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"La popolo de Ĉinio estas grandega grupo."

Translation:The people of China are a huge group.

August 1, 2015

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johaquila

There is a lot of unnecessary discussion here on whether the verb in the English translation should be is or are.

There is no standard way of handling this kind of situation even within any single flavour of English. Unlike languages such Esperanto, French or German, English doesn't require a strict congruence of number between noun and verb. You can use a plural verb with a singular noun such as people or team if you want to stress that the members of a group are acting independently and individually. Conversely, though this is much rarer, you can occasionally use a singular verb with a plural such as citizens if you really want to stress that you are treating them as a collective.

However, there are borderline cases in which one interpretation is as good as the other and we can't bother to think about whether we are thinking of individuals of a collective. In these cases, different varieties of English use different standards. As a result, there are sometimes endless internal discussions on Wikipedia about whether it should be "The Beatles was" or "The Beatles were" or similar issues.

Here we are clearly in one such case. There are two interpretations for the Esperanto sentence:

  • The many individuals living in China, making up the collective known as the people of China, together form a huge group. (This is a statement about the individuals.)
  • The collective known as the people of China is a huge group. (This is a statement about the collective.)

Neither are the individuals actually doing anything in this sentence in a physical sense (such as drinking tea, sneezing or singing a song together), nor is the collective really doing anything (such as singing a song together or electing a government). Therefore trying to decide between the two meanings is just hair splitting and the two following English translations are completely equivalent so far as the meaning is concerned:

  • The people of China are a huge group.
  • The people of China is a huge group.

Style is a different matter, but which of the two sentences sounds more natural to you will depend on your variety of English (American, British etc.) and possibly other factors such as other languages you also speak.

Since Duolingo generally accepts answers in all varieties of English and in any case neither version is even remotely wrong or indicative of a misunderstanding, both must be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NerdyMatthew

...I just got 'the people of China is a huge group' marked wrong :/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephieRice

You can report it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tuxayo
  • 1696

Is aro equivalent to grupo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lerura

nope!
Aro = collection of alike existences, forming a whole (PIV)
Grupo = a community of alike existences. (PIV)

So the main difference is whether it a fixed collection or a loose collection.

as a bike is a vehicle, but a vehicle isn't necessarilly a bike,
a "grupo" is an "aro", but an "aro" isn't necessarilly a "group"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arkonide

Surely, the correct translation should be: The people of China are a huge group. The people is the subject. You would say: the people of China are an angry group of individuals.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/solidgitarius

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.

Source: http://www.pearsonlongman.com/ae/azar/grammar_ex/message_board/archive/articles/00048.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ludanto

Well, it's not "the people of China" so much as "the People of China". Popolo isn't plural (and if it was it would be "peoples" anyway). "People" here is more in line with the idea of "race" or "citizenry" or some other group of people. Popolo is even defined as a "vast group of people".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Some speakers of English (particularly in the UK) use singular verbs with groups of people - "The police has said that ...", for example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arkonide

Vortaro defines 'popolo' as 'vasta grupo da homoj'. Accordingly, a better translation could be: The population of China is a huge group. However, if you translate it as 'people[', then you should use 'are' instead of 'is'. You cannot always literally translate words. I prefer the expression: 'interpretation' rather than 'translation'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NotWaje

La Popolo de Ĉinia is the name of a Chinese magazine published in Esperanto. This sentence could be refering to that company as a unit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

The magazine you are thinking of is El Popola Ĉinio, a bit different than the La popolo de Ĉinio mentioned in this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnMoser1

I tried "the population of china is a huge group" and it didn't like population as a mass noun. I'm pretty sure population is a mass noun referencing a group of people of defined commonality.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arkonide

If you believe that your translation of popolo is population, you should let the moderators know so that they can add this to the correct translation. I am inclined to agree with you that "The population of China is a huge group" is correct. Vortaro defines the word 'popolo' as follows: 1 Vasta grupo da homoj, konsciaj pri sia malsimileco kun la ceteraj najbaraj grupoj, k loĝantaj kune, plejofte en unu sama lando: se ekz. en la Centra Afriko vivus ia popolo, kiu parolus la francan lingvon […]Z; (post la milito) kunvenos la diplomatoj k penos reordigi la rilatojn inter la popolojZ; demandite pri tio, al kiu popolo li apartenas, la loĝanto de tia lando estas devigata nomi ian gentonZ; peco de tiu miksdevena k tamen lingve k kore unuigita popolo nun staras antaŭ viZ (E-istaro); ĝi prezentas popolon pure ideanZ; kongreso de la ruslandaj popolojZ; la cigana popolo; ✞ la popolo de Dio (la kristanoj); (f) formiko, popolo ne forta.
I note that one has modified the original translation to: The people of China are a huge group. As I have stated elsewhere in this forum, one should not always stare oneself blind on a given translation but pay more attention to interpretation rather than always seeking a literal translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnMoser1

The word 'popolo' can translate as 'people' in this context; my point was that "population" is used to indicate a group of people, and not just a count, and so is essentially-correct. I don't have a master's degree in English, though, so I wasn't sure if that was valid.

I'll report it next time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arkonide

This subject does not seem to go away. As far as I am concerned, the word "people" is clearly plural. I know that arguments are bounced around that the people could also be used as a group of individuals, i.e. singular. However, people are a group of individuals and the word is still plural. Can you really say: "The people of Australia is a very diverse group of individuals?" You should say: "The people of Australia are multicultural and therefore a very diverse group of individuals" The people is the subject! Now, if you turn it around, for instance: "This huge group represents the people of China or "this huge group is the people of China", you stay in the singular. In other words, if the word 'people' is the subject of a sentence, the verb should be plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TerryVog

'is' and 'are' both should be accepted. I reported it several times to no avail. English is not my native language, so I make errors native speakers wouldn't make. We are here to learn Esperanto; not to perfect our English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vtopphol

"The people of China is a huge group." still not accepted. I wish I could demand my lingot for a perfect test-out of the skill. My last question, and they stole one heart. >:-#

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