1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Two new suggestions for types…


Two new suggestions for types of questions to learn to speak language instead of translate text.

I dont know if this has been suggested or not, but i couldn't find an example so i thought i would post it.

the questions where you translate the text to english with the spoken voice speaks what is written is a good way to learn how to translate text, but i also want to practice translating spoken voice to get a better understanding of the spoken language rather than just hear it spoken over the text. When I am doing the lessons, i tend to try and cover up the text for these questions. I find that when i read the text im pretty quick at translating, but then when i cover it up and only hear the spoken voice i have to think a little more, which means that in a practical situation i would struggle to translate and understand what is being said. The more practice translating without using the text as a guide to whats being said the quicker we can become in translating spoken word.

1) So thats my first suggestion for a type of question, Translate the voice of the language you are learning but with no text to guide you. even hiding it and having the option as a reveal button would be good, but i feel it would be better if it was mandatory, that way you learn how to translate text and develop an understanding how it is spoken, as well as tuning your ear to hear the language and trying to translate it.

2) The second suggestion is the idea of having the reverse, so a voice speaking in English with no text and you must translate to the language you are learning. the more you learn this, the quicker your mind becomes at being able to communicate vocally, and the less thinking you have to do before being able to say what you want to say and stumbling around trying to find the words in your head.

I would love to see these kinds of questions in the lessons at least and exercise my vocal translating skills a little more.

January 17, 2013



The first option I support, the second I don't and here's why: Option 1 is essentially "when you get one of those questions where the computer talks and you have to type what it says, except people translate the phrase instead" (something that many people accidentally do and that only recently has been adapted so that you don't lose a heart for it) I like this because you are showing that you understand the language when it is in only spoken form. I'd like it if DL could play clips of native speakers on these types of questions to get us used to different types voices as oppose to the standard computer voice. Option 2 however is just like any question that involves you translating any English phrase into the target language except that phrase is spoken to you which doesn't really test anything other than if you understand your own language when it is spoken to you as oppose to just in written form


Yeah that would be a good idea to have clips to be translated, maybe DL could have a new section to learn and get points, like the practice questions but focusing solely on the spoken language with these clips as the main part of it. My first suggested question i think would be a great learning tool and I guess the second suggestion wouldn't be that much different to whats available, i just like the idea of a wider range of question types to be able to learn from and exercise the brain with.


I like the idea of having a reveal option - but also be aware that Duolingo's true purpose is to produce an army of translators to help translate the internet. That's why it's free for now.


Maybe DL should get into subtitling, not necessarily new movies because i could imagine the difficulties with copy write, but maybe translate movies that come out on DVD and BluRay that might not be translated already, or even older movies that haven't been translated before. Then we could have the best of both worlds and DL has more to offer. I'm assuming it wouldn't be easy to get this set up, or know if there is even a market for it, but they could bring these questions in to teach spoken translation as they organise the rest, giving its army of translators an early start.

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