Wouldn't "Ten mężczyzna" also work? I know for sure I've seen Ten/Ta/To translated as That in a previous lesson.
Yes, added now. But that's more of an... interpretation than a direct translation.
If it works the same as in Slovak, I guess I know what you are talking about:
- with "Tamten", you are explicitly stating that the man mentioned is "over there", relatively far from the speaker, whereas
- with "Ten", you can be talking about a man near the speaker, but you can also use it to refer to a specific man, such that both the speaker and the listener know who it's referring to, regardless of his location (kind of like a definite article), possibly even while pointing at the man, and these latter uses could sometimes be translated as "that man".
Would that be right?
Yes, I believe that's the same situation :) We usually compare it to English like that: "ten/ten/tamten" = "this/that/that". And the middle options overlap.
"Mężczyzna" is masculine (even though it looks feminine, but it means "a man", after all), and the masculine version of "that" is "tamten". "tamto" is neuter: tamto dziecko = that child.
Here ( https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22740488/When-do-i-use-on-ona-jej-go-tamtego-tamten-tej-tego-jest-and-to ) I read: "Tamtego is used with animate masculine nouns, tamten is used with inanimate masculine nouns"
So why not use 'tamtego' here instead of 'tamten' ?
That comment refers to the Accusative case.
"Widzę tamten stół" = I see that table. The Accusative of "that table" looks identical to Nominative, because it's inanimate.
"Widzę tamtego chłopca" = I see that boy. The Accusative of "that boy" looks identical to Genitive, because it's animate.
Here you just have a noun phrase to translate, no sentence, no context at all - so you should treat it as something in a dictionary and use the basic form - Nominative.