So is "we arrive" also correct? "chegar" = "to arrive" so I assume the answer to my question is 'yes'.
Yes :) - Quite unusual in this short simple sentence, but yes.
But since it's a "present" skill, surely "we arrive" should be the suggested translation.
American English often uses the past simple to describe a present idea. In British English we would use the present perfect "We have arrived" upon arrival.
Because duolingo confuses sentences with homonyms in. It knows it needs to teach this word and these sentences have that word in it. It doesn't know the difference between different usages of the word.
According to Wiktionary, "chegámos" is the past form; "chegamos" is normally the present form but is also the past form in Brazil.
Chegámos does not exist, you spell chagamos. Present and past are the same in this case. You just can see the difference in the phrase.
Well, not just Portugal but all Portuguese speaking places outside of Brazil (The European orthography, official in Portugal, Macau, East Timor and the five African Lusophone countries.). But, only for regular verbs that end in "-ar" in the infinitive form.
In European Portuguese, a distinction is made in the first person plural of verbs in -ar, between the present tense ending -amos /ˈɐmuʃ/ and the preterite -ámos /ˈamuʃ/. As these are pronounced identically in Brazilian Portuguese, this accent is not used.
How to make the difference between past and present here? This lesson is about present tense, so why is "we arrive" a wrong answer?
In continental Portuguese this would be 'Estamos a chegar' as the present participle is not used in this way.
Could a native Brazilian speaker please explain this to me -- my mom, who is Brazilian, used to say to me when I was little "chega! chega!" which I always took to mean, "come along" or "hurry up". Duolingo only accepts "arrive", but it seems incorrect not to also accept "come" or "hurry". It seems like Google Translate agrees.
"Chega" which is the 3rd person conjugation, could have a slightly different meaning, in context.
But it can also mean "come" and "get in" so...
I asked my mother about this. It turns out she was saying "enough". I can't find how to spell it in Portuguese, but it sounds just like "chega" except the emphasis is on the 'e' rather than the 'a'.