"This is appealing to me."
Translation:Ça me plaît.
Here's a helpful article on Ceci and Cela, which are contractions of ce + ici (this here) and ce + là (this there). They are often used interchangeably, though Ceci is evidently rarely used in spoken French:
I don't agree with your statement that "ceci" would rarely be used. If you are careful with language, you would use "ceci" for closer things, either in space or in time, and cela for further things. "Cela dit, je m'en vais" (that being said, I am leaving) "Ceci est à moi" (this is mine). "Ceci me plaît" (this is applealing to me) -> I show it, I am going to show or to talk aout it. "Cela me plaît" (that is appealing to me) -> I have already shown it, I have just mentioned it.
Interesting points from both of you, thank you. Sitesurf, I can imagine the logic of using "ceci" but if it's anything like English in conversation you'd gesture to an object close to you. I'd be more likely to say 'that there' and point to something than than 'this here' close to me, I'd probably use the object name ('this camera') etc.
Does that make sense? But I'm only saying that in the instance of a direct syntactical translation.
They are improper phrases, but that doesn't stop some native English speakers from using "this here" phrase. I catch myself using a similar type of phrase when I can't think of the proper words. Something like "What is that, there? (usually with a pause between that and there). As some people will mention in these forums, just because the phrase is improper English, it doesn't mean that it isn't used. Also, vice versa, just because it's proper English, doesn't mean that it used. The way I see it is, use this site as a springboard to whatever you are going to do with this new language. Get as much as you can, but don't focus on the details too much. They will work themselves out in the real world. It's like any school where you learn a bunch of stuff which may or may not be applicable to what you do. Then you get out to the real world and perfect your craft. If you just want to communicate with your new language, you don't have to be perfect. Now, if you decide to write books, then you have to raise your level.
Thanks very much for this excellent explanation. Duolingo thus has a difficulty here: to go with "strictly speaking" or to teach us what we might commonly hear.
I guessed that they were trying to teach us the subtle difference between "cela" and "ceci" based on a passing remark you made in another forum. Not so.
Such are the vicissitudes of language!
As regards this particular question, the issue is that Duo sometimes has much more idiomatic English than at other times. "Ceci me plait" is a much more French construction of the concept, though a word-for-word translation is "This pleases me."
The biggest problem with your version is that it just isn't the way the French would say that. (Though that's obviously not super helpful for you generalizing a rule.) Beyond that, I think that "attirer" would be better than "attraire" here, and either way it's a transitive verb, so you would want to say who or what it attracts: so "this is attractive to me" would be more naturally phrased as "ceci m'attire", "this attracts me." In fact you can see this in the credited translation too--it's given as "Ceci me plait" instead of "-Ceci est plaisant a moi" or something like that.
A lot of verbs in French are transitive (take a direct object) that aren't usually used as such in English.
Not to contradict, but attraire does exist: http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/attraire/6304?q=attraire#6287 It's just highly unlikely to be the right word for anyone's purposes here on DuoLingo :)