"Is the train not here yet?"
But other times Duo is stridently literal... I agree with you but the app is very inconsistent
I think it must be inconsistent with literal and analogous translations because sometimes literal translations don't make any sence / are not the right translation, sometimes only the literal translation shows us how the language works. Unfortunately i cannot think of examples right now..
Well, you should also not translate sentences as you please either, you should try to be as close as possible to what's being said. The original comment regarding the unnecessary use of a negative translation is completely on point.
Mada is more like an adverb, isn't it? I have usually seen it translated as yet or already, as it is here. I see no negating of the verb, Maybe another way to ask this is if the sentence here means "Is the train not here yet," then how would one ask "Is the train here yet?"
Yeah, you're right. I have to agree that the example here sounds a bit strange, but mada can actually also be used as a noun to mean incomplete or not yet finished.
Usually まだ would be used together with a negative verb to mean "not yet", though the word on its own has a little of that sense built in, as does 未 which is the Chinese character you'd rarely see it written with. I'm not all that happy with the suggested translation here either though - given how picky the machine is.
It might be worth pointing out that there's actually no verb here to be negated. まだ isn't a verb, and です just makes the question polite. If you were speaking plainly, you could leave it out here.
Yeah, the translation isn't word for word.
電車 train は topic/scope of discussion particle まだ as yet (has a bit of sense of "not yet" as it's usually used with a negative verb, but there's no verb here) です politeness particle か question particle
Japanese leaves a lot of things implicit.
です is the verb. It is not merely a "politeness particle", it is a contraction of "であります" and functions as a copula in modern Japanese. "まだ" implies something is yet to be completed; in this context, the arrival of the train. "電車はまだですか" = "Has the train (not) arrived yet?", "Is the train (not) here yet?"
You can put it at the start if you take out the topic/object (making it an implied topic/object).
Something like: まだですか？ would translate to something like 'Still?' as in the contracted versions of 'Are we still not there yet?' (destinationは) まだですか？or if you want to keep a little more context: 'Have you still not dress/changed?' (服「ふく」は)まだ着てないですか？/ (nameは)まだ(服「ふく」を)着替え「きがえ」なかったですか？The ( ) can be removed and the sentence will still make sense.
Why this sentence showed up in the People lesson ?? Is this an error?
It looks to me as if the Hindi program has been put out in a bit of a rush, so the later lessons appear to combine several subjects under one title (this was probably originally "travel"). I am endlessly grateful to the contributors for having put out this course, but I do hope they will expand it in the future.