Translation:Did you read today's newspaper?
The use of 看 in combination with books, newspapers, thus things you read, is basically always interpreted as "reading" and not "watching/seeing" But it depends on the context and the object of the conversation if you want to say "have seen..". BUT, as I said, will most likely not be interpreted as so.
If you want to be specific you can use the complement of result 看见 = looking 看 (as your verb) and actually seeing something 见 (as your result of the verb). So then it can be 你看见(了)报纸? Meaning "have you seen (but not specifically read) the newspaper?
Correct me if I am wrong though :) I just think this would sound more accurate because I learned about complement of result in class
Basically the issue is with the level of language knowledge the writers have in English. My guess is they don't know you can say 'seen' for a newspaper, magazine, etc. because you can't for a book (well, you can, but only in, "have you seen my book?) They just need to add it as an option.
There are always workarounds. For example, you could ask 你知道今天的报纸在哪儿? (Do you know where today's newspaper is?) or 今天的报纸还是到的吗? (Has today's newspaper arrived, yet?) or 你有没有我的报纸? (Do you have my newspaper?) I know that's a 'pragmatic' answer that fails to address the actual question about the grammar, but, we don't always have to try to say something in Chinese in the exact same way, or by making the same subtle distinction, that we would (or could) in English.
(A) Generally speaking, 你看了今天的报纸吗? can mean
"Did you read today's newspapers?" (simple past tense)
as well as
"Have you read today's newspapers?" (Past perfect tense)
This is when you are just posing the question casually.
However, if you want to put a greater stress on the past tense as past perfect, you can say 你已经看了今天的报纸吗? (Have you ALREADY read today's newspapers). Then this question is asked with a purpose, no longer as casual as the previous form.
(B) 你看了今天的报纸吗? is less likely to mean
"Did you see today's newspapers?" or "Have you seen today's newspapers?" (you ask because you are looking for it.)
To ask in Chinese "Did you see today's newspapers?" or "Have you seen today's newspapers?" in this case, you say
which means Did you (happen to) see today's newspapers? or Have you (by any chance) seen today's newspapers?
Hope this helps.
It doesn't have to be past tense. It can be in present perfect tense "Have you read today's newspaper?" (we don't discuss the difference in English). 看了, with the 了, means the speaker is asking the listener whether he is in the state of "having read" today's newspaper. Do not understand this form in terms of tense. It can also be used for future, e.g. 明天你看了报纸就知道发生了什么。/ You will know what happened when you have read the newspaper tomorrow.
The speaker would have said 你在看今天的报纸吗？ for "Are you reading today's newspaper?".
I wrote the answer, "did you read today's newspaper?" Still, it wrote "Another correct solution: Did you read today's newspaper ?" (In both cases, capitalization, punctuation and word-spacing as in original.) Seems like redundancy that should be avoided, if both answers are identical. (Duolingo is not case-sensitiv in this context, and i like it that way.) Actually, Duolingo's response, "Did you read today's newspaper ?" has a typo: there shouldn't be a space between "newspaper" and "?". That ought to be fixed, like another much-discussed translation in Duolingo's Chinese for English-speakers program, namely "He always call me at 9 in the morning."; where it should be "he calls" rather than the non-standard "he call".
"Have you seen" and "Did you read" are fairly interchangeable. The meaning is the same. Duolingo probably accepts both as correct.
The word "kan" is directly translated as "Look", but in the case of a book or newspaper, you can translate it as "read" or "see" depending on the context of the conversation.
My issue is that they had "the" before newspaper which, in English, is grammatically incorrect. It's probably just a bug in their system hence my request that they correct it.
If you read my original comment, Duolingo has made a mistake. I agree with you, there should be no "the" before newspaper. However, when I typed my answer, Duolingo said I was incorrect. It told me that the correct answer is "Have you seen today's THE newspaper?"
My comment is simply pointing out the error in their English grammar for this one answer. It is probably just an honest mistake on their part.
My first issue was that I did not get any audio, but I tried anyway since I use the method of choosing offered words with my mouse. That was fun, and I got it wrong. The second issue is that I think that the position of 了 should be at the end of the sentence just before the question marker 吗, like this: 你看今天的报纸了吗。I have recently finished lessons in the Pimsleur Mandarin audio course where 了 is placed directly after the verb when a given activity is part of a list of activities, and then the final activity in the list gets 了 at the end, not after the verb. However, Pimsleur itself is not uniform in how it treats the use of 了, so it is not a reliable authority. At the least, however, putting the 了 near the end of the sentence is probably not wrong. Correct?
There are several usage of 了try and find a lesson about it as it can mean unrelated things and then you place it differently in the sentence, that's where the confusion comes from verb了 isn't the same as 了 used at the very end of the sentence (sorry I had summer holiday and now I'm stressing up on duolingo as I'll be studying my second year of Chinese at uni, but I'm half sleeping so I won't search my book to look into it deeper right at the moment, but thanks for a reminder)
I've written have you already read today's newspaper and it was wrong. I though its what 了 was for. How would you make a difference here?
Between are you aware of news and hey, I want to read your papers too, have you read all or nit yet (and you want to keep reading)
Yes. And even, "Have you read the paper?" It implies some news of the day, and so implies today's paper (Have you read the paper? No I haven't gotten to it yet. Or, Have you read the paper? Yes, I saw that xyz happened.) I understand they are trying to best get idea of what this means in Chinese across, I just hate playing the English guessing game.
@TellTheSeal - you are 100% correct. But the debating parties here (who have decided that no one reads yesterday's newspaper today - not even to double check something or re-read an old advert), have no intention of deciphering the meaning of Chinese words and sentences and/or learn Chinese. They are more concerned why their English sentences (so written for whatever reason) are being marked wrong. It's all about "Who are you to tell me I'm wrong?" syndrome, as opposed to "Teach me how to learn Chinese". That's what I've gathered in my short learning stint at Duo so far..
@RajasDaith I have the same perception. There's a lot of "even if it's not a 'correct translation', it fits the circumstances so should be allowed" That's no way to learn and understand the language. Similarly vernacular translations that bear no resemblence to the original - not talking about idioms which are very different.
You are right, the key for learning a language is to try to think IN a language not ABOUT it. I personally would prefer DL to accept "chinglish" word to word translations, as they are way better to get a feeling for a language and get familiar with its syntax and grammar. It's an approach called "decoding" (from a German book on "brain friendly" language learning). So that's what I do with a lot of example sentences. I write them down and translate them into "Chinese with German words" or "German with Chinese grammar/syntax". (Since German is my mother tongue)