Or, as Aristotle put it, a political animal! Political in the literal sense, meaning social.
Der Mensch ist ein politisches Tier? - trying to extrapolate from the prior lesson.
The man is Der Mann, der Mensch is specifically Man as in mankind or the Human
I think beast is das Biest in German. Beast/animal is one of those Anglo-Saxon/Latinate(likely French) pairs, with "animal" being the more "refined" term.
We don't say 'the mankind' in English. Mankind is an uncountable noun, meaning you can't have 'three mankinds' or something similar, therefore it can't be used with an article.
You also can't say 'Mankind is a social animal' (leaving off the first article), because 'a social animal', which uses a countable noun, clashes with mankind's 'uncountable-ness', grammatically speaking. You would have to change the sentence to 'Mankind is social' for it sound okay in English.
Does that help? :-)
Why it is 'ein soziales Tier' but not 'ein soziale Tier'? Isn't it a nominative case?
It is mixed inflection. And since Tier is neutral, the adjective would be soziales.
I used "social" to be on the safe side but could it have been "political" animal. As kpelle27 says.
"The man" means one real person. "Mr Smith is the man who fixed the window." But just man means all human beings.
"That person is a social animal" marked wrong. When can "der" be translated as "that/this"?
You are correct, but considering the context duo's translation is better here. This sentence is something you would come across in a documentry. Or, as mentioned at the top, some excerpt from Aristotle.
Thanks. I thought it was a party scene. But if it was a general statement would the Der be necessary?
Yes, it would sound unnatural without "der". For example it would sound a bit like saying: "brain is an organ" in english. However when using a plural for such a statement than you should indeed omit "die". For instance: "Menschen sind soziale Tiere". Hopefully this clarifies it.
You would have to say "Human beings are social animals" or "A human being is a social animal". However, in the 21st century we should really be avoiding using "Man" to mean "men and women"! If man is a social animal, what is woman?