I am finding that I do poorly when I have to translate into Ukrainian because in translating phonetically (that is, writing Ukrainian sounds using English letters), I do poorly. I find that I would not agree with the English alphabet, used by duolingo, to produce certain Ukrainian sounds. If I was able to type in Ukrainian letters I would do better. Unfortunately, I type very slowly using the Ukrainian alphabet so that is not a perfect solution either. Eventually I would grasp and type Ukrainian letters automatically as I do English, but that would take a year or two.
I must add, however, that I really appreciate this program. My grandparents immigrated in 1900, and 1928, and my parents spoke mostly Ukrainian, so I learned Ukrainian before English. The standard Ukrainian language has evolved and some of my vocabulary is from the early 1900's. My grandparents came from Kulikiw near Lvov and Ivanovka, Terebovlyanskiy Rayon. The language I know is from that area and that era. Thank you for providing current language skill opportunities. David Yawney
you can actually see the tasks and write answers in Cyrillic instead of the phonetic spelling. Here is an explanation of how to switch: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/10560322
I think your slow typing in Ukrainian won't be a big obstacle, because the translation tasks are mostly pretty short, and after some time you will get faster anyway.
You are right, the Ukrainian spoken in the diaspora is somewhat different from the standard Ukrainian. But I am always fascinated when I hear it, because it is like a time travel: you can actually hear how Ukrainians spoke in some part of the country more than 100 years ago.