Posso prenotare un posto
The translation "may I reserve a place" ought to be an acceptable alternative to "can I reserve a place". They mean the same. Please fix this!
As far as I can see, this should definitely be accepted. Have you reported the problem? There used to be a button on most pages for canracting support but I have not seen it for some time. Perhaps an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org would reach them.
Duolingo seems to consistently translate forms of potere as "can" when "may" would often be the better English selection. I got bit on that once, and I don't even try to use it any more. In grade school English, we got the difference between "can" and "may" thoroughly drilled into our heads, but it appears that the developers of duolingo didn't.
Was it a question in the exercise? To me, 'Posso prenotare un posto.' translates as: 'I can reserve a place.'
If it was a question, then I think your translation is OK.
Some of the things I get "wrong" are simply matters of opinion, or Amerian preference. Irritating, but not life-threatening. I still love Duolingo!
I love it too!
But I like to make suggestions for improvements, where these will enhance the experience for other users. In this case it is not a matter of opinion. And Duolingo copes reasonably well with the differences of American / British / Australian etc usage, most of the time. So I hope Duolingo will respond to my suggestion and make this small change!
I could be wrong...but I think "may I" would be translated using conditional tense. "Potrei prenotare un posto?" (That's what my grammar book says - I'm not a native Italian speaker.)
Obviously, both sentences mean the same thing in both languages, but in English we have that funny thing where "May I" is considered more polite than "Can I".
Yes, that's alright, in these contexts it would be better to use the conditional, otherwise the indicative may sound just a tiny bit sudden or rude, especially if you're making a reservation at a hotel or something... ^^
Thank you for clarifying. That must be why the grammar book translates "Potrei" as "May I", because they are both the "more polite" way to ask.
These are helpful replies, and worth considering when translating into Italian. However, this discussion post relates to translating from Italian into English and I wanted to point out that the English usage which was deemed incorrect is in fact a correct translation.