"You cannot see the wood for the trees."
Translation:C'est l'arbre qui cache la forêt.
I used a literal translation from a previous exercise the one which said :"(parfois) les arbres ne vous laissent pas voir la forêt" and now it wants an idiomatic translation. I think there should be some indication that an idiom rather than the literal translation is required. The problem with idioms as we can see from this discussion is that they differ from one region to another.
First, it is a saying/proverb/idiom. Second, one tree does not obscure a forest. Third, the English sentence presented says "trees" not "tree". "Le bois" is just another word for a wooded area which, last time I looked, is another word for forest. As you will learn, being literal is not necessarily better and with an expression like this one, it is obvious that Duo rejects a translation and instead wants us to guess what the French equivalent is. The point is simply that this is not a translation exercise, it is a test to see if you can intuitively transform an idiom from one language into a similar idiom in another language. If Duo users took such liberties in normal translations, nobody would get past level 2.
This is total crap. Cacher = to hide. Show me, in "You cannot see the wood for the trees."... where is the word "hide"?
This one must have been constructed by a non-native English speaker. "Wood" (as well as "woods") is a synonym for forest, but it's a more poetic or even archaic usage, much less commonly used by native speakers. I join all who were annoyed at losing a heart when DL expected idiomatic French in exchange for non-idiomatic English.
On the brighter side, "le bois" actually does mean a wood (chiefly literary) or woods, as in a "wooded area", not just wood, the material. A few years ago, I visited Paris and the lovely Bois de Boulogne just west of the Eiffel Tower was a real treat--il est très pittoresque. http://www.paris-walking-tours.com/boisdeboulogne.html