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No Definition Translation

Okay, disclaimer: I wasn't sure how to write a title for this, so no it shouldn't actually be in troubleshooting... unless someone thinks I should specifically complain. I just wasn't sure what to write.

Anyhow, you know how sometimes Duo will give a noun and its article, images of said noun, and tell you to translate it? What do you do when it does this before giving you the translation? I know sometimes it will give you the noun and its article and you can hover over it, but this is the different translation format. Sort of like the translations in this: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/19232853/French-word-translation . (My question is different than this person's, I just needed an image example). Basically, today for a new lesson duo gave me that style of question first so I just had to use google translate to continue since I hadn't actually been taught the word first. Is there a better option?

July 28, 2017



Maybe Duolingo is testing what you already know? I wouldn't use google translate for this personally. If I really didn't know, I'd make my best guess or skip it to let Duolingo know that I don't know it. Then, I'd make a note of the translation and would know what it means for next time. This won't be the last time that I'd see the word, so it's not a big deal if I missed it the first time.


True. I wouldn't always trust Google translate, but this time it was pretty clear I was safe doing it (they were cognates). Mostly it's the annoyance of "This is completely new and you're testing me already?" I realize it doesn't really matter, it's just annoying. Thanks, though!


If it were a cognate, I would have just guessed especially if it made sense in the sentence.


Well, yes, however I didn't know that those words were cognates until I looked them up. It certainly made it easier and made me more confident-- however no one really wants to be that stereotypical person who says "dog-o" or similar when guessing at a different language. While I find cognates quite useful when they exist, I try not to expect them all the time. Especially since false cognates do exist-- embarazada being the famous example. (Or perhaps infamous?)


For me, it's been important to be willing to make mistakes and even laugh at myself a little bit. I have one story that is guaranteed to make a French person laugh every time. However, everyone is different. We all have to figure out what approach works best for each of us personally.


Think of it as an exercise, not a test.

Duolingo teaches largely by trial and error and error is absolutely okay.


Yeah, I guess I do know that. I'm just kind of a perfectionist.


Usually Duo is pretty good about waiting to show you the picture exercises after they've introduced the word, but I've had a few where they spring the picture on me before I've learned the word. It's unnerving.

I freak out, take a stab at it, and hope for the best. It's not a big deal unless I'm on a mobile app and lose a heart. Then I sweat. :-)


You're right. I'm far more careful on the mobile app and check the hints more often just to be sure.

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