Translation:The pupil borrows a sheet of paper from a friend.
I said "The student is borrowing a sheet of paper from their friend", and it was corrected with "The student is borrowing a sheet of paper from THE friend". That's really strange, and would never be said in English. Koleżanki has to be that student's friend, right? It can't be just a friend of anybody.
Well, "the" is technically a correct translation, although indeed a weird one.
We can't accept the singular 'their'. In Polish, every noun has a gender, every word for a person suggests the gender. The original sentence has "uczeń", so it's a boy. Therefore 'his' works. I am aware of the usage of 'their'. However, we have absolutely no way of knowing if a person using 'their' does it consciously, or makes a huge mistake in English, or just doesn't understand the Polish sentence.
It would be helpful, if you used the grey Reply option under a specific comment you are replying to, so your response appeared indented, but together with the original poster's (OP's) comment, creating a thread. Otherwise they get separated in the default sorting order "Top post", which reflects the number of "up votes".
English : student - mainly US (UK usually pupil) someone who is learning at a school: = Polish uczeń
English : student -a person who is learning at a college or university:= Polish student
I understand the difference between the Polish words "uczeń" and "student". My question is why duolingo translates "uczeń" as English "pupil" sometimes, and sometimes as English "student".
Like in this sentence, where "uczeń" HAS to be student, and the answer "the pupil borrows a sheet from his friend" is not accepted. But 5 questions before (I don't remember the exact sentence", translating "uczeń" as student was an error because the answer HAS to be pupil.
Good question. Maybe some people would disagree, but I'd say that "student" is a student only, and before university, the proper word is "uczeń" (or "uczennica" for a girl).
It seems that student = uczeń could work in a context like "Mistrz i jego uczeń" - "Master and his student", but not in school contexts.
Yes, it is so ridiculous, it spreads to the kindergarten level and below, even in a day care center. Similarly for "teachers" in the U.S. In Polish we did not refer to day care workers as "nauczyciele" - they were "przedszkolanki" (for 3-6 tears olds - never heard of a male). I don't even know what they were called in infant and toddler care centers (Polish "żłobki"), as we did not use these. "Teachers" = "nauczyciele" were at primary school. In high school the teachers insisted to be called "professors," constantly fighting our habit of addressing them "Pan", "Pani".
I was marked wrong for "The pupil is borrowing a friend's sheet." OK, I think I see why that was wrong (because it ignores the preposition?), but it was corrected to "The pupil is borrowing a piece from a friend." This is not a good translation because it doesn't say what kind of piece and there's no real reason to assume "a piece of paper".
Edit: Also marked wrong for "The pupil is borrowing a sheet of paper from her friend." I was corrected to use "his" instead of "her". What in the sentence says that the pupil is male? Is there a feminine form of "uczeń" which would be used if the pupil were female?
Edit 2: Fixed a typo.
I don't want to be impolite or anything, but I feel like I should tell you that I would have understood you right away if you had written:
"From a friend" rings my chimes. "The friend" is not good English.
In any case, I agree; it seems unlikely that anyone would write "The student borrows a sheet of paper from the friend." We'd say "his friend" instead of "the friend".