I think "copine" and "petite amie" can both mean "girlfriend". In fact if you click on "copine" in the exercise, "girlfriend" is given as one of the translations. But if you include "girlfriend" in your answer it is marked wrong. Strange, but Duolingo seems to be a work in progress!
I should probably clarify. Matey and Pally mean the same as each other - basically, friendly. "mate" and "matey" correspond to "friend" and "friendly", e.g. "He's quite matey with his boss".
You might sometimes use the word "matey" under certain circumstances, colloquially if addressing a friend - e.g. "Can you do this for me?" - "ok matey!", but you wouldn't just use it as a noun in a sentence like this.
So you couldn't use an expression like "she is my matey" or "she is my pally", as it would correspond to "she is my friendly".
Ah, so you wouldn't want to use an adjective as a noun. Yes, that's only good for slang; to my ears "matey" and "pally" do sound like nouns… like "sissy" for "sister". And it would sound odd to me to say, "Oh, he's real matey," like, "he's real friendly". But I'm not british/aussie. I get what you mean. :)
In British-English "sissy" is a derogatory term for a male who is camp/ has traditionally female hobbies/ is considered cowardly. "He's a sissy; he dances Ballroom and wears pink shirts and doesn't want to join the army". It is not at all acceptable to use. (I'm referring to myself by the way).
Wow, late reply, but just want to affirm that the derogatory meaning of "sissy" is the first definition for me too, and I would think the whole English-speaking world, but among women I've heard it used occasionally as "sister" as well. In context the meaning is always clear.
I don't think it makes a difference at all, it's basically the same thing to say "she is my girlfriend" and "this is my girlfriend". Although in English in some cases it might sound slightly more awkward to use one than the other, you really could use each in any case and be correct.
"Copine" is a noun and "ma" is a modifier. "Il est" cannot be followed by a modified noun; you must use "c'est". http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
That is because "companion" is le compagnon or la compagne and doesn't quite carry the same meaning. Copain/copine are used informally to refer to a close friend: the masculine form may be interpreted as pal/buddy/made/chum/friend/boyfriend depending on what version of English you're using. The feminine form may be interpreted as friend or girlfriend. I don't know if women/girls refer to female friends as "pals", "buddies", "chums", or "mates". Use of the term only refers to a close relationship and is an informal term.
Not in all commonwealth countries (and I'll admit i don't know about 50 of them). We don't use "mate" in Canada in this context either for men or women. a "mate" is a romantic life partner (not used commonly), you can find your "soul mate", you can have "class mates", but your friends are not mates, they're buddies or pals (the last used to be more common than it is now). ;)
« Amie » and « ami » mean friend (female and male forms), you would need « petite amie » to mean “girlfriend” and « petit ami » to mean “boyfriend.”