Translation:Are you Chinese?
"You are Chinese?" is a legitimate English question, so English speakers may try it because they are trying to translate literally, but it is the wrong question, because it assumes that you have told me already that you are but either I am checking if I heard you correctly or I am surprised that you are Chinese. So, since the Chinese question is actually asking if you are and not verifying that you are, we must use the regular English question "Are you Chinese?"
In some places in Duolingo, the standard English practice of adding a question mark to a statement is accepted, and in some places it is not. "Are you Chinese?" is a perfectly acceptable answer, but so is "You are Chinese?" provided that the question mark is included.
I like Duolingo, but these kinds of inconsistencies are annoying. And yes, I am a native English speaker with a BS in Speech.
The inconsistency is because Duolingo does not accept it usually, but sometimes people insist and write reports until they sometimes do add it in, but even though the English statement with a question mark at the end is a legitimate question, it is not the same question. “You are Chinese?” is a repetition of something someone has said which is said in surprise, and the real question is “Did I hear you correctly?” or sometimes it is said with a different emotion and means “Say it isn’t so?”, “Are you sure?” or “I don’t know if I believe you. Can you prove it?” It can be said with surprise, disbelief or sometimes with a different sentence in disgust. So that does not equal the same form of question in other languages which use it as just another general form of question. Oh, and I have also heard this English question used as a guess and in that case the question is “Am I right?
Thanks for a well thought-out and well articulated answer. Everything you say is true except the part about the two being different questions. In many cases, "You are Chinese?" can mean EXACTLY the same thing as "Are you Chinese?" In fact, everything you said about "You are Chinese?" could also be said about "Are you Chinese?" I think about 95% of all English speakers would agree with me on this. (The other 5% would be wrong! ) I really think you should allow this.
The pronunciation on Duolingo is sometimes very lackluster, especially the woman in the later lessons. Idk if it's because both speakers are from different areas, so different dialect? But I am constantly checking on other websites to make sure I'm getting the most accurate sound. Be careful and make sure to study teachers on youtube as well.
Although using the article would be grammatically correct, it would carry a slightly negative connotation, or possible mark the speaker as unsophisticated. The "person" word could be implied by the adjective, as one might call his or her mate, "My sweet," implying "my sweet one" or "my sweet wife," etc.
"Are you Chinese?" seems like the same as asking, "aren't you Chinese", but it's not. It may seem like a small thing, but this is good to know.
These questions should be different situationally, and depending on context. The 2nd form implies that you've assumed they are Chinese. "Are you a man?", "Aren't you a man??". Think about the difference.