Translation:In this picture, there is my mother and her friend Bob.
-- yes, good question -- as I recall, I got presented with a word bank that did not include "are" -- I think a natural sounding sentence in English could be " In this picture there's my mom. . . ." -- with "and her friend Bob" spoken after a pause, as an after thought. The Arabic sentence might be a suitable translation of that.
That would be natural sounding, but grammatically incorrect. In common speech, native English speakers will often use "is," but since the sentence refers to two people, the plural form of the verb "are" is required for proper grammar. But Duolingo rejects the correct answer.
tsuj1g1r1, so indeed, is Grammar always changing? For example, nowadays some native generation (in some part of this world, I think it is in the north region of USA) say, "You was" while majority native speakers and all English teachers (plus their books) say, "You were". Interesting, right?
Grammar does change, albeit very slowly. Speech patterns change first, and sometimes the change becomes so widespread that editors acknowledge the change as an acceptable alternative. Once it starts creeping into published material, then it might eventually be recognized in textbooks and education as grammatical. It might even supplant the former grammar rules in some cases. That is why there are so many differences, for example, between British and American English. And the differentiation started long before independence in 1776. As soon as there was a significant population isolated from language patterns back in the mother country, and outside influences changed to Native American languages, German, Spanish, etc., the language spoke in America evolved separately.
Hey Away54 -- I just saw your complaint about getting some downvotes on your posts, and I cancelled a couple of them I saw by upvoting -- you add a lot of positive value to these forum discussions, and I'm sure many besides me appreciate that !! I hope you stay with us !!
(1) TinoAriza, thanks so much for your words! You have touched my heart, ok I will try even though my English and Arabic languages are still awful inshaa Allaah ... I also do the same, ie. give upvotes randomly to cancel the downvote for some legitimate question or comments. Downvoting them without any feedback can demotivate someone and doesn't help at all. Let's fight merciless downvoters together :))
(2) nathanmn, thanks a lot for your explanation! Everything makes sense. I have heard that many languages (including English) have changed a lot from their "old" version whilst Arabic doesn't change much.
(3) thanks so much for the lingots, Unsung Heroes! You're Truly Heroes so let me give your lingots to TinoAriza and nathanmn! :))
Away54, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), which is the dialect taught on DuoLingo (and nearly everywhere else Arabic is offered), is based on classical Arabic, i.e. the language of the Quran, and its rules are quite stable. The reason for that is because it isn't really a language people speak on a daily basis. You'll find it broadcast on many Arabic TV channels, but spoken dialects are quite different, have changed considerably, and are still evolving.
Yes, MSA is the continuation of Classical Arabic, some people have said. ... I had spent my time much for Classical. When I encountered one of the lessons in Duolingo (Clothes 3?), I was surprised that سترة meant jacket in Modern Arabic as the word meant "barrier" in Classical (ie. for the prayer الصلاة). I was even more surprised when some native Arab mod in Duolingo didn't know the Classical meaning before I put my comment on the Thread.
By the way, about the dialect, perhaps, many native Arabic speakers would argue us if we say MSA is a Dialect :)) Also, it is interesting! I have met some native Arabic speakers, they speak Arabic fuSa and avoid to use their dialects in front of foreigners.
Nb: I have read from Duolingo official blog, they say that they don't teach us the pure MSA but mixing it with some dialects. They thought the pure MSA would be too difficult, and "it's not a really language people speak on daily basis", like you say. However, some mods still try to provide us the MSA in lessons but without the ending sounds.
Nb: I got a downvote from Mr(s) Downvoter Without Any Feedback again. I am not a native English speaker who ask about a legitimite question and wanna learn English. Is there any mistake in my question? Please correct me I accept any input but don't just leave a downvote like this, you have successfully discouraged me. Or, do you want me to leave this Forum? Well do!