In English we generally use the word "gerund" when the present participle verb form is used as a noun. (Seeing is believing) French and many other languages use the infinitive for this. This causes discussions about whether other languages have gerunds, but Romance languages at least have a verb form whose name is a cognate, so I stay out of that discussion. I am including a link which describes some uses of the present participle in French. You will see that many times when we use the ing form to modify the subject or the verb, the French present participle form is used. http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/presentparticiple_2.htm
From an online dictionary:
"Let us is the first person plural imperative, which we only use in very formal situations. Let’s is the short form, which we often use to make suggestions which include ourselves"
Examples of the short form:
- Faisons des crêpes = Let's make crepes
- Faisons une pause café = Let's take a coffee break
- Faisons une salade = Let's make a salad
Example of formal usage: Let us pray
No. That is not correct. You would never use a conjugated faire with a past participle as you did here. Faisons would be followed by the infinitive prier. But even then you haven't said let us pray. The let us is inherent in the English we imperative form. So Let us pray is simply Prions. Further more, faire is generally translated as to make or to do. Laisser is to let or allow in other, non imperative uses.
Yes. Crêpes are probably more like most European pancakes. But pancakes are a pretty big deal in the US. And, although you can get anything possibly related to pancakes at the International House of Pancakes and other pancake chains, like crêpes, German pancakes, blinzes etc, if you say pancake to the average American he will get the mental picture of a stack of raised, probably buttermilk pancakes with butter and maple syrup.
Duolingo however is also used by non-Americans and should therefore also recognize that in Europe a pancake and a crepe are pretty much synonymous. In fact, in Dutch, there is no separate word for crêpe, there is only the word “Pannekoek”, which shares it's etymology with pancake.
It might be accepted here if you report it, but I don't know. The American staff are generally unaware of many of the differences in the dialects, and therefore doesn't include them. In fact, it can take longer if the person looking at the reports doesn't understand that it's a dialect difference. But whenever you have a word that has conflicting meanings in the two dialects, that's when the American English use has to win out. That's the purpose of a standard dialect in language education. Since a word in the target language is defined by using an English word, you have to be clear what meaning to use.
As I say this one is not really as much of an issue. We would say that a crêpe is a type of pancake. Assuming that the French word refer to our Buttermilk pancakes (the most classic type) as some sort of crêpe, there wouldn't be a problem. I do know that the work pancake is used in French sometimes, though. I just don't know how wide spread it is. The issue is always that the word should translate both ways. This one may work. But you are never going to see biscuit instead of cookie here. An American biscuit is like a savory roll made with baking powder. That is definitely conflicting.
Verbs are always conjugated based on the subject, which is nous. Faisons wouldn't agree with crêpes anyway. Should you have a reason to say that the crêpes make something it would be Les crêpes font...