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Ineffective learning

Hi, I'm learning currently Dutch and I'm a bit surprised that I get all the time asked to write something down in English while seeing the dutch part.

I have the feeling this doesn't bring nearly as much as it would the other way round.

In addition to that I think that the "multiple choice" answers really don't work well. I think until now 99% of all "wrong choices" were completely ridicolous and were wrong in so many ways that I could choose the right answer even though I wouldn't know any word.

Hope it's not understood as a rant, more a constructive criticism how to easily improve the learning experience. Or maybe others think completely differently. But including the option to choose if you want to translate from your original language to the leanring language or the other way round would be a big step in my humble opinion.

I just hope I haven't missed any options that already exist, then feel free to correct me :)

January 28, 2017



This has been brought up before (writing the English), the response being that user retention was lessened when too many translations to the target language were required (if I recall correctly).

This is what I do to get more out of it: Rather than looking at the screen when the Dutch sentence is read and typing in the English translation, I use it as a listening exercise and type the Dutch sentence in as I heard it- then compare it to what is written (the 'question'). I then delete my response and write in the English translation as requested. The only down side I found is being too quick to press 'continue' before fixing the answer to the English translation Duo was looking for.


There is a English for Dutch speakers course available that will compel you to write in Dutch. I agree with you, though. I don't like having to write so much in English either.


I agree with Knoxienne.
Doing the reverse tree (Dutch to English) is the way to translate a lot of English to Dutch.

Please, do not forget there are a lot of languages which do not have a Duolingo course Native language to Foreign language. In that case you have to learn English first before you are able to learn the foreign language you like to do.
For instance:
I am a Dutch native speaker and I had to do first the courses Dutch to English and English to Dutch. After that I was able to do the course English to German. That course is very difficult for a non-native speaker of English. And I am verry happy the most of the course is translating from German to English.


If you want to learn German but get to asked to translate sentences in English, that's also ineffective. It might be easier, but you just improve your English and don't improve your German a lot.

I notice the same problems with other language courses. Sometimes the English word can be translated into two Dutch words, so how to know which meaning to pick? I'm sure people with other native languages have these problems as well.

We Dutch speakers just must keep asking and hoping for a new language course for Dutch speakers and maybe one day it will be developed. I think German would be a good third language for Dutch speakers :)


I found the same basic issue, too much translating to English. My solution was that after doing the EN > NL tree, I did the reverse tree also (NL > EN). I have no idea about my speaking skills after all this, but I am doing some writing and I can read some children's books and websites with occasional help. My problem is there's always more vocabulary to learn, but I think I'm fairly solid on grammar. Word order, however, still trips me up at times when writing.


Doing the reverse tree (Dutch to English) is the way to translate a lot of English to Dutch. So, English native speakers stop complaining please! You have the opportunity to translate from your native language to the foreign language by doing the reverse tree. Non-native English speakers mostly donĀ“t have this opportunity. And I am very glad that Duolingo also cares for learners, who are non-native Englisch speakers.


I had this with Polish. I paused Polish until I can ladder it more. But pausing Polish is fine, I will wait for the 2.0 tree and a German course for Polish speakers.

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