Can anyone tell me why we can't use 'réellement'? Which I am sure is the word I remember for 'actually' in a previous duo lesson?
"Actuellement" - I believe - is a false friend. i.e.,it looks like the word "actually" but that isn't what it means. Like the word "librairie" does not mean library, it means book store - library is "bibliothèque".
Do people really talk like that? Actuellement, oui! Actuellement = nowadays, currently, actually, at present, now. There is an element of time connected with these uses.
Is it all a waste of time? Effectivement, oui! Effectivement = effectively, indeed, very. It suggests an inevitability, an outcome unrelated to purpose or intent.
Both can be used in place of actually.
Actuellement, effectivement, en fait, vraiment, véritablement, rellement and others can all replace English actually. Each of these French words has it's own nuance that flows from the context. Absent any context, as in this Duo example, any of these French words are equally suitable to replace actually.
If Duo wanted to show that actuellement doesn't just mean actually, they should use an example with a context that makes it unsuitable. Otherwise, they will get students thinking that you can't ever use actuellement to replace actually.
These adverbs are very dicey!! English translations for a french adverb are many bt not vice-versa!