Once upon a time, someone had a brilliant idea to create a computer algorithm to process contractions to recognize "it's", "she's" and "he's" for "it is", "she is" and "he is". Along the way, the speakers of "proper English" lobbied that "it's", "she's" and "he's" were commonly used contractions for "it has", "she has", and "he has" so those were added, too. Do you see where this is going? Now when Duolingo sees "she's" where it expects to see "she has" it is quite likely to incorrectly report an error and give "she is" as the correct answer. Because you see, the computer doesn't speak English or French, it just does what it's told to do. Now a team of computer geeks have been working round-the-clock for months to try to repair the damage done by this one brilliant, but ill-conceived idea. In the meantime, make sure you have a firm grasp on "il a" vs. "il est" and all will be well.
I did a quick search and found that expression was used as far back as the 50's and perhaps even earlier, so it definitely pre-dates the Simpsons. I find it strangely amusing that there were also some people who presumed that it meant "not giving birth to a cow". I suppose even then there were those who considered that it was a viable interpretation!! (It sounds like a literal "also accepted" answer on Duolingo). It appears that the French vernacular includes: piquer une crise ( freak out - have a fit - throw a fit - hit the ceiling - hit the roof - go ballistic) and péter un plomb (or) péter un câble = to blow a fuse - go berserk - go postal - blow a gasket - have a fit, and many more).
She's a cow... is a contraction of She IS a cow. In a lifetime of speaking English I have never heard She HAS a cow shortened to She's a cow... This is very misleading! Yes, you could use She's BEEN on holiday ... in place of She HAS BEEN on holiday but that is past tense... I am very miffed I got an X for this!
Quite right. In some English-speaking countries, it is common to contract "she has" to "she's", too. This leads to significant clashes. A useful guide is to NEVER contract "has" with anything, unless possibly when it is used as an auxiliary verb. But even then, it's just better to avoid it entirely and spell it out.
Phrases in French and phrases in English are different. For instance, if you told a French person, in French, "You're pulling my leg," they would most likely look at you as if you had gone crazy. It probably does not mean the same thing in French as in English, so think of that before you literally translate an English phrase to a French one.
Very true M. Fowl, All this comment on a small translation into 'English' which most of the English speaking students of French here find either wrong; or at best, a bit odd. It all hinges on who the translators are and of what nationality? Is this site run and edited by English born speakers or are they actually French? Perhaps it's all a bit of a leg pull and they are Americans! Move over Homer, Springfield, here I come. In any event, it keeps me coming back and is good fun. Whoo Hooo....
If you have an issue with the exercise that needs to be fixed I recommend using the "Report" button rather than posting about it here. Here it's much less likely to be seen by anyone who can fix it. That said I'd also recommend being much more specific as to what the issue is if you do report it as your message was rather vague.
To an ear trained in one language the sounds of another language are harder to make out and imitate than one might expect. The brain filters what it hears based on what it's learned to expect, so when learning a new language you need to retrain yourself to distinguish the tones of the language. There is probably some subtle difference between the actual sound you are hearing, and the way your brain is interpreting that sound that you are missing.
What's with all the contractions making the answer wrong? this translation isn't even in the answer that I got wrong!