This confused me a little.
Why would one say this instead of "ich lerne"?
The word "lernen" is here not in the role of a verb but in the role of a noun. Every noun in German starts with a capital letter. Aka "I am with learning". Here "learning" is noun either.
Why is "I am at study" not allowed? That is proper English, and something I have heard used in person (though we would obviously contract "I am" into "I'm").
There are other examples on this site where synonyms are allowed, but I see your point.
I do not understand why people downvoted this to make it hidden, but voted up the question about 'ich lerne'. They both present an alternate translation and ask why it is not valid. Is there some unspoken rule I violated in my phrasing or is someone just being petty?
I'm confused about the translation of a noun (presumably, based on the capitalization) into a verb....
In English we have something similar called a "gerund", in which we make a verb into a noun. For example, "The running of the race..." or "the barking of the hounds...". For some reason, this construction in German reminds me of the English phrase "I'm hard at work", which would probably confuse beginning English learners!
this made me too think of the gerund but it doesn't accept "I am at learning" as valid. "I am learning" confuses me, that should just be "ich lerne".