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  5. The course so far is great bu…


The course so far is great but not perfect

I've been waiting for this course for some time to come out. I took the first few lessons and must say that I am happy with the course. While some sentences can be frustrating due to awkward translations (or very specific requirements for translations), I enjoy the strategy the Hungarian Duolingo team applied to the course. I like the fact that you dive right into useful phrases rather just learning about random animals and fruits like in some other duolingo courses. Great Job Guys!

July 9, 2016



I think you and some of the posters below have failed to realize something very important: the course that you are experiencing now is not the final version of the course. It is the Beta version!! This means that if you decide to use this course at this point it is because you are contributing to Beta testing!! What does this mean? It means that it is your job to help the course work toward completion. It is your job to help the creators of the course progress the course toward completion by sending in reports every time you find something in the course that isn't quite right. It would be essentially impossible for the creators of the course to foresee every problem before they released the course, which is exactly why we have Beta testing. The Hungarian course and every other course made on Duolingo has required the cooperation of Beta testers willing to help them spot errors and provide additional possible translations. It's the same with any other program -- creators require users to use the program a lot before all the bugs can possibly be removed. If you find the process of being a Beta tester frustrating, please come back in a few months when the course has completed the Beta phase. I am sure you will find that nearly all of the complaints that you and others have made will be resolved by this point.

I think it would be a shame to criticize the creators of this course or suggest that they have not done a great job, because I think it is the best course on Duolingo and that any other Duolingo course creator should be looking here for inspiration and guidance.

I wish you all the best of luck with your Hungarian studies.


Yes, it's in beta mode, but some of the errors in the course are really bad even for beta mode. Like the answers should be listed with and without pronouns. No one needs extensive QA to know that Hungarian is a pro-drop language, lolsob. Even in beta mode it shouldn't be giving native speakers failing scores on the tests. There's a certain level of usability that even beta mode should reach before being made available, imo.


Even in beta mode it shouldn't be giving native speakers failing scores on tests? Are you familiar with how software is tested? If a new video game is made, professional video game players test it to see if it works like it should. Maybe for example you shoot a bad guy in the video game, but your bullet goes right through him instead of it hitting him. Being a professional has nothing to do with it -- it's a bug. Being a professional or a native speaker does not give you immunity to bugs in the program.

Beta testing is for sorting out the bugs. It is unfortunate that native speakers or people with high levels of Hungarian and English cannot pass the tests, but this is precisely because it is in beta testing. You cannot achieve this without beta testing. You're right, for some of the sentences what should readily be obvious as answers are not included. Please realize that things can get complicated when they are going through 6,000 sentences, and multiple people are involved. Maybe it was one person's job to do one translation for each sentence, then another person's job to go back and add additional translations but the second person didn't follow through with their job. Do you expect a single person to go through and add maybe 2 or 3 or 4 different possibilities in each language for 6,000 sentences? That's like asking someone to write maybe 48,000+ sentences -- approximately two or three novels worth of words to put it into perspective.

It's a lot easier handing the job off to the thousands of beta testers and having them report what sentence they think should be added. In this way the final course will actually get done much faster, so that everyone who wants to learn Hungarian will be able to enjoy the benefit of a full course which accepts all the reasonable varieties of a sentence.


While I get your point, I should agree with cerulean9 to some extent. If I as a native speaker can't get 90% of the test questions right, that shows that maybe it was a little bit premature to publish the course for beta testing.

Please also consider the fact that beta testers also have a limited resource in means of time, energy and enthusiasm. If they get so frustrated after the first 5-10 tries (like me) that they stop using the course for good, the beta test phase will hardly reach its goal. I think some basic testing and corrections should have been done before they handed out the course to the public.


For what it's worth, the course testing needs native speakers even more than the rest of us. I am not a native speaker, but my skill level in Hungarian is beyond, probably, 80-90% of the course material. Nevertheless, I am going through every single sentence of every single unit, not because I want to learn it, but to help beta-test the course.

What's more, I've quickly figured out what the developers initially set up to be the "correct" answers, and now I am intentionally trying alternative responses that I'm pretty sure are also correct, but which the course marks wrong (eg, a lot of "nem ez, hanem az" sentences are marked wrong if you use "but rather") ... and then I use the "Report an issue" button to indicate that I think my answer should have been correct.

Please consider continuing to work through the course, specifically to find and report these issues that you run across ... personally, I've noticed that the course developers are correcting stuff very quickly. The more we report to them, the better the course will be.


My tactic is trying to use to "jump ahead" feature by testing out skills between checkpoints, but I haven't been able to pass the second tier yet :D I usually make one stupid mistake because I don't read the sentence properly, and two bugs. But hey, we're getting there :D


I hate to be contradictory, because I know that I am going against the majority here, but I feel I must. If you think that a native speaker should be able to succeed where others cannot you clearly have not understood my point. I guess I'm being repetitive now, but let's say you're a genius calligrapher and someone asks you to try out a new pen they engineered. You try it, but the ink leaks after about 30 minutes of use. It doesn't matter if you're a genius calligrapher -- it leaks the same for everyone. They need people to test it out to find out if it leaks or not.

The Hungarian course creators have not required nor even asked anyone explicitly to participate in beta testing. You're absolutely right -- many people do not have the time or patience to send in so many reports and progress through the course at a snail's pace. I do not blame you -- I probably wouldn't have the patience if it weren't for a language I genuinely cared about. But there are plenty of people who do have the patience and altruistic spirit to do so for the sake of others who come after them. I can guarantee you the course will leave beta phase. It's a shame if people decide to give up on it forever because they don't want to deal with the inconvenience of being a beta tester, but for every such person I am sure there are a hundred more learners in the future who will eventually come to enjoy the final version of the course once it is released when they find themselves needing or wanting to learn Hungarian.

And as a final comment -- you think the Hungarian course isn't ready? The English for Japanese speakers course was also released with only one translation for every sentence. If you think Hungarian is a flexible language, try Japanese -- there are literally dozens of different ways to say any given sentence depending on formality level, etc. I speak Japanese and English at native level so I tried to use the course shortly after it was released into beta. I almost could not get any single answer right because there was only one translation option. I had to submit a report for almost every single exercise given. It almost drove me mad. But now the course has left beta, and has over 2 million users. I tried using it a short while ago and it no longer has any problems with reasonable translations being accepted. If Japanese can achieve this, then it will be absolutely no problem for Hungarian. It's all a matter of time and patience.


I know what you mean - my hungarian boyfriend gets a little frustrated when he watches me (or I get him to check things before I submit) as he says that I will be right and then duolingo says no because it's not the way they wanted.

I won't ever complain as for a free resource this is fantastic and it works as a great accompaniment to my tutor and practising with my other half and his family....


"The course is great but far from perfect" would be a more accurate title. :)

Of course it's great work for a free resource, but as a native Hungarian, I find it really frustrating that my correct answers get rejected on a high rate because they aren't put EXACTLY the way the authors expect them. And to add more frustration, the solutions contain a lot of obvious errors. And I think the authors should be WAY less strict on the English translations. Many users won't be native English speakers, but speakers of third languages, using English as an interface language to learn Hungarian. So on English spelling and grammar, they should be much more permissive - as long as the meaning is not affected. Numbers: when translating from Hungarian to English, numbers written in figures should be accepted (they are, in some cases, but in many cases not - this only adds to the frustration again).

On the positive side: the sentences are very good and much more realistic than in other courses, the vocabulary is very useful (does not contain a lot of useless things like names of foods, flowers, animals etc., but things that most people need in everyday life, like professions, everyday objects, buildings etc.). Also the grammar part is really good, building up from the basics to more complicated things gradually.

So thanks for your effort, keep up the good work and please consider the remarks of the beta testers!


That's it, guys, I give up. I will look back after some months to check if at least the most basic errors have been fixed. Getting 7 to 9 wrong answers out of 10 on an average as a native speaker is the most ridiculous thing I have ever experienced on Duolingo. So keep up the good work, the direction is great, but there is still a long way to go. And this course (especially its higher levels) are still far, far away from being ready even for beta testing.


Names of foods are never useless!


Yup, being able to talk about food is a LOT more useful than being able to say "The kindergarten teacher is flying above the river" ;)


While this sentence in itself does not make much sense, I think we can agree that its vocabluary is far more useful than e.g. that of the Italian course where you have to learn the names of twenty-something different kinds of food and twenty-something zoo animals before you get to learn how to ask for directions in a city. :D


A language course is not a phrasebook for tourists. The animals sentences show how the language works and easily stick in your memory together with the grammar structures, while the names of food are useful even for tourists. The progress from easy and funny things to more serious ones is very well done in the Italian course.

It is great that you like the structure of the Hungarian course, but it is not a reason to blame other courses.


I don't really get what is the point of learning a language other than using it in real life... But if you are happy with the "Three giraffes are eating vegetable soup" - type of sentences, good for you. :D I am happier with the flying kindergarten teachers, if you ask me. :D Nevertheless, I still think the Hungarian course is far from even being ready for the beta phase, sadly.


The course is far from great in my opinion. It's constantly marking correct answers as incorrect because of absurd reasons like not using pronouns, which aren't required (and in most contexts not even appropriate) in Hungarian (e.g., "pihenünk" is considered incorrect, with "mi pihenünk" offered as the supposedly more correct answer), or for using a synonym for the same word (for example, vasútállomás vs. pályaudvar). It's incredibly frustrating to constantly fail the tests despite providing all correct answers as a native speaker. The course needs a lot of work! I can't imagine anyone actually trying to learn with it. Plus, a lot of the sentences offered sound really awkward, with way more plurals than would be natural in Hungarian.


Now it rejects almost 90 percent of my answers in English, and especially dislikes answers in present simple.

What I like is that the old words are constantly reviewed in new lessons, e.g. it says "a famous and rich israeli writer sits at the river" instead of just "he sits at the river", although introducing some shorter sentences for relax would be good too.

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