"Please help me."
Chinese course on Duolingo got darker much faster than the other ones I've taken so far
请帮助 is please help. And nobody in China says 请帮助我。 that's too long. I teach my students that 请帮助 is please help me.
But where in '请帮助' is '我'? Because in your last sentence you said that you teach your students that '请帮助' means 'please help me' and '我' usually translates to 'me' and '我' is missing in '请帮助'. So it can only mean 'Please help'.
Yes, but I think Toby is implying that, as in English, if someone says "please help" you assume they are the one needing help unless the context makes it obvious who else might need it.
like this old joke: I saw two kids trying to rob a grown man. I of course stepped in to help! against the three of us he didn't stand a chance!
For those wondering, there is a proposed hypothesis that a creator of the Duolingo sentences is messaging the users through discreet translation tasks. It is more or less the first Duolingo meme.
Both mean "help" since they contain 帮 (bāng, bang1, "to help"), and many use them interchangeably. There are slight differences in connotation, though not everyone necessarily agrees on what they are. In my experience...
帮忙 is less formal and more about distributing labor.
You'd say this if you need "an extra hand" to make everyone a little less 忙 (máng, mang2, "busy"). Since it's less formal, you'd use it to describe lifting crates together but not outsourcing professional work.
帮助 is more formal and more about support.
The 助 (zhù, zhu4, "assist/support") is the same as in 助理 (assistant/secretary). When someone revives you in a multi-player game, that is better described as 帮助. This is also used for more formal documents requesting aid.
So, in summary:
• spreading out one task ~ 帮忙
• assisting/supporting ~ 帮助
I don't think I generally hear something that convoluted. 请帮忙，请帮帮我 or 帮帮我吗 is what I've usually heard. They should be accepted.
My understanding is that verb duplication places emphasis on the verb but is also friendlier/less formal.
Boy oh boy, sometimes duolingo says bang is ok, bangzhu is wrong.. sometimes vice versa, when used in same way!