Translation:I will work at the university starting April first.
"First April" isn't correct English when it's referring to the date of April 1st. "First, April" is fine, but that phrase isn't about the date of April 1st.
The date can be said and written in the following ways: April 1st/first, the 1st/first of April, and April the 1st/first.
I'd encourage anyone else who was corrected to "First April" to report that.
Can anyone explain to me how you know this is future tense? I get that ~ました is past tense compared to ます but I don't understand how Japanese distinguishes present/future tense. It probably doesn't help that the hint for でつとめ is "worked" rather than "[will] work". For that matter, how can you tell when the present particle "working" is used instead? Or is this just a weirdness of English that Japanese doesn't have.
The Japanese language does not have a real conjugation for a future tense. However, it has several ways to express expectations, desires, or guesses of future events. As far as I have seen from the course, most of them are beyond the scope of this Duolingo course (but it might be incorrect; I finished the tree rapidly with tests, skipping most of the sentences).
In this sentence, the verb つとめる means 'to work', 'to serve' etc. The hover should not regard でつとめ as a whole: it is 大学で + つとめ. This verb is 下一段動詞, whose conjugation is め・め・める・める・めれ・めよ --- this is to say, to use ます, just drop the る and say つとめます. (As I am checking it now, the hover hint is somehow corrected to exclude で. However, it explains つとめ per kana: つ as in 一つ・二つ, と as the conjunction 'and', め as the noun 'eye'. It is not correct at all and do not get confused. )
Shortly, there is no future tense in the verb form here.
The future tense is probably translated in the sense / context from this sentence. There is a prescribed / arranged date (1 April), and there is a new workplace (university). In such contexts the bare present tense can express the future plans.
However, if one is hired and working in a firm etc., a progressive form つとめている or つとめています might be used.
OFF THE TOPIC
In Japan, planned years such as fiscal years, school years begin on 1 April. The date is regarded as beginning of new careers / new stages of life.
"I am currently verb-ing" would be verbています.. Here, (つとめ)ています. I suggest looking up a te-form verb conjugation chart for your reference. There's a method to it, and a song exists out there somewhere to help remember the verb endings. Anyway, since ます could be either present or future, context kind of fills it in. "Starting April 1st," or more literally, "From April 1st," kinda means it has to be future tense, since past tense would be ました.
We know, in this instance, that it's supposed to be translated as future because the speaker says shigatsu kara (from April), that distinction could with the "present" tense tells us that this event is yet to happen and therefore is in the future. The verb is tsutomeru or tsutomemasu in polite form. I think you mean participle, not particle. The te form plus imasu is similar to a present participle. So tsutomete imasu for tsutomeru. Hope I've answered everything.
Since the other person didnt actually answer your question, and i had difficulty as well, 一日 is ついたち.
This is the first time I encountered it, I'm pretty sure, so it would be nice if there was always a regular and slow speed button.
Furigana eould of course solve this and other issues.
Can anyone explain why this cannot mean an event that is already happening? I know it was asked before, but never explained. In every language I know (except English with present perfect), the present tense is used to express a present action 'since date X'. Is this not the case in Japanese? Some guidance / examples would be appreciated.
I am not sure such a distinction exists. Every source I have checked says that から is the default option for saying since, including with a present-tense verb. It also fits with my prior knowledge, although admittedly I haven't touched Japanese for years before doing this course. Do you have an external source explaining the distinction?
It does exist. How many sources have you checked? Since with a present tense verb doesn't make sense - since needs to be used with a past tense verb - since implies something that has already happened ie. in the past. My external source is studying Japanese, reading, writing, speaking it and using the language whilst living in Japan. Also since + present tense or future tense doesn't make sense in English either.
一時から ３時まで 勉強するつもりです I plan to study from 1-3.
この本 の ３章から ７章まで 読んで下さい Please read from chapter 3 to chapter 7 of this book.
ＮＺには 小学校のがくせいが 月曜日から 金曜日まで 学校に 行くべきです In NZ primary school students should go to school monday to friday.
NZの夏休みは クリスマスの前から 一月の終わりまで NZ's Summer holidays are from before Christmas until the end of January.
It is either depending what is applicable according to the context of the sentence. This sentence tells us the events described are set in the future, hence it should be translated s future. If it was an event that was currently happening then it should be translated as present tense. Translating this particular sentence in the present tense makes it sound like the person is currently working at the University - but that is not the case. The speaker is yet to start working at the University. The speaker will start work at the University at the future date specified.
Because if the date April 1st was in the past then the verb - to work - would be in the past tense. It is not in the past tense - hence it must not be April yet, hence April must be in the future, hence the verb must be translated as future tense in this instance - not present tense.
Also, when you say "I work at the University since April 1st" you're giving conflicting information again. You're describing an event that happened in the past ie. Working at the University since April - before the current date BUT you're talking about this past event in the present tense. It doesn't work and it doesn't make sense.