Both "Ät inte upp all mat" and "Ät inte upp all maten" are accepted for this sentence. However, to most Swedes the first sentence with "mat" is more natural, that is why it is the best translation.
A quick google search can confirm this as "ät inte upp all mat" results in 1 510 hits, whereas "ät inte upp all maten" results in 3. For "Ät upp all mat - maten" the result is 2 280 against 57.
In English the natural translation is "Do not eat all the food".
It is impossible to translate many sentence literally since the usages of definite and indefinite forms differ between the languages, in these cases we always go for the most natural options.
No, it shouldn't. In Swedish you would say "Ät inte upp all mat!" while you would say "Don't eat all the food!" in English.
Yes, the literal translation is "maten" = "the food" but that is not how you say it. "Ät inte upp all maten" sounds wrong in Swedish. "Don't eat all food" sounds wrong in English.
I know it sounds wrong in English and that's also my point. It sounds wrong in Swedish too. (I'm Swedish. Maybe you are too?) Example where "maten" is used instead of "mat": http://www.gp.se/nyheter/ledare/1.671909-at-upp-all-maten http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/kronikorer/fredrikvirtanen/article12175175.ab
Indeed I am. But I still think it sounds weird. I would use 'Ät (inte) upp maten!' or 'Ät (inte) upp all mat!', never 'Ät (inte) upp all maten!'. It doesn't sound good, in my opinion. But if you think 'Ät (inte) upp all maten!' sounds good, then it should be accepted. After all, a language is determined by its speakers.
If the language is determined by its speakers, then nothing would be wrong on duolingo. :) I'm pretty picky because I love the Swedish language and I see a lot of errors in the curriculum wherever Swedish is being taught to foreigners. When my boyfriend was learning Swedish he was taught some really weird stuff in school, books and on dvd discs and now when a friend wants to learn Swedish I'm checking some tests here to see if it's good or of "google translate" quality. If you're gonna learn the language, do it right from the beginning, it's the most easy way in my opinion, it's harder to unlearn later on. :)
I'm learning Dutch on duolingo and my Belgian boyfriend is correcting some on there too.
In Spanish the reflexive pronoun 'se' is used with some verbs, notably 'comer' (to eat) to indicate completeness or intensity of an action: Se comió un pollo entero/he ate a whole chicken himself/he ate up a whole chicken/he ate a whole chicken.
Here 'upp' seems to play a similar role when used with the verb 'to eat' in Swedish but there is some inconsistency in how it is translated into English and which answers are acceptable. I just wrote "Don't eat up all the food" and it was not accepted.
I've noticed this in a few other items: sometimes the owl demands an intensifier in English and sometimes it seems to reject one. Is there some nuance here that eludes me?