No. It's just hard to translate this Swedish exclamation into something that could possibly be translated back into the same thing. This is a very typical construction in Swedish so we wanted to include it, but it's hard to translate well into English, I think.
The most literal, still natural-sounding translation is:
What a lot of snow fell last night!
I copy-pasted that into the admin interface and it's definitely accepted, so either you had a spelling error or there was a bug.
@Macjory: I don't doubt that but it's very hard to say what went wrong. You were shown the default translation because the system thinks you made an error - but whether you actually did make one or the system gave you a bug is unfortunately not something I can tell.
I think the translations below (none accepted) would be more natural. I ordered them so that the ones on top are more natural sounding to me (American).
- So much snow fell tonight.
- What a lot of snow fell tonight.
- So much snow came tonight.
- What a lot of snow came tonight.
The translations with "What a lot..." remind me of Little Red Riding hood when the girl says, "What big eyes you have."
It's a difficult issue, for sure.
Versions 2 and 4 are clearly superior in the direct translation aspect, but neither is idiomatic, as evidenced by multiple comments here.
Ignoring direct translations and going directly for idiomatics, I would prefer something like "We had so much snow tonight!"
I like the sentence, and the vad mycket [phrase] is very common Swedish so it's important to teach. Accepting many idiomatic-though-not-direct translations is probably the best bet.
But which specific one to keep as the default translation is hard to say. Given how Duolingo's system automatically creates the "translate into Swedish" exercise from the default translation, I think the current one may actually be the least bad option.
Edit: Having given this some thought, I think this specific sentence may be better left out of the next version of the tree - giving way for better examples of the phrase.
We use "what a lot of..." in English, too.
It might not be the first choice of words. I think we'd be more likely to say:
Look how much snow fell last night!
We got a lot of snow last night!
But we do use "what a lot of" sometimes and it doesn't sound weird to me.
The "what a lot of" phrase is easy to translate, in my opinion. (The thing that throws me off is that "i natt" means the night that has already passed. Hopefully I will actually study the notes I'm piling up!)
Just to be clear, "tonight" and "this night" should not be accepted translations because "i natt" means LAST night.
"Tonight" and "this night" both refer to the present or the future.
It's a bit of a grey area, though - what if you say it at 2 AM? Then "tonight" and i natt both fit.
Yes. But we would still say "tonight," because the night is not over at 2am. Unless you are in Sweden around the end of June. ;)
I hate it when I can't reply in order...
What I mean is that i natt can be either the currently ongoing night or last night, depending on circumstances. Hence, it's wrong to say that either is always correct and the other always wrong. If that makes sense.
"I hate it when I can't reply in order..."
I hate that, too!
"What I mean is that i natt can be either the currently ongoing night or last night, depending on circumstances."
This clears it up, I think.
Just to be absolutely sure, "i natt" can refer to 3 different things:
--the present time, if it is night-time at the moment
--the night that has just ended, if it is presently daytime
--the night that is going to start in a matter of hours, if it is currently daytime
And that leads to another question (so sorry!)...
What does the term "förra natten" refer to?
Exactly - hence it's not always a bad translation even though it is when it's the morning after.
But we still have to translate "i natt" as "last night," right? It doesn't mean "tonight."
I'm getting confused.
But if you made the comment at 6am, you would have to say "last night."
I am increasingly annoyed by learners who are rude to the moderators. They do an awesome job of explaining and clarifying. We are fortunate to have them
i think in english "tonight" is used more common than "this night", but tonight isn't accepted as right answer here.
Oh!!!! Then the English would need to be "last night."
I thought this was a conversation about what is happening right now. It is nighttime and a lot of snow has fallen. This changes everything! (Well, maybe not EVERYthing.) I never knew "i natt" could refer to the past!!!
There was no indication of that on the hints. This might implies the night one is in or coming up, not the one already past as that would be last night. Very confusing.
I don't disagree, but please remember that hints are set course-wide and cannot be affected at sentence level.
I just put what a lot of snow fell in the night, which is both the most direct translation and also sounds perfectly natural (UK).
I would translate that as under natten every time, though. (Also, sorry I missed this when you posted.)
there came so much snow tonight - I think this should be accepted as well, why isn't it?
"this night" is a bit clumsy in English. I think "tonight" is much better and I will report that to be accepted.
"There came so much snow this night!" is not good English. I had "There was so much snow last night!", and that was rejected!
I'd go with så mycket for that in Swedish, but it's a good example of why this phrase is a bad fit for the course and will be removed.
This is very awkward English. We would never say this. -So much snow fell last night! -It snowed so much last night! -Wow, look at how much snow fell last night!
What happened to your taking this particular sentence off this course? It makes no sense in English, and any self-respecting native English speaker would ever say this. Just stop!
I've told you once before that it'll happen in the next version of the tree.
As many have noted, "There came so much snow this night!" is about the least idiomatic way imaginable of expressing the idea, whatever time of day or night of the utterance, that one can imagine. Please do fix it, devalanteriel, and junk it if you must (probably the best course of action). The minor point the course is trying to teach here just isn't worth the confusion/polemics. We are all, moderators included, losing precious time here arguing, while the sheer volume of exercises to get through is fatiguing enough already. Cheers and thanks, as ever.
I'd delete it in a heartbeat but there's a bug which makes deleted sentences still appear - without being editable. And, well, that's even worse. :( I hear the developers are working on a fix, so hopefully I'll be able to scratch this sentence entirely soon.
We users never see that end of your unpaid toils. I will recommend you for sainthood at the first opportunity. :-)
We would never say this night to translate i natt. I would say How much snow there came (we had) last night!!! As others have pointed out, What a lot of snow is also a good way to put it.
"the night" is not correct in English. No native English speaker would ever say that (or write it). "Tonight" is more proper. Besides, I thought this exercise would be eliminated because of this matter.
Crazy to remove it. This is the only way to learn. But I do this the default answer (to be shown) should state:
What a lot of snow came/fell last night.
An exclamation with 'What (a lot of).. in English isn't that unusual, and the meaning above is pretty clear (considering a word-for-word translation).
I think your argument is sound in English as well, i.e. 'this night' could refer to last night if it wasn't yet morning. The likely expression in English would use 'overnight' or 'during the night'.
I hope this sentence and others like it aren't removed, though maybe, if necessary put it on a later next level (though, I don't think it necessary).
The more idiomatic Swedish the better!
I don't entirely disagree with you, but please consider that this is not intended to be an advanced course, and it doesn't offer the tools to explain idiomatics well. For instance, iPhone app users didn't even have access to the forums for the longest time. That makes learning very difficult for phrases that require extra explanation.
Instead, I'm more pragmatic: I find that any sentence that gives learners - especially those who speak English natively - lots of problems for little additional benefit is a bad fit for the course.