Can it mean "great woman" (in the sense of speaking about some historical figure)?
Yes, גדול is used that way in slang. But it's not technically correct, so Duolingo won't accept it as an answer.
I'm not sure why eliya.joy says it's not (technically) correct to use גדול as 'great', as it has been used in such a way from ancient times. For instance, הכהן הגדול was the High priest of Israel, the Great Wall is החומה הגדולה and כנסת הגדולה - the Great Assembly.
But if you want a different word, for people you can also use the adjective דגול, which means famous, important and admired.
He probably thinks it sounds slangy because of its usage in things like !תותח, אתה גדול, אין עליך, or in that song people sing, הוא גדול הוא גדול הוא גדול: sorry about your ears, anyone who listens to the clip, I can't believe I could only find this one! :D
Thanks! How do you differentiate between "she is a great woman" and "she is a big woman" then? Is it purely by context?
Well the default would just be "big", but the context could change that. There are many other words you could use for "great", so you wouldn't really choose גדולה as a first option.
היא אישה מסקימה, היא אחלה אישה, היא אישה מצטיינת, דגולה....
That's not slang. From wikipedia: "Slang is language (words, phrases, and usages) of an informal register that members of special groups like teenagers, musicians, or criminals favor (over a standard language) in order to establish group identity, exclude outsiders, or both."
I wrote "she is a large woman" and that was accepted, but tall is a different adjective.
In my opinion you are right. It can be translated this way. I reported,that this answer should be accepted,too.
Can this sentence mean "She's an adult woman"? Or does it only imply physical size?
adult meaning grown-up here, at least I heard in this one Hebrew course being taught so
Sorry, had to delete my response because the Hebrew letters mixed in with English were wreaking havoc on word order.
Hebrew has two silent letters: א ע
All Hebrew letters are consonants, although there are two that can also function as vowels: י ו
Apart from those two, vowels are rarely written, and appear as pointing above and below (usually below) the consonants. So any vowel sounds you hear are associated with that not-always-shown pointing, rather than the letters themselves.
They aren't silent, they are glottal stops, which are consonants. Transliterate these English names to Hebrew: Ann, Evan, Ian, Oliver, and we see that they all start with א. Also English rarely has glottal stops in the middle of the word ("Hawai'i" is an example), but Hebrew is full of them.
The א in אישה is not an "A sound", but rather the glottal stop in front of the vowel. אישה is "eesha" while ישה would sound like "yesha".
I think most people would just say "Hawayi" if they're not from Hawai'i. The example I always go with is the sound in the middle of "uh-oh", because it's not possible to say it without a glottal stop.
The sound of ע is v. nuanced, however, and is introduced to most new learners as silent, if I'm not mistaken.
I read this sentence in Hemingway's " For Whom the Bell Tolls" the " mocher" of Pablo was a large woman :)
The phrase "large woman" does not appear anywhere in Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls.
My answer of "she is a great woman" should have been accepted. Dublingo said this was incorrect, and yet if you hover over גדולה it says "great"
So I wrote she is a giant woman, is this wrong or just not recognized by Duolingo?
Famous, yes. Tall, no. The word גדול doesn't mean tall any more than it does in English. If you saw a very skinny, tall woman, you would not say she was big--unless you were referring to her being famous. Tall in Hebrew is gavohah (sorry, not sure on the spelling, so transliterating instead).