Couldn't this be "this pig?" as well?
Oh, ok. So це is like if you point at something and say "this is a cat/a house" etc., but if you want to say "this cat is green", "this house is on fire" etc. it has to match the gender of the word?
You are right. But if you were to match it to a noun of the neuter gender it would also be це: це молоко (this milk)
Could this also be "Is this pig?"
For instance, a Muslim about to eat meat could easily ask: "Is this pig?", but wouldn't say "Is this a pig" (unless there is an unrecognisable full-sized animal in front of him/her).
Sure, and the question is more precise if you say "is this pork" than "is this pig", but still valid.
Is it valid in Ukrainian? Could you go to a restaurant, order a meal, and ask: "Це свиня?"
No, I don't think that we actually use a word "свиня" to refer to meat
People will understand you, but will also think that you just don't know the right word
Hmm, I asked around and my Ukrainian friends say that "Це свиня?" is definitely valid :|
Does duolingo support "better translations/suggestions", rather than simply "alternative translations"? Ways to tell users "Your translation is correct, although usually people would say 'blah' instead."?
In different parts of Ukraine usage differs then :/
I would love that feature!
It is valid, but I agree with Vinnfred - it sounds like a child asking. The difference between "свиня" and "свинина" is not so small! If you say "Я їм свинину" it means "I eat / am eating pork", while "Я їм свиню" means "I am eating a/the pig"!
It would be like asking "Is this a cow?" when someone brings you a steak. The more appropriate would be to ask if it's beef, or pork.