Make sure your ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs matches the folder names in your home folder, and that you in fact have a desktop folder. Here is copy of the file on Linux MInt installed in US English:
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# This file is written by xdg-user-dirs-update
# If you want to change or add directories, just edit the line you're
# interested in. All local changes will be retained on the next run
# Format is XDG_xxx_DIR="$HOME/yyy", where yyy is a shell-escaped
# homedir-relative path, or XDG_xxx_DIR="/yyy", where /yyy is an
# absolute path. No other format is supported.
And suggest you disable running xdg-user-dirs-update at login, as this will mess everything up by trying to change folder names back to your locale (as defined in ~/.config/user-dirs.locale).
If you have been manually renaming folders, or the XDG_DESKTOP_DIR entry doesn't exist, then Nemo won't know where to find your desktop and will probably show your home folder instead. That happened for another user that was renaming folders manually, which upon reboot had xdg-user-dirs-update reset all his settings (which he hadn't updated) in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs to "$HOME".