It would have bothered me, but I know that the course has been developed with gender issues constantly in mind. If you run into a sentence with a job, the chances of the person being gendered male is just the same as of them being gendered female. We take this very seriously, and we're proud to offer an equality-friendly learning environment in regards to both gender and sexuality.
We'd have used "his" and "her" as mutual defaults for every sentence, but there's a technical reason that forces us to choose between them. Duolingo automatically picks the default translation for the reverse exercise (the "Translate into Swedish" one), and there is no option to separate them. In other words, if we added both "his" and "her" as a default here, you might get asked to translate "The engineer presents her work" and be told that you got it wrong for writing hennes.
You just happened to run into a sentence with a male engineer. In a few minutes, you may run into a female doctor, or a male nurse, or a female prime minister. :)
That is very true. I have noticed that generally the sentences are constructed in a gender neutral manner or rather without a sexist bias. Which is why it seemed odd that this one had a male engineer as the preferred sentence. I would've thought that the most correct sentence here would be "their" given that we do not know the gender of the engineer. It isn't that a possible answer was him rather than her but that it is given as the preferred/suggested answer.
I definitely appreciate the gender neutrality throughout the course and it does not go unnoticed! Trans pronouns are a whole other issue but one that I am not ready to learn in Swedish yet as I have so far to go to reach even a semblance of fluency! Far too tricky for me right now!
The moderators do a fantastic job, this course is really fantastic. (Sorry to nitpick!)
Right, if we add multiple defaults then Duolingo will choose between them at random, which would have been perfect - if it weren't for that reverse sentences would occasionally become grammatically incorrect without any option to improve it. So until we have such a system in place, we'll have to do with alternating between his and her. I mean, as much as I'm all pro gender neutrality, teaching han and hon is very important in a language course as well.
Thank you Arnauti.
Between when I posted the comment and now I purchased a copy of Essentials of Swedish Grammar. It cleared up most of my pronunciation questions, but it left one question unanswered. It said that 'å' is pronounced like the 'ou' in "ought." However, sometimes it sounds to me a bit like the 'oa' in "loan." Am I just hearing it incorrectly, or is it ever pronounced as such?
There's a diphtong in loan, this you can hear in the Swedish spoken in Scania in the south of Sweden.
I checked a phonetics site which tells me "loan" is [loʊn] in American English and [ləʊn] in British English. If you hear an [o] sound, that's totally right, but I can't really think of a case where it would be [ə].
No, it's sitt arbete because arbete is an ett word. If it had been a book instead, it would have been sin bok in the same sentence.
sin/sitt/sina is used to refer back to the subject when the subject is the third person (he, she, they).
So it would still be Hon presenterar sitt arbete or Han presenterar sitt arbete if we knew their genders.