What is Happening to Esperanto Course
~This was going to be a comment in a specific sentence, but then I decided to just make it a forum post;
I am not understanding Duolingo right now, I dunno if this is some sort of bug, but has been happening for while now. All of a sudden a word that has been used many many times before suddenly changes the meaning... There have been tons of sentences with the word "hejmtasko" and in all of them I have answered "homework" and everything was ok, but then comes this sentence in "homework" simply is not accepted, instead there is "assignment"..... This has been happening with a lot of words lately; for example "renkontigxo" that changed from "meeting" to "meetup"; like, really?
In the case of "hejmtasko" - I will take the blame for that. I pointed out to the course authors that the translation "homework" was incorrect. They looked into it and decided "assignment" was the best translation. For the general concept of "homework" in Esperanto, we use the plural "hejmtaskoj." The word "hejmtasko" is reserved for an individual homework assignment.
I tend to translate "renkontigxo" to "gathering" - but I don't know what's going on there.
Hmmm, that seems to be quite USA english based understanding of the english word homework. In Britain it is definitly one of those singular or plural words - we would tell a child to do their homework, meaning any or all school related tasks they had to accomplish at home - whether it was one item or many. We would ask, 'have you done your homework?', or have you done your french homework etc. We would almost never use the word assignment - not until university anyway. If we wanted to be clear that something was singular then it would usually be referred to be a piece of homework.
I'm not sure that what you're describing is that different from what I'm trying to say. If I know that my child had an assignment to work on, I might ask if they'd done their homework. I don't think I said anything against that. If I found out they had more homework, though, I would say they had more homework - not "another homework."
Regardless, the take-away here should be that "hejmtaskoj" is nearly always plural in Esperanto.
"Piece of homework" was discussed but not accepted. I'm sure if it were reported as a problem, it would be added to the course. (Or you could say "assignment" knowing that this is what the course wants.)
American English usage is the same. “Homework” is commonly understood to be both singular and plural. Any Aussies, Canucks, or Kiwis care to comment? ;-)
I think you mean "singular, non-countable."
Plural would be "the homework are difficult" -- that's not what you meant, is it?
Well, I went to school in Australia (South Australia to be exact, as Australians don’t all speak the same). It was homework, singular and plural, there. One might say “the teacher gave me some homework”, but saying “the teacher gave me a piece of homework” wouldn’t really sound right to me. As Salivanto says, non-countable.
Thank you for your link to the other discussion. Given what you say there, it surprises me even more that the course was not accepting “kunsido” in the cases I encountered where I encountered it (which I cannot recall exactly to mind right now).
In general, I think that the newer material I’ve encountered since going onto the new tree, is less well shaken out than the old material. I find myself hitting the “my answer should be accepted button” quite frequently. In a substantial fraction of cases, it comes down to different flavours of English.
In order for the course to accept alternatives, people need to report them as problems. Without a specific example in mind, I would hesitate to comment on whether "kunsido" is better or worse than "kunveno" in any given case. They're not freely interchangeable, though.
I was in a meeting at work that was very tedious. I started doodling -- in Esperanto, because why not? -- and I thought that the meeting should be called a "kuntedo". I have no idea if that would be understood outside of just me... but it was funny (if only to me).