Translation:What date is it?
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There's nothing to suggest the question is about today. Literal translation would be, 'what month what day?'
It's a common way to ask for a date because it's obvious in context what date you're asking about, like so:
我们想去涮火锅，你来吗？ We're thinking of going for hot pot, you coming? 几月几号？ What date?
I think Duolingo helps you more in translation than in actually learning.
I mean, for learning purposes you could say "what month, what day (is it)?" as long as you understand the meaning of it.
Know how you would say the same thing in English - that's translation, which may be irrelevant for those who just want to be able to communicate.
Now keep learning, I just wanted to say that, and remember that's merely a thought, not a fact :v
Yes. All the confusion in this discussion area is because the fixed phrase in Chinese is 几月几号？ while in English it's “what's the date today?”, but these are not literally equivalent. Duolingo doesn't seem to have a strategy for distinguishing “what you would normally say” from “what exactly does this mean”.
Do not ever trust Google Translate! It does not understand language, it just (well… not really, but this is the right nontechnical way to think about it) uses statistical alignments between texts that humans translated previously and cribs mindlessly from that. This means that for language pairs that do not express things in the same way, it will be wrong consistently. English/Mandarin is an especially bad pair, and this is a typical example. Sometimes it just makes gibberish, though, since it has no clue that figures of speech even exist, and Chinese is fond of them.
It's a great frustration when you work there. Management is all, “machine translation is a solved problem” and it bloody isn't.