Here is a link that explains the correct way to talk about age in English: https://suite.io/tanja-batista/5ydp26x
To sum up, in English, it is only correct to express age as something you "are" not something you "have". If you are a non-native speaker and you express it using "have" you will certainly still be understood, but if you are aiming to translate correctly and grammatically, you will want to translate it using "are". To do otherwise would be the equivalent of me trying to express my age in Italian by saying "Sono 37 anni vecchio", etc. Would they understand what I mean? Absolutely. But would it be correct? No.
I'm sorry, but I still disagree. It is perfectly correct to say "they have the same age". I know this isn't a site for ongoing discussions, so, for the sake of confused foreign students I will try to elaborate on my point of view by proposing the following links. (They will find the last link about grammar very useful): http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_role_of_language_in_culture http://biologos.org/questions/ages-of-the-earth-and-universe https://ed.grammarly.com/register/signup/report_pale/?newv=1
You have definitely educated me on some interesting colloquial usage that I have never seen or heard, and for that I thank you. But I really think Duolingo has to draw the line at accepting colloquial answers--otherwise, how can they determine which colloquial usages to accept and which to disregard? Trying to make that decision would put them in the position of basically implying that one dialect is more valid than another, and I think we all agree that is not the case. So, rather than trying to navigate that minefield, it is better to stick to the answers that are correct in Standard English, even if it means a few answers that may be correct colloquially are not accepted.
In all honestly, I think we are completely on the same page about our core beliefs re: the validity of dialects (all are equally valid), and the important role of colloquial language in culture (it is a huge one). But if Duolingo tried to accept every colloquial or dialectical response in English, there could be hundreds of correct solutions for each exercise. And since those dialectical and colloquial responses are often only correct in very specific regions or circumstances, it would do more harm than good to do so. This specific question was regarding the proper way to express age in Standard English, and that is through the use of the verb "to be".
Thanks again for all the interesting information. I'd love to have some language chats some time--I'm a huge fan of linguistics studies, and any time I meet someone who is equally passionate about language issues, I get excited. :-)
Very well said Linburo. Glad you enjoy the excitement. I, too, never cease to marvel whenever I find a connection between two or more languages, which is why I am always open to uncommon constructions and colloquial speech. However, I must point out, that the construction in question is not just colloquial. If you read the second link in my last message, under the heading "Age of the earth and solar system from radiometric dating", you will find the sentence: "Nearly all meteorites have the same radiometric age,...". Which goes to show, that this construction is also used in scientific circles, indicating that it does have a legitimacy not accounted for in existing grammar. Therefore, wouldn't you agree, that this construction is in a very grey area, and that DL would do well to accept it. Téigh i síocháin :-)
There's a button labeled "Report a problem" which appears lower-left once the interface responds to your translation (usually either "You are correct" or "Oops, that's wrong"). Please use it when you see errors such as the one you mentioned above. It will help improve Duolingo :)
I don't understand why you use "Hanno"; I knew what they were trying to say and wanted to write "they are the same age" because "they have the same age" didn't sound right, but the dictionary hints still translated "hanno" as "have", so I went with the literal translation, and it was marked wrong!