I'm in the farm section. I grew up around farms. You can actually come up with better sentences then farm animals cooking and cleaning. Real work happens on farms. I don't see dogs checking into hotels over in the other sections, and that is more realistic! You could set up some scenarios like "Watch out for the cow manure in the field" or "Can you feed the chickens, please?" or "Close the door so the horses don't get out." I like children's storybooks well enough, but I also like real life. These sentences are just getting a bit irritating.
I think the point is to force us to think through the syntax and grammar and not just grope and guess the answers. It makes no sense for pigs to clean floors. But it de-naturalizes the sentence, forcing us to rely less on context clues and more on what we know about Spanish word-oder (syntax) and conjugation. There are deeper, linguistic-based, second language acquisition principles at play in Duolingo than we realize. Having algunas cercos clean some pisos is not simply meant to make some of us laugh (or confuse my six-year-old when she "helps" me with my Duolingo). It is designed to program our brains so we retain and can then recall our second-language knowledge. Google "brain-based learning AND second language acquisition" for more info.
Although I didn't take the time to do the googling you suggest, Miguel, I agree with you that there is probably more going on with Duo's prompts than we realize.
My question isn't about the prompts being "silly" but whether it would be as productive to use prompts that do not cause learners to complain about the English syntax. I think that could be possible by not confining prompts to one sentence. For example, couldn't the one above have been ¿Pruebas este plato? La vaca lo cocinó. Perhaps that could have achieved Duo's purpose--and more--without the distraction of "weird English"?
Hi, The humour in these lessons aside, let's self teach among ourselves. May I suggest that you post a new thread on the forum, with a raft of just the sentences and asking proficient speakers to please tell us how they say that? And to post pictures so we can learn by association? Perhaps some common signs too! (Anything that sounds like a complaint may bring on unnecessary arguments.)
I hope you might want to invite replies how things are said in different areas.
PS I can't do this because I don't know farms well enough although I'd love to live on one. I do dream to.
There are subtle differences in the use of 'dish' and 'plate' in English. We can say 'do the dishes' (meaning wash the plates) but we would never say 'cook this plate'. In this instance, one would say 'cook this dish', referring to the food/meal/recipe, not the plate it is served on. At the same time, I have often heard on Masterchef the judges referring to a 'plate of food' which could also be expressed as 'a dish', although the use of 'dish' would be a more general reference to the recipe than the specific plate of food in front of you that you are judging for flavour, texture, appearance and presentation, etc. I am very intrigued by 'nuance' in language and can't wait to get to that level of expertise in Spanish. It'll take years, I know and it'll probably never happen if I don't get to travel and live in a Spanish speaking part of the world again. Hey ho! In another life, eh?
This sentence, my school teachers would all hate it. In English the most likely way to make it acceptable would be to punctuate it as follows: This dish? The cow cooked it. If DL is not going to open the punctuation can of worms (fine by me!) I would suggest allowing a more proper English translation like: "The cow cooked this dish."
It is now accepted, but 'this' dish, not 'the' dish. While we're on the subject of grammar, RahulSood1, you said 'Maybe it should of been'. This is not correct English, although many people, annoyingly, make this error. It is 'should have been'. How would you translate 'should of been' from English to Spanish? (Just think about it.)
Doubt it. Though "vache" in French can have just that meaning, this student has yet to see "vaca" used that way anywhere (Though with the speed el castellano has been changing in recent decades, just about anything can happen!). A more common injuria for your unfortunate cook involving an animal would be "cerda."
These Duolingo sentences are translation exercises. Even if they don't make sense, they can easily be translated accurately. They feature useful points of language. That is what we require to learn Spanish.
I wish nonsense sentences like this had been introduced earlier in the Spanish tree. (They are in other trees, for instance the Dutch tree. Example: "Excuse me, I am an apple.") Illogical but grammatically-correct sentences put the emphasis on translation and keep users from trying to figure out and arguing about contexts.
When one is learning a language, it would be much more valuable and sensible to have content that is logical. Grammar and good usage operating in logical sentences is a much more useful tool for people starting out. A robot could translate illogical sentences but a person would generally want to say something significant or at least, this person would. the rest is a waste of my time. Bottom line is that I want language I can use practically. When I get better I can play with humour but I can't imagine when I would use my time to utter ridiculous statements as you seem to enjoy doing.