "on" and "in" literally means "in", but they are often used differently. Why are we "in" a car but "on" a train? Why are we "in" bed? Why are we "on" a couch but "in" a chair?
In English, a plate is a surface so we put things "on" it. In Italian, a plate is a vessel so they put things "in" it.
regardless, if you were referring to specific cheese (the cheese) you'd surely use the exact same phrase. It might not translate directly all the time but i'm certain it's a correct use and shouldn't be marked otherwise, especially when the definite article is translated directly elsewhere in the course. If the definite article weren't there, granted it'd be incorrect. It is, so while it's not necessary, I'm certain it's still acceptable
One is a literal word-swap, the other is actual usage.
In English, we say something is "on" a plate. We frame it as a surface.
In Italian, they say something is "in" a plate. They frame it as a container.
Never trust machine translation. Language is far too subtle and nuanced for that.
I love how I got a choice of 3 answers to translate "The cook has cheese on the plate" earlier in the practice lesson and the correct answer was "Il cuoco ha formaggio nel piato." This time however, when having to type out the Italian, I put the same thing and was marked wrong for not putting "il formaggio"
There is neither "his" nor "hers" in this sentence:
The cook has cheese on the plate.
Il cuoco ha il formaggio nel piatto.
However, in Italian (as well as French and all the other Romance languages), the possessive is just like any other adjective and must agree with the noun it modifies, not with whose noun it is.
No one here can do anything about technical glitches. Next time something like that happens, take a screenshot and file a bug report.
The literal translation of prepositions in different languages does not always match the proper way one uses them in all cases.
We think of food as "on the plate" while Italians think (when thinking in Italian) of it as being "in the plate". So while the literal translation of nel is indeed "in the", one would still translate the sentence as "on the plate" simply because that is the proper preposition in English.
Italians conceptualize the plate to "contain" food, hence they use nel.
Though, for the Italian word for "tray" (vassoio)
you would translate "on the" literally: sul.
Also, if you see many traditional Italian plates,
they are not as flat as the common American plate.
This issue with prepositions differing, is not unique to Italian versus English. Try Hebrew or Arabic compared to English.
᛫ "Meet you on Monday, in Washington, at the corner of Independence and 3ʳᵈ Street."
All of the italicized prepositions above, will be translated in this specific sentence as bè (hebrew 'ב'. Or as Fì in Arabic 'في'.), even though they all have corresponding prepositions that are used the same as in English in other cases.
The literal Italian translation of "on the", is sul.
'Lo' (as a definite article) should not be used with "formaggio".
However, 'Lo' is also a clitic pronoun.
For example, you may have seen "Mangio il formaggio" (I eat the cheese) rephrased as "Lo mangio" (I eat it).
The rules for choice of definite article: