There are two problems being dealt with in this Duo example.
The first is the problem of inventing a context that makes the English sentence have meaning.
Of course, it is possible to construct a scenario that will make almost any grammatically correct sentence work if you spend enough time and effort.
The authorities confront you in your dorm room and tell you that you are being expelled from the residence for keeping a live horse, giant apple, pack of wolves, harem, whatever, there. You look at them and then gesture to the tiny room saying....Where is the horse here? .........
Naturally, students wonder what is the point of teaching such weird examples that an English speaker would never come across and can hardly be expected to figure out that improbable as it sounds that is the correct answer to what is supposed to be a very basic translation exercise. Especially when no supporting context seems to be available.
Which brings us to the second problem. The issue isn't whether English speakers would ever, ever use such a construction. It is whether Russian speakers use it. Do Russian speakers routinely add здесь in this kind of sentence?
If so, English speakers should get in the habit of including it even though it is redundant because you usually do what you practice doing. And if you practice leaving out words in your translations that would normally be included in the target language, then you will leave them out when speaking in that language.
Excellent comment. As a native English speaker I have found the use of "here" awkward and unnatural. When translating from English to Russian, I totally agree with you. Use здесь even when it is redundant or unnatural. When translating from Russian to English, здесь does not really mean "here". It means "in this area" or "in this vicinity" or "nearby" or "around here". здесь means "in this general vicinity". Here means in this immediate vicinity or in this close vicinity. It is the difference between "in this room" and "in this town or village.
It is not redundant.
Someone tells you to look for an apple in a specified place. You look and don't find it. You don't say where is the apple because he has already told you. You ask.....where is the apple here.... meaning in the place you are already looking at.
It is a simple statement using the few Russian words that students at this stage of the tree are able to deal with.
In English, I think the "here" comes into play when you're contrasting the question to a previous instance of the same question.
For example, imagine we're looking through an "I Spy" book and I tell you there's an apple in each page. So you find the apple in the first page and I turn the page and say, "Where's the apple here?"
The same could apply to "Where's Waldo?"
Yes, it is. This is the specificity of the language: we like to add the word "здесь" to questions like Где здесь лес? instead Где лес? or Где находится лес?, for example. But two last options are correct/used too.
However, in Russian we omit the verb "to be": Он в доме. sounds not worse than Он находится в доме.
If in Это камень insert "есть" it will sound weird (despite the fact that we assume it here)
All of these rules are the matter of habits and foundations
In english, the phrase "Where is the apple here?" makes no sense grammatically...
I've heard "Where's the bathroom here?" plenty of times. I think it's just the word apple throwing it off. But yeah, with "bathroom" instead of apple, it makes a lot more sense, because "here" refers's to the person's house that you are visiting.
Conversely, I've also heard the same question, but with the "here" dropped/implied. (Yes, I'm a native English speaker)
As I understand DL is was constructed by volunteers. Whether these volunteers were fluent in source and target languages or only in the source language i don't know, What is self evident is that they are no longer looking at the comments and writing corrections or explainations to the program as it was first presented.
It is not wrong. It is Russian. Why would you expect Russian to conform to English standards?
The point of the explanations that you mention were not to convince you that it is typical English. They were to convince you that it is grammatically correct English.
It is Russian. Russian is full of constructions that sound strange in English. That is why it is called a foreign language. It is foreign and sounds foreign when translated unless modified to make it more pleasant for the English speaker's ear.
But Duo isn't testing you on your ability to make nice sounding English sentences out of otherwise clunky English sentences. They want to know ....do you understand the words offered in Russian? Can you put them together in English in a grammatically correct way?
Of course you haven't heard such a sentence. You don't speak Russian. Duo says that if you listen to Russian speakers you will see/hear здесь used in the way it is used in this example.
Duo does not claim English speakers routinely speak that way. They say Russian speakers do.
This is a very strange sentence, can someone clarify as to if this is actually used. Are russians always losing their apples and sassily and in dissbelief decline the location? "where is the apple here?" is the apple actually there? or is the other russian lieing to them?
I dont believe the apple exists. The cake is a lie.
How absurd, despite the fact that no-one whose primary language is English would use this phrase in the way it is intended, after two years it has still not been corrected. I feel like giving up on the course because of the nonsensical answer. I can understand that it is how the statement is phrased in Russian but the literal translation on this occasion does not convey the meaning it should and is deficient. Trying to make sense of this phrase in English is a waste of time. As mentioned in previous comments combining a question with the words 'where' and 'here' when trying to find the location of something in English is redundant. You could say: 'Where is the apple? Is it here?' but why would you use two sentences to say what you really mean and that is 'Is the apple here?'. Doesn't anyone review the content or if they do review the content, do they not understand the error?
Perhaps you should consider the possibility that some people don't agree with you. They just don't see it as an error. The example is about Russian not your idea of good English.
If your complaint is that Russian speakers would never talk that way then you may have a point. But your view that it is not the sort of thing you hear in ordinary English conversation is irrelevant. The course is Russian not English. Most of the students at this level speak only a very few Russian words. Any Russian example is going to sound awkward when translated into English if it involves a complicated concept.
But your first translation left out a word in the Russian example.
Your second one wasn't a translation at all but your notion of of the kinds of Russian examples that Duo should use. Nothing wrong with your preferred example except it does nothing to teach students about how Russians use здесь.
Actually, the meaning in both the Russian and the English is perfectly clear. Someone is asking in Russian where is the apple here. They are using the Russian form of here that is roughly...around here.
It is a simple sentence with a clear meaning.
Of course, since it is Russian the phrasing is not how most English speakers would put the question. But, as this is a Russian to English course that is irrelevant. It is what the Russian says that matters, not how English speakers talk in casual conversation.
The basic problem is that здесь does not mean "here" in English. It means "around here" or "in this vicinity" or "near here". "here" means right here. in this immediate vicinity, within clear sight, within reach. So asking where is the apple here is nonsense. If the apple were here, you could see it or touch it and certainly be aware of it. It would be like asking someone: Where is the apple you are holding?". Well, duh, it is in my hand.
No! It is you that wants a translation hybrid so that you can imagine yourself saying this in English. But it isn't about your preferred conversational style. It is a translation exercise to see if you can translate the Russian example. If you leave out a word in your translation then you got it wrong, pure and simple.
Try feeding various English phrases into Google. Где яблоко здесь? returns Where is the apple here whereas Где здесь яблоко? returns Where is the apple. I think the problem here is they chose a phrase that has better translation than the answer given. Duolingo isn't teaching good Russian just leading us to the conclusion that it is a collection of random key words that we then have to interpret by context rather than logical thought.
Using "here" / "здксь" is completely reduntant in this question. It does translate to "where is the apple here" but as to native English we would simply ask "where is the apple?" or better yet "where's the apple?".
It's probably proper in Russian, but here in America, we just don't do this.
The point of the Duo example is not to show you the customary way here is used in English but make sure you learn how it used in Russian. The only way to test you on that is to make sure you include it in your English translation even though it is redundant for all but rare circumstances.
Since it is grammatically correct to include it in the English and it actually is in the Russian example, Duo expects to put it in the response.
I believe DL uses these questions and answers for both teaching Russian and teaching Russians English. Many answers need explanations of what we are doing wrong and why it is wrong. If this was given we could learn better and more accurately. I repeat what I have said before. The art of translation is to be true to both the source language and the target language.
Explanations are given. Some have been given on this page. You apparently disagree with them. That doesn't mean explanations aren't given.
Any native Russian speakers taking the English side of this course have been assured many times that this construction is not common in English and needs considerable context to be used.
Others have told them that it is completely grammatically incorrect and never ever would be used by English speakers no matter what context that could be invented. Some have even said this construction would never be used in any language and that it is insulting to suggest that it would be. Those students trying to learn the language will have to decide for themselves which is more accurate.
The point Duo seems to be making is that native Russian speakers often use their words for here in a different way than is typical in English conversation. The only issue here is whether or not this example is a demonstration of Russian speakers' use of здесь. Another issue is whether or not it is practical to try to make the same point resulting in more elegant English, given the very few words in the students' vocabulary at this point in the tree.
Some students looking at this example will think ......I get that there is a difference and its good to know that. Other students will look at the example and say .....I am offended by the presentation of the difference and don't care if this is how Russians would say it. The presentation of the difference is more important than the fact of the difference.
Obsessing over specific words rather than the point being made is a natural outcome of using translation exercises to learn a foreign language. Any student at this point in the tree who came across this sentence in a Russian short story and understood it, wouldn't spend a second thinking about the clunkiness of the English translation but would be happy that they got at least that part of the story. But Duo's approach is granular. Every word matters and matters completely. It isn't that the complaints about any particular Duo example don't matter. It is just that most of those complaints, accurate or not, don't matter in real conversation.
It sounds weird in English because it's not a phrase we'd ever use.
"Where is the problem here" is grammatically correct, but it still sounds odd. "Where is the bathroom here?" is better, but most people would add "in" to the phrase.
Best translation I can imagine: "Where in here is the apple?"