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Duo dings me for using alternative translations, WHY?

8 times over the course of the past week, while working through the course at level 9 , Duo has "punished"me (.....lol) for using alternative translations from their drop-down menus on the words. I ignored this issue thinking was a 1 time accident of the person doing data entry. BUT, 8 TIMES! and i am only at level 9. Please don't tell me, Just suck it up and get on"..... c'est n'est pas logique....Why bother with the alternatives if we can't use them, especially in cases where the English translation makes perfect sense? What gives? Am I out of the loop on this? .

September 10, 2017



The suggested translations are not always valid in context. They are only here to help you, not to do the job for you.


By the way, level 9 is only related to your amount of XP. It would be good to give us the name of a skill or lesson, and quote a sentence where it happened. We will then be able to tell you why choosing that alternate translation was not judicious.

For example: Family, Lesson 2, 'Nous sommes frère et sœur'. In this one, if you aim at 'et', it shows 'and' and 'plus' as possible translations. Needless to say, if you translate the sentence into 'We are brother plus sister', Duolingo will not accept it (I have tried it, and of course it said: 'You used the wrong word').


Pearson has joined Duolingo to make their own course with their language courses, so there may be errors and different questions in the current courses since these courses have gotten mixed up. The contributors are fixing this.


The course makers did not anticipate ALL the possible correct answers. Eventually they will add your translations, if they are correct, if you INSIST you are right.


thanks y'all. I read your comments. And I suspect that the person who did the drop down menus was on a team...and that team discussed these sorts of things before and during their MAJOR task of covering all these sentences...Much credit to them for the meat of the meal is done, it is in the details.... .I would suggest a fall back to cover for what is mentioned by Marc D50, and gatquo is to ding the student the first time, if it is really an absurd response and then let it pass on the second time. However from my observation, I could easily think of natural contexts (my desire to expand my facility to reach for various descriptive words). Where the menu items begin with #1, anglicizing the French word (which was always correct, I think) to choosing a more colorful, more precise, or just plain alternative synonym. If there were 2nd and 3rds menu items that were frequently far our on the spectrum of meaning,, then I think we could flay the menu editor(s). But I didnt find that to be the case,,,,and as for me choosing "plus" for "et" I wouldn't try to justify such a choice except in its particular context.

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