The -natten isn't really part of the holiday, so it's just a regular night. It sounds very clunky in English, but consider something like "The night following Christmas Eve is bright", where you do need the definite. Pretty much the same thing, but a bit less obvious than in that example.
I think this sentence needs the article, unless it would use the plural Midsummer nights, which it isn't.
Is the -l- in ljus pronounced? And if not, is this an exception or is there some sort of rule to follow?
No, in general, in the start of words, lj-, hj-, and dj- are pronounced the same as j-. This does not apply in the middle of words (in välja, for example, the 'l' is pronounced), and being in a compound does not count as "middle" of a word, so in "dagsljus", the 'l' is still silent.
Does this mean just the single night of the solstice, or the night in general around that time of year?
It means the night before the Midsummer holiday, which is celebrated on the Saturday which is closest in time to the solstice.
I wish Duolingo would let native speakers speak this sentences. I hear this robot saying something like Missomanatten.
That's actually the correct pronunciation. The robot is spot on here. :)
Maybe, but her way of speaking is not very helpful for people who just started learning Swedish. Like I learned the word Midsommar long time ago, I know it perfectly, yet I couldn't understand at all what she was saying. I think the reason why so many have problem listening any language after finishing Duolingo is that they didn't hear it from the native speakers. Of course you can't learn a language only with Duolingo, but this robot voice doesn't help at all.
I would also have preferred a native speaker - in fact, I even started doing my own recordings of some of the worst sentences: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23723515
So I get what you're saying. Completely. But it's honestly not that bad, and any native recordings in isolation would differ from real speech for the sake of clarity, too.
The system could definitely be improved. By a lot. It's not quite as bad as you say, though, and it's not a problem that's exclusive to Duolingo but to all non-interactive learning.
(Then there's the Irish course which used human recordings but whose first iteration turned out to be by a non-native speaker...)
"The" needs to be removed in the translation....or at least "Midsummer night is bright" needs to be accepted. It's actually incorrect in English to say "The Midsummer night is bright."
Please refer to my above post - the Swedish doesn't refer to a specific night. It's like saying "the winter night is dark", you wouldn't say just "winter night is dark".
In the English sentence, "The Midsummer night is bright," two things are indicating that one is talking about the specific night of June 21st:
1- "Midsummer" is capitalized. That means it's a name, like Christmas or Sunday.
2- The singular noun is used, "night."
In that case, the word "The" does not belong in the sentence. Take out the word "The" and the sentence will be grammatically correct.
Unfortunately, we still have the problem that the English sentence does not mean the same thing as the Swedish sentence.
If the Swedish sentence is not referring to the holiday of Midsummer, then the English needs to be like this in order to have the same meaning:
"The midsummer nights are dark."
OR "Midsummer nights are dark." (the capital being there only because it's the first word of the sentence)
You are right of course that we wouldn't say, "Winter night is dark" (lol).
We also wouldn't say, "The winter night is dark." One might possibly run across that in a poem, but in everyday speech we always use the plural in a case like this.
We say, "Winter nights are dark" as a general statement.
If we're talking about something a little more specific, such as winter nights in a certain place, we say "The nights" and add the other qualifier at the end, like this:
"The winter nights are dark in Kiruna."
OR "The winter nights are dark here."
"The" makes one expect to hear which winter nights you are talking about, so "The winter nights are long" would usually sound incomplete and odd.
I hope this makes sense.
I know this seems picky, but it is difficult to learn not only what the Swedish sentence means, but also which incorrect English translation to use in order to move on to the next exercise.
Don't get me wrong, the sentence is terrible. I'm just explaining why "Midsummer's night is bright" is not accepted. There's no way this sentence will survive the transition to the next tree.
I wouldn't put an apostrophe in either.
Some sentences are just difficult to use for this kind of language learning, I guess, even though they have some elements one wants to teach. I'm glad I don't have to come up with any sentences to be translated!
"The Midsummer night" doesn't mean "a night in the middle of summer". It's capitalised and unhyphenated so it means specifically the 21st of June. "The mid-summer night", although a little unusual, is the correct way to refer to a non-specific date in the middle of summer. Zmrzlina confirms it's specifically the night of midsummer so who do we believe? :)
The answers don't contradict each other, though. Although Midsummer is a specific holiday, the night is not.
Look, I agree that it sounds very clunky, as I wrote above. But I don't think "Midsummer night" would be any better, really, since we'd then get the same problem for the reverse exercise - which is worse, since people would then be translating incorrectly into Swedish.
If anything, I don't think this sentence should be in the course at all.