"Jag vill lära mig svenska."
Translation:I want to learn Swedish.
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lära sig is a reflexive verb meaning learn in English. The above sentence does not imply that you want to teach yourself Swedish. It only means that you want to learn Swedish. If you want to teach yourself Swedish, that would be Jag vill lära mig själv svenska or Jag vill lära mig svenska på egen hand or something like that.
I disagree. What you say is true if you're talking only about prescriptive language. If we want to describe how people actually use the language however, I think we'll find that the vast majority of Swedes would find SL "I want to teach myself Swedish" > TL "jag vill lära mig svenska" perfectly reasonable, which would make the reverse translation just as reasonable.
I know that prescriptive vs descriptive grammar is a huge debate topic, and if Duolingo is intended to be prescriptive, then you are absolutely right. Personally, though, I hope that it is not.
I think we disagree about the meaning of this sentence then. I think if you translate it as 'teach yourself', you're adding something that isn't there in the first place.
As for prescriptive/descriptive, it's not all black and white. When you try to teach something, you sometimes need to simplify things. We've found that while working on this course. Sometimes accepting things that are in reality said by native speakers makes it very confusing to learners.
Yeah, I get what you're saying, but I disagree with your conclusions. Standard for linguists. :) Personally, I think lära mig covers lära mig själv too - as a subset, if you will, and depending on context, of course.
As you said, teaching the right way is never easy, and I'm not sure there is a definite right way in this case. I mean, that's why Duolingo was founded in the first place. I've deleted my second-level comment so people don't lose hearts over it.
I would argue that "lära sig" covers "lära sig själv" as much as "learn" covers "learn by oneself"/"teach oneself" and depenting on context there can be other things implied like "learn at school" ... so I don't see any need to accept anything else than the literary translation
In English it is perfectly fine to say "I'm going to learn my Swedish." It's probably an idiom and it could be regional. I think the Scandinavian languages are much more a part of English than we realize. I've always wondered why we spell of and pronounce it av... hum... mayhaps it's a throwback and we simply misspelled it in English.
Not really, though it depends on how you look at it. lära [someone] really means to "teach" rather than learn, but if you teach yourself you're effectively learning - so in practice, lära sig does mean "learn".
Hence, this extends to other people as well: jag lär dem tyska means "I teach them German". No reflexion.