"My friend Farid has a lion in the house."
Translation:صَديقي فَريد عِنْدهُ أَسَد في الْبَيْت.
Well, in Arabic you can mention the owner first or second:
- صديقي عنده (cadíqí 3indahu): literally my friend/at him.
- عند صديقي (3inda cadíqí): literally: at/my friend.
Both are correct, maybe though the context would force the speaker to use one form rather than the other but in meaning they are equal. The only thing is that when you mention the owner first, you had to add a pronoun related to the owner (i.e. عند [at] becomes عنده [at him]) to refer back to the owner.
As to which one is better, as I said already, both are equal. If you want something that goes along the line of English in terms of word order, then that might be indeed the version used by Duolingo here. Compare the two:
- My friend Farid has...
- صديقي فريد عنده : literally my friend/ Farid/ at him.
As to why Duolingo doesn't accept some answers when they are correct, well, this is Duolingo (and that's my struggle with it already). Because contributors naturally cannot think of every possible and logical translation and combination/order for some of the sentences, so they feed the system with limited data and hence some answers are correct, but get marked wrong. And that's why they provided a Report button to help (supposedly) improve Duolingo when such incidents happen.
Thank you for your helpful answer. Well, this is where Arabic and Russian part in their rendering of the English verb "have". Both have an impersonal construction ("to/at John (there is) a house" instead of "John has a house), but the new construction we've been introduced to "John, to/at him there is a house) could be said conversationally in Russian, but isn't strictly grammatical. There'd be a hanging subject with no verb to govern. And of course I agree with you that it's probably humanly impossible to provide for absolutely all the correct translations.