It would be clearer with "according to the children, no" with is a bit of a conversation. you may imagine Mom and Dad discussing: - Did my friend XX call when we were both away? (Est-ce que mon ami XX a appelé pendant que nous étions sortis tous les deux ?) - According to the children, no. (D'après les enfants, non.)
I don't think there is any difference in usage between En and Fr on this specific point.
You can call your children "mes enfants" or "les enfants" and you can talk about them to a third party using "mes" or "les".
A teacher can also address kids with "mes/les" enfants, un peu de calme, s'il vous plaît !".
The only thing you cannot do in French is calling them people with no determiner: "hi, girls!" = "salut les filles !"
"le enfant" never exists as two separate words, and always contracts to l'enfant, while the les of les enfants has an audible s, both because of the initial vowel on Enfant, so the pronunciations are actually very distinct, imagine it as how you would say lenfant and lezenfants (if such words existed in French) and you can spot the difference easily
Does this sentence ("According to the children, no") feel natural to English natives? Put another way, would it be ok to answer, say, "Does the computer work?" and "Did Mark call?" with "According to the children, no"?
My impression so far was that English almost required repeating the question's subject and verb, i.e. that the natural answers to those examples would be "According to the children, it doesn't" and "According to the children, he didn't". Is it just a matter of formal vs informal? Is it that my examples are actually badly chosen and I overlooked other cases where ", no" is better? Something else? :)
English has SO many correct ways of saying essentially the same thing, and it sometimes comes down to personal preference. Either of your examples (...., no or..., he didn't) sound fine to me, and we could also say 'Not according to the children.' Sometimes the different correct translations might have slight variations in formality, nuance, ie which part of the sentence you are emphasising, but that's not always the case.
"le enfant" is improper French, so you should never hear it.
In singular, "l'enfant" is the correct spelling, with an elision (replacement of the -e- by an apostrophe to avoid the vowel sound hiatus); and in plural "les enfants" is pronounced LEZ-enfants.
When "le" is placed before a word starting with a consonant, like "le vin", it sounds LUH.
in this instance, "in the opinion of" drew red. But "according to my wife" is not something I would say if she could hear it, unless I wanted to provoke her to distinguish between mere opinion and the genuine facts she always presents. I say this knowing she is studying Italian, while I am here laboring in a more northern vineyard.