"Far away there by the camel stands an owl."
Translation:שם הרחק ליד הגמל עומד ינשוף.
It is שם הרחק - That הרחק is a single word; the ה is not the definite article.
It is not שם הרחוק - that would be meaningless.
It is a word that means "very far away". It's kind of strange the way they used it because it usually goes with the prefix מ on the following word, indicating what that thing is far away from. Example:
הרחק מכאן - far away from here
Seems to me that making distinctions with regard to the pose of an animal do not seem to carry over from one language to the other with utter strictness - at least where birds are concerned;
If anything, a translation of "ommed" would be anything but a blindly literal one to have an idiomatic ring; both of the following seem much more reasonable options:
Well, I suppose there is no great difference between שָׁם הַרְחֵק there far away and הַרְחֵק שָׁם all the way over there. According to Ngram, the first is used more than the latter. Therefore it is true that Duolingo would have been spared of this longish thread, if it had simply followed mechanically the Hebrew word order!
I agree with Linda. There are enough sentences in this course that sound utterly weird in English because the word order copies the Hebrew too closely. In this case, since it's weird in any case, they should EITHER have done the same and said "There, far away...." OR they should accept " הרחק שם " as equally correct.
So let's start with what is wrong about your answer. Why do you have this lamed before the word camel? That would be like "far away there TO the camel...". Not what you wanted. The lamed is the wrong preposition here.
The word סמוך is a preposition that means "next" and does go with the letter ל. Alternatively you could use ליד with no additional prefix letters. So in summary all of the following should work:
הרחק שם, סמוך לגמל, עומד ינשוף
הרחק שם, ליד הגמל, עומד ינשוף
I see this sentence this way: אי שמ - somewhere - הרחק - far away - ליד הגמל - next to the camel - עומד ינשוף - stands an owl. I don’t see the lamed (ל) as having anything to do with the word הרחק. That’s why it’s not a mem (מ). It’s not saying ‘far away from’. I believe it’s just: Somewhere, far away, next to the camel, stands an owl. It’s a peculiar sentence in English, unless it’s poetry, then anything goes.
No. Modern Hebrew, just like ancient Hebrew, is much less particular about word order than English. It's hard to translate Yoda-speak to Hebrew. And for this particular example, even English allows you to switch the order ("an owl stands" vs "stands an owl")
Both variations ("ינשוף עומד" and "עומד ינשוף") are perfectly fine Hebrew.