I suppose this was the only possible way of translating a meaningful sentence in Arabic into English, without confusing beginners like me. Therefore, they seem to be trying to keep it as literal as possible. You are looking at it as a one dimensional structure. A language can never truly be translated into another.
I'm a beginner too. And I understand the point you're making. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. Taking your viewpoint into consideration, I still think DL should give a meaningful English translation of the Arabic content in the sentence, High humidity is difficult. Humidity cannot be difficult. But we think we know the meaning they are conveying. High humidity makes life difficult or something like that.
Yeah, that's a fair point. But again, that would make things confusing. Imagine them giving different words for each sentence, for just صعب. And there might even be cases where one English word wouldn't suffice, like this one. The chaos it would create would be too much for a free AI based application. Also, we are here to learn Arabic, not English hahhhha
Things are confusing as they are. I know that صعب means ‘difficult’ in many contexts, so I figured that a literal translation might mean ‘High humidity is difficult’, but I couldn't get myself to type this because I thought it didn't make sense and the correct translation would be a less literal one.
As an English speaker, I'm all in favour of unnatural English sentences if using them helps to keep the meaning easy to understand for second language English speakers who might be confused by our idiomatic expressions. Certainly it sounds strange for us, and I think Duolingo is learning to accept our more natural answers, but I'm happy with the given translations so far with the verifications in the discussion forum.
It would be good to have this answered by an Arabic speaker. I suspect the definite article is used to refer to a generic concept, like used to be the case in English - have you seen those documentaries from the 1950s that said things like: 'The frog is an interesting animal.' instead of like we'd say today: 'Frogs are interesting animals.' There's a Looney Tunes cartoon (Goofy Motor Mania) that starts: 'The motor car in the hands of the average man...' (yep, pre-gender neutral language, but that's another point). Anyway, 'the motor car' is not referring to a specific vehicle, but all cars.
IvanPopov, Good Question!
First - Duolingo tries hard to make all ending sounds "die" (in sukun) but it couldn't be done here because ta marbuTa ة in ar-ruTuuba is the middle of sequent words. So ta sound meet ال and become til. I don't know it looks like a very stubborn way that slams Standard Grammar :)
Another spelling (but without destroying Standard Grammar) will be ar-ruTuuba al-3aaliya. This is a preferred solution.
Second - if we follow the Standard Grammar, the sound will ar-ruTuubatul 3aaliya / ar-ruTuubatul 3aaliyatu / ar-ruTuubatu al-3aaliya.
So, it should be: -tul and not -til.
If we follow the Formal way, we say: "ar-ruTuubatu shai2un Sa3b." We pronounce '-tu'. It doesn't matter if it's a consonant or vowel after the word.
If we follow the Informal way, we say: "ar-ruTuuba shai2 Sa3b." (even though ta marbuTa is in the middle of the sentence). So, here t becomes h. ar-ruTuubah. All endings are off.
Nb: in Duolingo's transliteration, people don't write the ending h (ar-ruTuuba).
Thanks very much, Away54. So, is this right: if you speak with case endings, in this case "u", the ة unfolds because of this, not because it's followed by a word starting with a vowel, and its inner ت becomes explicit. But if you use the informal/local language, without case endings, this doesn't apply, so the ت would only become explicit if the ة is followed by a word starting with a vowel. Is that right? (it's difficult to explain!)
For First Part: Yes! (I hope I've understood your English-English correctly)
For Second Part: I don't study Slangs. It should be answered by locals, why they like to kill all endings. :D
As far as I know: if the endings are omitted, it should not be influenced by whether there is a vowel or not after the respective word.
So, it's like:
1) ar-ruTuuba al-3aaliya or 2) ar-ruTuubatil 3aaliya
I often hear the first pronunciation "ar-ruTuuba al-3aaliya" by Standard Speakers while the later pronunciation looks like spoiling the Arabic Grammar :) merusak
Erika0852 suggested an interesting explanation involving generic concepts. It makes sense, but I'm not sure that's what Duolingo meant. at leady, I haven't seen this here so far and it seems out of character. If do, that still leaves us with your question. I would also like an answer to that...