"Elle n'a rien dit depuis que son père est parti."
Translation:She has not said a thing since her father left.
Salut blastus1. You’re not wrong at all. In fact, both of your suggestions are much closer to a rigorous translation than Duo’s ‘accepted’ answer.
It is unfortunate that Duo is tending more and more to encourage paraphrasing, (which is useful in making students at a certain level aware of the range of meanings that can be expressed in one phrase), but is definitely NOT helpful to those at an earlier point in their studies, who want to see robust translations.
As you say, there is no mention whatsoever of a “thing” in the original French phrase. Bonne journee!
Hi TobyThomps2. Not really – I can see why Duo has taken issue with your suggestion. « She has not spoken » would simply translate using « parler » in a past negative construction - « elle n'a pas parlé ».
The use of « dire » rather than « parler » implies to me a little more emphasis on saying something of significance, rather than just « speaking ». Also, Duo is teaching the concept of the « ne...rien » construction to mean specifically « nothing ».
Happy New Year to you/ Bonne Année!
Salut LindaMundy1. I think we are all agreed that the translation of the second half of the phrase as « Since her father left », is pretty definitive, and not really open to much variation. As for the first part, then, « She has not said a thing”, “She has said nothing”, and “She has not said anything” must all be equally valid, although, to Anglophones, the shortest variant, “She has said nothing” would undoubtedly be the most commonly used. But, do tell – where does a “letter” come into it? Bon weekend!