1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. "L'eau est-elle bonne?"


"L'eau est-elle bonne?"

January 13, 2013



Est-elle pronounced as essst-elle


Yup, bad pronunciation.


As excited as I was at first to find this software, I think now that we're getting exactly what we paid for ...



Feedback is important, complaints are useless. There are various ways to report problems to Duolingo's team :

  • Creating a thread on the discussion tab
  • On a specific exercise, when you just finished it, wrong or right, before clicking next you can report the modifications that you think should be made. "Audio not clear" is one of them.
  • The "Feedback" tab on the left of the screen.

Finally, I'd like to add that nothing is for free. Services for which you don't pay with money you're eventually paying with something else. With Facebook you're paying with your data, with Duolingo you're paying with your feedback and your time spent translating (well, if you want to improve the service that is).


"Audio is not clear" is not what we need to report. The audio IS clear! However, it is clearly wrong!

Oh, and about the translations... When you translate something in a human way that makes sense (meaning replacing and/or skipping/adding words; as good translators do), that translation is not accepted. What is accepted is meaningless machine-line translation of no use to anybody really.


"Audio not clear" has to be reported anyway, because it's meant to be used for any kind of problems with the audio, even if it's a problem with the pronunciation... Until they add a "wrong pronunciation" choice anyway...

As for the translations, I disagree.

The translations are voted by people, and from what I've seen so far the translations voted as "best" are quite accurate, and not necessarily "machine-line", even if it's not perfect of course. I'm talking here about French translations, I don't have an opinion on other languages, since my level is not good enough in those to evaluate the quality.

But if you think about the fact that those translations are made by non professional translators, it's quite amazing...

Anyway, if you expected a professional quality it's normal to feel disappointed, because it's not supposed to happen after some time (the more people can help with a specific text, the more accurate it will be). And if you expect the system to be great without helping, I'm afraid you might also feel disappointed.

To make it short, give it some time and give it some of YOUR time, then it'll be great. Otherwise, well there are other ways to learn languages apart from Duolingo, feel free to seek out other methods.


Oh, I don't mind the translation part whatsoever. In fact, it's helpful for my own purposes, BUT I will not write nonsensical things in order to have them accepted and/or to get points. Most of the "translations" to be considered are pasted straight from "google translate" and sound idiotic, which is to be expected from google translate. Silly me thought the aim here was higher than that. What really annoys me, though, is that you can't get the next lessons unlocked unless you write and/or say some very specific and often wrong nonsense in order to make it through. In a few instances lately, I couldn't even get the feedback after pronouncing something, which immediately results in a dropped "precious heart"! This can't even be reported in any way because you simply never get to that screen.

As far as the solution "put up with it or get out," it's really old and not particularly original. I usually do take this route on my own when the majority insists on maintaining mediocrity and even inferiority, and I don't really need any advice on that.

Anyway, I don't plant to argue with you anymore. You either work for the company or are one of their cronies (persons like that are to be found on just about any forum). If I get something out of this software, I'll use it; if I don't, I'll leave it. If I'd paid for something like this, I'd get my money back. You're correct here - it's as simple as that.


Well, this was funny.

Funny because I have myself many criticisms about Duolingo, and I'm the one being considered as a fanboy when I'm defending it xD.

Funny because when I try to explain to you how to make a better Duolingo, why it's not supposed to be perfect, and takes time to get to its full potential, you think that I'm telling you to just "deal with it or get out"...

Funny that you think that most of the translations are copy/paste from Google Translate even though when I check out the resulting translations (100%), it's quite above Google's level in my opinion (again, in French).

In truth, I don't really think you understand what Duolingo is about, and the fact that you're saying that you would get a refund for this software if it' wasn't for free makes it clear.

Whatever, I just hope that you'll get the idea for the time you'll give yourself on this site. If not, well you'll have other opportunities to understand the concept.

Wish you luck


I do not understand the use of "est-elle" here. The feminine "elle" seems out of place, since "Is her water good?" is listed as an incorrect translation. What does the feminine "elle" refer back to?


"est-elle" is an expression used in formal French, with the interrogative form. It is correct French, even if it seems redundant with "L'eau". You may come across this kind of thing with the masculine nouns as well. Ex : "Le m├ętal est-il chaud ?" = "Is the metal hot ?"

In oral French, or even in books, you'll find this version :

  • "L'eau est bonne ?"


  • "Elle est bonne ?" (if we know we're talking about water).


Equivalent to saying, "The water, is it good?"

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.