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A possible minor problem?

Hi all!

I've noticed a possible small/minor problem that I'm sure many of you may have noticed when using the mobile app. The problem arises when you are given a sentence to translate and you have a preset amount of words to choose from; you always know what the first word will be (even if you truly don't know it) because the first word of the sentence will always start with a capital letter. So you can basically cheat a little bit, so as I said it's a very minor problem, you still end up learning what the word is, but perhaps it'd be more challenging if the word selection had no capital letters for the first word of the sentence and instead changed to a capital after you selected a word? What do you guys think? Much appreciated! Thanks!

September 3, 2017



Duolingo has run tests on this. They found that users get frustrated when they cannot use this cue to get the right answer.


Okay, but then they don't learn as much.


Yes. That would present a problem if actual learning were the goal.


Duolingo has run tests on lowering frustration in other ways as well. More people quit when the frustration level is higher than if it is lower. So, it is a pay off. If more people complete a slightly easier course, than a ton of people quitting, in the long run, more people learn more than they otherwise would have. Seeing as Duolingo is a jumping off place, instead of a finishing place, it makes sense that they would want people to get as far as they could and at least be exposed to concepts than quitting.

I too would like a little more challenge. But, I get why they lower the bar sometimes.


That definitely makes sense, thanks for the input everyone!


Yeah, I can see that... Thanks!


(BelgianStr)~~Awesome! Thank you, I was unaware.


I've recently completed the Japanese for English speakers tree and I've noticed that sometimes (though, much less often), the first one isn't capitalized, or there are two words capitalized. Looks like they decided to change things up a bit, at least in the limited beta version. I'm liking how it appears to be breaking away from the pattern in this way. :)


I think that would probably be useful for the users of the mobile app, yes. I don't share this issue, whether fortunately or not, since I use the website. If you always know what the first word is, not only does it take you longer ( possibly) to learn the particular word, you also will learn a little less of the grammar, or will learn it slower.


That's one of the reasons I switched and now mostly use the web, it's more of a challenge and I think it forces you to retain more.


I would definitely agree.


I up-voted.

Newer Android app versions make it even worse than what you have described:

  • They either provide the full translation solution and you just have to click "Continue" (I saw that at least 2+ times)

  • They already provide 2-3 words from the beginning of the sentence you have to translate (I saw that a few times)

I had not seen that stuff on little bit older Android app versions.
Nowadays it is getting easier and easier...

Why don't they simply add a special "DuoLingo for kids" app or special (very easy / beginner / I am a kid) settings instead of pushing a learning and translation app into the wrong direction?

Yes, it is nice to be able to use the Android app version on Bluestacks emulator on your Laptop without any internet and complete those new 1-2 skills / ~10 new lessons in "cache / offline mode" near a sea, in park, at a park bank, etc.

That "cache mode" crashed many times on two older Android app versions (I lost many finished lessons) - but seems to work a little bit better / more stable now with V3.55.1, at least on the latest Bluestacks V3 (I had V2 before, not the latest V2 however).

But the Android app version is IMHO way too easy - even learning NEW lessons with pre-learned vocabulary (levels) on Memrise.
But it looks to me still better than how Mondly handles quite often word tapping (on the web):

Mondly plays the (target language = Portuguese for me) L2 audio for the shown L1 English sentence and I simply have to type (tap) those heared Portuguese words.
Isn't that stupid^2?! (sometimes you can laugh your heart out e.g reading RosettaStone reviews about features like that)

Tapping / trying to translate first and THEN hearing the audio - just to make sure or being able to correct afterwards - before hitting "Check/Continue" would be a much better solution.

On the other side:
The sentences (phrases related to an topic/theme) are sometimes quite longer (longer = more difficult) on Mondly than those shorter DuoLingo sentences.

Q: Aren't the DuoLingo Android app sentences a bit longer than on the web, too??? - maybe it was just for those 2 skills today.

I am almost sure that I won't be using the DuoLingo mobile app too much.

Well, with a Smartphone I would maybe use it occasionally, if I am not at home, to learn some new stuff and just want to throw in 10-20 min.
You can boost quite quickly through skills and collect many XPs....and you could review those skills later on the web.

I am not sure if strengthening skills would make any sense with the app, probably not.

I like Camilo's (web) user script "DuoLingo tree enhancer" just too much, including for my normal/forward EN-PT course which can play PT (L2) audio all the time (right hand side answers).


Thanks for up-voting, and for all of your input! I didn't know about those other features in the android app that you brought up, I think that may be too easy, it nullifies what I would deem valuable opportunity for deduction.

I first started duolingo via the iOS app, but now I've mainly switched over to the web for reasons such as these... That's also my worry, that they will gradually make it easier and easier in effort to appeal to everyone. I think the web is more of a challenge and helps you to retain more, but I still use the iOS app alongside the web, I love the chatbot feature, and of course it's convenient when you are not around a computer. They both have strengths that the other does not, so I find myself using both, just the web more.

I was upset to notice that the extended quiz is gone from the lingot store! I've been planning on purchasing it when I further completed my tree. Have you tried the iOS app though? Maybe you have an iPad? From what I've seen/heard it's better than the android one.


I have good news! I am NOT in the health/gems Android A/B test group.
Not yet! :-)
Hopefully that stays...as I was maybe planning for an Android smartphone to take with me when I am more on the way...

IOS? Well, no thanks.
I guess that would make the possibility almost 99,99% that I get health on the mobile app?! ;)
I did the progress quiz 1-2 times and I really enjoyed it (first after ~3 months).
We need a "global strenghten skills button to work like that!!!
Really nice to see some combined / different grammar stuff - across multiple skills - all in one single learning session!
I would have taken it again after a few new learned grammar tense skills - but now even my old quiz history is erased.

What I like about the Android mobile app (learning new lessons) vs web:

  • 3 words choose extercises
  • find the pairs (from two word rows)

These are additionally thrown (in the middle of the lesson) between normal translating question excercises...


I envy you... haha. Although I'm basically getting double the currency because my web account still uses lingots and my iOS app uses gems, so when I complete a lesson I get both gems and lingots. Hopefully that doesn't change soon xD And hopefully they introduce some more stuff to the store!

I like the global strengthen skills idea. Yeah, a variety is best I suppose, switching it up between the app and the web.


I've noticed that as well, sometimes it helps me haha, but I wish it wasn't capitalized so it was harder.


The capitalization is a very estrict rule in Spanish and other languages, and I think that wouldn't be a problem.


Thank you for the lingot(s)!!!!!!

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