Translation:Is it better to read a lot or to see a lot?
Obviously this sample sentence (for the purpose of learning Türkçe) is a bit strange -- but not from a grammatical sense. In the early stages when we're learning a language, we only have a limited palette of words with which to work. So some of the sentences that we're able to form, or that are used to teach a grammatical construct, might be unusual: think about all the examples personifying our owlish friend Duo. But these are important baby steps in learning a language. Especially here on Duolingo in just Unit 2 of the beginning course in Turkish. These baby steps allow us to experiment with the grammar and learn how to combine fragments and constructs together. It may seem illogical, but even the English translation of this sentence is grammatically correct and conveys meaning.
At first I also thought "or" and "than" would be equivalent in this situation, but there are subtle differences. With "or" it is an open question, with "than" it is a closed yes-or-no question. Ths "than" variant would require ablative form for the direct comparison somewhere, I think.
I think the general query is whether it is better to read about things or experience them first-hand. (Personally, I think a bit of both is best), but if we were to interpret the sentence in this way, then we might ask...
"Is it better to read a lot or (else) experience a lot"?
"Çok okumak mı yoksa çok yaşamak mı daha iyi"?
'mi' is interesting because it doesn't have to come at the end of a sentence or clause... it can actually follow the specific word that we are questioning.
- Kahve mi istiyorsun? (I know you want something, but is it coffee?)
- Sen mi kahve istiyorsun? (I know someone wants coffee, is it you?)
When we are forming a "double-mi" question, each "mi/mı/mü/mu" will follow the two things we're asking about or comparing: in this case: okumak + görmek.
If it helps, you can think of it as keeping the sentence and options balanced. Here are some other Duo examples to compare:
Biyoloji midaha zor (yoksa)
kimya mı? [link]
evden migeliyor (yoksa)
okuldan mı? [link]
Yağmur muyağıyor (yoksa)
kar mı? [link]
Note: In a double-mi question, "yoksa" is optional :-)
The mi mı mu mü tag doesn't come at the end of the sentence -- it comes after the thing you're questioning.
Which might be the entire sentence, but it might also be an individual noun.
For example, compare:
- Sen o adamı gördün mü? "Did you see that man?" (questioning the sentence; neutral)
- Sen o adamı mı gördün? "Did you see that man? Was it that man whom you saw [and not someone else]?"
- Sen mi o adamı gördün? "Did you see that man? Was it you who saw that man?"
Similarly here, you're asking whether the better thing is "reading a lot" or "seeing a lot". The thing you're questioning is the çok okumak, so that's where the mi mı mu mü goes after.
Also, please re-read Yomalyn's comment above: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/9116186?comment_id=31304570