Yeah, I suppose "pencil" should be accepted as well, although it bears mentioning that in practice, we call pens أقلام without specifying that they contain "ink" most of the time. Do report it if you come across it again, though; it could definitely still refer to a pencil.
I would really love it if someone more advanced than me said something about the extra vowels at the end of words that are often pronounced by the Duolingo voice. In this case, written "hunaak qalam" but pronounced "hunaaka qalam". They seem to come into existence to separate a word ending in a consonant from one beginning with one. Is this a feature of Arabic? Avoidance of neighbouring consonants?
tsuj1g1r1 I very much appreciate that you responded to my question. But Duolingo teaches that word as "hunaak" not "hunaaka", so what you say doesn't explain why it has a final "a" as in "hunaaka qalam". As for short vowels not being pronounced at the end of utterances, how would that apply to something like "hunaak" which, surely, needs to be towards the beginning of a sentence?
"The pen is over there." is a completely valid thing to say, isn't it? And I said "utterance" and not "sentence," because an utterance isn't necessarily a sentence. If you're learning the word on its own, you'd learn it as "hunaak," but then when you actually put it in a sentence, you'd pronounce that final "-a." But even when you don't pronounce it, it's theoritically always there: if you were writing the vowel diacritics, you'd write that "-a" regardless of where the word comes in the sentence, because what if the end of the sentence isn't the end of a particular utterance after all? Somebody might choose to run two short sentences together as they read them, for dramatic effect, and if they did so, they'd ideally pronounce the final vowel in "hunaaka" even if it came at the end of the first sentence.
At any rate, this is all assuming you're actually reading all the short vowels at the end of the word when you're speaking MSA. Many Arabs drop those vowels or use them inconsistently, so they do end up always saying "hunaak." In dialect, the word is indeed "henaak" or "huneek" or some variation thereof.
But weren't you just saying you heard it being pronounced "hunaaka"? Harakat are entirely optional to write, as I'm sure you know, so the fact that there is no fat7a doesn't mean that this is "hunaak" and not "hunaaka." After all, the lack of a vowel itself has a haraka (namely 'sukuun'), so if we're going by your logic, this can't be "hunaak" either because it lacks a sukuun at the end. Duolingo teaches MSA, with dialect thrown in here and there. The bulk of the language you're taught is still MSA. And given that the final vowel in "hunaaka" is always the same, it's very easy, so I doubt they would be throwing in the tanween like "-un" and "-in," which does change, but then refusing to use a vowel ending that actually remains the same.
You say, "Harakat are entirely optional to write, as I'm sure you know, so the fact that there is no fat7a doesn't mean that this is "hunaak" and not "hunaaka." After all, the lack of a vowel itself has a haraka (namely 'sukuun'), so if we're going by your logic, this can't be "hunaak" either because it lacks a sukuun at the end." Two things wrong with that. 1. Although, of course, harakat are optional, Duolingo always puts them in. So if they write a word without a final short A , they mean it to end in a consonant. And they certainly do not put a sukun for every word that ends with a consonant (there'd no end of them!). 2. It's not my logic, it's Duolingo's.
That is not accurate, no. The fat7a indicates the mere presence of the vowel "a," which by default would be short, and then the alif indicates that it is long. Both short and long vowels are indicated by the same diacritics. The significance of this becomes apparent when you compare diphthongs with long vowels: "لَوْمٌَ" vs "أَلُوْمُ," the first is pronounced "lawm(un)" and the second "aluumu." So the "waaw" on its own does not necessarily indicate a long vowel. I can tell you it is not common practice in the Arab world for a text to be fully annotated but not include diacritics on letters preceding long vowels.
Ha! When you tap on قَلَم on the previous screen when it is first introduced, Duolingo translates it as ‘Pen/Pencil’ not specifically one or the other. Then when I chose to use ‘pencil’ in this lesson’s sentence (because Duolingo said either is the answer) they mark it wrong. Jeez.