Tomar vs. coger
What is difference between "tomar" and "coger"?
Play it safe and always just use tomar.
Coger is acceptable in some places, but...It has a bad meaning in a lot of places.
I'm not sure tomar and coger are exact synonyms, even where coger has no alternative meaning. I find agarrar to be a better substitute for coger. I find that duolingo usually accepts agarrar and offers coger as an alternative. (I don't like using coger either, because I always associated it with vulgarity.)
Tomar is a little different. It means to take (take a beverage, take a bath, take a shower, but not take a photo--that needs sacar). Agarrar/coger means grab. Grab a piece of paper, grab a bus, grab a straw, grab your chance.
Very interesting Algarve and Chilotin. Thanks for the information. I've been to Costa Rica but not to Chile. In US public secondary school Spanish they teach "sacar una foto".
After your posts I started searching different Spanish forum and I have found that various people use sacar, tomar, and hacer fotos. The general consensus is that sacar and tomar are both correct, but that hacer is probably incorrect but still used in some parts. I had no idea. :)
One word I have heard for camera in Mexico is sacafotos. I don't know how common it is but it gets used there by many people.
Regarding the OP, I have been doing the catalan course lately and I have found that "agarrar" is always accepted as a translation for the Catalan word "agafar" but with "coger" as the suggested alternative. I suppose Spaniards use the word coger without grief, but that Mexicans and other spanish speakers from the Americas have probably suggested agarrar as an alternative and it has been added as an alternative.
Every time the word coger comes up in that course there are at least a few posts in the discussion section. :)