Translation:Many Finns have nestball as a hobby.
For those not familiar with pesäpallo, it's a fascinating sport. It's related to American baseball but with some surprising twists. The pitcher stands right next to the batter and throws the ball straight up. The batter doesn't have to run every time he/she hits a fair ball, and when he/she does run to first, it's to the left, not the right. A ball hit out of the park without bouncing is a foul ball, not a home run, even to straightaway center field. There are many other changes to make the game faster and more tactical rather than relying on pure strength. You can find videos on YouTube.
I've never heard it referred to as "nestball" before, though...
I agree, but... what alternative is there?
I guess I can coin a word in English - "hobbify" - to refer to the act of taking something as a hobby. "I hobbify baseball" or "They hobbify stamp collecting", for example. I gather this is roughly what the Finnish word means. This is how I think of it internally.
I think teaching it this way ("have as a hobby") is fine, just that the accepted English translations should be broadened to account for more natural ways of saying it. In other words, answering "I like to play 'nestball'" should not be marked incorrect. This kind of rigidity in accepted translations is probably the most common complaint I've seen with this course. They've gradually fixed this by adding translations, but obviously not in all instances.
I agree, "Many Finns play Finnish baseball," would be better here (if nestball is also an invented word, I have no idea). In English there's a clear meaning that this "play" means "play regularly as a hobby". I don't really understand why this is a problem. Native English speakers will understand that we "play sports and have hobbies," which does imply regular participation and interest. Duo can easily add a couple of lines for that separation in the drop down hints to make it clearer as we learn, and to clarify for non-native English speakers. To play (sports) as a hobby, To have as a hobby. There are other examples where Duo lists more than one translation in the drop down hints.
I know what you're saying. It's hard to find a more natural sounding translation that doesn't create some confusion with other verbs that mean the same thing in other contexts. Perhaps, though, they could accept obviously correct answers, such as "I like to play 'nestball'", even if "pelata" more generally means "play", and so on and so forth.