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Non-USA spellings

Hi - would it be possible to trawl through en.wikipedia.org looking for variant spellings and add them to Duolingo? At the moment I'm being driven up the wall by all the American/Webster spellings that are the only acceptable answers. Example: "neighbour" is accepted as a correct spelling in most English-speaking countries, and so is "centre" and so on. Please please just implement this across all the answers.

January 25, 2013



Hi com-duolingo, I just investigated this and I think we should accept most British spellings. The one example I have found that we didn't accept so far is "neigbhourhood" but I just added it. If you can tell me which exact word it didn't accept I can add it to the list as well. We definitely don't want to discriminate against other spelling variants :)


Would it be possible to publish a list somewhere of UK spellings which you do accept? If you did this, then those of us who are familiar with this problem (I run into it every day at Lang-8) may be able to tell you about some words which are not already on your list.


here is our list, feel free to add your variants and I'll add them back to the system: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15iwzNFD9NeqaBof1-dhEcjf7mJQ3e4gX2bZql5EQ1ew/edit


You've got "color||colours" in there; Certainly that's a mistake?

I guess i was bored today, i added a bunch of entries. I'm not a native speaker, so please check before using, i could easily have some nonsensical/completely unused entries. i put them at the very bottom so that it's easy to see my additions from what was already there (2 groups: first derivations of words already in the list - plurals, conjugations, etc. - second words not in the list).

I just picked fairly randomly, it could use a lot more of this, preferably by native speakers. I used http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences as source, but was by no means exaustive there either. I mostly used http://oxforddictionaries.com for double checking and finding derivatives.


I saw draughts||checkers in the list and then started to add other words that aren't the same in British as American, but not sure you want that. Of the top of my head, I can think of:

lorry||truck lorries||trucks boot||trunk boots||trunks ...

I can go on, but not sure if it's useful or not.


I was marked incorrect today for spelling theatre the English way on my French course. It would only accept theater which is the American spelling


Hey Severin

Many many thanks for looking into this. I'm glad that you recognise (note the -ise end!) that different variants of English used by native speakers might be an issue for Duolingo.

Ok, to begin we've got a very big subset of Cambridge (and US) -ize words that in the OED are -ise words. I believe that US spellings normalise even Cambridge -ise worde to -ize no matter what the etymology of the word might be.

We have the French-influenced spellings for centre, theatre and so on.

We have a very big set of words that in non-US spellings are -our words that become -or words in US spellings (except for some reason, glamour).

A good place to start might be the wikipedia page for this issue:


Do also check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_and_British_English#Prepositions_and_adverbs which details some of the areas of frustration I have due to preposition usage in answers on duolingo.

Thanks again!


here is our list, feel free to add your variants and i'll add them back to the list: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15iwzNFD9NeqaBof1-dhEcjf7mJQ3e4gX2bZql5EQ1ew/edit


We do accept many, but it seems we're missing some. We'll work on this.


can you give an example?

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