Several people have said that "Il travail" and "Ils travaillent" sound exactly the same, yet "Il travail" is still not accepted for the listening version. I will report it again.
Edited to add: I tried reporting it, but the only options are: "The audio does not sound correct", "The French sentence is unnatural or has an error", and "The correct solution is unnatural or has an error". None of those really covers this situation.
"Il sont travaillent" has two conjugated verbs in a row, as in "they are work", which cannot work in either language.
"Are working" is a continuous present verbal form, which does not exist in French.
This is why "they are working" and "they work" both translate to "ils/elles travaillent"
I've been doing the skills in order, and reading all the 'light bulb icon' tips before beginning exercises, but don't recall anything about 'ent' (at the end when plural 'ils' precedes it). Did I miss something? Sometimes they just introduce things out of the blue and perhaps they're teaching that way.
Conjugating verbs in French is much more complex than conjugating verbs in English.
Check this out
If you want more information, then all you have to do is Google "How to conjugate French verbs"
Anyway, I gave you a link for conjugating regular verbs that end in "er"
And here's a site that shows you how to conjugate French verbs.
This is the link for how to conjugate the French verb "travailler"
You will note that for present tense, it is as follows:
Its a result of conventions, history and evolution.
Its not that French became more complex, its just that English became a lot simpler. The reasoning being that their parent languages (Old Latin/German) does have a lot of conjugations for particularity which were brought in. For example, Old English did have (has/hast etc.)
Actually before someone else potentially points it out, destroying my entire argument about duoLingo not teaching something before their exercises, it's very possible this conjugation was taught in one of the previous 6 or 7 skills. I'll go check. I've been learning 1 skill/day (time consuming enough and once did 2 skills in a day before realizing 1 is already a lot) so it's information overload. I could easily have forgot.
Yes, learning a foreign language is complex. Therefore, it is also complex to attempt to teach a foreign language.
People who don't speak English as a native language also scratch their heads as concerns many aspects of English (And don't forget that English from the United States is different from the English from the United Kingdom, Australia etc...
So welcome to the long and complex journey of language.
Yes I could click (or maybe hover?) over the verb "travaillent" but I try not to do that as I think of it as 'cheating'. It's testing your knowledge after all, but yes that's a way of knowing what it means, i.e. even if it's a new word not explicitly taught earlier. In this case I knew what it meant due to the 'travaill....' portion. But when 'ent' suddenly started showing up to go with ils/elles I thought maybe I missed something (OR they just intruduce stuff that way).
Okay I just clicked on the verb up above (and assume the same thing would happen if I clicked on it during the lesson itself that motivated my comment) and see a ton of conjugation information. Thanks. I'll try that during future lessons with respect to verb conjugation at least. But I still expect to read about things before being tested on them vs having to click on the words (since I see these exercises as tests so don't like to 'cheat'). I knew about hovering to see definitions, only because I stumbled upon it while moving my cursor around to answer questions, but didn't know you could achieve anything by clicking on them. Good to know.
The original sentence was "ils travaillent". In the listening exercise, you could not know it was, because "il travaille" in the singular sounds the same. Apparently, for a change, the system cleared your answer but specified the original is in the plural and means "they are working".
See that's how they should always do it to avoid confusion and 100's of discussion questions (that are usually all the same). They should mention context in brackets for each exercise or at least explain it when the answer comes up as you stated they did here. Better for everyone including those trying to answer the same question over and over again AND for DuoLingo as a whole since discussion forums could focus on other questions where people are trying to understand something. In these cases they KNOW what's right and are just irritated that they were unfairly marked wrong given they couldn't know.
To do it now it would but when developing the questions in the first place it would have been nice to take a few keystrokes more for '(formal)' after already typing out the rest of it. True, now there is so much content that to go back and do it everywhere there's ambiguity would be a monumental task. However, if they do monitor these forums they could do it as they're brought to their attention (as opposed to searching them out by going through 100% of the content).
They don't monitor the forums. Mods like me do and report the most crucial mistakes and issues, which sometimes get fixed. The homophone issue was ignored when the first beta courses were made and it was seven years ago, with no change in the architecture or algorithm so far.
I understand they updated the 'tree' lately but maybe that's a different thing than you're talking about. Regardless, as a whole and considering it's free, Duolingo is awesome and I'm very happy with it. Most complaints are probably a bit nitpicky and is just people venting the frustration of learning a new tricky language. That is they're more upset with the language itself than with DuoLingo who's trying to teach it as well as they can. I'm sure thankful for it that's for sure, since Babbel and others can get expensive after awhile.
French verbs don't conjugate like that. And even if they did work the same as in English, you don't say "he is works", you say "he is working".
In French, the simple form is used in places where in English we would use the simple or the continuous. If you want to emphasize that they are in the middle of working right now, that would be "ils sont en train de travailler".
You can't translate this word-for-word. "They are working" cannot be translated as "Il sont travaillent" because "Ils travaillent" can mean either "They work" OR "They are working" because there is no present progressive/continuous tense in French
"Ils sont travaillent" is practically impossible to translate, but orally it sounds like "They are work"