Ahh. I thought it said "the book goes over the mice" - I was worried there for the poor things...
I'm not saying that duo should accept the literal translation, but you can finesse "goes over" in English to mean "is about", though it's more like "explain".
Duolingo absolutely should accept the literal translation; I talk like that all the time. The metaphor works as well in English as in Dutch.
Not to mention that the expression is the exact same in German "Das Buch geht über Mäuse" so it may be familiar to some learners who aren't native in English
Don't worry prepositions are just used differently in languages (even similar ones like English and Dutch).
So, in English we can say "We will go over this point next week". I wonder if the Dutch use has the same origins as the English.
A difference is, however, in this sentence we'd want to include 'the topic', so "The book goes over the topic of mice." So perhaps English has changed enough that the use of 'go over' needs clarifying, while not sufficiently to make 'go over' wrong.
Eh, I think in some cases (like this one) it probably should clarify that, but sometimes it doesn't need to. For example, "This book goes over the fundamentals of physics."
Is this typically how you would say "the book is about mice" in Dutch? It seems as if the literal translation is more like "the book goes over mice", and there is a difference in English between "about" (implying the entire book is about mice) and "goes over" (implying that various topics, including mice, are covered by the book).
Could this sentence be used both for fiction books and for nonfiction books? Or is it only suitable for nonfiction (like schoolbooks, lexicons etc.)?
I think "overgaan" is another verb? It is not actually the word that is used here? http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/go.php?T1=overgaan&Submit=Go&D1=24&H1=124
Can be any book: gaat over indicates the topic just like the English is about.
The verb here is gaan and not overgaan
With overgaan, it would have been "het boek gaat muizen over" instead of "het boek gaat over muizen". And I guess that could be translated by "the book is passing (some) mice". Maybe they're racing together. Maybe it's a very fast book. We will never know....
Dutch gaat over seems more like English is about or concerns whereas English goes over suggests to me describes, explains, rehearses; in other words, it is more concerned with detail than with theme.
The literal translation of this sentence to English wouldn't make sense, although you can say that a book goes over something that is not the meaning of the phrase in Dutch. Just like in Spanish, when you say "El libro va sobre ratones", it means "The book is about mice", and it shouldn't be translated as "goes over" because that is not the meaning of the sentence in either language.
It's not grammatically correct to say "the book goes over mice" unless you mean "is placed over" you can say "the book goes over the subject/the topic of mice" but it needs to be qualified. The book goes over mice means something else entirely.