"Ĉu vi havas ian bovlon?"
Translation:Do you have any kind of bowl?
I wasn't paying attention, and translated this as "Do you have any kind of cow?". Learn from my example. It is a bowl, not a cow.
Is this wording any better at getting a bowl of any kind than "Do you have a bowl?"
For an English speaker this may be confusing, but asking in this manner is natural to speakers of Slavic languages
Duo rejected, "Have you got any kind of bowl?" Yet in British English, "Have you got.....?" and "Do you have.....?" are both used to mean, "Do you possess.....?" (I have reported this).
Is this a normal thing to say in Esperanto? In English this seems very odd. I can't imagine ever asking someone if they have "any kind of bowl". I would ask "do you have a bowl?"
Yes, it's a bit awkward in my native language (Portuguese), too :D But Zamenhof was a native Russian speaker, many speakers of Slavic languages (where they speak like that) learned Esperanto and even the table of correlatives was inspired by Russian, so in Esperanto this is normal, too. This link (in Esperanto, but not hard to understand) explains that the difference between "iu" and "ia" is generally small, and sometimes it doesn't even matter: http://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/oa-vortecaj_vortetoj/tabelvortoj_u.html#i-1r2
Wouldn't a word following something like "any" usually be a plural? Seeing as it's assumed by the use of the word "any"? Or is this just an English thing?
Any kind is followed by a singular, for the reason of asking about one item.