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Words frequency

Why are the frequencies of different words so uneven?

There are some easy words with one main meaning like "to play", "to play" or "to go", and there are dozens of sentences with these words.

There are also more complex words that can mean different things, but there is only one or two sentences with them, and very often even those sentences are very unnatural, like "She creates lunch" or "He generates the newspaper" (both are the only sentences I get when trying to practice "erstellen" in the German course).

I just wonder where do these sentences come from? Are they generated by a computer? And why are there so few sentences with complex words that are more difficult to understand and learn?

I'm getting a strong impression that the words like "enthalten", "erstellen", "beobachten", "entsprechen" are here only to make us lose hearts because they are so rare it is almost impossible to learn them without practising them outside Duolingo.

February 22, 2013



Thanks. I agree this is a problem, especially for German. We're actually working on fixing it.


Thank you for your work, Luis. I don't like to complain, but the French course seemed less frustrating even in summer when it was still in beta.

Have you ever thought about crowdsourcing content for the lessons? I'm sure many users would gladly share their ideas of new sentences and examples of using the words as well as vote on and correct the suggestions of the others.


We plan to allow people to contribute very soon!


Oh my, am I guessing all your ideas or is there a bot posting "very soon" messages on behalf of Luis?

Just kidding :-) I like Duolingo very much and I'd love to help make it better.

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