"The children write on the shark."
Translation:I ragazzi scrivono sullo squalo.
I think the sentence is meant quite literally. I haven't seen people writing on a shark before, but it can happen.
Like a bunch of kids applying some water-tolerant color on a sea animal. It could be a live shark and special pens or maybe it could be a wooden shark used as an advertising sign for a restaurant ("that we see after a kilometer").
For "The children write on the shark" it says Correct translations: I ragazzi scrivono sullo squalo. I ragazzi scrivono dello squalo.
I don't understand how the second one is a correct translation. Does dello have another meaning besides possession and 'some', or is this a mistake?
By "scrivono dello," the English equivalent might be "write on," or "write -of-" the shark. For example, you could say, "I'm writing a book on sharks," in which case you would use "dello" rather than "sullo" since you don't mean to say that you're physically writing a book atop of a live shark. Of course, if you -were- to be doing that, you would use "sullo" instead. Not that I recommend trying that at home.
I think the value of the lesson is to teach you to conjugate 'su' and 'lo', it would be boring and unproductive if 'zucchero' was used for every example with conjugates requiring 'lo'.
Many would rely on memorising phrases rather than applying what they've learnt, I think DL does a good job by getting our cogs to turn. If you really have the intention to learn a language to be able to speak it, it is reasonable to assume that you will want to learn and understand all the rules so you can independently translate as you need.
I agree with sammydoodles....if you want to learn another language doesn't it help to learn its idoiosyncracies as opposed to simply translating English words into Italian words? I am going with the flow and enjoying it a lot. I find I can put sentences together more like an Italian and not like an American trying to speak Italian. Try not to get too literal........when in Rome!