"Fransız halkı Fransızca biliyor."

Translation:French people know French.

April 13, 2015

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i think that in this sentence the word people in english is singular. i quote Longman dictionary:

The noun people has both a PLURAL sense and a SINGULAR sense. In the PLURAL sense, people is used as the plural of person very frequently. It is a plural count noun and takes a plural verb. It never has an -s ending; it is already plural. A people—meaning the unit of all the people in a tribe, nation, country or ethnic group—is a singular count noun. It has this form as a plural count noun: peoples.


No, it's plural, even though that dictionary entry makes it sound like it would be singular. The singular use of "people" is very narrow, and it's really only when you're using "people" as a synonym for "tribe" or "ethnic group" or one of the other words referenced in the dictionary entry. (That is, you're not using it to TALK ABOUT a tribe, but to mean the WORD "tribe.")

So, the singular "people" might be used to make an anthropological observation about "the various peoples of the Americas," or something like that. ("Peoples" is one of those words that social scientists need more than the rest of us do.) However, if we're just describing people by language or ethnic group (Turkish people, German-speaking people, Asian people, Aztec people, etc), "people" is a plural.

(I hope that makes sense. It's confusing. But when in doubt, assume that "people" is plural, because it almost always is.)


thank you but i still think it is exactly the case here. i really don't think "halk" means "people" as the plural of "person" but means "the people" as a "nation", "society" or "the entire community". i guess it is a detail here, the purpose is to learn turkish but i disagree with the translation. sans rancune ;)


I understand what you mean, but an English speaker wouldn't use singular "people" for this type of sentence: it's really unusual to use "people" as a singular, and it's only for very specific situations -- basically as a straight substitute for the word "tribe" or the word "ethnic group." (I'm a native English speaker, and this conversation is probably the first time I've ever used "people" as a singular, because its uses are so few, and so specific.)

If you're making a statement about French people, even if it's a general statement, and even if you're talking about an entire community, "people" will be plural. (That is, you'll use the word exactly as they've used it in this translation.)

If you say, "a French people," it's like you're talking about a small ethnic group within France, and it still sounds very strange. ("A French ethnic group" or "an ethnic group in France" would be better phrasing, although none of these constructions really work in the Duolingo sentence, either.)

Anyway, I know it's off the topic of Turkish, but I still wish I could explain it better, because it IS confusing. =)


thank you for explaining. this topic is a bit confusing but your explanation is good and clear. i am learning turkish for english speakers but i am not, fair enough...


No problem: I'm glad it (sort of? =) ) makes sense. (I've been thinking that Turkish is a confusing language, but really, English is pretty confusing, too!)


Here is another example. When we English speakers use the phrase "the French," we treat it grammatically like "people." That is, we say, "The French have delicious food." We don't say "The French has delicious food." Even though its meaning is singular--one entity or a single cultural group--we treat "French" grammatically as a plural. Similarly, the plural for "people" or "French" (e.g., when we mean two groups of people) stays the same: "people" or "French." For example, "The French in the southern and in the northern part of the nation voted for Holland" and "The people living on campus and living in town attended the meeting." As sainio pointed out, "peoples" in English has a very specific sociocultural team that is not so common in most connotations.


Totally agree with you. I too wrote the French!

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If I'm understanding correctly, the point that ChloMeo was trying to make, is that the Turkish word "halk" is singular, meaning tribe or society. And that we have to keep that in mind when using it or translating it.


Duolingo accepts "The French know French" as of 28 June 2019.


is people plural or singular?


"people" is plural in English.


I am confused, is "Fransız halkı" genetive ? Because "halk" is the neutral word, i don't understand why there is a "ı" at the end. If it is genetive, why don't we say "Fransız'ın halkı" ?


It's a noun compound. In that case, the first noun ("fransız") doesn't take an ending, and the second ("halk") takes a possessive ending. There's a good explanation of noun compounds here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8616301

(If you're curious, there's also a little more about nationalities and genitive constructions vs. noun compound constructions in this sentence discussion: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9999364 )


Thank you so much ! :)


I see how noun compounds work; but is Fransiz not an adjective? Confused again.


Could fransalalar replace fransız halkı?


In the audio, the word Fransiz sounds like Fransis. Is that correct?


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