I agree 100%. This is what first occurred to me, but I didn't put it down. Sometimes I find that when translating, I have to use a more literal answer to make sure I get it right, even though it might not actually be what I would say as a native English speaker. So, sometimes, I am actually trying to guess at a literal translation more than getting the "real meaning" so to speak.
As a general rule, don't turn verbs into nouns, or nouns into verbs, or introduce either when they aren't there unless you absolutely have to to avoid saying something completely disallowed in the target laguage. DL is not just testing your ability to understand meaning but also recognize the parts of speech and vocabulary.
I agree too. Duo's so-called explanation - "Using 'even though' requires more changes to the original sentence. There is no need to add 'it's/it is'. 'We see in spite of the night'." - is utter nonsense. Few people would say "We see in spite of the night" naturally. "... in spite of the dark(ness)" might be slightly more natural, but the program is basically forcing people to write sloppy English to conform exactly to the French sentence. That isn't what translation is about, and it isn't even the point of this exercise, which I assume is to check comprehension. Mindlessly repeating back word-for-word translations does not prove that you've understood the meaning of the French; it proves you can use a dictionary.
This has nothing to do with "mindlessly repeating back word-for-word translations." It has to do with not adding to/subtracting from the English such that it no longer back-translates to the given French. It just so happens that that results in a word-for-word correspondence in this case. (And even that isn't technically true since it accepts "can see" as well as "see" and "in spite of" as well as "despite"). I'm not saying you're incorrect that there are more natural ways in English to express this idea, but they would require different French. Maybe that means it's not the best French sentence, but that's a different complaint. Simply saying the English translations should expand in order to sound more natural is effectively to ask that DL teach something incorrect about French grammar.
I understand what you're saying, and I apologise for the frustrated wording (I was on my third "but why?" duo correction of the day by this point). I was thinking more along the lines of the purpose of the exercise: if it is an English-to-French translation, it may be necessary to have a slightly clunky or unnatural English sentence in order to elicit a French sentence that uses the grammatical structure or vocabulary DL is attempting to teach; however, if it's a French-to-English translation, the purpose, as I said above, is to understand the meaning, and I think this can certainly allow for greater flexibility in the range of acceptable answers without requiring different French. In that case we would be looking at the/a "natural" way to express the idea in French alongside the/a "natural" way to express it in English (the literal translation should of course also be accepted if it conveys the same idea). I realise there's probably an understandable need to draw the line somewhere in terms of the number of variations they can accept, but surely it was just as much trouble to add an explanation of why something was "wrong" as it would be to just list it as an acceptable alternative.
As a side note I have just had "demain c'est lundi", with the accepted answer "tomorrow is Monday". I'm not sure why that isn't another case of strictly "unnecessary" addition/subtraction.
I went with "We see in spite of the night," which ends up being more poetic instead of a statement you would normally say (it was correct by the way). But I only know this word because of the French 'Ça ira' song - thank you French Revolution music for teaching me random words!
This is because "see" is a non-continuous verb. Try this link for an explanation http://esl.about.com/od/grammarintermediate/a/noncontinuous.htm
In order to use "even though", it would have to be "malgré que", according to the Oxford French Dictionary. Even so, it is not a generally accepted way of saying "even though" (use "bien que"). Be aware that it would also require rewriting the sentence to include "it is", etc.
You have to learn 'Duolingo' before learning another language and I don't like it. That's the way you learn things in school books an no one get an idea what you're talking about. If I need to translate then from English into French I have to think incorrectly to catch the right solution in the lessons here. I feel more and more inconvenient with that, sorry guys don't wanted to spoil your efforts and fun. Just needed to get rid of my anger. 'Je maudis malgre la nuit' :)
No. Many English speakers use this term (mixing it up with "in spite of") but it's wrong. See here for more: http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/difficulties/despiteinspiteof.html
"Even though it is night' = bien que ce soit la nuit / en dépit du fait que ce soit la nuit
Note that "malgré que + subj" is rather controversial and this is why I don't suggest it.
So keep in mind that "malgré" is a preposition, like "despite" or "in spite of", to be used in front of a noun.
Stative verbs (including "to see") are generally not used in continuous tenses when talking about perceptions. https://www.thoughtco.com/differences-between-action-and-stative-verbs-1211141 That is probably more than you wanted to know about it. As to "can", Duo does not "insist" on using "can see", but allows it. And no, the French does not require pouvoir here to carry the sense of being able to see something.
Well it helps to know that but still the English translation given is incorrect English, we just would not say that. If you want to test understanding, it might be best just to put the single word 'malgre' meaning 'in spite of' or 'despite'(sorry can't do accents with this machine). This sentence can't be translated as given above though, using 'in spite of, it is totally wrong in English.
If you prefer "in spite of" you may use that. You see it on the hint list and it works just fine here. The English translation shown is grammatically correct, even if not in the manner you would like to see. We (can) see in spite of the night (or) darkness (or) we (can) see despite the night. If we are to improve anything, we can't just say something is wrong and walk away. Please share your suggestion for a clear and natural way to express the meaning of the sentence.