Should add 'this is acceptable, but not good answer'
Because sometimes Duo forces literal translation, which is terrible, or vice versa, makes you guess idioms, which you never can guess for a sentence from the hints provided.
I haven't done the translation exercises for a while and was thinking about the core skill tree. Now that I remember the translations, yes I understand exactly, I have seen a ton of literally-correct but cringe-inducing translations being marked as acceptible. It is a problem that their aren't shades of wrongnerss. But it's implemenation would be dreadful and depend even more on the wisdom of its users even more than Duolingo already does.
I am speaking about the core skill tree.
There are some phrases that a complete beginner can hardly figure out himself. A simple "Wie geht es dir?" (How are you?) can be a complete puzzle if you've never seen it before. Of course you can make a google search before giving your answer but this makes you to rely on other resources. The best way would be first to show the expression with its translation and only then to test it. However, if this is not possible, it would be nice to have literal translations like "How does it go to you?" acceptable with a comment like: Almost right, but the better translation is "How are you?". This is better than losing a heart for trying.
Maybe this is not the best example, but I remember getting really bizarre sentences, losing a heart and thinking: how on Earth was I supposed to guess that?!
Translations section is different—you don't lose hearts there and almost all translations are accepted, even poor literal ones. They can be corrected later by other users, so there is no big problem.
P.S. If charodeika originally meant translations section and not the exercises, I bring my apologies for getting into this thread and confusing others. I only see the problem in the core skill tree.
Sure, that's more or less I meant. However for this phrase I wouldn't accept this translation because it is really wrong, but there are plenty of more subtle cases. However a comment like "good try, literal translation grammatically correct" would calm me about loosing a heart. There various ways to solve the problem. The nicest would be to present such phrases in card-like manner as nouns on the lowest levels. However it requires a lot of homework for developers. Maybe a comment like "The real meaning is too far from literal translation" would help developers to pay attention to certain phrases.