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"?
Whoa! Ratchet back MelCohn. The idea of these bizarre sentences, is not too make you feel warm and cozy about farms or animals. The subject matter here is irrelevant. The whole idea amigo, is to get your attention, so that you will remember the Spanish names of the animals and internalize the construction of the sentences. Read The Yellow Elephant, by Tansel Ali. It focuses on the importance of improving your memory skills. One of the key techniques in the book is to picture weird and/or impossible scenes in your mind and attach them to what you want to recall in the future. This works with almost anything, languages, science, music, math, names, etc. Please note; the very things you are disturbed about, really have your attention! So you will undoubtedly remember them well, from now on. Buena suerte, with your studies amigo and take a look at that book.You'll be glad you did. P.S. Try meditation, it can be a powerful life changing tool when applied correctly. I recommend two other books. Unbeatable Mind and Kokoro Yoga, by former Navy Seal, Mark Divine. Namaste, Edo.
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.
@JanetMermaid "Geez chill out. They're just teaching new words in a fun way." Jenet I am with you. Duolingo team did a great job with putting together this program. I am grateful every day for being able to use it for free. There is a reason why these stories have animals in them at this stage of learning. They know want they are doing.
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.)
As an editor and ESL instructor I have to disagree with the English translation of this sentence. I've ignored many duo lingo translations that end the sentence with a preposition but this one is particularly egregious. Without further punctuation the only possible way to write this in English is "The cow cooked this dish."
I think Sebastian meant "one" to stand for any translation as opposed to a translation that ends with a preposition. That is, I think he meant just "but this translation is..." not "but this translation ending with a preposition is...".
The phrasing was ambiguous, which I must admit is something that an editor should be careful to avoid, but I suspect that he's not actually confusing "it" with a preposition, here.
As for the sentence structure being poor, I certainly agree. However, sometimes we must write down sentences as they actually occur in a conversation rather than how thoughts are best communicated in prose. This is how I view this set of sentences, as a case where perhaps somebody is explaining as they point to the selections in turn: I threw this dish together from leftovers. The cat cooked this one. This dish, the cow cooked it.
Yes, it's a bit awkward. But people do sometimes adopt such seemingly awkward phrasings when speaking.
"Meal" would work as a translation for "comida", but it doesn't really work for "plato"; they aren't interchangeable.
"Meal" refers to the whole dining experience, from beginning to end, including multiple courses, and is often meant to include drinks as well. "Este plato" would refer to a single, specific dish within the meal and would definitely only mean food, not drinks.
Plate or Dish should be accepted in this translation. Perhaps it is because my parents were British, it is common to say "That was a great fish plate" or "we are having a mixed grill plate for dinner" Here is an explanation of from the English Language Learners website.. "This is an example of synecdoche, a figure of speech which uses part of a thing to mean the thing itself. In this case the word plate (or, in other locales, the dish) means a plate of food."
Yes, it has always been este plato, never esto plato. It is confusing because the singular is este and the plural is estos.
Esto also exists and is a neutral form. There is more info on the Web.
"Esto" is only used as a pronoun, not an adjective. It is gender-neutral, so it would also be used primarily when the gender of the noun it stands for is unknown, either because you don't know it or because it is vague.
- (You point at an unknown device): What is this? = ¿Qué es esto? ("esto" refers to some unknown thing, so the neutral gender is appropriate)
- (You received really bad news): This is horrible! = ¡Esto es horrible! ("esto" refers to the general idea of the situation that you are in, not any specific noun, so you can use the neutral pronoun)
- (Looking at books): This one is interesting. = Este es interesante. ("este" refers to "libro")
- (Looking through T-shirts): This one is nice. = Esta es bonita. ("esta" refers to "camiseta")
When the noun is given, you cannot ever use "esto":
- I want this book. = Quiero este libro.
- I want this table. = Quiero esta mesa.
Confusingly, the plural of "este" is "estos". There is no "estes" with this meaning.
- I want these books. = Quiero estos libros.
- I want these tables. = Quiero estas mesas.
The rules are exactly the same for the "that" pronoun/adjective family. "Eso" is gender-neutral and can only be used as a pronoun, and "ese" has "esos" as its plural, not "eses".
Dude I'm just sick of getting the answer wrong when I put plate instead of dish for plato.
At no time in my life as an American English speaker have I ever asked for a dish of food. Always a plate.
Even on menus at Hispanic and Spanish restaurants here, it's small plates, chicken plates, seafood plates. Never dishes.
Be nice if they'd change it already
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.