Translation:They took on his behalf
Here's a report I made. I'm posting it here just in case anyone's interested in sharing their viewpoints.
What does this mean? It would be really helpful if you had slightly longer sentences so we could know how this works. "They took for him" is not a complete sentence in English and I don't know how to use this is Swahili.
For example, I'm guessing you can say "Walimchukulia wali." and it means "They took some rice for him." Or does it mean "They took him some rice. / They took some rice to him."?
This goes for the whole course. Instead of having just "kuku mzito" = "heavy chicken", as we had in another lesson, can we please have full sentences so we're constantly practicing all the things we've already learned? Please?
"Wewe ni kuku mzito."
"Nina kuku mzito."
"Ninapenda kuku wazito."
"Kaka yangu anataka kununua kuku mzito sokoni."
It's OK if they're strange sentences ... full sentences are much more useful because you're practicing everything together and overall, you get much more practice from the same number of questions.
In general I agree with you on this one, but in this exact example the Swahili sentence is in fact complete. A better translation would be "They took it for him". It could be used as an answer to a question like "What did Rashidi's parents do with the package that came for him yesterday?", "They took it for him" or "They took it on behalf of him".
I too would really like longer sentences with a bit more context to go on, but very often in this course it's the English translations that are the real issue.
I agree. Either a more complete sentence, or accepting a correct North American/British/Australian English sentence with a direct object (in this specific case), or whatever else is needed to have it be grammatical, even if the translation isn't word for word. Word for word translations are a real problem when going from one language to another anyway, and requiring them only confuses the issue.
Actually, "walimchukulia" can mean "they put up with him", i.e., "they were patient with him". And ... kuchukulia can mean "to carry for" but in this case it begs for an object: "Walimchukulia mzigo." -- "They carried the luggage/load for him." The Kamusi ya Kiswahili Sanifu has about 12 different meanings for "kuchukua" and for many of these, the prepositional form will also have meaning. When you are dealing with a word that has a dozen different meanings, context is essential.
I've seen errors in every textbook I've seen in every language I've looked at textbooks in. Errors are normal. But this course is a real problem. Take generally almost always requires an object. It is used if you don't know what the object is. Other languages have the same form as Swahili, but the courses allow you to use it to make the English sentence grammatical. I've done other beta courses, which were MUCH more complete, and one other beta course which was worse (Guarani, which seems to be being worked on again now). If this was the first course I worked on in Duolingo I think I would have said the app was a piece of something not nice and never tried to use it again, luckily I have done other courses and know that eventually this will get fixed (I hope).