"Ellos no son mis verdaderos padres."
Translation:They are not my real parents.
It gives it a more subjective meaning. Before the noun it's like a more emotional way to say it and suggests that the person is maybe angry at their parents. "They aren't my REAL parents". After the noun it'd just be stating a fact. "They aren't my biological parents".
I am an adoptive parent and I find this phrase offensive. It sounds like something from the unenlightened 1950's. In today's society, it is as offensive and unacceptable as a racist or sexist remark. If referring to birth parents, then the terms birth parents or biological parents should be used, not real parents.
Personally I do not think duolingo means offense, and either do most people who use that phrase. That said, as an adopted son, it does pluck my nerves. Usually I kindly jump in and say a real parent raises a child, and the word they were looking for was biological parents. Its good to point out the error, but I find I get more receptive audience if I don't get angry/accusatory.
Most people just don't think of adoption as a common occurrence. Once back in high-school a classmate refused to believe me that I was adopted so I just brought in the adoption cert and showed her.
I agree that it can be upsetting, but it is the way many people speak. Of course in face-to-face conversation the words are supplemented by facial expressions and body language that, hopefully, will indicate that no offense was intended.
In this case I do feel obliged to defend the authors of these exercises. I want to learn and understand the real and true Spanish (which in my case will never be real and true simply because I am adopting it as a second language).
And, when I visit Spain, if someone is intentionally being offensive (or racist or sexist) I need to be sure I have understood before I fly off the handle!
Hi Roger, You have good points about body language and how some people speak in real life. My purpose was to try to raise awareness by letting Duolingo know that their sentence is outdated and offensive if the context is talking about adoptive parents. Of course with Duolingo there is often confusion because we don't know the context of their sentences. I just can't imagine any circumstance in which someone would say this phrase, other than a non-adopted person making up a sentence they imagine might be spoken by an adopted person. I don't want to hijack the thread and make it about adoption. I hope the Duolingo course makers read this and make a change. Thanks.
It seems to me that an adjective that has to do with quantity/numbers is supposed to be in front of the noun. Muchos libros, cuantos libros, dos libros, numerosos libros, multiples libros, tantos libros... Yup, that seems to be the case. As for other adjectives like verdadero, it seems that meaning changes depending on where you put the adjective,
"Really" is an adverb, which could be translated as "de verdad, realmente, or muy" depending on context/preference. "Verdadero" is an adjective and therefore must be translated as an adjective in English. In this case, either "real or true" would work. Adjectives CAN come before the nouns in Spanish (http://spanish.about.com/cs/grammar/a/whereadjective.htm). Doing that I believe can alter the meaning a bit, but it still would translate as an adjective, that wouldn't change.