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reduction in bonus time and time allowed per question in timed practices really sucks

"Ein schneller Hund ist schneller als ein langsamer" and myriad other sentences cannot be typed without typos by even an experienced secretary within the 5-10 seconds allotted.

What saved us before the newest PC version of Duolingo were bonus seconds, but those have been halved or quartered. Previously, you could mouse back and correct a typo. Now you're better off clicking Skip the moment you notice a typo or encounter a long sentence. That is a truly perverse result; even DL must recognize that.

Please restore more bonus time for correct answers and, if you really want to be fair, make the bonus proportionate to the number of characters typed.

Side note

This post is about turning back the clock on accelerated testing and not about optimal keyboard layout. I ill-advisedly replied to a stray comment exhorting a non-traditional "international" keyboard and let the post be hijacked. I apologize for the distraction.

June 4, 2017



Ein schnelles Hund is also a typo. Now what time did we measure for this post?

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I am a very fast (I dare to say proficient) typer and I'm ok with the timed practice, just recently started to use it when I migrated to the browser version of Duo. Enjoying it. But I can't indeed imagine doing timed practice without being able to type so fast.


Thanks, Ally. Yes, I still muddle through the timed practices, but I resent having to choose between answering or skipping a long translation in order to finish on time.

I don't even toggle between keyboards anymore. For German timed practices, I stick with the German layout and hope I don't confuse y and z when typing an answer. If I do, it's over; there isn't sufficient time to mouse back and correct the typo. For French, I've given up; keeping track of where a, m, q, z and w are is far too much mental arithmetic during a timed practice. Kudos to you for not only typing fast, but doing so in multiple languages.


You don't need all of this. One keyboard is all you need.
Install the English international keyboard.

It will make your life much easier:


That's kind of a non-starter. When I am in Cologne at an Internet cafe, I need to be able to use that keyboard. The same holds true when I am in Paris. Eventually, you need to be able to type on native keyboards if you travel and plan to work effectively. That's one reason I loved the old timed practices.


I don't understand what you mean. You can type it on any keyboard. It is not a physical keyboard it's a software keyboard. You can use it on any machine you just need to install it from the settings. As long as you have access that's a non-issue.


Me: You need administrative privileges to change computer settings. Internet cafes don't grant them.

Casper: What do you do all day in an internet cafe? :D
Sorry, I can't really relate to your kinda strange issues.
Well good luck with that.

Thanks, Casper. You’re right, you can’t relate.

I once worked for a large Swiss financial institution. I worked in NYC but spent 2-3 weeks each month at the corporate headquarters in Zurich. Among other responsibilities, I managed the development of an Internet ASP and spent considerable time on-site in Waldorf, Germany and Frankfurt, Germany reviewing specs and soliciting bids from programmers. I also spent a lot of time at our French-speaking branch in Geneva.

At first, I was like you. I assumed my corporate-issued Dell notebook would connect seamlessly to the Internet and corporate network overseas. But it did not. Each office, including those of the multi-billion-dollar third-party development companies, had layers of corporate security penetrable only by those with local administrative privileges. So yes, I could use my corporate-issued Blackberry as a modem, key in the ever-changing secure ID code of a hand-held electronic fob, establish a long-distance connection with our US server, and enjoy full 528 kb/minute access to my corporate documents and email, and then explain to the controller in NY why I didn’t save thousands of dollars and hours of time by using the Swiss desktop, office and 100bT ethernet cable that was assigned to me. I learned to shuttle between the three styles of keyboards because that was the real world of business. Try finding an IT administrator in an office with several thousand employees. Then try persuading that person that you, out of all the company’s thousands of employees, deserve a non-corporate-approved layer of software. You’re right, you can’t relate.

After I formed my own company, my “personal” notebook was also my corporate one. It contained gigabytes of private and confidential information – enough information to steal my identity and rob me blind, compromise the confidentialities of clients (grounds for disbarment), or just plain embarrass me. I migrated to cloud-based storage, keeping as little as I could on my local PC. I even began the oh-so-audacious practice of not bringing my notebook on vacation. I’m sure you can’t relate to this, but clients still insisted on contacting me. I still felt the urge (stupid me!) to respond to emails, set up meetings for when I got back, check in with the family, write and send out proposals, and book train tickets and hotel rooms for the next stop of my journey. Thus, I spent a lot of time in the “business centers” of many fine and not-so-fine hotels. I know, how absurd. Who could possibly relate to that?

When Trump took office, he expanded vastly the practice by US customs agents of inspecting data on electronic devices in the possession of incoming and occasionally outgoing travelers. Even US citizens are required to let customs agents inspect such devices and are legally obligated to guide them through logging onto their device. Although US citizens are not legally required to disclose further passwords, such as to Facebook or OneDrive, most travelers already have them automatically connected. And if they do not readily comply, they miss their flight, with zero chance of a refund or easy rebooking. I know not one, but two people who have personally endured this experience. Again, how can you possibly relate?

I don’t bring my notebook on international flights anymore. In addition, I uninstall OneDrive, Outlook, Facebook and LinkedIn from my Windows cell phone before embarking on any return flight to the US, reinstalling them when I get home. That is the world I live in. It’s not yours, I know, because Casper is a ghost, the spectral after-image of some bygone, imaginary being ... a child.


You need administrative privileges to change computer settings. Internet cafes don't grant them.


What do you do all day in an internet cafe? :D
Sorry, I can't really relate to your kinda strange issues.
Well good luck with that.


That was unexpected and a bit more information than was necessary, but nonetheless, I thank you for allowing a peek into your life. You didn't really have to do that. I enjoyed reading about your travel issues though. It's indeed not really something I can say I can relate to.

Alright, you have demonstrated you have a good cause to learning and using multiple layouts, but I'll still try to debunk your final conclusion, if I may.

Even if we consider all that you have said, you are still not here at duolingo to learn keyboard's layouts, but rather to learn and focus on learning languages, am I right?

That is why, a keyboard that can handle, all those languages that you're currently learning, especially considering you may need to switch between two of them frequently while submitting answers, is a very appropriate tool for such a purpose, won't you agree?

As you said, you already taught yourself to shuttle between 3 layouts, so learning a 4th one, to be used at duolingo and at your personal computer (and any other machine with privilege access), would still prove quite a worthwhile skill to have and maintain, correct?

If you handle clients from many countries then you want only one keyboard in which you can reply to all of them, because it would be that much more efficient.

Considering also that when you live in German or France you'll also have a local keyboard with the appropriate keyboard's markings, it is not a hard switch at all to do, even if you're unprepared and unfamiliar with the new layout. Your fingers will get accustomed to the new positions extremely quickly and if you don't remember you can still look down and check yourself.
So is it even a consideration one must take into account?

If you're looking for a typing tutor site then there are more appropriate places to do so that are designed for such a purpose.

Unless you're also learning duolingo at your job at your unprivileged corporate laptop, in that case, I'm with you on that. :D

I didn't really intend to write all of that, but since you must have spent quite a long time writing this, I thought it will be impolite not to respond.

Anyway, it's your call. Just thought it's something you can use because it helped me a lot and I didn't quite understand your reasoning. I'm still having a bit of a trouble with it but that's ok, you don't need to explain anything to me. I trust that you know best what suits you.


This insight into your working and traveling conditions is quite interesting. I haven't been to the US since Trump's inauguration.


I'm not sure this'll help, but here's a Userscript made by FieryCat. It pauses the timer after every problem, so you don't have to worry about time when you're looking at the comments on the question and stuff. It might help you not lose time. The script can be found on GitHub here, and if you just want the direct link, you can install the userscript here.


It doesn't work anymore for the new site version.


Maybe not. I can't tell, because I still get the old version.


Which skill are you having trouble with? I would like to try it.


Keine Ahnung. Both my German and French trees have been golden for a long time - probably because I do so many practice exercises. I thought, at this point, that they were just a random assortment of questions from all over the tree.


This is part of the current duolingo strategy to increase the total number of lessons done in order to optimize/increase ad revenues. Other measures to achieve this goal are the health system and the increased skill decay rate (as a "side effect", when the users do more lessons and reviews, duolingo can even claim that this helps language learning, and it's not totally wrong. But the rationale behind all this are clearly the ad revenues).


Hi Portofan. The PC version that I am using has no ads ... at least yet. Where are the ads on yours? And if it's a PC version, could you please upload a screenshot? Thanks!


I have only done one lesson on the new website and haven't seen ads yet, but it looks like this:



Interesting. I guess it was inevitable. Thank you.

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