"De meisjes schrijven hun een boek."
Translation:The girls write them a book.
Wait, are the direct object pronouns the same as the indirect object pronouns in dutch? I may have gotten the correct answer, but I was assuming this skill would be about direct object pronouns as indirect objects tend to trip people up more.
The direct object pronoun is hen or hun. The Dutch language regulator prefers hen but also acknowledges that it isn't used as much as hun. Hen was artificially created by a grammarian because he wanted Dutch to be more like Latin. Most people will use hun, even in formal context.
While that's incredibly interesting (because I love learning about how languages have evolved over time and if I wasn't studying to be an astrophysicist I'd definitely be a linguist), hun is definitely being used as an indirect object here. Though I did just reread the tips and notes section for the skill and saw the note that explained that "After the indirect object, you use hun."
The only thing left for me to know is if the rest of the object pronouns in that table are also indirect object pronouns, not just direct object pronouns. But I greatly appreciate the knowledge and assistance anyway :-]
The translation cannot be 'themselves' because that's a reflexive pronoun (hun is not a reflexive pronoun). But you specifically said your issue was with the English, so I'll focus on that instead.
It is indeed correct English, and actually more like how it would have been in Old English as well (and by Old English, I mean way back when the language was still very Germanic). "To write someone something" is the same as "to write something to someone". This is an example of how word order carries with it morphological information in English, whereas other languages with inflectional morphology will likely mark/change the pronoun in some way (like with German for example).
It is probably the case that whatever dialect of English you speak/are around (assuming you're a native English speaker; sorry if I'm wrong about that) doesn't typically use this construction. I'd even say that most dialects will not really use it. It is much more literary and poetic to phrase it this way, but that does not change the fact that it is correct English.
"hun" and "hen" mean the same and both refer to "them". "Ik geef hun een boek". "Le'ts help them" is "Laten we hen helpen" (hen is interchangeble with hun, not the other way around)
"hun" can also be a posessive pronoun in which it means "their": "their book" is "hun boek"
So you are right and maybe you already knew all this, but it might be good to write it out
And oh ... it's also confusing to a lot of Dutch people, so ...
Hun is not a reflexive pronoun here. It does not refer back to the girls, it is talking about an entirely different group. So when you translate this as "The girl wrote them a book" it means the same as "The girl wrote a book to them". *(see edit) Also, the sentence only has "meisje" in it, which is singular, i.e. there is only one girl, so using "themselves" here makes even less sense.
Edit: Whoops! Forgot to look at the sentence again. There are indeed multiple girls, my apologies.
I'm sorry, what? 'Write' is verb, the direct object in this sentence is 'een boek' (a book) and the indirect object is 'hun' ([to/for] them). Since it's the IO, hun is used, not hen.
In the future, please ask politely why something differs from the way you thought it was instead of asserting things that might be false (and in this case, are definitely not true).