I also think this can also be "I don't believe us" (checked in Google Translate)
When the verb requires a direct object, it's us.
When it requires an indirect object, it's "to it".
There is not a perfect overlapping though, and transitive verbs in english may be translated by intransitive italian verbs.
E.g. "Ci stanno sconfiggendo" (=they are defeating us)
"Non ci credo" (=I do not believe [to] it)
I suppose that DUO in this case is wrong because "I cannot believe it" in italian is "Io non posso crederci" or "Io non posso credere in quello" I am an italian native speaker
Agreed. The English here should be "I do not believe it."
As an aside, at the bottom of the "Tips and notes" for this skill it lists ci as a Clitic "of place"–whatever that means–so maybe that's how it's being used here?
no, ci as a place translates as "there" . Here it is part of the verb crederci
I'm curious. Why are you learning Italian on Duolingo if you're a native speaker?
Might not be a bad idea: if native speakers find weird/incorrect things being passed off as acceptable in dL, the feedback could be used to improve the accuracy level.
I am also having trouble. How would I know that "ci" here means "it"? We are learning pronouns, and all of the "ci" pronouns go with "us". I thought "it" was "lo". Is this one of the strange expressions that we just need to learn, or is there logic behind this?
Ci is driving me nuts! Us, we, ourselves. here, there, each other and now it? Load the revolver!
I still don't understand why this sentence could not be translated as: I cannot believe us. Someone in a group might say: "I can't believe us...look at what we just did!" Does that work or not?
That just doesn't work in Italian: when you say "I can't believe you, you're lying!" you affirm that you don't trust what the other person says, and that in Italian is "non ti credo, stai mentendo!", but when you say "I can't believe you, how could you?" you're just expressing surprise at something that the other did, not that you don't trust them, so that in Italian is still "non ci credo, come hai potuto?". So yeah, on one hand it could translate "I can't believe you/him/her/it/us/them" in context, but it really means "I can't believe it".
Thank you so much for helping to clarify. This particular section has been the most trying so far for me. Thank you for taking the time!
Sometimes "ci" is used with a verb to create a new verb with a new meaning. Here, with credere, the new word is "crederci": to believe (in) something. So, "non ci credo" is "I don't believe in it" or "I don't believe it."
I thought "ci" was always about "(to) us" or "ourselves". Or am I mixing things up again... sigh