Translation:On the white paper there is one word.
Your translation is not the literal translation, but it is the way we would actually speak in the U.S. I would never say "On the white paper there is one word." That sounds out of order. Apparently, Duolingo is going for the literal translation. I was confused by that as well.
Where is "There" in this sentence? When you click on the word "staat" it gives you 3 words that it could mean and "THERE" is not one of them! Even my Dutch-speaking friends tell me this is not how they speak or how this should be written Is there a better course than this one????
I tend to agree with you, but without 'there' the English comes across as stilted or weird. 'On the paper stands one word', grammatically correct but not something you are going to hear in every day speech. So 'There is one word on the white paper' is more commonly heard but 'On the paper there is one word' is not out of normal. If this were a listening exercise where you couldn't tell èèn from een, then 'a word' should also be acceptable. As for the word, check Goethe's Faust part 1 All of this in my non-Dutch opinion.