When there could be multiple English translations, it tends to come down to context. By itself, Ich verstehe should be, "I understand." While we may say in English, "I see", that is the short version of, "I see what you are saying", or "I see what you mean" (as someone else has mentioned). Thus, we are getting into contextual translation and colloquial meanings. It goes the same way with some German sayings that translate into English awkwardly.
"I understand" is the best translation here. But yeah, all words have 'shades of meaning'.
For example, while you might say "Oh yes... I see" when you tell someone you understand what they're saying, you could also say something like "I see what you're saying, but I don't understand what you want me to do about it".
When translating, it's best to keep as much of the original meaning as possible. If you translate it in a document as "I see", then maybe the next person to translate it back to German could say Ich sehe and then it just becomes a game of Stille Post.
s before a t or a p is usually pronounced sh. And as most grammar rules in German have their exceptions, so has this one. For instance you have to be aware of compound words, where incidentally the first ends with an s and the second starts with t or p. Wachstuch is really two words Wachs (wax) and Tuch (cloth), so here the st is pronounces as s and t instead of sh-t.
They re-wrote the main website from scratch, and it doesn't yet have all the features that the old one has.
Conjugations are on their list of missing features that may be added in the future: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002969903-Duolingo-s-New-Website
Wouldn't 'Ich verstehe es' be more correct, when you use this as an answer to an explanation or statement by someone? At least, in Dutch you cannot say it, there needs to be an object too so it sounds very strange to me since there are so many similarities between the two, considering the grammar.
A frequent saying we would say, "I am understanding you." Ich verstehe dich.
Where are you from?
In the US, I don't think this would be usual. People would say "I understand you." -- treating "understand" as a stative verb. Much as we don't say "I am having a handkerchief in my pocket" or "I am loving you" or "I am thinking that you are right" or "I am not knowing the answer" or "Are you being happy?".
"I am understanding" is generally not accepted as standard English on Duolingo.
I beg to differ. You’re taking an expression, “ I am understanding” which could be used in the active present context, and comparing it to examples where you are making nonsensical expressions. Certain verbs and nouns would make sense and certain verbs and nouns wouldn’t. That’s not the point.
A teacher is talking about studies and asks you, “You don’t understand, do you?”
You answer: “I am understanding well”. Many would just shorten it to “ I am understanding”.
That’s just one example. Too say that is uncommon is weird. I mostly always answer questions with phrases that show actively doing something. It shows more attentiveness.
Why not "I am understanding"?
Because in English we usually do not use this verb in the -ing form.
We say "I understand you" and "I see the house" and "I love you" and "I think you are right" -- and not "I am understanding you, I am seeing the house, I am loving you, I am thinking you are right".
This kind of verb is sometimes called "stative verbs".
Surely "I am understanding" also translates to "Ich verstehe"
The adjective "understanding" would translate to verständnisvoll, so if you want to say that you're an understanding sort of person, you would say Ich bin verständnisvoll.
The verb "understand" is not used in the -ing form in English, so you wouldn't say "I am understanding" while using that verb.
Are you talking about the schwa phoneme?
Depends on the dialect, but ususally yes. In southern parts (Bavaria, Austria - where I'm from) you usually pronounce "er" either as a short "ah" or as "a-ah", but that's rather advanced. Just try to pronounce the "ver" like "ferr". (It is, by the way, a very common prefix in German.)