Usually Duolingo's Spanish is pretty Mexican, but you can't say this in Mexico. As far as I understand coger is fine in Spain but considered extremely profane in Mexico.
I took a class with a bunch of native speakers mostly from Mexico, and when the prof said coger un autobús, there was plenty of laughter. The lesson was about dialectical differences, and it was a memorable example.
Duolingo really should let people know this so they don't use coger inappropriately.
Would "Tomaste un taxi" would be better in Mexico?
Someone has mentioned this issue in every sentence with coger that I've seen so far. If I come across any where it hasn't been mentioned, I'll add a link to the wordreference description. "Note: Connotación sexual en varios países de Latinoamérica." I wonder if they are filtering it out for the schoolkids?
Speaking for myself, I'd rather be aware of this as I sometimes read books published in Spain.
Yes, I've always learned "tomar un taxi" for "take a taxi," and my Spanish teacher explained never to use "coger," although you'll hear it in Spain.
To be brief--I was not familiar with this word, so I looked it up on SpanishDict and found out it meant the F-word. Then I read these comments and was grateful to learn its more common use. However, when I asked my Latin friend to translate this sentence after I pronounced it, he translated as Duo had done. When I told him about all the comments, he then laughed and explained its other uses, especially "quieres coger." https://www.spanishdict.com/translate/coger
I wanted to try it, but I didn't because I'm using a computer at work.
So you are ok with learning a language instead of working, but you are afraid to type the word? That's weird.
I asked a guy on the street how to catch a bus when I was in Mexico, using the verb coger. He gave an ornery grin and said, No se, supongo por atras. What made things worse was I asked my host's grandmother at the dinner table why he responded that way, and the table got very quiet. The grandmother broke the ice with a short laugh and quickly moved to another topic. :)
So the answer seems to be... That even native Spanish speakers disagree on this one. http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/122220/to-coger-or-not-to-coger
Yes, it's a regional usage. But since Duolingo tends to focus on Latin American Spanish, and there are multiple regions of Latin America where coger is not used except in the vulgar sense, it's absurd that Duolingo would encourage its use.
Is it? While it really only practices latin american verb conjugations, a lot of the expressions, pronounciations and vocab are very Spanish. Ive never heard anyone use almozar, for example in this hemisphere, some of the other vocab, purse, groceries, rooms, foods, greetings, are recognizable, but not common, in my experience. The flag for the course is the spanish flag (compare the US flag rather than UK for the English course).
I am surprised to see this in a supposedly Latin American based Spanish. That said, there are plenty of complaints on the forums from people who want to learn Spanish Spanish about leaving the word out.
But Duo has come firmly down on the side of "this is a course in Latin American-based Spanish." It's one thing to have answers using coger accepted, quite another to build it into the exercises.
Just like in English, dirty minds will hear what they want and any misuse of the language should be a shame on them, not us when we are using it properly and with respect.
That being said, from what I understand the verb, 'tomar', can be used in any Spanish speaking country as meaning 'to take' and so in order to avoid insulting anyone and for simplicity's sake, I feel it's best to stick with using 'tomar' for most of these 'taking' occasions.
I will say though, from a language-nut's point of view, the careful usage of two-toned words (i.e., innuendos, sexual or not) should not be avoided all together because of embarrassing instances like these.
Learning a language requires learning not only how it is used but how it is abused as well.
My advice, be cautious but don't be afraid!
Dirty minds may hear what they want, but really, do you want a tourist getting assaulted for accidentally insulting someone because they have a high horse attitude about using words that are offensive in the country they're in?
This isn't a matter of "dirty minds will hear what they want." You're NOT using the language "properly and with respect" if you use coger to mean "to take" in Mexico (or Argentina, or a few other countries), because you're not respecting the way the word is actually used.
Because of various inappropriate meanings in different countries, I think that Duolingo should only use "tomar".