Why isn't Mama drove an acceptable answer? It seems that mum, mom, mam, mama and mother should all be accepted here, since all are in use in various parts of the English-speaking world.
Hah, it's silly, their response is like "Our software is suboptimal, and instead of fixing it we'll give our users a nonsensical explanation of why it's too difficult."
It can't be that hard to change the program so it accepts a list of synonyms that can be substituted for other words. (Yes, I'm a programmer)
I'm a programmer, too, and the person who wrote the FAQ. I code backends for statistical modelling administration for a living, and I've done a MSc in language technology.
You're assuming that the Swedish team has access to the code base. No team does, as far as I'm aware. Almost all courses on Duolingo are run entirely by volunteers, who only get access to selected parts of the backend - a backend riddled with problems such as painfully slow loading times and improper cache busting.
The bitter reality is that without proper support from Duolingo HQ, it is a huge and painful undertaking to add more family members everywhere. I'm sure you can see why course admins would prefer to spend all that time doing something more worthwhile.
Personally, I would have preferred to be able to add variables which expanded to a full list of entries. Then you could have one generic "mother" variable and put that everywhere instead of having to write "[mom/mother/ma/mum/momsicle/blah/etc]" for every single accepted translation in every single sentence. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening any time soon.
Wow, fascinating, thanks for the explanation, and apologies that my complaint was not properly aimed at Duolingo HQ.
It's so strange, Duolingo is so amazing and helpful, it's like 90% of the way to the perfect language teaching program. The feature you mentioned, and a few others I can think of are so trivial to what has already been built, and would be so helpful for usability -- it's amazing they aren't being prioritized.
I'll e-mail the CEO, can't hurt...