Yes. I started out using various online dictionaries and Google Translate and I wasn't learning, wasn't remembering. So I switched tactics and let the hearts break as they may. Sure I have to redo lessons all the time, but I am learning and remembering. It's better to redo the lesson, I think, than to use outside sources to get it right. BTW, I still use outside sources AFTER lessons to see if I can better understand the rule or definition. I agree with davgleonard, this isn't a race. And I'm not competing with anyone but myself. Adios.
Just remember those are not necessarily translations that are at all applicable to the current sentence. There are so many comments by people who were led astray by the hints. If you get into an issue there, the best option is to check Spanishdict.com. Their examples may help you figure out what elements are needed for each meaning.
I don't disagree, but I don't find it at all helpful that the hints throughout this checkpoint are so consistently misleading or plain wrong. For example, in this exercise, it suggests for "the size" the following hints: "del tamaño", "talla", and "tamaño." None of these are correct. If they want us to guess the answers (possibly incorrectly) and learn that way, then no hints at all would be the right UX choice. Providing these hints that are incorrect and confusing is not helpful to anyone trying to learn a language; furthermore, that is not the meaning of a "hint."
Well the problem there is actually a more idiomatic translation. Grande doesn't actually mean size. Tamaño or talle do. If they had the English say It is twice as big, that would be clearer. The idioms don't quite match. That's not something that is ever going to work with the tips since the tips are not exercise specific. The problem on this page was not that the tips were wrong, they just weren't right in this case.
I agree that the default is probably that they generate the hints using automatic translations. But they can obviously override or customize them for individual lessons — or at least add new phrases to the translation database — which is presumably why we have the ability to report when hints are incorrect. My guess is that these lessons are newer and Duolingo has had less time to collect user feedback on the problematic translations. It's understandable but gets frustrating when they are wrong so often.
I guess for me the issue is I've never really used the hints. I have occasionally used them to refresh my memory on gender or maybe spelling, although less that for Spanish. But I think using any system that provides simply some sort of equal sign between words in different languages is woefully inadequate for anyone who really wants to learn a new language. The meaning and translation of words can be a very nuanced thing. Except in the case of perfect cognates, of which there are relatively few, leaving an exercise to use a dictionary on another tab or screen provides you with both more and better information. To some extent I find Duo's inadequate hints a blessing in disguise. If they were a little better, I might consider them sufficient and not take that extra step that not only provides me with more and better information, it also helps cement that information in my brain due to the extra step I took.
It sounds like you are being very diligent and systematic in your studies. I am not one to discourage someone from a method that works for them, but I do have to say a good dictionary like Spanishdict.com is a much better resource than the drop downs under most circumstances. The drop down will give you possible translations, but a dictionary with example sentences will give you the when and where for that particular word. There are many factors that control the translation and they cannot be sufficiently understood by just seeing the one or two word translation. So keep up your good work, but remember that you have many resources should something seem off.
I got this right on first try. Usually when people say "double" or "twice" they are usually comparing it to something. It would not be twice as big unless if it was either "smaller" before, or if it was being compared to a different object altogether. Indeed, the answer "It is twice as big" was correct.
Boy, I don't know but I'm going to take a stab at it. I'm guessing that in spanish they don't say that things are "twice the size," but rather that they are "the double size"? I feel like I'm forcing a square peg into a round hole here. "doble del grande" makes more sense to me too :(
EDIT: I did some research. DL accepts twice but it's really an approximate translation so it makes sense in english. "Doble" really means "double," which is an adjective ("double" can also be a noun or verb in english), whereas "twice" is an adverb, which is why the "el" in front of "doble" make the english translation confusing. Aaaaaand what we end up with is that they say that something is "the double of" something else. Literally: "el doble de."
If they used the literal word for "the size," i.e., "el tamaño," it would be acceptable to say "el doble DEL tamaño," (I think) but the "el" still has to be there in front of "doble."
After all that work I really hope I'm right, lol
John, gracias for my first laugh of the day, re: your head exploding! (Can't tell how old this post is on my phone app.) Duo said twice the SIZE, when we learned a different word for size! And at first glance it seemed to say the "thing was the double the as big." I still get a bit frustrated sometimes, but I don't get mad at myself or the owl any more, so that's progress....
In Dutch one could also say 'the double', but it would still be followed by 'of the' usually. Like "Ik gaf hem het dubbele van wat hij vroeg." (I gave him (the) double of what he asked). Or we say 'double' without 'of' behind it: "Hij kreeg dubbel het salaris." (He got twice the salary), but then it means twice the salary of the normal amount. Well... unless no noun follows, as in "Hij was het dubbele van zins." (he intended double (more or less)).
Anyway, my point: "the double" is common in other languages as well. :-)
It's interesting. I used Spanishdict.com to translate It is twice the size. They use three different translation engines, but generally at least two are quite close, if not the same. But I got three different translations. The first was your hypothesis. Es el doble del tamaño. The second was El tamaño es el doble, and the third was Es dos veces la talla. You get more different results when the Spanish approach is different from the English.
http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/doble Look at (3.) - we are using it as a noun, not an adjective. As we are speaking in a general sense, we generally use a definite article in front of the noun; http://spanish.about.com/od/adjectives/a/intro_def_art.htm
Where did you get the word house? The verb could have the subject of he, she or it and in Spanish they omit the subject most of the time, especially when the subject would be "it". In this case the best translation would use "it". Oh, I see where you were confused. "casa" = "house" , but "casi" = "almost"
I wonder this as well. Because if I say:
It is almost three times the size=Es casi tres veces el tamaño
It is almost four times the size=Es casi cuatro veces el tamaño
It is almost one hundred times the size=Es casi cien veces el tamaño
EDIT: I spoke with a native speaker about this today. She says 'doble de' is the correct way of speaking. Where a person could say 'dos veces', it just is not correct. However, the rest of my examples are correct.
I recommend a good dictionary. The hover hints work word for word but are more difficult to use with expressions. http://dictionnaire.reverso.net/espagnol-anglais/el%20doble%20de
Hoping someone out there can give a good explanation of this one! Why is it "de grande" I thought "as" is translated "como". And why the "the" if front of "twice"? I would have translated this as "Es casi doble como grande". Literally this sentence translates to "It is almost the twice of big" which obviously makes no sense.
Doble actually means double. Twice is just another word we could use in place of it. Although it sounds funny translated word for word, that is just the way they say it as do some other languages (see above comments for some examples). So they use "the double of big" or "the double of large".
Another error which is the result of you inadvertently sidestepping what Duo was trying to demonstrate. English has these specific words for once and twice. Spanish doesn't have them. Duo often has us match vez with once, but that is actually absurd. Vez means time as in occurrence. So once is una vez. But twice tends to be expressed as doble and three times as triple in terms of quantity or size. Then they return to the X veces model like English. So Duo was hoping that this would be a clear cut case of their common for common convention. But we do often use double the size instead of twice the size, so it should not be assumed that the user would even think twice before using the cognate. You should report it
I think Duo is actually trying to help you distinguish between the two ways of saying twice in Spanish by how you would say it in Spanish. Spanish has two ways of expressing twice, but they are not interchangeable. The first one is dos veces, which translates literally to two times. This is used in talking about occurrences. Leí las instrucciones dos veces. I read the instructions twice/two times. The other is doble. Tu pieza es el doble de grande que la mía. Your piece is twice as big as mine or Your piece is double the size of mine. Obviously in English you can also say two times as big, but dos veces does not work here. I think Duo wants you to associate the translation two times with dos veces and not with el doble. This will help you remember when to use it.
For myself, my handy dandy two-ton handback dictionary is most helpful. I recommend the American Heritage-the typeface is easy on the eyes and the content and informational articles are very helpful. By the way, as you progress, try reading the Spanish language information explaining English usage: it will add another dimension to your understanding.