Translation:He participated in the competition one month ago.
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BEFORE AND AFTER:
前 (qiàn) = front/forward/before/former
后 (hòu) = back/behind/afterwards/later
TO JOIN A COMPETITION:
参 (cān) = to participate/to join
加 (jiā) = to add/plus
参加 (cānjiā) = to participate/to join
比 (bǐ) = [particle for comparison]/to compare/to contrast
赛 (sài) = to compete/competition/match
比赛 (bǐsai) = competition/match/to compete
前 (qiàn) = front/forward/before/former 后 (hòu) = back/behind/afterwards/later
I was a bit confused about the use of these words (前 qiàn meaning front and before, and 后 hòu meaning back and later) then realized that, when referring to SPACE, these words mean something conceptually different from what they mean when referring to TIME. I searched the internet for verification/clarification and what I found were glimmers into different ways of experiencing/perceiving, such as time as linear versus circular or horizontal versus vertical. Too complex to go into here. If you are interested, search for “chinese concept of time”.
This insight about different perspectives also led me to thinking that the negative comments about Duolingo translations arise from expectations of accuracy when the possibilities are closer to too many. Thankfully, I do this for fun (much better than jigsaw or crossword puzzles and hopefullu more useful) so I don’t worry about correct or wrong or time spent. I do recommend using other sources and experiences to improve understanding, pronunciation, etc. Thankfully, I have lived and worked in a non-English-speaking country. Misunderstandings were numerous, sometimes humorous, and always led to improved understanding.
It is nicer/simpler to say "he competed" than "he participated in the competition." The only reason you would say "participated in the competition" is if you're emphasizing THIS competition for some reason. Like if you were talking about a particular competition and then wanted to add that this person took part in it.
It would be a lot simpler like that, but, on the other hand, 'compete' could refer to a lot of things, whether you would be competing with an animal, an opponent, in a competition, in a race etc. therefore making it a 'loose', and not a concise enough translation, but I would understand why you would put that, and seems entirely acceptable if there was some context to it.
You will still be correct in doing so. There is not much difference, whether you decide to put it after 参加 or at the end of the sentence. I guess it might just change where you put the emphasis, whether that is emphasising that he has already went or he has already went to the competition as a whole.
"He participated in the competition last month" should definitely be accepted. Please bear in mind that we can discuss solutions here, but please press the "Report" button and mark it "My answer should be accepted".
'Entered the competition' probably wouldn't be that same as 'participating the competition', just due to the fact that 'entered' is more like you have gotten into the competition, but you haven't yet actively participated. 'Participated' is more of actually doing something in the competition. I hope that all makes sense.
i think there is a difference between the two sentence, esp when placed in context. E.g. when answering the question "When did he participate in the competition?", you would say "he participated in the competition one month ago", but not "one month ago, he participated in the competition".