If I heard a Russian sentence «Он получил А», I'd think he got a motorcycle driving license (that's not a natural way to say this, but this is the first thing I'd think about if I heard «Он получил A»). And if I've heard «Он получил пятёрку», I'd think he got a mark 5 at school. I think the later is closer to the English sentence.
Even though 5 is no longer the highest mark in Belarus (in fact, 5 is pretty low now), the Soviet system where 5 meant an 'excellent' mark is pretty well-know throughout all the Russian-speaking countries and you'd probably be understood with «Он получи́л пятёрку». And I doubt you'd be understood if you said «Он получи́л A».
Of course, we in America are not the only, or even the first, English speaking country! But I can see where the course creators cannot stipulate for every single variant in both Russian and English.
I know duoLingo states that the English course for Russian learners is based on American English, and I would think that that is the case here too since they are related courses. (I'm guessing they chose US English because of our larger population, or perhaps they felt most comfortable with it.)
That being said, I myself also said 5 on this one. We are frequently graded by a number system too. But my attitude is that I don't care too much if I get some questions wrong, what matters is that I am learning what I need to learn.
Well, between Russia's and American MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL grading system. Our colleges and universities almost invariably use numeric grades.
But even that aside, this is.not something that needs to be "translated". Russian schools grade 1-5. Leave that alone. It's fine as it is. "Translating" it into A-F letter grades is at least as much wrong as it is right, if not more wrong.
There is a lot of discussion here - mostly by people who grew up in Russia - that the answer "He got a 5 should be accepted. I respectfully disagree. The point of translation is to capture the meaning of a sentence in one language and preserve that meaning while using the idioms of the target language. In the USA (where I am a university professor) the A through F grading system is used, so the correct translation of the meaning that he got the highest grade would be "He received an A". Saying he got a 5 is literally correct but wrong because someone who grew up in an English speaking country would not understand what the meaning was. Another example: the correct translation of Я пашу, как лошадь would be "I am working like a dog" and not "I plow like a horse." Anyone who has read my posts knows I'm married to a Russian and some of the funniest things we say to each other result when we try to literally translate a sentence from our mother tongue into our spouse's language. A final example: our nephew Misha lives outside Washington DC. He was speaking to his Russian speaking grandmother (from Riga) and she was laughing at the funny way he was speaking, but my wife realized he was using Russian vocabulary but speaking with English idioms and syntax.
I agree with this line of reasoning. The purpose is to learn the Russian language by relating the idea conveyed into the context of an American English speaker. If we are to become anywhere near fluent in Russian we need to think in Russian, in other words not make a literal translation of 5 to A (or H where and when I grew up in Canada) but to wire our brain to realize that пятёрку is the top mark.
Sorry, I respectfully disagree. Both should be accepted.
We are not translating for the benefit of other English speakers, we are translating to learn Russian.
When I started this skill, I of course read the tips. As a result, when I encountered this, I immediately understood. I think your analysis is backwards - allowing translation as "5" helps me keep in mind a minor aspect of Russian schooling, whereas requiring "A" would nudge me towards cultural solipsism. (I'm being a little humorous here; don't take offense.)
"Solipsism" Now that is an English word way down in the corpus (37252 in google books search). Yandex translates it to Солипсизм, a loan word for sure, but a great definition from Yandex.
— философская доктрина и позиция, характеризующаяся признанием собственного индивидуального сознания в качестве единственной и несомненной реальности и отрицанием объективной реальности окружающего мира. Может рассматриваться как крайняя форма субъективного идеализма.
I haven't seen this example presented as an EN -> RU question. If so it would read, Translate "He received an A" into Russian. The preferred correct answer should be: "Он получил пятёрку.
Haha! Boss level being CEFR level C++ I guess.
Well, full disclosure; I had to look up the English definition of solipsism. I was actually surprised to find it ranked as high as 37252 in the Google corpus. I wasn't satisfied with the Wiktionary definition and I was curious about the Russian translation so I went to Yandex. That was where I found the Russian definition, which when back translated into English, made more sense.
I'm not sure how much Russian I am learning with Duolingo, but I've definitely expanded my knowledge of English (even Canadian English).
Indeed, and five is an accepted answer. I haven't tried the numeral 5, I've seen numerals deemed as incorrect in other parts of the course.
The preferred / default / first answer is the one that communicates the intent of the example to an AmE speaking student and in this case that would be a letter grade of A.
I realize that my native version of English, as well as that of many using this course for whom English is a second language, is different than American English and that these kind of inconsistencies exist. I am not in the least bit upset that the letter grade of H is not accepted. It was the top mark in the outdated and very regional grading system of my youth in Western Canada.
The course developers understood these differences exist and when they did, they had to decide which would be the preferred correct answer. Other answers are accepted but to retain consistency, the American English translation should always be the preferred when the example is RU to EN.
That is why apartment is preferred over flat, elevator is preferred over lift and bathroom preferred over toilet (or God forbid, loo).
Where should they draw the line with free translations? IIRC, "He got an A" is accepted; that and the official translation are much closer to the Russian.
That wasn't a rhetorical question, by the way. What would be your criteria? (even if we ignore the shortage of volunteer moderators...)