Since the course is so far in the beta, maybe it is worth to change the translation to English to be more precise? I've bumped several times to the situation, when entering I had to enter "The newspaper is the woman's" instead of more natural "This is the woman's newspaper". Thanks.
That would be Det är kvinnans tidning. Since both constructions are perfectly normal in Swedish, it's important that we teach them both. But if we accepted these translations as synonymous, learners would only learn the one that's idiomatic in English. So it makes pedagogical sense not to accept semantic equivalents which have perfectly good other translations.
That said, this specific sentence is marked for exclusion from the next tree.
Well, I do not agree with the translation theory about equivalents that you imply. But that is beside the point. The point here is that "the newspaper is the woman's" is not an adequate translation, as it is not idiomatic English, no matter what anyone may think about the difference between "det är kvinnans tidning" and "tidningen är kvinnans". In either case, "the newspaper is the woman's" is not a good English translation, as it sounds translated and/or awkward.
I do see your point. But try to look at it from our point-of-view as well: you are here to learn Swedish, and using some non-idiomatic English will teach you certain Swedish constructions better. Why insist on always using idiomatic English if it makes you learn less Swedish?
Did you mean "using some NON-idiomatic English" (if not, I may not have understood your point)? I think, I know what you mean. But even so, providing non-idiomatic English for Swedish expressions has its own problems. For example, if you say that the correct English translation for "tidningen är kvinnans" is something you never hear anyone say in English (except, possibly, in English several centuries old), English-speaking people will hardly find a context in English where "tidningen är kvinnans" would be the appropriate translation, as the English context for the Swedish sentence, defined by what is given as correct in this course, does not occur. This is why I think that is is better to use English expressions that are less literally translated into English from Swedish when we are dealing with Swedish expressions that, literally translated into English, result in non-idiomatic or even ungrammatical English.
Yes, sorry. I've edited my post to add the "non-" now. Thanks for pointing that out.
I certainly won't argue that this is the one true perfect way of teaching, nor that there are no problems associated with it. Things like these are evaluated constantly, and it does happen that we change our minds. If there hadn't been a one-to-one translation of "it's the woman's newspaper", for instance, we definitely would have accepted it.
Quite frankly, a large part of this problem stems from how Duolingo's system is built, and from the limitations this imposes on course creation. For instance, a feature that let us better distinguish between acceptable and preferrable translations would have solved this specific issue. Unfortunately, though, this is completely out of our hands - and there are upsides to how the system works as well. :)
I do appreciate your opinion, though, so please don't take this the wrong way.
or : the newspaper BELONGS to the woman, even if BELONGS is from another verb., but for the sake of good understanding it would be better, especially for those of us who are NOT native english speakers and I think we are quite numerous here ! it is also true that learning languages with DUO using an english basis is helping me to improve or rather refresh, it.
We do accept "the newspaper belongs to the woman" as well, but "the woman's newspaper" means something else.
Please consider that whatever we put as the default translation is what the system picks to show when you're asked to translate from English into Swedish. Hence, if we want to teach the Swedish construction properly, we'll frequently need to choose what would clearly not be the first choice of translation in a real-life scenario.
In the post to which I was referring, I had originally written "using some idiomatic English will teach you certain Swedish constructions better". Triskal1 kindly pointed out that I had meant "non-idiomatic" rather than "idiomatic", so I edited said post to reflect this.
yes, i see. thanks. i find these discussions highkly interesting. This is why i decided to take the French ( my mother tongue) German( my second mother-tonbgue, Spanish) li lve in South America for over 30 years, Portuguese and Itakiab, all lanbguages I speak very fluientky,
The 'correct' answer is not what one would normally say in English. If I heard someone say this, I would immediately know that English is not their mother tongue and that they are literally translating from their own language. More natural would be: It is the woman's newspaper. Seeing this has already been pointed out many times, I would have thought that this would have been altered to include the natural English translation, rather than the 'literal' translation, which is in this case 'unnatural' English. As a native English speaker, it goes very much against the grain having to learn and type in an 'incorrect' English sentence, for Duo to tell me that I have written the 'correct' translation. You so often cannot translate literally word-for-word, but must translate according to the meaning. If you start with 'The newspaper' in this sentence then you would have to use the word 'belongs', and then continue with 'to the woman.' Although I would say that that is not necessarily the correct translation here either, because she might have it to read but it may not necessarily be hers - she might have borrowed it. So more correct would be: It is the woman's newspaper.