"Mamá no encuentra sus llaves."
Translation:Mom does not find her keys.
You would not translate it as "cannot", simply because "cannot" is not in the sentence. It would have to say "no puede" for "cannot", but it just says "no" which, in this context, means "does not". It is not that Duolingo prefers "does not" over "cannot", it's just that it never means "cannot".
I disagree. I think you should always focus on translating the meaning of the sentence (without straying too far from the original, of course), not of each word. As those above mentioned, "Mom does not find her keys" sounds awkward and unidiomatic in English. I put "Mom can't find her keys", and it was accepted, because that's the way English speakers would express this sentence in most cases. It's dangerous to try to equate a structure in one language to one in another by translating word for word. Different languages simply contain different structures.
I agree with that, but more so with the "Immersion" articles, where we are trying to translate the meaning, as you say, without straying too far from the original. I think that in the lessons we should not try to add words that aren't there as this confuses people that are trying to learn, people will think that they are saying they can't do something, when they are saying they don't.
For example there is a big difference between "I don't walk" and "I can't walk", one sounds lazy whereas the other one sounds sad.
All that said though, I do feel that in this case "cannot" or "can't" is a more natural translation and so it should definitely be accepted, I was just trying to point out to kaicce that DL was not "preferring" one answer over another.
It is not "accurate" to translate from one language to another word for word; if the goal is to convey the meaning, you have to translate from what is idiomatic in one language to what is idiomatic in the other and means the same thing. So "Mom does not find her keys" may be technically correct, but it is not a good translation because a natural English speaker would not usually put it that way, we would say "Mom can't find her keys." Therefore that should show as an accurate translation.
Actually, it's possible to say this. Imagine you're speaking to a friend and explaining to him or her what happened earlier that day.
We woke up late. We're rushed out the house and to the car. Mom looked for her keys. Mom does not find her keys and we have to call Triple A. This was the start of a horrible morning.
It's not the best example, but it's been done.
The most likely interpretation is that it's her own keys that she couldn't find. If it were someone else's keys, I think it'd be expressed as "Mamá no encuentra las llaves de él/ella/ellos/ellas", unless the context were clear enough to deduce that it was someone else, though I'm not a native speaker, so this is just speculation.
This sentence makes me wonder about sus being for him, her, its, or their, or you plural. Seems like it would get confusing if she was finding his keys, their keys, or your keys. Her makes the most sense in the context we are given, but not necessarily the only one, right?
I just got that wrong as well, and you are right, it is correct to put "my" in the English translation. In Spanish if you add a specifier such as su or tu to the word mamá then you are specifying someone else's mother. But when you use the word mamá by itself you're always saying your mother. You would never use it by itself to mean somebody else's mother. When you say "Mamá me dijo..." you are saying "my mother told me". Whether you would put the word my in the English translation or not does depend on context. One sibling saying to another " Mamá dijo que no" Would be translated "mom said no", but someone talking to a shopkeeper who says "mamá me mandó para comprar queso" is saying my mother sent me to buy cheese, even though they didn't use the Spanish word "mi" (mamá).
Mami, mamá, or mamacita. http://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=mommy
I put "Mom did not find her keys." It is telling me that it is wrong (I know, I put past tense when it's present tense.) However, the problem is that it is saying "Mom cannot find her keys" is the correct translation. This would be incorrect because the sentence would have to be "Mama no puede encontrar sus llaves." It's small things like this that infuriate me about Duolingo. They're picky about what you write, even though they make similar mistakes with their grammar.
It's not a mistake. While the most natural English translation should definitely contain 'cannot' or 'can't', the Spanish translation doesn't require the use of 'puede', and, in fact, I believe it sounds more natural without it, as it's written here. I provided a more detailed explanation somewhere above in this thread, in case you're curious.