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https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

UPDATE: Technical issues on Duolingo

Usagiboy7
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Hi folks!

The tech team is aware of the technical issues happening on Duoling and are working to fix them.

But, we ask you, please do not make a flood of posts about it. That clogs the forums which creates it's own, separate problem. If something BIG goes bump on Duolingo, try these instead instead of making a new post about it:

First, if you're new and not sure if it's a general troubleshooting issue or not, check the Help menu, located in the blue bar at the top of the screen. Just hover your mouse over your username there and the menu with the Help option will drop down.

If you know it's something new and unusual, look through a few pages of the forum. Has one person already made a post about it? If so, upvote their post so it rises in the Popular tab and more people can see it. If you don't see it, scroll through a few pages of new posts. Still don't see it? Check the popular tab. Too many stickies in the popular tab? Click on the main language the website is in on the forum list to the right. Click it. Then click it's popular tab. You'll have a few stickies to scroll through, but, not nearly as many.

For example, if the website is in English, click the English forum in the forum list on the right. Scroll past the stickies in the Popular tab there and you'll see the most popular posts for the last couple of days.

If Duolingo goes down completely, you can bookmark this website and check if here http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/duolingo.com.html

You can also check https://twitter.com/duolingo for official announcements

You can check the new Help page, which has added a "News" section https://www.duolingo.com/help

Sometimes, these news sources are running behind. So, please at least check the forums before making a new post.

Thank you! ^_^

1 year ago

65 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/adder3
adder3
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Why are you having so many technical issues recently? In the last three years I have never seen so many issues on this site as there have been since the start of 2017. Please stop these clubs that seem to be causing all these problems and bring back activity and immersion.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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Hi adder3,

Please stop these clubs [...] and bring back activity and immersion.

I'm not sure who you're talking to... the persons dealing with those issues (=staff) aren't in this discussion.

these clubs that seem to be causing all these problems

Even if i don't see the interest of Duo "Clubs", I don't see something indicating they're responsible of all that (at least not more than any other part of Duolingo: they're all implying requests to the servers, thus all "load" the server).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adder3
adder3
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Hi jrikhal That's the point, the clubs are new, they are imposing extra "load" on the server(s) we did not have so many outages before these clubs were created. Remove the clubs, resume usual service.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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Remove the clubs, resume usual service.

Still not sure to whom it's addressed... Nobody present in this discussion can do this.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/user15982987
  1. Duolingo adds clubs.

  2. Everything starts overloading.

  3. Duoloingo removes Immersion and, according to some users, the ability to do Lessons. And keeps Clubs and the Forums for spamming kids running.

What is Duolingo's purpose, again?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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To test the hypothesis noted in the abstract here.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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No, Duolingo isn't using us to process anything for them. Initially Duolingo's business plan was based on the idea that via Immersion we would crowd-source translations for them, but they abandoned that ages ago. They're now looking round for new income streams.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Please reread the abstract — there is no mention there of selling anything, and I don’t know why you’re focusing on that. The individual data are not sold, but the data en masse are intellectual property with value, as Mr_Eyl pointed out in his comment above. Only you are concerned with your particular skill in Italian subjunctives; Duolingo is concerned with how Italian subjunctives are best identified and utilized in general, and that’s where their interests (and intellectual property) lie; we’re the ones who are providing those data to them.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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Yup, I think we're saying the same thing. Duolingo gathers data on our learning, and uses that data to improve the way their website works, which makes it a more valuable business.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
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"No, Duolingo isn't using us to process anything for them."

Of course they are. Data is valuable, and the data produced by millions of users is worth a considerable amount to the right researchers.

From the terms of service: "All data, information and materials generated from your access and use of the educational activities made available on or through the Service..... shall be exclusively owned by Duolingo. By using the Service, you hereby assign to Duolingo any and all rights, title and interest, including any intellectual property rights or proprietary rights, in the Activity Materials."

The only reason to include this paricular clause in a contract is to indemnify the contractor against complaints when they trade your data.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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... or when they use it themselves to develop teaching algorithms. That clause is about the data gathered from A/B tests.

Who would pay to know that I'm rubbish at the Italian subjunctive?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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They could use the data to refine algorithms that are not currently employed by their Web site or apps, e.g. use image tagging data for the purpose of improving computer vision algorithms, which could then be offered to companies with need of such algorithms, e.g. for improving autonomous vehicle AI.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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I'm not sure how such image tagging data could be gleaned from my attempts to learn Italian, or from any other data, information and materials generated from your access and use of the educational activities made available on or through the Service.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Aren’t they using us? Do you deny that we “provide large quantities of useful data in many languages to train more accurate machine learning algorithms for language translation, voice recognition, and computer vision”? We’re means to their ends, and a side effect of that is that we achieve our own ends of learning languages.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
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I agree. It's more than a little naive to think that the data generated by millions of users isn't being traded.

The physical equivalent would be having an oil well in your back yard and just allowing it to drain back into the ground.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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Duolingo uses that data to improve its algorithms, and that data and those algorithms are valuable to them. They don't sell that data, though, and they don't sell their algorithms - they are aiming to make money by using those algorithms themselves.

I know people are sensitive to this sort of thing at the moment, since Facebook et al gather lots of data on us and sell it to advertisers. If you think about the sort of data that Duolingo has on us, though, it isn't going to be of much value to advertisers, or to anyone else, except people producing teaching algorithms.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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I don’t think that we are saying the same thing. I think that we agree that our individual data will not be available for purchase here, but I don’t think that they’ll perpetually limit themselves to only improving their Web site (or apps) with the algorithmic refinements determined through analysis of our data.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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Interesting. What else might they do with our data?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Magalie48

@ hughcparker. I think you are 100% right. Anyway, I have always taken my Immersion translations and edits very seriously, but I'm feeling quite cheated now.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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It’s not the data that would be offered to other companies, but the algorithms.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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Sure, but still, where is the image tagging data going to come from? What data is Duolingo going to gather about us, other than data about language learning?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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The data would come from the ‘Translate “X”’ exercises that show three images and take as an answer a word or phrase in the language being learned — those answers are image tags.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
hughcparker
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:) Those exercises are much simpler than you think they are. The course teams assign the correct answers to those exercises. All Duolingo does is compare the text we enter with the list of correct answers supplied by the course team.

Those exercises can only work if the system already knows what the images are pictures of.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr_Eyl
Mr_Eyl
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It's not that I'm particularly sensitive. I don't even use Facebook. It's simply that it's considerably more probable that Duo are trading whatever data they can than not.

There is no reason to put that specific clause in a contract unless you are intending on trading data.

When you comment about your use of the Italian subjunctive, that's nothing but an attempt at reducing the argument to something absurd in order to make it seem improbable.

To be clear, I neither mind nor care what Duo does. Evidence simply points to the affirmative. I'd also like to point out that in the separate privacy statement, Duo say "Duolingo may use or share aggregate or anonymous data collected through the Service, including Activity Data." Another clause whose inclusion is pointless if you don't want to trade data.

All user data is valuable en masse, whether you deny it, deride it, disbelieve it, fail to understand it or repeatedly try to use the reductio ad absurdum fallacy. A lot of the data gathered on websites is statistical or purely mathematical, and this is where a lot of the value lies. Certain people here only seem to be thinking about data as 'the specific things I do' rather than 'the numbers and patterns which I produce'.

A lot less potential buyers care more about the latter than the former. Aggregate data- which Duo specifically mentions sharing -is of a lot more consequence than our behaviour as individuals.

We don't have to see the point in it for there to be one- mass user data can be used for a multitude of things, often unrelated to the original purpose of the source site.

To summarise an argument that's gone on far too long: there is no reason to indemnify yourself against data trading (in two separate documents) unless you're going to trade said data.

Insane web designer's rant over.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Those exercises don’t necessarily recognize all possible correct answers for the images — that’s where our data come into play. For example, imagine three car photos in a ‘Translate “car”’ exercise in the Italian from English course*, where the course creators have set up the exercise to accept auto as a correct answer. While auto is a correct translation, other words can also mean “car” in Italian, such as automobile and macchina ; if a word or phrase were given in sufficient numbers by people taking the course, that word or phrase could be automatically accepted as an alternative correct answer, thus improving the range of Italian image tags for car pictures. Determing what those sufficient numbers are would be an example of algorithmic improvements through data analysis.

* — I don’t know if this exercise already exists; I’ve never taken the Italian from English course here.


EDIT: To prevent popular wrong answers from being automatically accepted, a blacklist of known popular wrong answers could be kept, to prevent the situation described by jrikhal below. (I’m presuming that those blacklists could be populated by course creators who regularly review reports of mistakes in the courses, e.g. by selecting an “Add to blacklist?” checkbox when seeing le homme for el hombre reported for the umpteenth time.)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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that word or phrase could be automatically accepted as an alternative correct answer, thus improving the range of Italian image tags for car pictures. Determing what those sufficient numbers are would be an example of algorithmic improvements through data analysis.

Given the extremely high number of identical reports for totally wrong answers we receive daily, this would be dramatic for the [correctness of the] courses.
I think it's exactly why Duolingo have always left the final decision to accept or not an answer to contributors but give them the "tool" that are the reports to be helped in the detection of potential errors in exercises (which includes missing possible translations).

Just one example in case I'm not clear.
In FR for ES speakers, the exercise

Translate El hombre into French

is one of the most reported and the answer that the users report the most (among 15-20 reports weekly) as correct for it is

le homme

which is incorrect.
So, if the system were to add automatically some answers to the list of correct answers, it would for sure(*) add this totally incorrect one since it's one of the answers the most reported as correct of the entire course.


Note: Contributors can't see the reports done by users during "Image exercises", so I can't check the numbers there.
But if the exercise "Translate El hombre" has that much reports for le homme, it seems reasonable (at least to me ;)) to assume that the “Image exercise" with:

  1. a man's image
  2. the hint el hombre

will have the same rate of reports for le homme since it's pretty much the same exercise.
Thus this example somehow apply to "Image exercises" your discussing with hughcparker. ;)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alibob99

That approach to adding solutions doesn't really work without review. If you've ever taught, you'll realise people make a lot of the same mistakes as one another. Something being a frequent submission definitely does not make it correct.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl
Ripcurlgirl
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Thanks for posting that. There is no such thing as a free lunch after all, and we are all just lab rats.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling
scilling
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Lab rats with free will; all of us can opt out of using this site (or these apps) at any time.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jack.Elliot
Jack.Elliot
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All is good

The technics will make it better

time to learn

sit back

read an article

drink a coffee

even eat a doughnut

The lessons are all availble

do a lesson

smile and even do a test

All that is great about Duolingo is still here

Enjoy the day

.

All is good

there was a technical issue with the immersion

http://jackelliot.over-blog.com/2017/01/immersion.html

all was good

all is good

and

all will be good .

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ProDuoExtra
ProDuoExtra
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Be patient, till the end

Always be kind,

Don't go on the other website

Duolingo is the best way

Don't change your mind.

...

All is good

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/S0R0USH
S0R0USH
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I think Duolingo should have a dialog box popup while the page loads, saying "The activity tab is currently disabled due to technical difficulties which is being fixed by our engineers. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. " Followed by a checkmark box saying "don't show this again" in case the user reloads.

Most online games have a feature like this especially when they want to update their client and stuff within the next few hours.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WarriorCleberz
WarriorCleberz
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I agree, that's a good idea, at least we could know what is happening fastly!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Magalie48

@ Soroushi. You are absolutely right.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MattBush2
MattBush2
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Cannot you sticky this at the top of the forums? I had to trawl through several pages of posts before finding any information about it, which is very painful on a mobile device.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tattamin
Tattamin
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You can also check https://twitter.com/duolingo for official announcements

This would be really helpful if there were any tweets.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Hello, I just checked the twitter link and it is working. Just a few tweets down staff have cited technical issues due to the vast influx of new users creating accounts.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl
Ripcurlgirl
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That's dated Jan 11

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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Remark about:

Look through a few pages of the forum. [...] Then click it's popular tab.

I'd say:

If something goes bump on Duolingo, try these before creating a new discussion:

  1. Look through the Support Pages' articles if there is no solution described.
    • If not, look through a few pages of the Troubleshooting forum. Has one person already made a post about it?
      • If so, upvote their post and/or comment.
      • If you don't see it, scroll through a few pages of new posts.
        • Still nothing? Check the popular tab.
          • If nothing there neither, post your question in the Troubleshooting forum.

Because Troubleshooting forum is where posts about issues/bugs or, more generally, questions about how Duo works (or why it's not working as before) are asked by staff to be posted. ;)

Here for the English troubleshooting forum.


And about the current technical issue(s) of disappearance of some features on 16-17/01/2017: here for a discussion in Troubleshooting forum with informations about it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/idkhbtfm
idkhbtfm
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Thank you for being such a dedicated volunteer!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wideOlance

Instead of going through several pages to see if there are any technical problems, would it be possible for an alert to pop up when you click on "discussion" advising viewers of any issues? Updates of technical issues would also be helpful in these "alerts" if possible.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ripcurlgirl
Ripcurlgirl
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You should win the "best suggestion of the year" award for that. It is simple and could be regularly updated. Great idea!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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Instead of going through several pages to see if there are any technical problems

No need of that: Duolingo now put such info as "News" on the main page of the Support Pages.
When you're experiencing a problem/bug/glitch on Duolingo or simply when having a question about Duolingo, the best (IMO, and recommended) way to act is to:

  1. start looking in the Support Pages if there is no solution described. If not,
  2. read the last days new messages (so scroll down a few pages of the forum) in the Troubleshooting forum (so "New" tab) to see if no one has already started a discussion about the same issue. If nothing there, try the "Popular" tab of same forum. If still nothing there,
  3. post your question in the Troubleshooting forum.

It's for sure not as visible as a pop-up but far less invasive than a pop-up (and, personally, I don't want such thing), quite easy to find: by bookmarking the page for example, but the link is anyway available from any Duo page.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/edouardchapeaux

Excellent !! thank you.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gabrielle28671
Gabrielle28671
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I think that the Duolingo staff doesn't communicating well enough with us his users. it is regrettable!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ClimateCanary

I totally agree!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/robsaidthat

OK, fine, no new threads. But I'd sure like to know why this kind of thing keeps happening. Immersion seems to live quite the precarious existence ...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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@usagiboy7

First, if you're new and not sure if it's a general troubleshooting issue or not, check the Help menu,

This supposes that the user is under the English interface, no? Which one is in fact simply a redirection to the Support pages.
Otherwise (if not under English interface), the Help Menu link sends you to a very basic page with very few informations and, in particular, nothing about "if it's a general troubleshooting issue or not".

Therefore, the same way you later clarified

For example, if the website is in English,

you may want to do the same when talking about the "Help menu".


The simplier (and better, IMO) solution is to replace "check the Help menu" by "check the Support pages".
Thats said, do the Support pages say something about "what type of issues are general troubleshooting issues or not"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/letra_a
letra_a
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Let's experts work undisturbed.. we are in their hands :) Thanks, Usagi!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RebekahBray1
RebekahBray1
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thank you!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverCharacter
SilverCharacter
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Thank you so much for making this post! I hope Duolingo is back to its normal self soon!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LanguageLover.

Thank you!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RumiByNight

Are the technical difficulties the reason I am not seeing some posts in the main forum under New? For example, this post does not appear for me when I look down the New section. And I scrolled down through days of posts, long passed where this post should appear. Yet it appears for me in the Popular section only.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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Are the technical difficulties the reason I am not seeing some posts in the main forum under New?

I don't think so. What you describe seems to me to be due to the fact that many of the recent post are hidden because downvoted (most of them because they are never ending new post about the current issue).

Indeed, when loading a forum page, the system retrieves(*) in its database info about "top messages" (a number around 10), which in case of the "New" tab, the "top" are the most recent, but then only load into the page the ones that aren't "hidden". So if among this "10" messages it's trying to display, 9 are hidden, it'll display only one. until you scroll down, of course.
This current

(*) or, at least, the result is as if it was doing that.

And I scrolled down through days of posts

Do you achieve to make appear (in the "New" tab) discussions older than 2 hours? On my side I try to scroll down (then wait, go a little up then back full down and repeat repeat repeat), the system is not achieving to load anything more than 2 hours old "Stumbled across a (Hopefully) Helpful Website!"

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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I was getting the same problem yesterday. This post, which at that stage had fifty-something upvotes, wasn't showing up in the forum index, along with several tens of other non-downvoteable posts that had been there moments before.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RumiByNight

Right now I get this "There are no discussions here yet. Be the first to post something!" when I go to the main forum. Before there where huge time periods missing. It would give me posts that were from a few minutes ago. Then it would jump to a few hours later. Then it would jump by days then weeks.

This post is over + 80 so it should not be hidden in the main forum. Yet it was. At least for me.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
jrikhal
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Right now I get this "There are no discussions here yet. Be the first to post something!"

On that particular part of your comment: The "New" tab of general English forum is (for once) experiencing this (not really great) behaviour that "New" tab of other forums (with less activity but still activity) are experiencing regularly. So I still think it's not a bug and

  • either Duolingo means by "New" indeed the "recent" discussions — in which case it's normal that, if there is no "recent" comment (except for hidden ones), nothing is displayed — but then they should change the message for something like:
    "There are no recent discussions here. Be the first to post a new message!"
  • or Duolingo means "Newest" (so if the last message is 3 years old, it's still the "newest" one) in which case they should fix things such that the message never appears (in any forum that has at least one non-hidden message).

unfortunately, this has already been reported long ago... :(


Before there where huge time periods missing. It would give me posts that were from a few minutes ago. Then it would jump to a few hours later. Then it would jump by days then weeks.

There it's indeed a buggy behaviour. For me it was:
It would give me posts that were from a few minutes ago. Then it would jump to a few hours later. Then it would never load anything more even after scrolling down and doing it again and again for minutes.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rudewna

I am wondering if the "spaced repetition" in my spanish course disappeared because of the technical issues or is it just not always active?

Thanks for help!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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I don't know. I'm sorry. The information we received was very limited.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/macaalmada

thanks!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/UVBeenDoxd

Duolingo staff have been unwilling to answer the question about whether or not there are plans to get rid of Immersion altogether. Maybe this is their cowardly way of doing that.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielleBourret

I try to learn english and i do not understand your answer.Sorry

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/debrucenator

Ik wou je gewoon laten weten dat mijn stream helemaal kapot is. Niet prettig, Duolingo!

1 year ago