"The weather is a little bad today."
Why does ちょと come before 天気 (noun) rather than 悪い (adjective)? is it not the badness that is a little rather than the weather?
It's also driving me mad why this is ですね rather than です. Is there a Japanese explanation for this or is it just a poor English translation?
ちょっと modifies the whole sentence, neither 天気 nor 悪い. Oriental languages cannot be always fully analysed in the form of subjects, verbs, objects, modifying structures etc. This sentence is an example. In this sentence, 天気が悪い can be viewed as a property of today.
In teaching / research of Japanese grammar, a typical example is 象は鼻が長い。象 [elephant] is the topic, 鼻[nose]が長い is a clause. Though it could mean 'The elephant's nose is long', it actually means something like 'The elephant is (some kind of animal) whose nose is long. ', analysed as ( 象は [ (鼻が) (長い) ] ).
In the same way, the sentence in question is ( (今日は) (ちょっと) [(天気が) (わるい)] (です) (ね))。
ね is another final particle. It is used here because the speaker wants the listener to agree what the sentence states. Perhaps the sentence can mean 'Today the weather is a little bad, right? / em?' etc.
This is probably the best comment i've seen on this site to date. I have nothing to add.
Is the verb part of the clause or the main sentence?
Because your breakdown of the sentence in question seems to imply that です is part of the main sentence, but that would contradict the interpretation of が as indicating grammatical subject.
Also, does ちょっと always have to be part of the main sentence or would it be possible to put it after が and let it be part of the clause and only modify 悪い?
so it would literally be something like "today is a day that is bad-weathered"?
Even though @jungerstein's comment makes perfect sense, in terms of getting it right from english to Japanese, I feel both options should be allowed.
I do not understand why the translation needs a ね at the end as there is no equivalent "isn't it?" in the english sentence. Is that duolingos mistake or do i misunderstand something here?
No idea dude. But I´ve been looking around a bit and most translation engines make this sentence into: "Today is a bit bad weather" which is nonsense. While if you remove the ね it becomes: The weather is a bit bad today. Which actually makes a bit of sense. But if it was left to me I´d just go with the easy version: 今日は天気が悪いです The weather is bad today. Might even leave out "today" since if you´re already talking to someone... Well, they´d know you´re talking about today.
The "ね" at the end is wrong because I don't see any "isn't it" at the end and there is not a slightest tinge of interrogation. The sentence is clearly an assertive statement. Therefore, I reported it.
Currently Duo will accept it with or without "ね". However, I agree that, while I understand Jungerstein's excellent explanation of it's meaning in the sentence, there is certainly no hint in the test that it is required, or even wanted.
The ちょっと could be before 天気 because, if you think about it, if the weather they're having is only a little bad, that means you could say they're just having a little weather. Not much is going on with the weather, so we're just having a little weather. So you could think of it as, "The little amount of weather that we have is bad."