Translation:The cat is sleeping on top of the chair.
'Encima' and 'sobre' and 'en'.... What else can mean 'on' and what is the difference?
I believe "encima" is more precise so you use it when something is on top of something. "Sobre" is more vague and can also mean above or over.
The english translation is a bit off, right? If it was "sleeping" it should be "... está durmiendo", and if it is "duerme" it should be "sleeps".
Yeah, the new lessons have collapsed the simple present and present continuous tenses. It's very annoying.
It shouldn't be annoying. You need to understand that the present progressive is used far less in Spanish than in English, and DL is making that point. Spanish speakers tend to use the present indicative unless they want to stress the immediacy of their action. Consider the following, quite normal conversation: ¿Qué haces? !No hace nada! "What are you doing? I'm not doing anything." Over use of the present progressive in ordinary, day to day activities signals to Spanish speakers that you are still learning their language.
Why use “duerme” when one is talking about the cat, and not one’s self? Why not “duerle”?
Because this is not the reflexive use the verb duer (which does not exist), and if it was, it would be duerse to refer to the cat.
Duerme is the 3rd person form of the non-regular verb dormir.
Duermo - I sleep
Duerme - He/She/It/Formal you sleeps
Dormimos - We sleep
Just wondering whether 'encima' is Spanish or American, so that I know whether I need to remember it.
Ok, "Spanish or American" doesn't capture the distinction between European Spanish and Latin American Spanish. Also limping all Latin American variations together isn't all that helpful either. There are at least five dialect groups in the Americas and I've heard them split into as many as ten :)
I've never seen an indication that encima is regional.
All of Duolingo's words are useful if you are traveling in Spain, even if they aren't the first choice of the locals.
The recording seems to drop volume on the last word. It's difficult to hear, making it difficult to recognize.
WHY does this female speaker persist in dropping her voice at the end of a sentence so that it is almost impossible to make out the word?!!
I don't know, but that's only one thing about her that annoys me. The dropped Ss and Ls may be representative of Spanish as it is spoken, but I think we're too early in the learning process to recognize that ebaño is really el baño. She also ignores the accent on past tense conjugations (such as leyó), which makes it sound as if she is saying present tense, first person.
Yes, realistic, but not ideal.
Text to speech engines are getting better, but they aren't as good as a real speaker.
I think speech engines will one day be invaluable to people traveling through multiple language "zones", but I hope humans never stop learning non-native languages. The advantages of learning a language go far beyond just communicating with a stranger. I'm reading books and short stories in Spanish now and I am reminded anew how doing so actually changes how info flows through my brain.
I'm now trying not to translate Spanish to English phrase by phrase, and discovering I usually do understand the Spanish without that crutch. Very different feeling in my brain.