Your sentence means "The man reads his newspaper". But that is not what the Swedish here means. The Swedish here means "The man reads its newspaper".
In other words, the newspaper belongs not to the man, but to "it". (We do not know who or what "it" is, but we do not need to know that in order to translate the Swedish sentence into English.)
Mannen läser sin tidning - the man is reading his own newspaper
Mannen läser hans tidning - the man is reading someone else's newspaper
Mannen läser dess tidning - "dess" is refering to something else, e.g. an organization
"Dess" is typically used in the title of an academic paper: "Sjöfarten och dess påverkan på havsmiljön" (On shipping and its impact on the marine environment)
I don't think it should be changed or removed. This sentence helps us learn that that "dess" is always related to an "it". Nearly everybody gets it wrong first, but that's a good thing. We learn the most from having our mistakes corrected, not from getting things right the first time.
But for those who need more information, we have enough language now to add some. Maybe the sentence could be "restaurangen har en tidning. Mannen läser dess tidning"
Then we're still practising that construction, and people might be more comfortable with the meaning.
I like it as it is, it challenges me to really learn the words and not guess, but everyone learns differently.
It is not the best phrase to be able to translate so that the result is that the newspaper does not belong to the man, but to another person or organisation. It is very difficult to arrive at English translation without a more detailed sentence providing information as to who owns the newspaper. The logical English for the given Swedish is "the man is reading this newspaper" or a different sentence where "the man" is replaced with something like "the members".
It's funny the places people go when considering this sentence. I agree that "the library's" is a good explanation for why the possessive pronoun in this sentence would read as "its".
Personally, I imagined "its" as "the restaurant's", as in: "He walked into the restaurant and, while waiting to be seated, read its free newspaper."
Very few in the discussion seem to immediately attach to an interpretation along such lines.
dess is a very common Swedish word. It is not dialect. Honestly, I find it very hard to believe that you've never heard anyone use it, though it's more common in text.
Note that dess doesn't mean the man here. It means that the newspaper belongs to some other thing, like a library, for instance. Hence, you can't use sina or _hans.
The sentence "The man reads its newspaper" does NOT work in English without first providing context. You cannot be expected to use the possessive for "its" without knowing what "it" is.
Duolingo should have provided something like this:
"The man reads the newspaper." "The man reads that newspaper." "The man reads their newspaper." "The man reads his newspaper."
OR given a more extensive sentence in English?
The newspaper has to belong to someone or something. If you want to say "its newspaper" you have to specify like a city or an establishment.
"I love The Daily Planet, printed in Metropolis. It's the pinnacle of journalism because it has the most reliable coverage of Superman! I know I don't even live in that city but I read its newspaper."
"I don't live in that city but I read its newspaper" *
This is super confusing to me still, after I read the comments. Not the reason"dess" is being used, but why duo would use this word without adressing it first. I was never previously showed what this word was until level 4 of the lesson. But now that I know its not to hard to understand. I know there are many examples, but here are the ones I think of: "dess" refers to: the press', the school's, the dog's (lol).
We can use tidning for both, though I'd presume a newspaper without context.
There are also words you can use to be more specific, e.g. dagstidning = daily newspaper, veckotidning = weekly, magasin = magazine. And though tidskrift can be either, we tend to use it for magazines.
To be fair, the Android app is a little buggy, and very frequently simply doesn't display the comments on first load. So there are lots of people in the forums who intend to read the comments only to get a blank page, and simply don't realise their question has been asked twenty times before.
So you keep writing, but it's perfectly correct. This thread - and others in which you've written the exact same thing - contain sensible examples and explanations. If you have no intention of reading them, please don't just post "Incorrect English" over and over again.
I would like to help but I really don't understand where the confusion comes from. The Swedish dess is always about a thing, or an organisation, or similar - it's never about a person. So it can't refer to mannen. English works much the same way - you don't refer to people as "it", so it's obvious with or without context that "its" refers to something other than "the man".
Not always. "The little girl was crying. The man found her doll, and she stopped crying."
It's the same in Swedish. Here, "dess" doesn't refer to the man; we know it refers to something other than the man because if it referred to the man, it would be "sin tidning".
(I thought the same thing as you when I first had this sentence, but I found some good explanations in the discussion.)
Learning a new language is always a difficult process for me, especially at 69 yrs. of age and having memory problems. Perhaps I've missed something that explains the differences between "dess", "din", "dina", etc.. I'm trying hard to understand all the nuances of language...even in English classes in school I had a hard time with understanding the "proper" way to describe sentence structures and all that. It's the terms that I stumble on...present participles, pluperfect, indefinite objects, etc., etc., etc..
Din = your + singular noun ("en" type noun)
your car = din bil ( a car = en bil)
ditt = your + singular noun ( "ett" type noun)
your child = ditt barn ( a child = ett barn)
dina = your + plural noun
your dogs = dina hundar
dess = its
Learning the words used to describe words means that you could be said to be learning 2 languages. Because of this it is normal to progress more slowly. Knowledge is often related and reinforcing, I think grammar words, grammar rules and vocabulary are like this. In the beginning it will make learning slow but after a while it will make learning faster and more profound. I hope/don't believe that age is a barrier at all; perhaps it makes learning slower. From my experience the trick is finding the motivation to persevere. Eventually it always gets easier.