"Helen is a girl."
Translation:Η Ελένη είναι ένα κορίτσι.
Greek grammar is different than English grammar. There are exactly the right number of words in this sentence. In Greek, you need "the" when you use a specific person's name.
If I just say "Ελένη είναι ένα κορίτσι" then I could be referring to anyone: Helen Mirren, Helen Keller, Helena Bonham Carter...
But if I say "Η Ελένη είναι ένα κορίτσι" then you know I'm referring to a particular Helen, either a particular friend we know or someone specified earlier in the conversation.
While the use of "ένα" is not strictly necessary we must realize that the point is to build up vocabulary so that more interesting sentences can be created in forthcoming skills.
This is only the second skill...the first being the ABCs...there are another 70 skills to come where there will be more variety and more authentic language.
As for the accents which can seem annoying, they are a vital part of the language. Using the wrong accent could change the meaning of a word.
AND they help in pronunciation something I wish we had in English. Although Duo doesn't count a word wrong for a missing an accent (or a capital letter, or any punctuation) that shouldn't stop us from learning them
We agree if you want to learn a language you need to be prepared for some odd things. That's why it's called "foreign" it's not the same as your native language. Learning a language opens up a world of differences not only in the grammar. And that's what the world is all about.
Ένα is used for the grammatical gender masculine and neuter words and μια is for grammatical gender feminine words.
Please note that the genders "masculine, feminine and neuter" do not refer to the actual gender of the person or thing we are talking about. That can be confusing for learners.
In this case, the word "κορίτσι" is neuter in spite of the fact that it refers to a girl. Therefore, you use the word ένα.
For a fuller explanation and examples look at the Tips & notes if you are on the web. At the start of the lesson you'll see a light bulb image, click on that to see the Tips & notes.
The article goes with the gender of the word, not the person or object involved. "Masculine, Feminine and neuter" are just names given to the kinds of nouns.
In this case the word "κορίτσι" is neuter..."το κορίτσι". ("The boy" (το αγόρι) is also neuter but "the chair" (η καρέκλα) is feminine).
There is another word for "girl" which is feminine (but don't worry about that now).