The pictures give away the answer!
Recently I've been getting some ridiculous questions in the browser version of the German tree where I'm asked to select the correct German translation of an English word. I'm presented with three German alternatives, each accompanied by a describing picture. German is the language I'm learning and I'm assumed to know English, but the pictures still accompany the German word! It's fine the other way around, but this way I'm not required to even glance at the German words to pick out the correct answer. I've tried to report the questions but when I press "report a problem" my only option is to report that the pictures don't match the words. Anyone else having the same problem? I'm I the only one bothered by it?
I'm not sure if I understand the problem you are describing because you write that you have encountered this "recently".
It's an English word (say: "boy"), and then there are four pictures, each with a German word, and one of them shows a boy with the German word "Junge"?
This is intentional, and this should already happen quite early in the course because this is how (some of the) new words are introduced. This is what I found in the Swedish, Italian, Spanish courses at least.
Of course you can pick the answer by just looking at the picture. But you should also look at the German word and memorize it because it will be needed in the next few sentences and in subsequent lessons.
But I'm not sure if I understood your question correctly. :-( So if my answer doesn't answer your question, please just say so. :-)
Yes, that describes my problem. When I started using duolingo I tried the android app which had this behavior, and that is one of the reasons that I've mostly used the web version since. I still think it would be more appropriate to place the picture next to the English word even when introducing new words, especially since duolingo already offers hints when hovering over words. But it's not when doing new lessons I've encountered this kind of question, but when I've been reviewing old skills. When doing that I what to test myself to see if I still remember the words, not receive questions that are impossible to fail.
Ah, I see. I've never perceived this as a problem because when I try to challenge myself, I just don't look at the pictures and try to give "my" answer first. And I look at the other pictures without looking at the words and try to figure them out, too.
I use the "hover" feature as seldom as possible; I always consider it my failure when I have to look up a word by hovering over it.