I wrote "man and woman" as an answer. Should this be marked as correct? Or am I mistaken?
Perhaps I'm thinking of a sentence like, "Death brings honour to both man and woman alike", or something like that. In such a context, would you translate it like I have suggested?
In isolation, no English singular countable noun needs an article. "Man and woman" is absolutely a correct translation of loD be' je. It's just not the only one.
You don't have to apply articles until you get to sentences, or at least certain phrases. It would be incorrect in English to say "Man and woman live in Germany," but if your Klingon original were qachvetlh luDab loD be' je, any of the following would be perfectly fine:
The man and the woman live in that building.
A man and a woman live in that building.
The man and a woman live in that building.
A man and the woman live in that building.
Men and women live in that building.
A man and women live in that building.
The man and women live in that building.
Men and a woman live in that building.
Men and the women live in that building.
The men and the women live in that building.
But the Klingon qachvetlh luDab loD be' je doesn't mean just any one of these, and it doesn't even mean any one of these at a time. It means all of them at the same time, though only some may be suitable translations for a given situation.
Basically, English articles introduce more information than the Klingon does. The Klingon version is more generally applicable than any given English version.
This is true of much in Klingon: it is less situation-specific than English. Forcing people to translate a general Klingon sentence into a specific English version, even when the Klingon doesn't only mean what the English says, is a very unfortunate problem with the Duolingo method.
It goes the other way too. Forcing people to lose the information encoded in English articles, etc., when translating to Klingon, without the benefit of encoding that information in outside context, is unfortunate.
this told me the correct answer was "Men and Women" this is wrong. that would be "loDpu' be'pu' je
In Klingon, the plural suffixes are nearly always optional. loD can be translated man or it can be translated men.
Ok, that's new to me, but why was "man and woman" considered wrong then? Articles and plurality both being option?
"Man and woman" should not be wrong. The course is incorrect to mark them wrong.
That's generally true for sentences, but you're not asking for a sentence; you're asking for a noun phrase. The translation of the word loD is man; the translation of the phrase loD be' je is man and woman. That these phrases are not provided in context is not the fault of the student translating them.
And I can certainly think of ways to use the phrase man and woman without articles, referring to them as categories of people. "Telekinesis is beyond the ability of man and woman." "Scholars debate the psychological differences between man and woman."