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About ready to quit this language on DL

Do all languages go through this period in DL where obviously correct answers (to me, a native speaker of English) have to suffer one question after another where I am marked wrong incorrectly? It is incredibly frustrating to be trying to learn this language, but end up with 10 wrong answers because the designers of the course did not appear to know English? Or the hints that give an answer, is then not accepted by the question?

My patience is wearing thin.

Addendum: I will return when the course has had more time to bake in the oven. For the now, it is annoying to have to remember a wrong answer just so I can complete a lesson; it impedes the learning process and expectations created by the many other high quality courses offered on DL.

April 28, 2017



I think the course is in Beta test phase so errors should be expected. Once most of those errors have been resolved it will be released fully. Hopefully you have reported those errors.


Isn't the course still in Beta? That's basically a warning that you will be helping them with corrections to the course.

That said, I agree that some of the lessons are awkward to get through [i hope] because the corrections haven't been added yet.


That's the point of a course coming out on Beta. It's a trade-off: you get to access the course early. in exchange, you have to deal with the uncorrected mistakes and report them so they can work on it.

Sure it could be annoying if it takes an unreasonably long time to fix but remember that this isn't their full time job but a side project done in a volunteer capacity, and also that sometimes on Duolingo the tech / programming side delays changes from being made in a timely manner.

I didn't like some of the kinds of mistakes on the course and that there was no audio yet, so I decided to just wait a while and go back to it. But not to complain about the people who are working hard to make this a reality or to say that it's wasting my time when these volunteers are so generously giving so much of their time for us.


It's in early beta. It's really in alpha form still. It will probably be like this for the next 6+ months. Every software has bugs. This is still an amazing resource.


It does get annoying, but eventually the course will break away from this stage and exit beta.


Heh. Come back in a year or so, and it will have improved greatly.


No, but many do. Come back in a year or two if you're not up for it. As was mentioned, looking at your level, it's probably only going to get worse from here.


Dear native speaker of English, if your "patience is wearing thing", then quit. No one is forcing you to stay. And no one will stop you to come back later if you like when this course is in phase 3 thanks to the great efforts of the volunteer contributors and the reports and constructive comments of beta users. Just don't be a hater :-)


Yes, I am reporting them. It is just that some of the errors seem like they should have gotten caught during design. For example "How is your home, sister?" will get marked wrong, even though it is a suggestion, and how an English speaker would say it. It remains unfixed weeks after I first encountered it.


If you read the updates in the incubator, you'll see they explained why nothing is happening with the course at the moment.

Also, at the end of the day, it's free.


They aren't implementing corrections very quickly. I've noticed it too.


Presumably it's because they are working both on the audio and other projects related to the Peace Corps. Not sure about that last part, but if the audio is done (which they have estimated to happen either at the end of this month (i.e. today) or next month, things might speed up a bit.


There are thousands of error reports – many of them no doubt duplicated, but still needing to be gone through – for two people to deal with, in addition to their day jobs. I encourage patience. :-)


I think there are now only two contributors working on this. One is a Tanzanian Peace Corps employee, and one is a polyglot US Peace Corps volunteer. AFAIK, Rehema is no longer involved. One issue is that, although English is an official language in Tanzania, the English language usage in Tanzania may not correspond with "standard" or colloquial English used in the UK, USA, Australia, etc. In other words, English is a second language for one contributor, and Swahili is a second language for another. All that being said, the errors in the English are pretty annoying, to the point where you get really frustrated. I have requested corrections on more than half the English sentences and "correct" answers in some lessons. IMO, Peace Corps or Duolingo needs to step up to help the situation. This course could be extremely helpful to incoming Peace Corps volunteers in East Africa. Volunteers could start the course ahead of time, and have much more language facility by the time they arrive in-country. Other volunteer organizations may want to help also such as: VSO in the UK, EU Aid volunteers, FK Norway, etc.


Imagine if Duolingo started a partnership with FK Norway the way it has a partnership with the US Peace Corps.

That could lead to Duolingo having more courses for Norwegian speakers and courses teaching Norwegian for speakers of more languages. :)


I know that with the Welsh course they did not put the course on the main page of Duolingo until they had pretty much completed the beta development stage in the incubator. Perhaps they've misjudged releasing the course this early?

That being said, ngarrang, from reading your statements, I think you should quit the course for now. When it gets to the point where you're 'suffering' and your 'patience is wearing thin', then it's clearly not doing anything for you. Unfortunatly, it looks like there's only two contributors working on the course at the moment, and they're not able to dedicate much time to it either. The course is not going to be improved at a pace that you'd like.

May I suggest you try french or Portugese instead? These are other languages used in Africa.


It was a decision from higher up that lead to the course being released early. Luis wanted it out to coincide with some talk he was giving at a summit or conference or what have you.


This is a really useful resource. And it is intensely frustrating also. I don't think anything has been corrected on the system in a long time - I keep going back over old lessons and all the same mistakes are there, things I know I reported ages ago. It may be that this is all being worked on behind the scenes. It would be good to have an update on plans for the course. I have checked the incubator but no updates in a while.


First of all, let's say thanks for the Swahili team for their work.

It's true, on the other hand, that the English translations are full of minor and, in some cases, major mistakes. Like confusing perfect infinitive with passive perfect infinitive. Some of them I have already posted, some I have not.

But there's one thing that could enormously enhance the "end user satisfaction" and it is to eliminate the confusion coming up with definite and indefinite articles. Swahili does not have them at all, it's clear and over. Hence, why to privilege any of them when evaluating and scoring (i.e. accepting) the translated solution? For example:

Hutasoma gazeti. The 'correct' solution says "We will not read a newspaper."

Grammatically it's correct, no doubt, however sounds a bit "googlish." I'm quite sure, vast majority of English speaking folks would prefer writing "We will not read the newspaper."

Or next, 'Treni ipo stesheni.' Accepted version is: A train is at the station. But 'The train is at the station' is marked as bad. I asked some native Swahili speaking buddies about it, even they accepted both solutions as correct ones.

So, the question is: Would it be possible to exclude the article matching from the assessment procedure?


Or advise me how I could help the team with reviewing the solution database. I would do it with pleasure.


Since you are level 6, you must be somewhere near the first half of the course.

Sadly... the second half of the course has even more English mistakes.

Also... strangely enough this course doesn't teach how to answer a yes/no question...

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