"The man explained to us that he needs wine."
Translation:Mężczyzna wyjaśnił nam, że potrzebuje wina.
I think that, though, indirect speech would make more sensei n this context, which argued the necessity of sequence of tenses. At least in the tiles test, the present tense prevailed over the past tense, but I guess that when asked to translate the sentence manually, it is now accepted as well.
How exactly does it pose a problem in this style of teaching? Maybe I miss something here, but when it comes to tenses, they are normally easily recognizable in sentences, and given that grammatical rules like a shift in tenses in, for example, indirect speech, are explained in the Tips & Notes, I don't see a problem why it should not be possibly equipped in example sentences to be translated. But on the other hand, I have never been a moderator in any Duolingo language course, nor a contributor in an incubator, so I may lack knowledge that unveils the application of various tenses in a single sentence on Duolingo as a nightmare.
Well, if we make the main English sentence "The man explained to us that he needed wine", then the majority of users will, logically, translate it to "Mężczyzna wyjaśnił nam, że nie potrzebował wina". Which of course makes sense, but that's not what we meant here. And if I am not mistaken, it's not an actually correct answer, because then the English should be "had needed wine"...
T&N are read by relatively few people (that's Duolingo's argument for not using engineers time to make them available on phones again), same goes for the comments, I'm afraid (just look at all those questions that people ask although the answer has actually already been written in the same discussion).
Now... if "The man explained to us that he needs wine." was completely wrong, then of course we would reject it. But every time I ask native speakers about such a construction, I hear that it's less common and needs some specific context, but it's correct.
@Jellei I think I still don't fully understand the past tense(s), but shouldn't it also contain the perfect and the past perfect? Otherwise, the translator I use misses some of the tenses. Or is there a separate grammar to apply indirect speech?
As for the T&N, it really is a pity that some learners seem to be ignorant about the benefits of them, just as that some of them seem to be too lazy to read through the comments, although I understand when we speak about such popular languages as French or English, where for sure there are up to a 1,000 comments and more per phrase, depending on its difficulty and novelty to the learner. As for Polish and Czech, niche languages, the frequency of redundant comments is luckily low.
As for your last paragraph, I agree that it suffices as a common standard language in terms of communication, although there were details to improve, although we see to reach a barrier in translation.
Translating "the man" here as "człowiek" is very problematic because it makes it sounds as if "we" were Martians or some other race. It would be like "The human explained to us..."
If it was "ten/tamten człowiek", then it wouldn't be a problem.
As we accept interpreting "the" as "this", I just added "ten człowiek". But "ten" is a must here.