"Is the concert on Tuesday?"
Translation:¿El concierto es el martes?
Check out any first year high school Spanish text. And I quote "You already know that you can use rising intonation to ask a yes/no question. You can also switch the position of the verb and and subject to form a question. ¿Tiene Maria una patineta?" Avancemos level 1 page 117 McDougal Littell, 2007
I think maybe sometimes Duolingo simply can't handle certain situations. I have been marked wrong in other instances over a typo, when the result OF that typo happens to also be a word. Rather than marking it right with a note, ("watch the accents," or "you have a typo...") it marks it wrong. This seems to me to be an oversight on the part of the programmers/linguists. ON THE OTHER HAND, it IS a courtesy that the system marks as correct that which is demonstrably incorrect, at all. That is, to some schools of thought, incorrect answers resulting from typographical errors SHOULD be considered wrong; after all, you DID have the opportunity to look your work over before submitting it by pressing the ENTER or RETURN key.
Now, I'm pleased that the system lets stuff like that fly, because I make them too from time to time. Or missing an accent mark, or misplacing it... these are also things I'm grateful are acceptable, even if that should be an item that should exist as an option in settings, (i.e., "Check this box to disable acceptance of typographical errors ("typos") and other misspellings") since technically, they are, strictly-speaking, errors. In other fields of endeavor, these things would not be acceptable.
But I've made typos just typing too fast, and misspelling a word so that it turns out to be another word, and it marks that wrong, even though I MEANT to type the one that WOULD have been accepted if it didn't misinterpret the input as "wrong word" which it is not at all forgiving of. (In this case, I did the exact same thing and got it marked wrong: ¿Es el concierto el martes? The error cited seems to be that it was expecting "¿El concierto es el martes?" with emphasis on (underlining) the l in "El" and the s in "es," as if this were two separate errors of using the wrong word, instead of choosing a different word order.
DUOLINGO PERSONNEL, if you read these... IS that word order wrong or invalid for this case? Can you please reply because a number of your students seemed to have this question, sufficiently for there to already be a bunch of comments in this thread in only the last month. The issue isn't getting the exercise wrong, for me, it's wondering why ONE is "correct" and the other apparently not.
As an aside, I'd like to point something out, on a matter of philosophy of learning and teaching.
I'd say that it has become common practice in for example, math classes, since the focus there seems to be on the understanding of concepts, to award partial credit on quizzes and test or graded homework, as long as the error isn't one related to the concept the student is being asked to demonstrate understanding of.
Suppose for instance the problem calls for the student to... Multiply: (3x+4) * (x-7) ... and the student dutifully writes out: = 3x(x-7) + 4(x-7) (right so far; distribution and "FOIL" both work) = 3x^2-21 + 4x-28 (note missing x: "-21" instead of correct "-21x") = 3x^2 + 4x - 49 The student gets partial credit (in some places,) because the procedure followed was correct, but an error occurred when the 3x was multiplied by 7 and resulted in 21 and not 21x. (This also resulted in the linear term of x, and the constant at the end, -49, being WAY off.)
This is all well and good until a math problem like this is carried out and the same type of error made, outside of an academic context, and the result is the firing of a missile and the destruction of... say, a daycare center full of children due to the solution being off by quite a bit, instead of the destruction of the chemical munitions plant soon to being manufacture of banned chemicals, that was that missile's intended target when the order was given.
Or in another instance, that kind of error occurs and the result is a multi-billion dollar project having to be aborted because of a failure to budget properly, all because of something as silly as an omitted variable. It is said that a failure to understand what units a quantity was supposed to be associated with cost the space program all the time, effort, and huge sums of money, (plus lost opportunities for scientific discovery,) when a probe that was supposed to ORBIT the planet Mars instead crashed into it, due to the fact that (if I read this correctly when it happened,) in the sciences, the 'metric system' is commonly used, and in engineering, the imperial standard is used instead, and some number was manipulated without its unit, unit being "understood," when it was in fact MISUNDERSTOOD because the understanding is different for different people. Again, a seemingly minor error, that in a math class, or a physics class, on a quiz or test, MIGHT be awarded partial credit.
Now... (and I apologize for that foray into math and economics in a discussion about language,) the trouble with doing that is that at some point, if tests aren't graded for all students such as to punish ANY error as harshly as any other, since the result is wrong and real life is, sadly, frequently unforgiving of such errors, then there is no point when a transition is made in the academic environment to ensure students properly appreciate the importance of attention to detail.
For example, the parents of all those dead children in the daycare center don't really give a red hot f*** why your missile missed their hated dictator's munitions plant, only THAT the missile missed and killed their kids... and neither will the war crimes tribunal... or in the other hypothetical, all the people who entrusted your company with all that money that was squandered because you couldn't finish developing a (formerly) promising product, making all the effort spent a total waste from their prospective, though of course you still got paid, so kinda rubs it in their faces a little bit... don't give a rat's hindquarters WHY you screwed up, or how minor the error was. I think the thing here is that they figured you were being paid not just to do the work, but to double-check said work.
Back to the topic at hand, then. If Duolingo doesn't at some point insist in training and testing that all errors are wrong, what it is unavoidably doing, in a sense, even if unintentionally doing, is reinforcing the idea that sloppiness is acceptable. I suppose if you're only learning Spanish to be able to ask "¿Dónde está el baño?" then it doesn't much matter if you omit el acento en la letra "o," or whatever, since it's unlikely you won't be understood. Hell, you could omit them all, mispronounce it badly, (if you're speaking) and they'll likely still get it. But is that the sort of Spanish speaker (or language learner of whatever language you're trying to learn) you want to be?
The option should exist. Even without that switch being in settings, of course I could always just take extra care before pressing "enter" for myself, but the whole point of the reinforcement is to reinforce. If it's not properly reinforcing, is it really doing its job? I think the argument could be made that it's not. Not really.
(The point I'm going for is that maybe it's not a good idea to award partial credit, unless at some point you STOP doing that, to ensure that for the student, getting the ACTUALLY correct answer is as important as NOT getting a completely WRONG one. The horse has been, I think, well and thoroughly beaten to death here, so I'll refrain from hitting it again. Thanks for reading.)
P.S. Not that Google Translate is perfect, but it seems to think "¿Es el concierto el martes?" is fine, and translates as "Is the concert on Tuesday?" without offering any corrections.
In fact, if you enter the English text, "Is the concert on Tuesday?" it actually, (I just checked,) gives that exact text we've all entered.
Again, it's machine translation, I know. But if our response IS wrong, it would be nice to have an explanation as to WHY it is wrong.