While I have seen the original sentence (about the rice) written earlier in the lesson, DuoLingo does occasionally throw you something different just to see if you can think, rather than merely parrot back what you have learned. And, while the sentence seemed overly colloquial, I thought it might be a test of our ability to use words we have learned in a different context that they had been presented. (Think back to the "Ho un serpente/coltello nello stivale" sentences for confirmation of the programmer's sense of humour.)
Like what PadenClayt said "come" means "how". So "come ti chiami?" literally means "how are you call". That doesn't make any sense those, however, it is really close to "what are you called" or otherwise "what is your name".
You have to remember that although direct translations and word substitutions help, they aren't the end-all-be-all of translating a secondary language. Kind of the same principle to how "ho fame" means "I'm hungry" and not "sono fame", although you could get away with "I have hunger".
Depends on context. I forgot to elaborate further on "come". "Come" can mean either "like" or "how" depending upon the context of the sentence. Not to sound harsh but use a little bit of common sense and logic to determine which one to use (assuming it's not an idiomatic phrase).
Ok thanks. I'll use my common sense next from now on. I was just venting to be honest. It's part or my learning process.
However, I don't think that 'like' is a correct translation here. I think 'as' is better. I would never say that I work like an engineer. I am an engineer and I do try to work like a real engineer but I would never admit this. I work as an engineer.
Anyway, i've moved on now. Thanks for your help. A dopo.