Haha! DL just asked me to translate "morning". Instead of "утро", I mistakenly entered "туро", and it told me I had a typo in my answer!

November 12, 2015


That's because there is no Russian word "туро". If you typed "утра", Duo would think you messed up with the cases, and this would count as a mistake, not a typo.

Lol, "туро" really looks like "typo" :D

There is a Russian joke about Puma snickers. We sometimes call them "Рита" - this is a Russian name, short for "Margarita", and in cursive it looks "Рита" - just like Puma :D

Lol, another one! I'm fond of plays on words, including puns (if they're clever enough, and not so obvious as to have become hackneyed). "Typo" owes much to the context here, but it was the first I had seen that was based on a transliteration. My real mistake, of course, wasn't actually a typo. I couldn't quite recall the Russian word when asked. If I had remembered its sound, I would have been able to spell it correctly, but I was trying to reconstruct my memory from the lettering and ended up transposing the letters, dyslexic-like. But DL was forgiving and gave me the benefit of the doubt, and of the joke.

You want another funny story, the first time I saw a picture of Russian police with ОМОН on their backs in giant yellow letters I just about fell off my chair. I think any English speaker instinctively reads it differently...

I fail to get it. What's so surprising about "omoh"?

It's "homo" backwards, lol. English speakers see it straight away.

Lol, have not thought about that!

For what it's worth, I was looking at that post for an age and I didn't get it either, and I'm a native speaker... though sometimes I look at my usage of English and wonder about that 8-o ;-)

Perhaps it depends on one's mindset more than anything. I didn't have a clue until you pointed it out. But I suppose police in most places wouldn't like to be considered "backwards".

I didn't get it either.

That's actually pretty funny... XD

I noticed that Duolingo is much severe with an English text than Russian. When I make a typo answering in Russian it usually accepts the answer and tells me that I have a typo, but in English it rejects with an error.

I am pretty sure the English laguage is to blame. :) English has many short words that only have one letter different (like this and his, bad and bag, like and live—even notice and novice).

In Russian you aremuch more likely to produce a different form of the same word (which should be counted as a mistake) or just gibberish, which is counted as a typo.

Duolingo uses the following system:

  • if the word is one letter different from an accceptable answer, it is a typo, unless you spelt a different word that actually exists in that language.
  • if the word has two adjacent letter swapped as compared to an acceptable answer, it is a typo, unless you spelt a different word that actually exists in that language.
  • if the word is wrong and is a recognized typo from the list of common typos, it is a typo (the list is not symmetrical and depends on whether English is the language you learn or the language you already know).

This may be because it's easier to produce another valid English word when you make a typo.

You might be right, but I think it also may be simply that the course hasn't filled in all the possible English variants that are possible. No one could think of all possibilities up front, and it will take some accumulated experience of users to uncover the rest. In any case, I think that transposition of letters can often be reasonably assumed to be a form of typographical error, but it's not a given that such an assumption is always best in every case either. So DL has to sort out the cases in one manner or another. If the default is to be strict, that also seems reasonable, and the strictness can be alleviated as appropriate after those cases come to light.


It took me a while to get it...

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