https://www.duolingo.com/markvanments

Error messages by incorrect use of de/het

I find the error I get when I use "de" instead of "het" is misleading.

For example when I translated "The view" as "De uitzicht" the correction said that I used the wrong word and it should have been "De aanblik".

I, of course, meant "Het uitzicht".

I think it would be better if you corrected the De/Het mistake rather than assume that I have used the correct article but used the wrong noun. I have enough difficulty remembering which article to use and correcting the article for me would help to reinforce the right one.

The way it works at present imprints a subconscious impression that "uitzicht" is not the right translation of "view", even though consciously I know it is correct (it is even in the suggestions given when you hover).

This is not just an issue with this particular question. It has happened to me before - I use the correct noun but the wrong article and Duolingo corrects the noun to match the article rather than vice versa. It seems to be that Duolingo parses phrases which include the definite article differently from how a human would parse them.

1 year ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
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I completely agree. Unfortunately the Dutch team (who made and maintains the course) cannot implement this. It's something that the developers would have to get involved with, which is a very low priority to them.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
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By the way, I'm not claiming this will never get fixed. It helps if people submit bug reports here: https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Include as many details as you can, including screenshots. Unlike these forums posts, official bug reports will probably reach the developers who can do something about it.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markvanments

Reported. I'll let you know if anything happens. Would it help you to know the reference number of the report?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ketzal
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How can the developers consider a very low priority for what seems to be (at least to me) an important issue for properly learning a language ?

I now often have to look at the discussion thread when I make a mistake to check the correct translation, because the proposed answer by Duolingo might use a far less common term. Pentaan also provided two examples where the system proposed "de knol", an apparently less common and more specific term, instead of "het paard". I can't see how this won't at least create some confusion, or worse, make learners memorize incorrect translations.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
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Yeah, they probably consider that a minor issue. It's language-specific, and the Dutch course is only a tiny part of Duolingo.

We contributors have been complaining about this problem for a long time: not just de/het, but there are lots of other problems when it tries to show you the "closest" correct translation. Nothing has happened.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vytah
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It's not specific to only one language. It affects all languages with separate definite articles and grammatical gender, so Dutch, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
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This tells you everything you need to know about Duolingo's grasp of the teaching of languages, unfortunately. Tail wagging dog.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markvanments

I realise this is not easy, but surely the issue occurs with many languages: German and French for example.

Can they not add a list of words which are higher priority to correct than others (i.e. correct De/Het (Die/Das/Der, La/Le) first if this is the only error in the phrase).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
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I believe that German and French (and the other 'original' Duolingo courses: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) do have a special pop-up if you use the wrong article. These courses are constructed in a slightly different way than the newer ones like Dutch.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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We have the exact same problem in the German course :(

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
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Ah, I didn't know that. French does have the "Oops, you used the wrong article" message, I'm sure of that. I guess that including German cases was too much of a hassle...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/christian
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I believe we do have this message, but it doesn't work if there's an alternative translation with the same gender the user entered.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markvanments

New functionality: take away things which worked before ;-)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pentaan
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I fully agree. I recently came across "het paard" versus "de knol":
https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13450938
https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12449362

1 year ago
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