'Sidewalk' is American English only.
Not sure if this is relevant here as a discussion topic but I couldn't find an email address for duolingo. I just wanted to point out that the word 'sidewalk' is American english word only. I got an exercise wrong for using the word 'footpath' which is actually correct english. Perhaps in British english the word 'pavement' is more common but in Australian english 'footpath' is definitely the norm. I think I have come across a few Americanisations in duolingo before. Not that 'sidewalk' is wrong just that 'footpath' is also correct.
You'll find a lot of "Americanisms" in the course, probably because Duolingo is based in the United States and some of the translations tend to be based on American English. However, the course does allow you to report words that are used in other English-speaking countries, such as "footpath" if they're not yet accepted in the database, and the Dutch course volunteers are very good at adding alternative translations to the database.
I'm not a native English speaker, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I got the impression a sidewalk/pavement is a footpath, but a footpath doesn't need to be a sidewalk/pavement?!? So not entirely the same?!?
Regarding the Americanisations... Duo IS an American company/site after all... in the courses I'm following British expressions are normally accepted as well
I am Australian coming from an Australian english perspective. In Australia footpath is exactly the same as pavement and sidewalk. Pavement and sidewalk would be understood in Australia but are not the common language used. As to the wikipedia link you gave...in Australia a path through a conservation park would never be called a footpath but rather a walking trail.
And I'd use footpath for the nature trail, but not for the concrete raised area on the side of the road that we call a sidewalk. If it's not accepted, and you're sure the rest of the answer is correct, report it. The Dutch course is among the best at already accepting both American and British (and Australian) variants, and they're great at adding when needed. I've found very few occasions when I felt the need to report something in this course.
Indeed sidewalk is the usual word used in Canada. Pavement is sometimes used to refer to the street itself which is paved in asphalt. Isn't English usage diverse and fascinating?!
Yes. I love all of the different words that can be used for the same thing, sometimes with slightly different connotations, sometimes not. I do find it interesting when people come up with a comment about how their dialect is the only way to say something, or so and such a form is "only" used in America, and therefore is somehow wrong.
To be pedantic the pavement is actually the part of the road that is paved, it includes the bit the cars drive down. People walk on the foot path, although in everyday speech the footpath,is, called the “pavement”. Now don’t get me started on all the other parts of the roadway (the Part of the pavement that the cars drive on) it was all changed a few years back as part of European harmonisation. Whether a sub-base is still a sub base I couldn’t say, nor do I care.
Have a nice day keep on trucking.
in english english a footpath is a path between two farmers fields or alongside a canal. a sign bearing the words 'public footpath' means the public has right of way. sidewalk is pavement