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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelpfulDuo

Why are there fewer translation exercises from my native language to target language?

Question #1 from the series Ask us about Duolingo, Round 2!

Thanks Selma-Ibrahim, your question was in first place and received 105 votes!


QUESTION

Why are there very few translation exercises from a Duolingo user's native language to their target language?


ANSWER

This question comes up a lot and we understand why.

The direct answer is that when we include these translation exercises early in our courses, there is a big drop off of learners. Read on for more context and some upcoming changes for those who want more advanced content.

First, let’s agree that it is more difficult to translate into your target language than to translate into your native language.

It will not surprise you that the more difficult the challenge is, the more new learners drop off. The flip side is that advanced learners want challenges to be more difficult, and will subsequently drop off if challenges remain too easy. When users quit, regardless of reason, they are no longer learning.

So that’s our challenge: finding exactly how and when to make courses more difficult to increase both learning and user retention so as many people are learning as possible. That balance is not only different for each language course, but for each individual learner.

Duolingo learning experts found that instead of including more challenging translation exercises early in the course (which improve the experience for some, but hurt the majority), it is more effective to add advanced content later in the courses.

That’s the why. Here’s what we’re doing about it:

English and Spanish courses are currently undergoing big content overhauls using the strategy above (we’re also increasing words and grammar alongside sentence translations). We’re updating additional language courses soon, and you’ll be notified when your course changes with new and improved content.

We are also launching additional features to practice chatting with friends in your target language. Our hopes are that this addresses what advanced learners are craving – more options and opportunities to use your learned language in conversational ways. Stay tuned!

November 23, 2016

78 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PotatoSanta

How about letting us have control over the amount of translations into target language? Or have it increase and decrease depending on the number mistakes we make? Personally what I find most offputtting is long sentences where the chances of being setback by the slightest typos increase. I don't know if other people feel this way.

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ips1

I completely agree, it could be a small hidden switch somewhere deep in the settings screen with a big warning "For advanced users only!" that would allow us to get the translations between the two languages equally often. New users wouldn't have any idea that it exists and would be satisfied, and those of us who got really bored by the tons of useless translation from the target language would get drawn back to Duolingo!

December 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Konrad-Michal

Another and easier idea is to do a reverse course, in which you will find more translations into your target language.

January 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ips1

I've tried that and it's not the best solution - the reverse course focuses on grammar and vocabulary of the other language, so you don't practice what you should be practicing. The comments and notes discuss the other language as well, so you don't get the feedback. And the quality of the course is also usually lower (e.g. not that many accepted translations).

January 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melarish

And the microphone/multiple choice/picture tasks will be in the wrong language :|

January 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

Reading and especially responding to the comments in the other language is extremely useful for learning.

January 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

I agree that doing the reverse course is great. But besides still having several translations into your native language, there are all those type-what-you-hear that are in your native language.

The great thing about the reverse course is that the sentence discussions are in your target language, and are often quite slangy.

Another great thing is that what's easy in the target language can be what's difficult for learning the language. For example, the subjunctive comes early and often in the Spanish reverse course, because the subjunctive is regularly used in Spanish, while it's almost never used in English.

January 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allinuse

I would like to have that "switch" but I would prefer it not to be hidden.

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

How about letting us have control over the amount of translations into target language?

Duo seems to not like simple solutions like an "easy/hard" choice for each course in settings. And, if Duolingo worries about users setting it on "hard" but then forget about this settings and drop because it's too hard, it could be only available once the tree has been finished and be on "easy" setup when starting a new tree.

January 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danbaragan

the whole idea of this is not to waste time along the tree with useless 90% target to native translations. To walk the tree twice seems even worse. It is true that one could unlock L1 all the way down. I don't know about others but for me, blitzkrieging like that would be also a waste of time and a big confusion. I like to consolidate what I learn, take a skill to L5 before going on, and practice from last to L5 skills periodically. Other mileage may vary, but i don't think that activating this only after a, thorough or not, tree walk would benefit many.

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melarish

Those long sentences are especially bad in timed practice. And especially so if they come up at the beginning! This seems to happen to me quite a lot, especially in languages where I'm struggling like Russian. So I think this feature doesn't apply to timed practice at all?

November 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nueby

Those long sentences don't just increase the probability of an actual mistake by the user, but IMO much more importantly lower the probability that a correct answer is included in the recognized translations. You can easily have thousands of correct translations to, say, Russian even for moderately complex exercises. Much better for your XP tally and mental health to simply skip the long sentence in timed practice and move on.

January 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/youssy200

completely agree!

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

English and Spanish courses are currently undergoing big content overhauls using the strategy above (we’re also increasing words and grammar alongside sentence translations). We’re updating additional language courses soon, and you’ll be notified when your course changes with new and improved content.

This sounds really, really interesting, and as an actual step forward and upward! Thanks for letting us know.

Would it be useful to write about this in a blog post in the Making Duolingo blog at some point, so that it would be a bit more noticeable and easier to link to from outside of Duolingo than when it's just written like this in a Discussion post (even a stickied one)?

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/palmtree3984

Excuse me, but how are you level 2 in Hindi when it hasn't been released yet?

November 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Melarish

It was released by accident at one point and some people got points in it! Strange things happen :)

November 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/palmtree3984

Wow! I wish I got to try it out, it looks like a fun language to learn. By the way, do you know when it was accidentally released?

November 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

^^^ Everything Annika said. Very exciting news, and should be disseminated more widely.

December 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CelChaussette

On Google Chrome, if you download the extension "Duolingo Tweaks", you get to choose the exercises you want. That way, you can choose to only translate from your native language to your target language.

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shady_arc

A word of a warning, though: due to the nature of Duolingo some words will have fewer exercises translating from your native language.

I think, in the Russian course we have some words that are never translated into Russian. Every single sentence with them only lets you translate from Russian into English..

November 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

That's interesting, I had no idea you could do that. Out of interest, do you remember which words/sentences are only "to English" and never "to Russian"?

December 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaxxist

Is this L1->L2 translation rate adjustable on a course by course base by the moderators? Because it is russian in particular that I'm finding frustrating due to only translating to english.

November 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

No, course contributors have no way to control that.
Duo algorithm(s) control(s) that.

November 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeanG6

Cool. Good to know

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/feanarosurion

I don't necessarily mind if there are fewer target language translations earlier in the course. What I would like to see is an increase later on. Perhaps based on level, if you're a higher level you should be able to handle an increase, perhaps past 50% by level 20ish. More advanced content is all well and good but if it's not being tested in a challenging way there's little point other than to learn a few more words.

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Level is a bad indicator of proficiency, though. If you took my levels as an indicator of proficiency, I would be in deep trouble WRT to German, and as and when I did French lessons I would be bored. XP only indicates effort expended, not level of skill.

December 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John00625

That last paragraph has made me excited!!

@Duolingo staff, could there be a switch or something in the settings that takes that majority of L2 to L1 exercises and switches it around?

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RafaRiff

Well, it is really nice to care about new users and returning users, but Duo has got far too easy: most of my lessons I have absolutely none translating-to-target-language exercise!

What is the point of making Duo so easy that people just do not learn? Is Duo supposed to be just game which uses languages, so we can have a new flag, or is this a serious attempt of making the hard task of language learning a more rewarding experience?

I used to think of the latter, now I am beginning to think it is the former. It's a pity, I really loved Duo, spread the word, made many people use it. Now, most of the days I just come back for my daily 10 points. I miss the time there were more learning, less catching.

December 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobFielding

I feel the same. I'm close to finishing the French tree (about a screen height's worth of lessons left) but I don't feel like I'm learning to speak or translate at all.

Anytime I see a long sentence in French I can understand or understand by context, anytime I get a long sentence to translate from English, I just freeze. I feel like it's training me to read French, not speak it. Additionally the amount of re-use of the same sentences and the same sentence sometimes recurring multiple times when strengthening skills, make that I know the answer, but don't really know how to say it in real life.

It's really demotivating, the balance is way off and there should be a much higher focus on getting people to speak. Ultimately, I feel like it's nice as a flash-card tool but it isn't at all the language learning platform it's making out to be.

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarbaraMorris

If you do the reverse course (from French to English) you'll get way more translations to French (although there will still be an annoying number the other way). What's extra fun is that the sentence discussions will be in French, usually in very colloquial French, if it's anything like the Spanish->English tree.

(I still remember trying to figure out what the Spanish text-speak xD stands for after I had already figured out that xq stands for "porque" = "why". Turns out xD stands for big smiley grin with crossed eyes, heh.)

August 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Duolingo isn't capable of teaching you to speak (yet?), and you honestly shouldn't expect it to. The way to learn how to speak French is to speak it. (Or, possibly, inhale masses of input in French, which works for some people, but I have never found that kind of input for any language I've studied, so I can't speak for its efficacy.)

Duolingo is good at giving you a grounding in grammar/vocabulary, at making you read and write, but it's not going to teach you how to speak. You need to find other avenues for that, like connecting with native speakers (italki is great for this). The nature of Duolingo is not such that you should expect it to teach you how to speak. If you read all the French out loud and you say your own answers out loud, it'll be better than nothing in terms of speaking, but no, it's not going to teach you how to speak the language on its own.

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobFielding

I think you're missing the point, it's not about speaking practice, it's about learning to read/write from the target language to the native language and from native/English to the target language.

Duolingo is too heavily focussed on the former. As a result, many people (look at some of the other threads for example) seem to be fine reading in the language they're learning and translating, but when they are asked to translate something to that language, they are very poor at that.

If that balance was more fair, or if there was some way to practice the passed lessons and tell Duolingo to do that practice entirely in English > Target, then people would learn much faster. Now, many, just like my self just seem to hit a wall or end up feeling like they are learning half the language. Does that make sense?

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Edit (at the top because I'm too lazy right now to scroll all the way down) - I don't know if I missed that before or if you edited, but YESSSSS, I would love a system whereby it was possible to tell Duolingo you wanted it to make you translate into the target language. I'm absolutely for that, I think it would be brilliant, the day Duolingo enables hard mode I will throw a virtual party.

BUT... I still think there are inherent limitations in the system, and you'd just hit the wall a little later and have to get out of your comfort zone. (I really do recommend trying out the reverse courses and talking to people in those forums, though.)

Okay, the rest of the post is my initial response, which does touch on this, but I happened to see the edit and/or notice something already there that I missed before, and I wanted to reply specifically to it.

I haven't missed the point - I rather think you've missed mine, in fact.

My point was that from the speaking side of things, Duolingo is not a complete (or even, really, a semi-complete) tool, and no, it's not going to teach you how to speak in its current form. I would argue that it can't, until such a time as it can replicate a real conversation, so there's not a lot of point expecting it to. (The bots are maybe a step in the right direction of having an actual conversation, but the conversations you can have are very guided and stilted, and still only in writing, so while I think they're a positive thing, I don't think they're realistically a replacement for talking to someone, nor even close.)

That said, I still think (even disregarding speaking) that people expect something unrealistic from Duolingo. I don't know if any system which relies on translating and retranslating a set series of sentences (which by its nature is finite) is ever going to be more than a very thorough beginner course, tbh; it does, on the plus side, give the learner a lot of exposure to correct sentences in the target language, which in my understanding is an extremely efficacious way to improve a language. That's something I've read, though, not particularly something I've experienced - I can only say that more experienced language learners and linguists have said this is the case.

I actually absolutely wish Duolingo had more flexibility regarding the frequency of translation into the target language; most of the languages I study here on a regular basis, I'm at a point where translating into the language is more helpful to me as practice. Given the languages I'm concentrating on (which don't tend to have a lot of resources like French or Spanish), that would be a godsend for me. I'd love to be able to engage "hard mode" and have Duolingo force me to translate into Hebrew for a whole lesson. That'd be a proper workout. (Although even then, eventually it too would no longer be a challenge, because you've met the sentences so many times.) The bonus of Duolingo is that I can do it whenever and wherever, so while it's not time well spent the same way talking to a native would be, it's possible to do it at 3am when I can't sleep!

That said, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for the beginner (nothing succeeds like success!), and Duolingo courses (in my experience) cover most grammar (which makes them, IMO, more than pure beginner courses) BUT are very much aimed at giving a person a secure basis in the language, not (currently at least) in getting you to an advanced stage.

(The best comparison/contrast I have is my 2nd and 4th years of university language study, which was heavily translation-based... except that we were translating Wodehouse into Russian 8-o Now that is a way to learn a lot by translation, once you've recovered from the way it turns your brain to cream cheese.) I don't think that Duolingo is suddenly going to become the bees knees if it made you write more French, because it still has only a finite set of sentences it can throw at you, it's still basically a way of staying inside your comfort zone, which isn't a good strategy for language learning.

I'm not arguing against having more practice translating into the target language - far from it. I would love to have that flexibility, and I've said so often.

I'm just pointing out that there's a limit to where Duolingo can get you even if you could set it so it forced you to constantly translate into French. It's an automated system that has a finite number of sentences that can only be translated a certain number of ways, and that issue remains regardless of the direction of the translation. Basically, I think there's a point at which you need other resources besides (or even instead of) Duolingo to reach your stated goals; changing the direction of translation would be a sticking plaster, and it still isn't gonna teach you to speak on its own. That's just being honest about the limitations of the platform, you know? That's not saying no, we shouldn't have more translation into the target language; it's simply saying that more translation into the target language doesn't overcome inherent shortcomings that mean Duolingo isn't, on its own, a complete system that will teach you to speak.

(If you really want to shake things up, as a French and Russian learner, you do have the option to do reverse courses in both those languages, and if you reach a level of comfort/competency in Russian, there's even a course in French for Russian speakers which is pretty fun. Probably a little ambitious right now if your flags are an accurate reflection of your experience, but something to bear in mind for the future.)

August 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deyan161

I'm glad to see this issue has been addressed. Interesting that they say that they've realised that they risk losing committed users of the platform if they don't provide some challenging content. The fact of the matter is that it's generally considered that learning a new language consists of four parts - speaking, listening, reading, writing. Two of these involve comprehension (understanding the spoken and the written language), the other two production. Duolingo is excellent at teaching comprehension of the written language, has limited listening comprehension but at the moment is not really teaching learners to produce language. (In this way it reminds me of my school experience). Now, by its nature, Duo can't provide much practice in speaking - but it could and should give learners more exercises in producing written sentences in the target language. So I welcome the initiatives in the English and Spanish courses and hope they roll them out to other courses soon. Since they don't want to put off new starters, which is sensible, it seems to me that the way forward is to add more L1--L2 as the course progresses, or as you review completed skills, or have some kind of 'select' that allows you to choose which way you do the translations - after all, both versions exist in the database. Anyway, let's see how this pans out!

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

I think you'll be excited to read about the new bots feature (http://bots.duolingo.com). It's only on iPhone now (and maybe iPad) because it's brand new and they're working out the kinks before rolling it to other platforms, but I've played with it a little on iPhone and it's brilliant for getting to practice producing language.

You would probably also enjoy Lang-8.com where you submit writing and native speakers correct you and offer suggestions for improvement. In exchange, you are expected to correct the writings of folks learning English.

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alibob99

The bots are too easy as well. The predictive typing is WAY too aggressive. It gives you no chance to think for yourself of words and if you know them before it's suggesting them to you. I wish you could turn it off and just request help if you want it.

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deyan161

Thanks for the info. I'll have to wait for the bots to be rolled out to the website, as I haven't got an iPhone. As for Lang-8: I keep seeing it recommended in the forums, probably about time I checked it out!

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

http://lang-8.com/

To make it that much easier for you to dip your toe in :)

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deyan161

Merci beaucoup

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danbaragan

Only that... they just increased the time spent in duolingo with the new changes, not what it yields. the producing of the language fares worse than ever now. I think they are going towards some cute game that you waste time with and don't get much learning from it, but does not challenge you either so it is comfortably addictive. Did you try other apps, like Babel or something else? They are payed apps and give some free period, but my problem with this is that for me it took like 3 weeks of 500xp per day to realise that doulingo is not a tool to learn a language, especially the production part you talk about. so I don't want to engage with money, and especially time, in something new to find out it yields poor results at language production also. I need opinions from people that make this comprehension/production distinction. Thanks!

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WildSage

This is your best answer so far. It's good to hear there will be positive changes for serious learners in the future.

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Osnakezz

I really appreciate these sort of information series, they're great and insightful.

So, apparently there will be 2.0 trees coming, if I read it well, - which sounds exciting!

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/estudianteMTI3

This is great news! The spanish course is about due for an improvement.

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deguo

Thank you for not just responding to the feedback, but also using it to improve your content. I'm really looking forward to seeing these changes. Just a question: Would these changes be in response to higher levels or to more progress in the course? I haven't done too many skills yet even though I'm getting close to Level 9 in Swedish because I have to redo them so many times to actually get enough L1-->L2 practice to feel confident.

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kaphinga

Thanks for addressing this issue.

I am wonder if there is some way to ease into the Native -> Target translation.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Follow Target -> Native translations with Native -> Target translations. For example, suppose that you answer a target -> native translation correctly, with no hovers or hints. It would be nice sometimes to have the same question appear in the reverse direction (native -> target) immediately after the first translation. In other words, translate sentences that are fresh in our minds.

  • Short Sentences for Native -> Target Translations: Typing long sentences can be a challenge, particularly with languages with different alphabets.

  • Is there a possibility of hints, much like what we see with the ChatBots?

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeanG6

Chatting in the target language is the primary method I have been using to learn Tagalog. At first I had no idea what they said, and I had to translate everything in google translator. But after several months it all started to come together, and I can carry on a basic conversation now. It's a fun way to learn a language.

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonas_Soe

So exciting, can't wait!

Regarding translation exercises to the target language, is there a chance this could be expanded to the articles in the "Immersion" tab? I have started using that more lately because reading, analysing and understanding long texts in a foreign language is important for learning, but so is the ability to formulate longer and more complex sentences than the ones offered by the exercises.
By giving users the ability to translated articles into the target language, you don't have to force these translation exercises into the courses, and you'd give more advanced learners more options for practicing translation if they want it.

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deyan161

Good idea, except that we don't all have immersion.

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

Just do Immersion for the reverse tree.

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hanjini

What a great tip, thanks! I never thought of that. Exactly what I need for a challenge.

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarboraHla2

there could be translations only into target language when we are redoing a lesson or strengtening our skills from previous lessons...

January 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daughterofAlbion

Yes, that is an excellent suggestion. We know that the "strengthening skills" option takes into account how well you know words, so getting the exercise to add more L1->L2 translations if x% of words in lesson are "known".

January 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/inbarggg

Thank you, i wondered about this too, and it makes sense. I wish we could choose the difficulty we desire ourselves. I feel learning this way is not good enough and doesn't develop my skills well enough. It would be good if we could decide ourselves.

November 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simius

One important thing you did not specify:

This advanced content later in the course, will it feature more translation into the target language? Or are you simply planning to add more difficult sentences?

It would nice if us incubator contributors were kept up-to-date about these plans as well...

November 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mariah409068

I've noticed in the Spanish lessons that I'm getting more speaking exercises where it gives me the English sentence and asks me to say the Spanish sentence. I haven't gotten any of those sentences for French (and Irish doesn't have speaking exercises at all) so that might be part of their content overhaul?

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NikkiMorali

Sounds awesome! I was wondering the same thing because it's easier for me to see how well I actually know the words if I'm translating from my first language to the target language. Otherwise I can usually just guess and get it right (because there are a lot of cognates), and then I don't learn it as well. Once I finished the French tree for English speakers, I started doing the English tree for French speakers, which was a lot more challenging and I think really helped me to actually get all the words into my long term memory, but it was also kind of tedious because I knew most of the words, so I'm really excited for the changes. Also the conversations with friends is going to be awesome - the bots are great, but I feel this will add a lot more chances for variety and choice.

December 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jk8864

The above mentioned ways will improve duolingo for advanced learners. I, as a not native english speaker, learning spanish, get quite upset with the mistakes i make in english. I am not trying to improve my english, just my spanish. It would be great if i could choose in my settings that i only want translations from the ´native´language into spanish?

December 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hggohh

Put in a setting, allowing us to slide between one or the other. If the user seems to be struggling to attend, offer them the option to adjust via a reminder email.

January 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/XboxGamer9864

I completely agree, it could be a small hidden switch somewhere deep in the settings screen with a big warning "For advanced users only!" that would allow us to get the translations between the two languages equally often. New users wouldn't have any idea that it exists and would be satisfied, and those of us who got really bored by the tons of useless translation from the target language would get drawn back to Duolingo!

January 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Markmcopc

Does the Crown system employ the strategy of requiring more responses in the target language? It does not seem to do so - am I mistaken? That would be a missed opportunity in my opinion.

I don't just want to do more and more lessons in my own language to earn crowns. I want to earn crowns so that I can qualify for the next level of learning another language. Is that happening and I just haven't noticed?

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danbaragan

I think they just increased the time you spend in duo lingo, but not what you get out of it. (like the gaming addiction). Luckily, on the web version only, there is a "key" button that gives you a quiz and you can fast forward L4->L5, and even L3->L4 which are really boring and teach you nothing more. Also, on the web version only, you can choose to hide the wordsbank - so you get to type on the native to target question that would require you to click on target words. This way you can get up to, maybe, 15% native to target questions (amazing!). interestingly enough, both of these are missing from the mobile app, rendering it rather useless (I sill use it for the skill tips, which are missing from the web version)

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allinuse

"It will not surprise you that the more difficult the challenge is, the more new learners drop off."

Not a valid point at all, just let us set some preferences ❤❤❤❤❤❤.

August 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kenfix

I am finding that when I study my Spanish lessons, I am learning words about the army and weapons instead of what "arm" is in Spanish and other rudimentary words that I probably would use more in everyday life. ( I could be wrong if I was in a Spanish speaking country?) I know that someone really worked hard to create the program and I appreciate it very much but I feel, to be honest, that the order of word learning may be a little misplaced? That's only my opinion but if you're overhauling the Spanish course, my input would be to prioritize vocabulary a little better. Thank you for listening.

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonFiore

Arm most definitely is included in the medical skill.

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria_321-

I am very glad to hear that you ¨are also launching additional features to practice chatting with friends in your target language¨as this is exactly what I need! Thank you

December 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/solojones1138

Awesome! I wish we knew a little more about what these expansions are and when we can expect them. But this is great news for me, since I finished the Spanish tree and an working on the English reverse tree.

When you say you are working on an improvement to the English tree, do you mean all of them? Or just some (such as English for Spanish speakers)? Thanks.

December 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pfalz_Dweller

This is why I rushed through the early Duolingo exercises to get to the later, more complicated ones.

Instead, I used a "For Dummies" book and Rosetta Stone for earlier courses. It's much better, in my opinion.

But even so - learners need to know that learning a language is not easy. If they give up so soon because they're "scared" of translating into the language they're learning, then chances are they're not serious about learning a language in the first place.

I'm not trying to insult Duolingo, though. I do use it regularly.

January 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danbaragan

Hi duolingo! I know that software is a lot of work on one hand and you try to keep this app free on the other. This means careful use of resources.

Considering this and your answer regarding the balance between too hard / too easy why don't you enable something like "hard mode" in settings? I see this has been already discussed but I woul like to reiterate it.

We don't necessarily need a slider (although that would be nicer). Even a simple switch would be nice. A switch that would turn the meager 10% native -> target amount of questions to, say 30%, taking a lot from the target -> native ones, and some percents from the other types of exercises.

I'm pretty sure you have this kind weights in some equation in the code, and this switch in settings would be the simplest and cheapest change to implement. (not to scare new comers, this will be disabled by default)

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/widle

This was meant to be resolved (at least partly) by crowns - at five crowns, you should get considerably harder exercises than at one crown. This is the slider - how well it works is another thing (I can't say, I haven't got to five crowns yet).

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danbaragan

Unfortunately the crown system does nothing to help. It merely shifts the percent from 0% at l0->l1, l1->l2, up to, say 10% at l4->l5.

I really want to use duolingo to learn Spanish as fast as possible. I'm doing 1000xp per day sometimes. Last night I was practicing one specific lesson (so I was crown 5 there) On practice you get around 20 question but no speech/mic ones. Imagine that from those 20, only 2 were native -> target. Some times there were 0 (= zero) native -> target questions. Of course, I was wrong on those questions. It have to admit, I got kind of angry. I realised that duolingo is far from helping me learn a foreign language and is more of a waste of time.

I also have the feeling their goal is to keep you hooked on something easy but that is not yielding value either for the simple purpose of you seeing ads. This is no surprise, as this is their business model.

When you do the math, and end up with 3 - 6 months of hard work, like a part time job, 4h a day at least, and then realise that you will not achieve much... well that's a moment of realisation, I tell you.

So, while looking for different solutions, I thought I'd voice for this simple proposal again.

PS: the idea that you can't use duolingo for really learning a language because of some technical limitations or that users would go away is BS. It perfectly true that you cannot do without real language interaction, but doulingo could prepare you for that, and it kind of tries not to (!) Also the scaring of new users is easily fixed with a switch in settings (not even a slider). I'm 99.9% this change is one of the simplest change to implement from a technical point of view and brings very little clutter to the interface. I'm also sure that they understand the request. I'm curious what reasons they come up with this time :-D

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danbaragan

Look duolingo, I have another idea! Why don't you put that difficulty slider (with focus on native -> target translations) on settings only for paying users?

PS: now people will hate me for proposing this but it is just in case making duolingo "too efective" contradicts with the ads policy... PS2: I don't have a payed subscription but I would get one if it makes me learn in less time. PS3: Of course, making education free slogan might suffer a bit...

July 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kindredg

I notice that the German lessons have slightly more opportunities to translate from English but the Spanish lessons seem to have done away with that completely since the new version. I am one who speaks pretty good conversational Spanish but never really learned how to write that well, so I was using Duiolingo to improve my writing skills. When you got rid of that function, I lost interest in the site. I just went back on hoping that if I tested out of some levels that I'd eventually work back up to some levels that make you translate into Spanish but I'm still looking and am getting tired of acing through every single lesson. The lessons are really boring if you're already an intermediate or conversational Spanish speaker.

December 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/etoso21

the translations are useful

December 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/apbold

Hay que bueno.

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaedonWils

I am mostly looking foward to the chatting section...that will make learning so much fun!

January 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lesliewilman

Very helpful. I decided to go back for revision and found the courses were less demanding than when I first did them, and not adding much to my competence.

January 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/porkrind94

yay! I can't wait for short stories, little clips, sentences, etc!

February 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kindredg

So I followed the advice of everybody here and switched my home language to Spanish and my target language to English. At first it seemed like it worked as I tested in, but now that I've settled into regular lessons, it still seems to favor having me write the things in English over Spanish!!! What gives? Is it just me or does this site seem to dumb it down for English speakers.

December 28, 2018
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