Translation:She speaks in Spanish to her English friends.
Les is an indirect object pronoun, in this instance it's being clarified by 'a sus amigos inglesas'. Without that it would be:
ella les habla en espanol - She speaks to them in spanish.
In the reverse topic they are saying that "les" is required -https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/26208450
It seems suggested under the Community 3 module tips.
Apparently 'habla con' is direct meaning speaks with(to) when 'les' is not needed, and 'habla a' indirect meaning 'speaks to'. les - to them - is needed.
It's a common misconception that the indirect object pronoun is always required. You're always allowed to include it and it's usually used in Spanish sentences, so it's just easier to learn "Always use the IOP" than to figure out every time whether you're allowed to leave it out. But the IOP is not always strictly necessary.
The full rules are stated in this document, especially section 5.2 a), but the gist is that the IOP is optional when
- the indirect object is a noun and
- the indirect object noun appears after the verb and
- the indirect object is a "receiver" of the direct object
All three are true here (the friends receive the (unmentioned) words from her), so in this particular sentence it's okay to leave the IOP out.
If you use "con sus amigos" ("with her friends"), the friends are not an indirect object anymore, so you can't use the pronoun in that case.
Hmm... Elizadeux, my understanding is that redundancy is not required for any verbs when using an indirect object pronoun. If there is an indirect object (to whom or for whom an action was done) in a sentence, there must be an indirect object pronoun used. The prepositional phrase (a sus amigas inglesas) is not required but provides clarification as to who is being spoken to. When there is an indirect object, the pronoun (me, te, le, les, nos) must be included, but the prepositional phrase (what makes it seem redundant) does not need to be included regardless of the verb type.
Communication verbs (hablar and decir) provide a grey area in regards to whether there is an indirect object. With communication, there CAN be an ASSUMED direct object (what is being communicated) and in that case you CAN use an indirect object pronoun to refer to the person the "thing" is being communicated to. I don't think it is required to use an indirect object pronoun with communication verbs but that usually they are used.
See this tip from the beginning of this lesson: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/es/Community-3/tips
Duo should accept answers that use "with" instead of "to," since using "with" is 100% natural and more likely. We don't sit around and "speak to" our friends when we hang out with them. We "speak to" someone we meet on the street, or when we go to "speak to" the boss or some person for a specific person. I am not saying using "to" is wrong, but "with" is also correct and normal, and should be accepted.
07/19/18. Respectfully disagree here that "with" is acceptable.
Note that "a" here is not the 'personal a,' but rather the preposition. The 'personal a' is only used before direct objects and, here, "sus amigos" is an indirect object. Next, the meaning of the Spanish preposition "a" in English is "to" (and other English prepositions but not "with"). One could say "habla en español CON sus amigas" and mean "speak... with her friends," but that was not the Spanish sentence to be translated. Finally, there is a subtle but sometimes significant substantive difference between "to speak to" (speech going at least one way and not necessarily coming back) and "to speak with" (shared speech).
Duo seems to care about what is natural, rather than what is a literal, so answers without "in" should be accepted, as it is very natural to do this in English. Also, "with" and "to" should both be accepted. Using "with" is very natural when expressing this idea.
She speaks Spanish with/to her friends.
Why is 'a' used here? Very unusual to see hablar used with 'a' instead of 'con'. Is it to convey that the friends don't speak spanish, so she is speaking 'at' (as we might say in english) her english friends rather than 'with' them? That would explain why Duo rejects 'with' this time although imo the point would be clarified if the Duo translation was 'at' instead of 'to'. As Duo normally accepts, 'to' and 'with' are virtually interchangeable when used with 'speak' in english - grammatically if not always semantically.
Maybe a bilingual person who doesn't realize they're code switching.
Seriously, this happened to me several times at my last job. Most our clients were Spanish speaking. So, every so often, I'd accidentally start speaking Spanish to English speaking customers and not realize it until I saw the confusion on their faces. LOL!
I said 'She speaks in Spanish to her English girlfriends' since the text was 'amigas...' Do Hispanic speakers not have nuance to allow females with female friends to call themselves 'girlfriends' without the romantic context of 'novias'? Needless to say, Duo rejected 'girlfriends' in favor of 'friends'.
I answered "She speaks in Spanish to her English girlfriends" and was marked wrong. Reported. Amigas means girlfriends (2nd definition, between girls) according to SpanishDict:
It is okay Spanish grammar. Usually you first talk about how the action is modified (in this case that the speaking is happening in Spanish) before mentioning the objects. Also it's customary to include the indirect object pronoun (le, les) if you have an indirect object in your sentence.
In Spanish it's customary to include the indirect object pronoun le/les even when the indirect object itself is stated in the sentence. It is redundant.
You can leave le/les out in most circumstances (but not all), which includes this sentence, but it usually sounds better if you keep it in.
AjoyBhatia, Duo apparently is teaching the difference in Spanish between "speak/talk to" and "speak/talk with".
The current prompt is: Ella les habla en español a sus amigas inglesas or "She speaks in Spanish to her English friends." A sus amigas is an indirect object (and Duo has included the indirect object pronoun, les).
But, if you want to say "She speaks/talks in Spanish with her English friends," it would be Ella habla en español con sus amigas inglesas. This way, sus amigas inglesas is the object of the preposition, con--not an indirect object--so the Spanish sentence is different.