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I'm a bit unsatisfied about my writing and participation in the reversed skill-tree's discussion

After I've finished the German skill- tree, I always wanted to do the the reversed skill-tree, which is English from German.

But not just that, I also wanted to help the German users who are using Duolingo by writing a solution for them in their Troubleshooting forum, Duolingo for German and English from German. By doing this, I expect that my skill in writing is improved as well.

I have been doing this for 4 months. Every time there is a new post, I answer it. So I've actually been following hundreds of posts from German instead of English.

But the main problem is, I always get the least upvotes compared to the others who are also like to comment on posts (not to mention spam, though). I remember that I got only 2 upvotes at the highest.

Ok, so others write long comments and replies to get upvotes/to be understood by someone. So I tried to write as detail as possible and long so I can be understood/upvoted. Turns out it is wrong. There is a user once who wrote less than 2 sentences and got upvoted. Mines are long but remain in 0. I am really confused.

If I remain on 0 (no upvotes) all the time, I always suspect myself that no one understands what I am writing about or maybe I just did a grammar mistake. Consequently, they just leave my comment 0. While the others got upvotes in less than an hour, Lingots and even a 'Danke', which means, they understood one's comment/answer.

Can someone give me an advice in regards to this problem? Or maybe I should just stop participating in the discussions for Germans?

H.w.: Sometimes, saying 'Danke' is better than upvotes and Lingots for me.


September 10, 2017



Sometimes less is more. Many people don't bother reading long posts.

If I have asked a question and someone explains it quickly, I will thank/upvote/lingot them but I might not take the time to read a later really long post. It would depend on how important or interesting the issue was to me.

Don't be downhearted - it is good that you are trying to help. Maybe you should ask a few questions on that forum too? And try for shorter answers.

good luck


This is sad to read. Don't take the voting system as meaning anything or compare yourself with other people's posts. People up- and down-vote for many reasons, not all of which are good. As long as you're trying to do the right thing, you have nothing to worry about. :)


Hi Dschaeson,

please don't stop your activity in this forum. I appreciate contributions here. Yes, sometimes you don't get an answer or an reaction. Perhaps the answer was not what the questioner wanted or it was helpful but he/she was to lazy to answer.

I don't attend to the upvotes and downvotes so much anymore. Not as much as I did in the first place. Sometimes people vote when they read and potentially think the answer is wrong/short/long/thin/fat whatever but they don't write their opinion just vote. Important for me is if the questioner is satisfied with the help. If there are more users say the same great!

Another thing is in my opinion the forum itself. I get only a "clock sign" that there is a reply when other users directly answer my posts. If they answer in the post I miss the answer sometimes when I forget to look. So this could also be a reason why you sometimes get no reaction.

Chin up! Manchmal ist Undank der Welten Lohn. Aber die Welt dreht sich weiter.

best regards Angel


I don't have any suggestions for you, but have a lingot on me for having the confidence to communicate with native speakers in a newly learned language and for having the heart to help folks.


Hey :)

I remember you from the German forums and if it's any consolation I didn't even notice that you weren't a native at first. I suspected it sometimes, but not because of anything major or worse than what some German speakers write, mostly in combination with your very English sounding name, but I'm German everyone calls me Sue, so who am I to judge? ;) In all honesty - your German is really good! And I appreciate you posting there and helping people!

Don't worry though! The up- and downvotes don't mean that much. Sometimes the person who answered first gets the most upvotes just because more people saw the post. Sometimes newbies don't know that they even have the ability to vote on comments. Some don't get how to reply on individual comments and some just don't thank anyone at all.

In the end you did help people, whether they acknowledge it or not and you improved your German as a side-effect.

Weiter so und lass dich nicht unterkriegen!


I think that reading comes before writing (being "listening comprehension" the most important skill to work on), and that to express your ideas clearly is fundamental that you first have been doing a lot of extensive reading. So to improve your writing and your success here on Duolingo, I would read lots of native German forums and get used to real life expressions or collocations, and I only would write if I have the urge to do so.

Well, my approach to language learning is rather passive, based on the ideas of the professor Stephen Krashen or the polyglot Steve Kaufmann, and anyway my main goal is to get to the point of "fluent understanding" in many languages, instead of being a fluent speaker of one or two. I think that this is a good way to get a good base, and that if the necessity arises, I would be able to get to a acceptable speaking fluency in a relatively short time.

Cheers and good luck with your German!


I'm sorry that you feel frustrated, and I would like to say, as others have done, that you should of course continue participating in the discussions.

Unfortunately, I can't remember any of your contributions. Could you please link to examples of your contributions? This will make it easier to see where the problems might lie.

When I reply to a question, I generally aim at the following scheme: In the first part, I reply to the question as short as possible (for the members of the Twitter generation that can't handle more than 140 characters LOL -- only joking!), and then, if I can, I add more specifics for those who are interested in more background information.

Edit: I just realize that I'm perhaps looking at the "wrong" forum -- because you do the reverse tree "Learn English from German". I only have the opposite direction in my folders, and I can't select the "German to English" forum without selecting that language course, which would clutter up my language selection.


The English(German) forum is terrible in my opinion. It's a bunch of spam. It's literally just spam, with a few good (mainly unanswered) questions. Sometimes Wataya comes to help though.


I'm surprised. Do we read the same forum (English-German)? In the English-German forum there is no more spam -- I would think even less spam -- than in other forums.

I reply to actual questions quite often.


Seriously? Granted, I haven't progressed far in the English for German speakers tree, but from the sentence discussions I have seen, it's 90% spam. Perhaps it gets better the farther you go down.


Ah, OK, the sentence discussions -- I thought we were talking about the general forum (the one we are viewing right now).

But according to what I see, the sentence discussions are also full of off-topic comments in other languages. Which can be quite funny, but is really annoying if you want to see the content of the discussion.


Yeah, sorry, I meant sentences.


If it is worth anything, I admire what you are doing and it must be improving your German. I am also working on the reverse tree as well as the Spanish-German tree. However, I have yet to begin writing comments.


You just MADE a grammar mistake. You do not DO mistakes


In Germany (at least in the south) there is a proverb: nicht geschimpft ist genug gelobt. In your case, not being downvoted is enough praise. Not all the Germans tend to praise your efforts, sometimes they just read your comment without any reaction. Don't be discouraged

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