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https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeCauldron

Needs more 'translate from native language to new language' exercises

In the course of practicing I notice that there are consistently more exercises in which I'm translating from Spanish to English than the other way around. I personally feel there should be at least as many English to Spanish exercises. I find them significantly more challenging and beneficial. When doing Spanish to English it can get easy to recognize certain words without really knowing how to consistently spell them properly on your own. I get through some sessions without feeling I've thoroughly absorbed the new material.

4 years ago

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lilygilder
lilygilder
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You can work around that by doing the reverse tree - English for Spanish speakers.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sketmen2

Thank you. It is an amazing idea. Just started and it works very well.

A little tip: Set up a new profile in a new browser, so when you enter duolingo.com a different course opens right away in different browsers. Changing the courses through one profile is very annoying.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeCauldron

Hmm... that's actually a good idea. Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LingPenguin
LingPenguin
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While you're there, read through as many of the comments on questions as you can. Reading the Spanish, and writing responses (especially when you have to think of how to explain English to a Spanish person) is amazing for improving your language abilities.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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@liligilder Yup! That's what I'm doing. The reverse course has been more challenging than I had imagined. So, I started it, then waited until I finished my English to Spanish tree to use it again. I love it!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeCauldron

Honestly, I'm trying it and it swear that I'm getting the same problem. When learning Spanish, I get way more "Translate this Spanish to English" exercises than the other way around. Yet while "learning" English from Spanish, I'm still getting way more "Translate this Spanish to English".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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It is weighted about 2/3 in favor of translating English to Spanish. It will pick up more as you go along.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jbailey88
jbailey88
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This was mentioned before, but Luis said that whenever they increase the number of Native>New exercises people stop using Duolingo as much!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dr.Manhattan95

I second this motion. I've completed the spanish tree and I understand a lot of spanish, but I can hardly speak it. That's because I didn't practice native language to foreign language translations that much. My brain just wasn't used to it. Something should definitely be done.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Portofan
Portofan
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I've also noticed this. I'm still near the start of the tree, and at this stage I think it's ok, because the foreign to native sentences help me to get the stuff into my mind first, and indeed the native to foreign sentences are much harder! But maybe an option in the practice section to increase the number of native to foreign sentences would do the trick.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RickDIP

exactly what i was going to say. or maybe give us the option to work on just one area at a time (let's say, now i want to do only translations, or i want to practice exclusively my speaking skills)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeCauldron

Yes! I can't imagine that that would be very difficult to add to the program.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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If you only want to do translations, you can use Immersion. (Please read the guidelines before starting http://www.duolingo.com/comment/984423) It's where we can go and translate articles from the web. ^_^ At this time, we don't have anything exclusively for speaking. I don't know if there are any plans to add it in the future.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RickDIP

yes, there is the Immersion tool. but i think it would be great tomake a filter on the practice tool. for example, i want to work exclusively on my speaking skills, i simply check only the kinds of exercises which would help me with that. it would be extremely useful, so, if you are able (of course), make that suggestion. in any case, thanks for taking your time to answer. it proves that you guys are seeking for ways to improve this already amazing thing that's Duolingo. thank you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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We do care. We all love Duolingo and what it stands for. (Moderators love this place so much, that we are volunteers) ^_^

If your suggestion gets a lot of up votes, it is more likely to be considered, unless it runs counter to a plan or layout that DL already has in mind.

To give you a little insight, one key motivation for DL not to add new features is the navigability of the website. In just a couple of months, Duolingo has received a couple thousand requests for new features, many of them are very good ideas. However, adding them all would make it impossible for users from various demographics to navigate the website with ease. So, the deciscion making process involves a lot of care and consideration.

The less overwhelming the website, the wider audience DL can appeal to. So, it is important that the requested ideas be extremely popular with the majority of people, and to not conflict with the plans and legal concerns DL has. ^_^ (Also, there are probably factors that I am not aware of. Moderators have a relatively small glimpse of the bigger picture and all of the things the staff are balancing.) We love your ideas though! I have already seen several ideas incorporated since I got here in September. So, keep them coming! But also, be patient. There are only 30 staff and there are 15 million users.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/abrow214

I completely agree, to the point where I googled this to see if I was missing something. I feel this is the most difficult part, and the part that I need the most practice with because of conjugating. I can easily translate Spanish to English because I can recognize the stem word. I've even gone so far as to search for other free websites like duolingo that offer this.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgeCauldron

I've switched over to 'learning' English from Spanish and there are more useful exercises this way. I also disabled the microphone and the speakers, so I get almost nothing but text translations anymore. It still could be a whole lot better, but it's an improvement.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mmmmaaaxx

Maybe some kind of setting, like where you change your coaching level, that lets you give more weight in one direction or another? I am learning Swedish, and there's no Swedish -> English course to switch to.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/myerzman

this times 1000

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Asyn21

I agree with the many of the other comments. It would be great if in addition to proofreading and translating into your native language, there was a concrete area for translating from your native language into the language you'd like to learn as that is how most people understand new structures and really put the grammar into practice. It would be even better if other users, like more advanced speakers or natives, could explain their corrections.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/andras.sulykos

I'm learning German from English, and have the same problem. There should be at least an option to increase the number of native to new language translation exercises.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carimatia

I agree, sometimes I even stop during a session, because I am fed up writing sentences in English which I clearly know. I suggest to implement this as a new mode or option in order that people don't stop using duolingo early on because they are fed up with these difficult exercises.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ips1
ips1
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Exactly, in my case, I almost stopped using Duolingo because the foreign-to-english translations are just useless for me, you don't even have to focus to get them right and you learn very slowly that way.

I think that the best way would be to include some kind of new settings screen hidden somewhere deep, where it would be possible to change the ratio of exercise types for each session (with maybe some minimal allowed values for every type so that it can't be made too easy). The default for this settings screen would be current state, so that nothing would change for beginners and normal users. But the people that want to customize their learning process would get the chance and Duolingo would be better for everyone!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hansvb
hansvb
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BUMP! Why isn't there a setting to change this? It is so frustrating! But I guess now with the original duolingo business plan failed, we shouldn't expect anymore updates like this... :(

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cescu

Totally agree!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rich476879

I couldn't agree more. Especially when you get pretty far in the course. I'm on level 23, and 52% fluent, have over 2,700 words, can translate Spanish to English with my eyes closed, but still make a lot of small mistakes translating English to Spanish.

So a lot of the time I'm just translating the same old Spanish sentences over and over again. Ones I know by heart. It's not a waste of time, because new, more difficult translations are interspersed, but I would definitely like to have more English to Spanish.

The other thing I've noticed is that sometimes the difficulty level makes a big jump, but when you struggle a little it goes back to the stuff you already know by heart. It should force you to do the more difficult translations. It's also in those rare moments that you get more English to Spanish.

Duolingo is fantastic, and I'm sure they know what they are doing, but once you're deep into the program, they really need to put more pressure on you, and ease away from the monotonous repetition.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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The translation ratio will reverse itself if you do the reverse tree, English for Spanish speakers. The first few skills of that tree are easy. But, it gets more challenging as you go. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lenkagarcia

I have the same problem, I study Portuguese and there are just too many pt to eng translations that are useless, or at least way less useful than the other way around. It would be great if this was possible to change in Settings.

1 year ago