Dave, well... hehehe
it depends a lot on the region you live, actually... Possibly we say mule here because of Italian origins.
BTW, "mulato" (a son of a black person with a white one) comes from "mula" (mule). They were kind of bred like mules for the slavery business back then.
Edit: why am I getting negatives on this one? it is true. I said it for people being careful when saying like "the Brazilian mulatas are beautiful", because it is actually offensive. BTW, translating what Dave was trying to say, in his region of Brazil they say "I work like a ❤❤❤❤❤❤".
don't agree with jeffereythu1. In french we say "c'est un travail de chien" (it's a dog's work) meaning it's a hard, painful, unrewarding, and unpleasant job. each language has its idioms. And in many countries around the world, dogs aren't seen as positively as in the US or Europe meaning they often have a miserable life. "Avoir une vie de chien" (to have a dog's life) means to have a really miserable life. We have this saying in Arabic too. Tambien creo que se dice en castellano...
Wrong. Check out the lyrics of the famous Beatles song: "A Hard Day's Night": http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/beatles/aharddaysnight.html
I know pop songs sometimes use nonsense lyrics just to make them rhyme or fit the tune, but in this case, it wasn't chosen only for the rhyme, but because it was (and is) a common idiom.
Not all Beatles songs make sense ("I am The Walrus" sounds like something from the Duolingo Dutch course), but this one does - perfectly.
Granted, in many countries, many of these animals' former jobs have been taken over by machinery. There's a few exceptions, like arctic dogsledders, herders with their sheep-dogs, cowboys and ranchers who still oversee their livestock from the saddle, and police with both mounted units and K9 officers, but I'd bet the majority of both the dog and the horse populations are pets nowadays.
As a fellow Brit, I'd add that to work like a dog and to work like a horse have slightly different connotations. To me 'work like a horse' means to work steadily and strongly without signs of tiring; whereas 'to work like a dog' implies to work beyond what could reasonably be expected- i.e. it implies an element of exploitation. On a more general point, Duolingo seems to favour literal translations, I find this helpful when I am trying to remember what the Russian word would be.
Modern theories of translation argue that you should translate with "what a native speaker of the target language would actually say", whilst sticking to the actual words used as closely as possible. For example, we translate "Goodbye" as до свидания, since those are the words that one usually says on leaving in the respective languages; even though the English has its roots in the phrase "God be [with] ye" and the Russian in "until [our next] meeting". However, since "working like a horse" IS an English idiom as well as a Russian one, I can see a good argument for preferring it here, over the more common English idiom.
However, as I have written many times on this site, we are not here to learn how to be translators, but how to speak languages. They are separate skills. Even if "working like a horse" were not an English idiom, it should be translated as such here, because that will teach us more about the language.
The situation is different with phrasal verbs, syntax, and the like (nobody in their right mind would teach a phrase like "At me is a horse") , but I firmly believe that, where grammatical, a literal translation should be given.
I actually hope they don't. It seems like they're trying to lay a framework for handling differing idioms down the road. This particular one seems obvious, I'm sure there are many that will not.
Both answers (dog and horse) seem like they're acceptable but the alternate answer, in my opinion, doesn't confuse but relates/equates.
But I could be wrong, I'm not that far into the course.
It's not possible to learn idioms this way long term. Idioms often lack counterparts in other languages. So when you start learning more abstract idioms that don't have English counterparts you're going to get stuck. That's why it's better to learn an idiom literally while also learning about the cultural context surrounding it, which the course creators can do by adding a sentence explaining the idiom in the tips and notes section. It's too confusing for beginners to see words being used incorrectly like this, this is evident by this comment section which already has several comments from people confused about the use of the words собака and лошадь.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole discussion here learning about the "working hard" idiom from all around the world. That's why I love Duolingo!
So far looks like horses, oxes and mules are winning over dogs ;-)
One more point for horse - in Czech we also say "Dřít jako kůň" as well as "makám jak barevnej" = I work like a colored (man)
Strange that nobody still did not remembered an our (russian) more expressive idiom: Я работаю как иша́к (donkey, but a bit wild, I found only this strange funny name "ass" O_o). We even created a verb - "иша́чить" - "Я иша́чу на трех работах". And also in the first idiom with a horse we are using rarely the word "работаю", usually we're using "пашу́" (plow) from the infinitiv "паха́ть".
I have never seen a horse work like a horse, now that I think of it. I don't have horses going by my house wheezing as they drag ice-carts by my door. I see horses on TV running a few furlongs till they cross the finish line and have flowers hung around their necks, but that doesn't seem so bad.
Honesty, I blame the Beatles--odds are, if an English speaker heard the phrase "work like an [animal]," it was probably from the song: "It's been a hard day's night/And I've been working like a dog."
But directly translated, yes, Я работаю как лошадь would be "I work like a horse."
This is not a good question. Work like a horse and work like a dog mean two different things in English. Both convey hard work, but one has positive connotations and the other negative. It's not clear whether we are supposed to be learning the literal translation (which isn't even offered on the mobile app) or an equivalent idiom.
Horses and dogs both are working animals, and in consequence not one but two phrases can be derived from this. Both phrases exist and both are correct. I am inclined to match the word "horse" rather than relying on the idiomatic equivalent and using "dog". After all this is teaching course and it is not fair to confuse the student!!
Ridiculously confusing, because earlier in the course, it was translated "work like a horse" and also because it's way more common, in my broad experience of American English, for the speaker to state that he worked like a horse all day than to say he worked like a dog. Actually, I've noticed that when a dog is the referent, it's usually a sentence about someone else (i.e. not "I" work like a dog, but "he" does).