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  5. "Ми їмо цибулю на обід."

"Ми їмо цибулю на обід."

Translation:We eat onions for lunch.

May 28, 2015



For all of those Spanish learners/speakers who didn't notice, 'цибуля' is related to 'cebolla'.


For Portuguese learners/speakers too, we say cebola :)


I noticed this right away and was very confused. How is the Ukrainian more like the Spanish cebolla than the Russian luk? Totally different language families.


This one is a (one of many) loanword from Polish cebula which in turn is a loanword from German Zwiebel or directly from Italian cipolla. Europe is really small :)

It's "luk" that's the strange one here tbh.


ah, thanks! That makes much more sense. Then I wonder why the French and the English have such similar words for this? (oignon, onion) Europe is small, but with many different well-preserved languages resulting from different wars, migration patterns, trade routes, and other such means of language-mixing. Every once in awhile I'm surprised with a Spanish word that sounds incredibly Arabic.


History plays a large role in the evolution of languages. Before the battle of Hastings in 1066, English, which is not a natural language but rather a created trade language for Norsemen and local people groups, was purely phonetic and very similar to Old Norse. After the French victory in 1066, the English language was heavily influenced by French (the language of the new nobles) and slowly became a non-phonetic language with many French borrowed words (like mayonnaise). The French and even German influence is seen in the Russian language due to the ruling classes. Many words in the Indo-European languages share a common root, even if they sound different today (like the Ukrainian word for surgeon, which comes from Greek and which is also the root of the word in other European languages). Older English literature from the 19th and early 20th centuries commonly use words like "divan," "velocipede," and other words which are in the Ukrainian and Russian languages. It's a small world. :)


Yeah, Arabic took its toll on Spanish back in the day indeed :p You can find many French words hidden in English ;) afaik English noblemen spoke mainly French in the past (such snobs :p) so it's no surprise. And yes, I agree that connections between languages are interesting by themselves from "geo-historical" point of view.


Also, Swedish has lök.

devalanteriel, in this Swedish thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/9428343 says this goes back to Proto-Indo-European.

And here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6467920 people say it is related to English leek, Dutch look, and German lauch, as well as Russian лук and Croatian luk.

(Not all of these are the same thing, but the root word in PIE may be the same anyway.)


They're all part of a very broad group of languages called 'Indo-European'. Most of Europe's languages, some Indian languages and anything else I have missed are all Indo-European languages. So English, Greek, Hindi, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Cornish and Portuguese (to name a random few) all ultimately come from the same root. As a matter of fact, Lithuanian is the closest languages to the original Indo-European language.


Yes, I know this. But it seemed strange that the same word would be in a Romance and Slavic language that are very far removed from each other. And from my knowledge of other Romance and Slavic languages (other than Portuguese), it doesn't seem to be the same word in other languages. Ukraine and Spain must have some reason for using such a similar word.


I am learning spanish and I just noticed that now. :)


There are a couple of weird coincidences between Farsi and slavic languages. "Panj" is five in Farsi similar to pięć in polish. Чотири is similar to "chetor" (four) in Farsi.


Is цибуля one of those words that are uncountable? Example: одна цибуля, дві цибуля, etc? I wrote "We eat an onion for lunch." and it was marked wrong, but from what I understand, the я -> ю change only takes place in the singular, not plural.


Цибуля is uncountable. So you can't use "one two three" with it. But if you want to talk specifically about one onion (or any other quantity) you can use a word цибулина (pl. цибулини) which can also be translated as "bulb".


In English we say that we eat something FOR lunch and that means generally the content of the lunch. "I eat only soup for lunch." In the example above an American English speaker would have said: " I eat onions at lunch" That would imply that other items are eaten for lunch as well.


I have serious doubts what someone in Ukraine eat only onions for lunch. Therefore in Ukrainian that also would imply that other items are eaten for lunch as well.


I understand that but the translation in English needs to reflect what an average English speaker would perceive.


I agree. Use the "report" function.


Four years later and this sentence is still weird. I mean, it's not an incorrect sentence. The structure is certainly correct. But to think of someone only eating onions for lunch? Gross! It makes me think, if someone has onions for lunch, are they breading them, frying them? What is making it like its own stand-alone meal?

If I were to make this sentence make sense for English speakers, I would say "We eat onions in our sandwich" to have it clear that we're not just sitting at a plate with sliced onions, picking them up, and eating them like potato chips...with no other food accompaniment. But the sentence structure would change!

As someone else here mentioned, it might be a better choice to replace onions with something likely eaten on its own. Like fruit, or vegetables, or eggs. Something that at least tastes a little good and can be eaten by itself.


Why is "We are eating onions for lunch" wrong?


Should be right. Probably depends on the "hidden meaning", right now or usually. Report it.


This course won't be doing much to promote Ukrainian cuisine with meals consisting solely of onions or solely of sour cream.


Should be pronounced їмО, not Їмо

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