"This room is small."
I have submitted that semai should be narrow to avoid confusion with chisai which is small
When you refer to the size of a space, you use semai/hiroi, so this sentence is correct.
The sentence is correct but when you tap "small", 小さい comes up. Which is incorrect
If I heard a room was narrow I would imagine it is small in one direction but not the other. In that sense 'small' translates better what せまい means.
It's not about what you think is appropriate when you translate it into English. It's about what's appropriate when you speak Japanese. せまい and ひろい don't just translate in "narrow" and "wide." It's closer to the idea of being "narrow" or "tight" and "wide" or "spacious" referring to an area. Therefore, when referring to the size of a room, you would use せまい or ひろい. When referring to the size of a particular object, then you would then use 小さい or 大き.
I think Jan is making the same point you are; they're just explaining why "small" is the more appropriate translation in this context.
Would it be correct to say that せまい refers to things you can go into and 小さい to things you can't go into i.e. objects?
Semai is cramped, narrow, small for rooms, houses. Chisaii is small for other things. To say the opening of a river is narrow, you would use hosoi.
The help should use the same context as the sentence. It suggests the wrong thing often without all the alternatives. If there is a specific requirement for the language/context it should know this and not blindly suggest the default translation.
Unclear as to why you have to use desu whereas for most い adjectives you can skip it or modify it. I must have missed something when studying い and な adjectives.
In fact, I saw that in many case duolingo agreed to both case (with or without 丁寧語) but not here.
When should i use へや (部屋), and when should i use しつ (室) when talking about a room?
Would one still use semai if the room in question is not narrow but is small? Can you not use chisai to describe a small room?
I think of "semai" as cramped, and small. It's an accurate sentence and good translation. But my first thought is.... "RUDE!" Most rooms in Japan are smaller than western counter-parts. Perhaps this sentence would get a lot of use in Japan, but I think it would be insensitive to say out loud!