Because in German the sentence implies one is transitioning from just a man, to a father.
The English "from the man...etc." implies something is passing from a man, to a father. So whilst in direct translation it seems correct, it does not correctly convey the implied meaning, thus is an incorrect answer.
German requires much more article use than English does. I probably wouldn't introduce John Smith as "the John" in English, for example (and there's plenty of better examples throughout this course - I think "the January" for Jan in general is another one). The -m is probably required because zu and von are always dative - that doesn't necessarily make the English wrong because it doesn't use articles.
I don't know enough to be able to say whether "the" should be accepted. If it should be, that doesn't mean that the sentence without articles should be unacceptable - English and German just use articles in different ways. Anyway, everyone's griping about it in this thread, but no-one has mentioned whether they've reported it. If it has been (and I'd hope so), well, the team will get to it eventually (whether that's to add an alternative answer, to add a pop-up explanation for why "the" is wrong, or to lock the the thread and delete everything but a mod comment along the lines of "only from man to father is correct, reports will be ignored"). I recently got the "your feedback has been processed!" email for a report I made this time last year.
I do know that this sentence isn't an idiom, because if it was, you'd see it used many times in many different contexts (but with a consistent meaning) when searching "vom Mann zum Vater" on Google. Instead, the only results that actually use the phrase (on Google and DDG) are about a book for new parents (which would indicate that "From Husband to Father" should be accepted, but in this context, articles wouldn't actually work for the English: It's clear that the husband and the father are the same person, but saying "from the husband to the father" in English implies that they're separate individuals - the husband is giving a present to the father, or something. The same isn't true in German since German has different rules for articles).
Thanks for the lengthy response! Your point about articles being more prevalent in German makes sense.
My question about whether or not there is something idiomatic going on is not about the whole phrase itself, just the 'zum' part only meaning 'to father'. I guess a better way to ask the question would be to ask if there is a rule wherein something undergoing a transition to something else would require an article in German (where in English, it wouldn't).
As far as reporting this one, I personally did not because I wasn't sure if it was an error or not. Apparently, it's not. Anyway, thanks!
I guess a better way to ask the question would be to ask if there is a rule wherein something undergoing a transition to something else would require an article in German (where in English, it wouldn't).
Oh, I see. I have no idea about that one, sorry for the misunderstanding.
As I said, I don't know whether or not articles should be accepted in general (unlike book titles, Duo sentences have no context), so it might still be worth reporting (or hopefully we'll get word from a native speaker as to whether the articles are always required, at least).
If you're translating it literally, word for word, ignoring other rules in both languages, you'd have the, not a.
I don't know whether "the" should be accepted or not, but knowing that German uses articles much more often than English does, I don't have any problem with the English lacking it.
"From man to father" isn't an idiom in English, and given that there's a grand total of seven results for "von Mann zum Vater" in Google, I don't think it's a German idiom either. It's more likely just one of those weird Duo sentences, like "the place of residence is beautiful!"
It is not an idiom if by that you require that it be relatively common.
However, it is idiomatic in that many readers will inject a layer of meaning concerning the evolution or change in status from being just a man to being a father. This meaning is not contained in a simple translation of the available words. It takes that meaning from a shared cultural understanding of the assumed differences in the social obligations attached to each status.
I'm not sure about the German inclusion of articles in the phrase but the absence of them in the English translation signals that it should be treated in an idiomatic way rather than literally.
In what way might "from man to father" be treated literally rather than "idiomatically" understood as meaning... "From man to father"? (Giving, I suppose, but the fact that it could be understood two different ways depending on context is hardly idiomatic, unless you want to say that every single statement is an idiom, including metaphors and similes).
Anyway, my original point was that it is not a common idiom, like all of the idioms in the idioms lesson. They aren't metaphors or phrases that merely require cultural understanding of what a father is, but they're set phrases with a particular meaning, like "that's water under the bridge". Maybe that's not the only definition of an idiom, but that's how they're being used in that lesson. So this still shouldn't be in the idioms lesson, which is the point I was originally making. This should be clear from the post I was responding to, where someone said this should be in the idioms lesson instead.
"An expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements, as in keep tabs on."
"From man to father" may be idiomatic, but it is not an idiom.
"I am a doctor" isn't an idiom either, even though people wonder about the use of the article in that vs. the German "ich bin Arzt(in)".
Even if there is some definition of idiom that I am unaware of and am unable to find, Duo seems to be using a more restricted definition of common(ish, or at least cliched) phrases that cannot be understood by ordinary translation, and this sentence does not seem to match either of those.
In what way might "from man to father" be treated literally rather than "idiomatically
One way to treat it literally is to wonder why there aren't any articles in the English translation.
I'm not sure how common an idiom has to be before you think it should be included in an idiom section but the..... from blank to blank ....construction intended to show a gradual or stark change in status with significant implications for someone or something is very common in English.
If I thought that Duo should put as many of its idioms into one lesson group as possible then I would say that this construction qualifies.
idiom a construction or expression of one language whose parts correspond to elements in another language but whose total structure or meaning is not matched in the same way in the second language.
I am constantly surprised by how many metaphors work across various languages word for word. But this phrase doesn't. A literal translation from the German changes the apparent meaning .
Most English speakers seeing the phrase from man to father will think something more is being referred to than simply that his wife had a baby. And if some don't get it, that doesn't mean that it isn't a figure of speech with a special meaning that is lost by a literal translation of the German.
Personally, I don't care if it is put in the idiom section or not. But I don't see why it should be excluded. I can see why those students who think the idioms should be introduced as such would prefer to see them all together. Some have expressed their desire to see this one included as well.
I thought it meant something like "A man has become a father" or "From manhood to fatherhood".
Am I completely wrong here? Is it, instead, a simple description of an action, as when someone is handing something over to another person? Literally, "from the man to the father"?
Seeing what appeared to be an example of a kind of expression, which is actually common in literary English, I put From Husband to Father. The saying, in English, refers to the change in lifestyle, obligations and needs connected to the commonplace life event where men's status changes from husband to father.
From man to father could have the same meaning but could equally mean a lot of other things.
You might use it in the context of giving an awful speech (that's your cue Donald Trump). Like you might say, "From a man to a father he went, a beautiful transition through the antidisestablishmentarianistic world", or something equally awful. Flag me if the spelling is wrong. ;)
Well, you go from being just a man, to being a father when you have a child. That was what came to mind for me at least. I think it implies that being a dad is like, better than just being a regular dude. At least, to me, that's how it must feel when you get to be a dad (or mom). It's like a higher sense of worth to be a parent or an uncle or aunt. Suddenly you aren't just Betty and Dave Matthews. You're mom and dad, and you have a whole new set of dreams and things you want to tell, and adventures you want to share.
You're correct (assuming that first den was a typo of dem). But remember that German requires greater use of articles than English, even requiring them where they'd make no sense in English. So we wouldn't need to have "the man to the father" - it's just another of the differences between the two. You could introduce someone as "das ist der Adam" in German, but you wouldn't translate that to "this is the Adam" (most of the time).
thank you! (it was indeed a typo). I think my confusion comes from the fact that in my native language (Portuguese) we also use articles than in English (we don't have as many variations as in German, by far, but we use them in similar situations from what I've learned). So in Portuguese, "the man to the father" and "man to father" mean sort of different things. so I assumed it was the same in German, and in that case the correct answer should include the articles. But I can also interpret it as it having the meaning of "man to father", but needing the articles anyway.
In Portuguese we also use articles when talking about people. Thankfully, we only have 2 genders, and no declensions. It's funny because there's a bunch of similarities between English and German , but I also see a few with other european languages like Portuguese and Spanish, so knowing those two languages sometimes help me with German :)
I googled it and found it the name of a book [http://www.robert-richter.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10:vom-mann-zum-vater&catid=4:buecher&Itemid=10]. I didn't find an Englisch version while I didn't try much.
I put from husband to father, unaware of the existence of this idiom. Which is fine, except that now because I got dinged, I have to go through this entire lesson again. Duolingo's surprise zingers get really irritating because their algorithm does not allow for understandable mistakes.