I wrote "His daughters eat pasta and pasta alone" which I feel is a perfect translation of "ילדותיו אוכלות אך ורק פסטה", albeit a bit fancy.
Again, Duolingo should have a disclaimer about the translations, somewhere in line of "the translations required are those we deem necessary for educational purposes and your translation, although it may be correct from a syntactic or idiomatic view point, may not necessarily be accepted".
It's good to understand this, because that way I know to stick to the translation adopted in the course, unless, of course, there is something wrong with it. Thanks
Well, for starters it's pronounced "yaldoTAV". But the יו at the end of a word is simply pronounced as a v. It doesn't imply anything about the vowel preceding it. That's just a special case for word ends. Another example special sound for word ends is the chet with a patach חַ that is pronounced -ach.
It's not universally pronounced like that. If a rare Hebrew word ends with -yo or -yu, it's going to be spelled with a יו at the end as well, as in הַיּוּ
I begin to realize that the answers deemed correct are indeed those which best reflect the Hebrew wording, which seems to me to be a very good idea.
The placement of the modifier, in this case 'only', makes a difference in that the meaning should be clear to the reader. T-hero is correct that there is no grammatical rule, and in this particular example there is no dfference between "only eat pasta" and "eat only pasta", or even "eat pasta only", but in more complex sentences, such as "the doctor only examined the children" vs "the doctor examined only the children", there is quite a difference in meaning.
Even with this sentence there is a difference:
"His girls eat only pasta" - they don't eat burgers, but they might study Hebrew.
"His girls only eat pasta" - they don't ever do anything other than eating pasta. They don't even breathe.
Of course, this is English or Hebrew, not lojban. Speakers of these languages use these sentences interchangeably, and we are expected to apply common sense to interpretation.
- I will never leave Jerusalem!
- Aren't you going to Tel Aviv tomorrow?
Eh, I would use the second sentence just to say they don't eat anything else. If it wasn't food related, maybe. His girls only play video games - no other activity. But for food, his girls only eat pizza... Usually just implies they'll only EAT pizza, not that they won't eat pizza AND play video games. I don't think the distinction is there without other context. But it might be a geographical difference. I'm a native speaker American English, East Coast.