This course is so rewarding when you use the keyboard with the Russian alphabet and manage to get it all correct all by memory. I mean, I definitely enjoy my other languages as well, but Russian is cool and provides a great self-confidence boost. Even with simple words like in this example. :)
This one really threw me for a loop. I knew it must be wrong, but I inputted "America here is here", since I didn't know how else to interpret it. I figured if it was just "America is here" then there would've been no вот. I'm beginning to think that I won't be flying through this nearly as quickly as I have with German. lol. Russian seems to be much harder. Although I guess that's fair to assume, given that unlike my native tongue, it's not Germanic. lol.
This is the essence of translation! You have to understand what's written in another language, and then say the same thing in your native language - using your own natural phrases and words. The more languages are different, the less useful is word-by-word translation.
P.S. I work as a translator from English into Russian.
I also have the problem of "kind of just being like that". Often, though, it's rather being concise or proper, to the point, and being fully aware of that. It can sound "harsh", only I know that I mean well by default, others only know what I said :)
But sometimes, especially on places like this forum, you just want to know the answer, you want to learn! etc. What's right is right.
BTW, you might be well aware of this but Duolingo, as good as it is, is still very limited. Many times, it's going to tell you you're "incorrect" even if the mistake was completely marginal or irrelevant. Reading stuff around the Internet, generally people write horrible English :) ...but it's trivially understandable. The same phenomenon applies also to other languages, in different ways.
I started writing about the sense-for-sense vs. word-for-word thing concerning this Russian course (compared to other languages), but that would've become excessively long. Maybe I'd rather post it somewhere else.
Anyway! Wouldn't "America here, is here" actually be a reasonable answer? It's sort of like "America, then, is (this) here". In these exercises I always get a mental image of someone pointing at a map, does that make sense (is that the correct/relevant image for the concept)? 'здесь/тут' and 'ето' by themselves would be used for the concrete "here" and "this", whereas 'вот' is abstract. Am I on the right track there?
P. S. Having a professional translator helping out here is enormously appreciated. Kudos to you!
Буду краток: http://fb.ru/article/172166/kogda-v-predlojenii-stavitsya-tire-v-kakom-predlojenii-stavitsya-tire ) Можешь просто пройтись по заголовкам абзацев, выделенных жирным, там все правила о тире в предложении.
It's a lot like saying "America — (it's) there", as in: “Mexico is in the South, and Canada – North”. Of course English prefers sentences like “America is there“, with a verb (predicate), but Russian skips the verb, so you add the "—" to be sure that you are not just listing random words ;)
This is because Russian puts the new information at the end. If someone asks "Где Америка?", they're clearly talking about America, so that is now known information. Because of this, the new information in your response would be the location of America, meaning the "over here" portion. Your response would therefore be "Америка вот здесь" with that new information at the end.
Keep in mind that "вот здесь" is an expression that is only roughly translated to "over here" or "right here" and you wouldn't usually use it at the beginning of a sentence. It'll almost always be the new information and therefore not be the first thing. If you're pointing out where America is just as its own statement without someone asking before hand, you'd probably say something like "вот Америка". "Вот здесь" simply doesn't make sense in this context otherwise.
Are these kinds of things really more of a nuisance in (Duolingo) Russian compared to other languages or is it just me? I got this one "correct", but not because I knew what it meant. I entered, on purpose, an answer that I thought is probably not really what it means but one that Duolingo will understand.
In other contexts 'вот' has meant an abstract type of "here", "this" etc. But saying something "is over here" is usually concrete. So is "America is over here" really a good translation for this? It could be, but I'm not sure.
For example, if you were somewhere in America and someone from Europe, from another actual place, said to you "где Америка?" would you answer with "вот здесь"? My gut feeling is that's not how it works.
Can a native Russian speaker explain to me "вот здесь"? What's the difference between this and just "Америка здесь"? Duo tells me that the sentence above has "over here" and I guess "Америка здесь" would be "America is here", but I'm not a native English speaker, and have to admit I'm not sure what "over here" gives in this sentence.
and in "type what you hear"...
i wrote "amerika vot zdjes" instead of "amerika -- vot zdjes". Why is the "--" mandatory? I mean specifically on here, answering the task. Isn't it still basically correct?
UPDATE: "amerika -- vot zdjes" is not accepted either (with error "you used the wrong word"). But what I wrote is precisely the model answer -- just transliterated. I feel it should definitely be accepted.