"She is pretty heavy."
Translation:Sie ist ziemlich schwer.
The problem here is that descriptors like this are all relative and highly subjective. The sledgehammer is barely heavy to me, but it is extremely heavy to my wife. At the same time, I personally would use "pretty heavy" to mean both (in the context of telling my wife how heavy it is).
The problem isn't whether it's acceptable, it's whether it is taught a certain way. I like this free language system but one thing that annoys me to no end is that it throws a few definitions for a word at you in the hover tip, and seems to favor one definition over others, and then later tests you against one of the "uncommon uses". And in this particular example (because it seems like the discussion page is tied to a sentence, not the presentation of the question), I had multiple choice, pick all that match: one obviously wrong answer, "sie ist ziemlich schwer", and "sie ist sehr schwer". This compounded the issue for me.
I have no idea whether native speakers of German speak this way, but what I do know is that previously, "sehr" wasn't taught (as in reinforced) as "pretty". It may have been in the hover tip when it was first introduced, but that was how long ago?
Do note that "pretty" when used to describe the extent of something (i.e., in the sense of "somewhat" or "moderately") is noted as informal. Every English & literature teacher I ever had frowned on using "pretty" in this way--they found it lazy and preferred a more precise word choice. They viewed the use of "nice" for every expression of agreeableness in the same way.
That said, "pretty" is used quite often in conversational English to indicate "more" (but not "a lot more").
whilst I believe you are correct about the American English bias, in English 'pretty heavy' would never mean 'very heavy'. The idiomatic use of American English can and does lead to confusion. Whilst I appreciate the Doulingo cannot be 'all things to all people', I do think that it has to be more proactive regarding the differences between English speakers. For example if I were to say 'she is wearing his shorts' it would raise an eyebrow or two in American English, but in English it simply mean 'she is wearing his short trousers' not his underwear.
the problem with the sehr/ziemlich/ganz etc. is that DL is not consistent, sometimes playing loose with the definitions: Ah you missed one of the correct answers! and sometimes being very strict: Ah you're wrong again! Wrong if you do wrong if you don't. It's frustrating, but I believe DL is really just beginning, no? Many refinements are possible.
Not sure whom you referring to, because I have agreed to wataya and BPLK said I will answer:
"sehr" and "ziemlich" on its own have different meanings and are not interchangeable, -agree, this goes in line with the links in your post.
As wataya pointed out, citing him:
"She is pretty nice" could translate to "Sie ist ganz nett". It doesn't work with "schwer", though. cit. end.
at the bottom line you could also say:
pretty nice can be: "ganz nett", or "ziemlich nett" but,
pretty heavy is: "ganz schoen schwer" , or "ziemlich schwer" another one:
pretty stupid: "ganz schön blöd" , or "ziemlich blöd"
And there are many more examples like that.
Of course I can.
First of of there is no logic behind the wording, but it is true that this is the correct translation. (if you drop the "schön" it is wrong!)
This is a phrase which wants to belittle what was just said, and if it is not very nice, the word "schoen" is used to make it sound nicer. But it can also make it stronger or underlining it.
Linguists will be able to tell you from which location and when it was introduced in the language, but a again there is no real logic behind it.
If this helps??
Ummmm . . . schwer means difficult, heavy, or (my preference because it looks similar although they are not cognates) severe. See http://www.dict.cc/?s=schwer
gewichtlich, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be a standard German word. See http://www.dict.cc/?s=gewichtlich, http://www.wie-sagt-man-noch.de/synonyme/gewichtlich.html, http://synonyme.woxikon.de/synonyme/gewichtlich.php, http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gewichtlich, http://en.pons.com/translate?l=deen==en=gewichtlich, etc
Alexandra, adjectival endings (such as the -e and -en) are added to the stem when the adjective precedes the noun (die schöne Katze). When after the noun, the adjectival endings don't apply (die Katze ist schön). However, some stems end in -e, so I got tripped up recently with one I didn't know! Someone may be able to provide a helpful reference...
I've learned to put "pretty" heavy because duo wants it, and I suppose Americans translate it that way, but in German classes in England I was taught that "ziemlich" means "quite". When I put that it was marked as incorrect; nevertheless it's the meaning I attribute when speaking to German people in our conversation group.