"O rato come a capa da menina."

Translation:The mouse eats the girl's cape.

January 3, 2013



If you have ever read a children's book in your native language, you will probably see so-called nonsensical sentences, such as the mouse drives the car. If sentences like these help children learn their first language, then it makes sense for adults to learn their second language this way, as well.

January 5, 2014


The mouse eats the girl's cape? What kind of a sentence is this? I am left questioning myself when the sentences don't make much sense. As a general rule, capes are not worn and they certainly aren't eaten - not even by mice.

January 16, 2013


You've clearly never had mice in your house. They will chew through anything.

February 12, 2013


The point of non-sensical sentences such as this and, "the lion writes letters"- "O leao escreve cartas" are to teach us to better understand the words, even if the sentences don't make a lot of sense. These exercises force you to understand each word of the non-sensical sentence, not just the gist of it.

January 16, 2013


New words are often but not always presented in unnatural contexts but usually introduced in sentences that make sense. The purpose of doing it both ways is to reinforce the word itself. The first presentation, where we choose the correct pattern from a jumble of words, teaches the new word in context. When it turns up in an unexpected place it tests our memory of the word. If we see or hear words only in their normal contexts, it takes longer to fix it in the mind as active rather than passive vocabulary.

December 15, 2013


You obviously don't have kids, a Wonder Woman cape? And mice eat nearly anything. I don't think there's anything wrong with the "nonsensical" sentences, it tests my knowledge and memory a lot better then having the same sentences repeated. As long as it's grammatically correct, I think it helps when trying to construct slightly strange sentences that you may want to use at some stage.

February 4, 2013


Indeed. My first thought was that mice got into someone's closet and chewed enormous holes in their cape. As for other sentences with animal actions that animals don't normally do, I think of Aesop, Babar, et al. ^_^

A little bit of anthropomorphism goes a long way. And now I have the urge to order a Portuguese translation of Redwall.

June 19, 2013


I guess that this is better translation: "The mouse eats the girl's cloak."

January 3, 2013


Aren't "cape" and "cloak" synonyms?

January 8, 2013


I hear "hapto" instead of rato. Does anyone know if hapto is the correct pronounciation of rato?

October 20, 2013


When a word begins with the letter r, it often sounds as though it begins with the letter h. I try to think of it as gently forming the r, but starting it with an h. It ends up sounding much softer that way.

November 4, 2013


I also heard that haha i get where the 'h' sound came from but i dont get where the 'p' sound came from

August 19, 2014


I've never had the word 'rato' before :-(

October 22, 2013


Yes, I think that was a mistake. At least my sequence asked me to come up with a translation for rato before it had been presented. I could only get it because of Spanish.

December 15, 2013


Are capes really popular in Brazil or is this just Duolingo being Duolingo?

November 14, 2013


I suggest it's partly to mix words that have similar English equivalents with those that don't, like abacaxi, to give us more quickly a bigger wordstock to manipulate. Also note that the sentences often underline different meanings of the same word by using it in different contexts. This is a sound way to develop gradually a sense of the language, Sprachgefuehl. Mostly the program spoonfeeds, which is appropriate, but sometimes it seems to be trying to stretch that sense. Also, I'm finding that making mistakes with new or unprepared material helps me focus and remember. I think this is really a very sound program--just weak in clear pronunciation and coming up with idiomatic translations.

December 15, 2013


I don't have a problem with nonsensical sentences, but the pronunciation here is unintelligible, especially when context doesn't help decipher the words.

November 24, 2013


The more I've gone through the program, the more I agree that the nonsense is counterproductive. It may be a valid method, as I first argued, but it doesn't work if the creators don't have a perfect command of English. As we go on we see so many flawed translations that we have to read their minds to get answers. Having unnatural Portuguese sentences to start with and throwing in idioms without preparation only make it worse.

January 6, 2014
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