"It is summer vacation now."
I don't think they should be grouped at all unless it forms a unit of meaning (今は seems fine because the particle is 'attached', but even then I think you need to be careful).
Half of one word connec tedtoa no therl iketh is is not helpful to beginners. I mean it works as a sort of challenge, thinking of the sentence and trying to build it from the pieces of the puzzle - doesn't seem great as a fundamental teaching approach. Especially when Japanese lacks spaces and you really need to learn to recognise individual words, throwing 'fake' words in doesn't help!
Thinking of the sentence and trying to build it from the pieces of the puzzle. > But... That is what Duolingo is! Having said that, I completely agree about suboptimal teaching methods, which is why I am working my way through this Duolingo 'course' before I revisit my actual Japanese textbook. ^^
the は is needed for 今 in this case (unless you're being SUPER casual in which case a lot of particles get dropped but that's another story), because the Topic of the sentence is "now", which is what は marks. A more literal way of translating は would be something like "As for _," - so here, "As for now, it's summer vacation."
I don't believe that you have to be "SUPER" casual to to omit は here, or really in most places. Even duolingo constantly omits the は on many things like this, and although I think that when being polite you might use it, in most conversations it would be pretty common to omit it every once and a while or more. I don't have a great understanding of Japanese though yet, so that's just what I've gathered from my experiences.
Why isn't there an option to report the Japanese as having an error? は does NOT belong in front of なつ, but the only error options I'm getting are that the audio is wrong, there's an English error, or the dictionary hints are wrong! I really hate the weird cutting up of words in here. Sometimes it makes sense (when it's being broken along kanji lines, for example), but so much of the time they're breaking words up randomly - and not even verbs/endings, but nouns too - and they don't break up words in ANY other language that I've studied on here! It's so obnoxious, and it drives my poor students batty!
No one does.
It's not only vacation, it also means rest. The verb, 休む, means to rest, the なさい form of a verb is used when you give an order to someone in a teacher/student, parent/child way. So literally お休みなさい is like "I am telling you to rest" but today it's really a set expression for good night.