Translation:He is going to take part in a basketball competition next year.
You can't make comments during pronunciation drills. So, I'll make it here. ..参 is being pronounced "shēn" by the the gentleman who does the recordings for character pronunciations. .. when he reads out full sentences it's correct as "cān", but on its own, it's "shēn". Thanks!
That character (參/参) actually has a lot of different pronunciations. Probably the makers of Duolingo need to do more work to support different pronunciations in different contexts, because this phenomenon is hardly unique to Chinese. (English also has words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently.)
Duolingo is great for learning and memorizing chinese vocabulary, but yes I encourage you to use other methods to learn appropriate grammar and realistic speech. Even their final versions for other languages, on their own, are not a good way to learn a language. Use duo as one tool out of several or many.
A year later it is still in Beta and just as bad.
When you start a course you expect it to be good enough to work as a learning tool, but this is hopeless. And it gets worse as you go on. I would pay for it if it was better, but it seriously fails the test compared to other language courses here.
Would you buy a car that is only half built and not able to be driven?
If you want to get marked wrong over and over again because of their lack of English answers, then go for it. But it is very bad education, a turn off, and demoralising. Besides the lessons are twice as long as in other courses, and you are dealing with a much more complicated writing system. For anyone that has made it to the Ruby level as I have, I have to work four times harder on the Chinese and do double the amount of lessons to those studying say French or Italian. No level playing field there.
This is unfortunately one of those cases where in daily spoken English (not academic) we make a clear distinction between a match (2 teams/people) and competition (multiple teams/people). In Chinese the 2 meanings seem to be interchangeable, at least according to the course admins. The 2nd issue is that Chinese is very wordy ( lots of words use to convey the meaning ) while in conversational English most people tend to keep it to the point u less paid by the word. So we woukd simply say " We will participate..."