Because "dating" in English implies an ongoing romantic involvement, and "meeting with" does not, nor is it a continuous state of affairs as "dating" is. People dont need to be on a date in order to "be dating", since the latter is another way of expressing they "are in a relationship".
Dear Russian language, I love you. You know this. But to take a verb as simple as 'meeting', a short four-letter transitive verb in English, and make it: a) start with a four-consonant cluster, b) be reflexive, c) require a preposition and the instrumental case after it...
It can mean either, but without context I'd understand it to mean 'dating'.
Дженни is a foreign name that doesn't follow Russian patterns (i.e. Russian nouns don't end in -и in nominative case), so it's not declined.
However, in theory it's in instrumental case. It's just that all the cases of Дженни look the same.
Женя maybe. But as in real life, people can talk about foreign people too.
Well, Duolingo generally insists on more literal translations. So,
- «Иван встречается с Дженни» = 'Ivan is dating Jenny' (Ivan is the subject),
- «Иван и Дженни встречаются» = 'Ivan and Jenny are dating' (Ivan and Jenny are the subjects).
There are several reasons why Duolingo only accepts more literal translation here:
- First is pragmatic: adding all the possible variants is too complex. All Duolingo translations are added manually, and adding re-worded versions would make creating a course too difficult.
- Second in didactic: you are expected to pay attention to the grammar of the sentence. Of course, not all sentences can be translated with exactly same grammar (especially sentences like 'X has Y'), but for those than can, you are expected to be literal.
I understood, from both the Russian and the given English translation, that it's Ivan you're giving the information about. Perhaps he had been dating Anna, but now he's dating Jenny. Or perhaps your listener doesn't know Jenny (she's Canadian, after all, and hasn't been in Russia long...)
I Russian "встречаться" has not only sexual meaning.
Children can meet with the elderly, close relatives, same-sex straight people.
Therefore, option Ivan is meeting with Jenny better to accept... in modern extra-tolerant world.
Well, you understand, in order to avoid any misunderstandings and attacks ;)