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Voice recognition issues

I've had this similar issue since I got the app who know how long ago.

I can't use the speaking and listening exercises on the iPhone app. It refuses to accept my answers as correct even when they are. And I repeatedly put in the right answer getting tagged incorrect unable to move on losing health losing progress. Only for it to invariably tell me the correct answer which is what I have been shouting and typing the whole time.

And I did this with Spanish my native language to test it out because I knew it would not be some slight mistake I'm making in my pronounciation if I got it wrong. And every last time I have to do a speaking exercise I can never get it to register a correct answer.

I know I may have a slight lisp or a bit of a mush mouth at times but even when I'm trying very hard to loudly and slowly enunciate it always tells me I'm wrong.

Can there be some sort of way to perhaps train the app to account for out vocal idiosyncrasies? Siri has people talk to it and record a few key phrases so it can adapt to your voice can't be app do something similar. I love the app I love learning new languages but I feel like I'm missing out on part of the journey but I can't trust the app to grade so I keep it off and do my best on my own making the app repeat the recorded phrases a few times over and trying to copy it as best i can with out knowing if I'm really getting it.

September 15, 2017



Do you have experience similar problems with a laptop or computer? Maybe your phone has a bad quality microphone, or it doesn't process your voice as fast as it should. Another possibilities, is that your environment is too noisy or you don't speak at the right distance. By the way, you can speak loudly, but shouting is not good for speech recognition.

What I usually do is: talk to the laptop exaggerating a little the foreign language, a little slower than usual, and I repeat the whole sentences 2 times, with a little pause before the first sentence, and another one before the repetition. If I pronounce badly a word, or I get lost a little, I always keep going until the end of the sentence, and repeat it. This is what gives me best results to recover from an error. A few times, I get the green colour the first time, but normally I get it after the 2nd repetition. Avoid reading as possible, try to repeat what you hear directly.

As a side note, to improve your pronunciation and get your mouth used to the new language, you could repeat all the sentences that you listen from Duolingo (trying to understand at the same time what are you saying). And a last thing I do, it's to listen to foreign language teachers in youtube, to get a feel of how it is actually pronounced the language. And later, when you are more advanced, you can try to listen and understand the natives, in youtube or elsewhere. Speaking similar to a native is the maximum level you can get, but doing it like a language teacher is usually enough...


I tend to shout in frustration after it's been a few times of it telling me my Spanish is wrong when I know it isn't it's my first language. all I have is my phone and a tablet. And I don't know it if would be the fault of the phone since it happened on my old phone too.

I feel like some work in the development end on improving this important part of the app would be warranted and much appreaciated.


Duolingo uses external voice recognition technology. They get what they can get I guess.


Have you tried speaking Spanish slowly and clearly and with a Mexican accent? The voice recognition doesn't seem to be checking that you are saying it correctly, at least in Spanish, it seems to be checking for the mistakes that gringos make and then marking them wrong. If you get the stresses on the right syllables and talk slowly enough it lets you get away with quite a bit.

I haven't tried it in languages other than Spanish, but it did take me ages to work out what it was expecting to hear. I can usually get it to take my answers on either the web or iphone version now, but at first it was quite hit and miss. Unfortunately I'm not actually sure my pronunciation has actually improved much, even though my success rate at the voice exercises has.

I do like piguy3's idea of using the iphone's inbuilt voice recognition. There was a very funny Japanese tv show where they asked Japanese people to use an iphone in English, https://youtu.be/1iSmWsO7eyQ


Mexican accent? all I know is my Puerto Rican accent. So it wants the accent an inflection that is indicative of Mexican Spanish?


The Spanish from Spain accent is also well recognised by the micro, as that is my native accent.


Well, I don't know! I do know that Puerto Rican Spanish can sound very different to the robo-voices. I'm just curious to know if it would accept your input if you copied Mexican (or, based on CarlosLM's comment, Castilian) pronunciation.

I'm not in any way saying it would be a good thing if it did, it's just the first thing that popped into my head.


Maybe you are right, but the ideal thing would be the help of another Puerto Rican (or another Latin American with similar accent) to know if they experience similar issues with the microphone. This reminds me of a TED talk, where a woman told about the problems that some black people experienced with experimental face recognition devices; her face wasn't being recognized because the initial models was mainly of white people.


I ignore Duolingo's voice recognition and do the typing exercises using the iPhone's built in voice recognition if I've got a hankering to speak (or, more frequently, if I don't feel like typing so much).


I’m having trouble with the app understanding English. It seems to have trouble on iPad or iPhone. Very frustrating. Using a headset seems to help, but I dont’ always have one available. It’s virtually assured to lose a point without a headset.


I have had this problem all along and it is so frustrating. I hate that even though I am repeating perfectly it does not record and then marks it wrong and won't let you finish the exercise. It is the only thing I hate about this program and discourages me for using it as I cannot get a sense of completion. Sometimes it will record the first sentence and then randomly stops. Grrrrrr.

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