Vocé accepted for Você
I just realized (or rather my Brazilian wife pointed out to me) that I'd been incorrectly typing vocé rather than the correct spelling and accent você. The incorrect accent (vocé) appears to be accepted as 100% correct, but should probably not be.
That is interesting. It usually tells me to notice I got the accent wrong on words, for instance I typed aguá instead of água. It still counted it as correct, but told me to check my accents. I haven't typed você with a different accent, but I would have thought that the program would have alerted you to an accent misstep.
No, ç is never used before an e. Or an i. Here is a quick course:
A lot of us learn to memorize this little sequence (written phonetically for you):
KÁ - SSÉ - SSÍ - KÓ - KÚ
This is essential to understand "ç", so look at it again and say it out loud-- you'll understand this much better if you do! What the thing you hopefully just read out loud and kind of memorized does, is it shows you the natural state of the "c" sound. Here are words to show that:
Café -- Cerveja -- Cidade -- Cobra -- Cubo
As you might have noticed, without modifications,
c+i have an SS sound, and the other ones have a K sound. So, In order to make the ones that have the K sound have an SS sound, we put a little sssnake at the bottom of the c. Because ce and ci already have the SS sound, you never use ç before an i or an e.... Never. Ever.
SO, an all-SS-sound row would look like this: ÇÁ -- CÉ -- CÍ -- ÇO -- ÇU
Examples: Cabeça -- Acerola -- Macio -- Braço -- Cupuaçu
Cabeça without the second ç (cabeca) would be pronounced "kabayka". There is a similar rule for the use of G, and whether you should add the U after it or not. ( GÁ - XJE - XJI - GÓ - GÚ ), but that is too much for one post. =)
Important: K only exists in names and foreign words, but not in the official alphabet.
Important: A word will NEVER begin with ç. If it sounds like Çapato, it starts with an S.
I made the snake thing up, although I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me that when I was learning to write. I hope this helps! =)
I've always found the cedilhas in Portuguese and French to be intuitive. In my own language, English (which is 40% Romance vocabulary anyway), the "C" functions basically like any Romance language -- hard before a, o, u, soft before e and i*. Spanish doesn't have "Ç" but it uses "Z" in roughly the same way.
Point being, no native English speaker pronounces city like kitty or core like sore. :) So it should be pretty intuitive to remember the "natural state" in Portuguese. I like the part about the snake.
(Makes me wonder what that snake is doing in Polish.... causing nasalization of e and rarely a, I think.)
*Yeah, Italian and Romanian are a bit different.
Hi ryanwsmith! I've noticed that Duolingo seems to accept any accent you put on the letter. It can detect whether you put an accent on, and it can detect if you forget to put an accent on the letter, but I don't think it can detect which accent you used. It also doesn't detect punctuation. If I'm right, if you're supposed to write "Você come, e ela não bebe" you could get away with "Vocë come e ela nào bebe!" (and get 100% correct). I think.
So please pay attention to the "correct answer" if you used an accent, to make sure you used the right one. Even if you got the answer right. =)
If we continue complaining about missing quality here on Duolingo, they'll probably just lock the discussion, as they did here:
In other words: Forget it. Duolingo does not care about correct language teaching. And the way they deal with complaints is just ridiculous.