"Am I speaking Italian, French, Spanish or German?"
Translation:Ĉu mi parolas la italan, la francan, la hispanan aŭ la germanan?
You would use povas to indicate ability to do something. For example "Am I speaking" = ĉu mi parolas - "Can I speak" = ĉu mi povas paroli (may I speak) or povas mi paroli (Can I speak) or mi povas paroli (I can speak) with a rising inflection. It's been a while since I learned Esperanto, so it is a bit rusty, but something along these lines. Hope that helps.
I speak portuguese natively, and I don't think that. “Falar” (pt),“Hablar”(sp) is less popular than “Palavra”(pt), “Palabra” (sp), “Paraule” (ct), “Parlar” (ct), “Parlare” (it), “Parler” (fr). But I think that it would be better if it used “Parlas”, because sounds like the sources, including the portuguese and spanish.
I know in English, there can still be ambiguity of whether you're asking a yes or no question.
I remember on the Everybody Votes Channel on the Wii, one question was, "Do you own a cat or a dog?" Keep in mind, on there, the questions always had two answers. There were never three or four options.
Before I looked at the answers, I was wondering what you would have to pick if you owned neither or both. However, the answers were "Yes" and "No." I was confused at first, but then I realized it made sense. They wanted to see how many pet owners there were, but of those two pets only, not of fish or hamsters or horses or anything else.
I'm no expert by any means, but I had the same issue when I first learned Esperanto and my instructor helped me with it, so let me try to answer this as best as I can. You are using the present participle form of the verb to indicate the progressive tense in English, which is not exactly correct in Esperanto. Parolanta "Speaking" is functioning as an adjective in your sentence. This construction is a slightly more congruent with the English passive potential or subjunctive forms. The closest direct translation for the present progressive tense in English is the simple present in Esperanto which encompasses both forms (i.e. "Ĉu mi parolas" = "Am I speaking" or "Do I speak"). So while your sentence will translate to "Am I speaking", the shade of meaning in Esperanto is different. I ran across this article that may be helpful: http://bulteno.esperanto-usa.org/2011/2/03-instruado.html. I hope that helps. And please if there is someone more versed in the grammatical subtleties of Esperanto please correct me.
The system for letting typos slip is internal to the Duolingo system (that is, out of the control of the Esperanto course administrators) and also largely a mystery. (By the way, I am an Esperanto teacher but not part of the Duolingo Esperanto team).
My thought is that "porlas" for "parolas" is a fairly significant typo - both from the point of view of a human reader (it sounds like a different word to me) and from a machine reader (one missing letter, two other letters out of order) -- but regardless, if the point is to learn Esperanto, "parolas" (three syllables, accent on the -RO-) is an important word to get right.