In standard English we would never use the word "the" to translate "L'hiver est une saison". "Winter is a season," is correct and sufficient--we do use noun markers in the same way, nor to same degree as is required in French.
While it may sound somewhat formal, it's perfectly correct to say "the winter" in English in this and similar contexts, particularly when making absolute statements. Both "winter" and "the winter" should be acceptable translations for "l'hiver" here.
Depending on local customs, one may say it with or without the article in this context. Be aware that the article is not required, however. Duolingo has pressed the point of translating the article that we sometimes feel we have to use it in English even when it doesn't produce a natural sounding sentence.
Would "Winter is a season" work as an answer? Or does the English translation need 'the' in it even though that's not something we usually say?
"Winter is a season" is actually preferred. You CAN say "the winter is a season", but it is not the most natural phrasing. I would say "in the winter" more readily than "in winter", but otherwise "winter" is more common than "the winter".
I just typed Winter is a season. It came up with an error?! And it corrected to Winter is a season. Bug.
why isn't the 't' pronounced in est, given its followed by a word starting with a vowel?
A liaison between Être and a noun/adjective/adverb is an optional liaison; that means pronouncing or not pronouncing the 't' are both correct.
It's the kind of dumb useless sentences that make the course tedious. Like asking people if they brush their teeth or hair. No one is ever going to ask anyone but perhaps their children such a question.
It's awkward phrasing for English. In French, they have to have an article but we don't so it isn't translated.
"L'hiver" should be "the winter" as Le means the, for example "Le livre", means "the book"
You have learned well that le and la are "the". Now you are learning that there are circumstances where you do not use the article in English, or at least you don't have to.
I suppose it could be, but "Winter is one season." is not something an English speaker would normally say. Grammatically, it is fine, but you won't find anyone saying that, at least in the US.
I'm afraid I can't quite agree with you here. "Winter is one season. Spring is another. Summer is a third and autumn is a fourth." Depending on the particular context, one might well use the sentence "Winter is one season."
So, the question stands, is there a particular reason that 'une' here must be translated as 'a' and not 'one'?
As Jordan said, as it stands alone, it sounds odd. When you add another sentence either before or after, you have provided context which makes using the article sound more natural.
The additional context I provided made it more natural to translate the article 'une' as 'one' instead of 'a'. (You seem to still be responding to other commenters use of 'the' in translating l'hiver when you say 'using the article'.)
So if I understand what you are saying - the reason to translate 'une' as 'a' in the sentence << L'hiver est une saison >> is that without more context most people would understand this bare sentence to be a kind of definition of winter << Winter is a season >>. In which case, yes, 'a' is the obvious choice for translating 'une'.
But that would also seem to imply that there would be contexts in which it would be accurate to translate the sentence as << Winter is one season >>. And that was what my original question was trying to get at - though perhaps I failed to state it clearly enough.
You're quite right, I was responding to the entire page! Sorry! ;-) It can be either "a" or "one", of course.
I HAD just 'Winter' is a season, but then I changed it to 'The winter' is a season because it says L'hiver, not hiver! L' means 'the'!
Well, the French use articles more than we do, so in English it's "winter" and in French it's "l'hiver". In some contexts, "the winter" might also work. In this sentence, it sounds weird.
Everything cannot be a direct translation, or computer translators would be a lot more functional than they presently are.
No, it would be "l'hiver est arrivé" (winter has come). That is in past tense. "L'hiver arrive" = Winter is coming.
le and la almost always contract to l' when used before a vowel. As h is usually not pronounced, then l' is needed here before the vowel sound which begins the word hiver.
I typed "Winter's a season" instead of "Winter is a season" and was marked wrong
In speech, one may indeed tie words together, i.e., slur them. But when writing it, we don't contract "is" with nouns.
Mnemonic for remembering 'hiver' is winter:
You shiver in l'hiver.
Why is it 'une' and not 'un' when l'hiver is masculine NOT feminine?? I'm puzzled about this. Please advise me as to why use 'une'.