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Impossible to guess occupation genders

I've recently had (and reported each time), several instances of the German course expecting me to guess the gender of an occupation without any context.

These are the picture type questions where you are asked to select which German picture/word matches the English version.

I keep getting "the teacher" and being offered both "der Lehrer" and "die Lehrerin" as 2 of the 3 options. And similarly, I keep getting "the cook" with both "der Koch" and "die Köchin" as 2 of the 3 options.

Which one is deemed correct keeps shifting, presumably based on which word Duolingo currently thinks I need practice on. But of course it's completely impossible to guess from "the teacher" or "the cook" whether Duolingo is currently thinking of a man or a woman.

Is this new, another sign of Pearson getting involved in the course, or an old problem? It seems scarcely believable that something so obviously silly has been allowed to be here for a long period, but I guess I shouldn't rule it out.

October 2, 2017



You are spot on about this issue. This is a problem with Duolingo (most likely with the Pearson course content bleeding into the general course). I have reported it too, and hope they do something about it soon.

It is not just annoying but worse, as it confuses and doesn't help you learn.


I have also had this problem. The prompt given is, e.g. "the teacher" (with NO gender indication in English), and then both "der Lehrer" und "die Lehrerin" are given as possible responses, but the exercise is expecting only one or the other: for example, I might select "der Lehrer" but the exercise would say that my answer was incorrect, as it wanted "die Lehrerin".


These are the picture type questions where you are asked to select which German picture/word matches the English version.

Are you referring to photos or Duo's blocky clipart? (I'm assuming this problem is on the web, but it's not clear.) I understand that they're planning to bring the clipart-style pictures to the web soon, in which case it would be simple to have different pictures for male and female teachers, etc.
I certainly didn't encounter this problem when I did the German tree a fair while ago; I have recently started to revisit it to fill in the gaps since the last update and I haven't noticed this yet.


It's clipart, but surely you can understand that is not the problem? I can see perfectly well that one picture is a man and one is a woman. What I cannot see is Duolingo's secret plan to mark "der Lehrer" as a wrong translation of "the teacher" and "die Lehrerin" as the correct translation, because it's decided that "the teacher" means a woman this time around. As opposed to yesterday when it decided "der Lehrer" was correct and "die Lehrerin" was wrong.


Apologies—I haven't seen this exercise in the flesh; are you saying that you are given (for example) the word 'teacher' and you must select a single picture (or word) that includes both male and female versions? If so, there's nothing they could do about that apart from changing the default English translations where possible (e.g. 'schoolmaster' and 'schoolmistress'), although this isn't possible at all with 'cook' and many others. If this is the case, then it is simply a very ill-thought-out functionality issue with how the website works with certain languages (possibly connected with the new code). I'm not sure it necessarily has anything to do with Pearson.


Yes. I am saying I am given an English term (either "the teacher" or "the cook") and required to select the ONE correct German translation. And in the last week, I have been regularly presented with two options both of which are in fact correct, and one of which is marked wrong by Duolingo. It is impossible to guess which one Duolingo will think is correct because the English version does not say "male teacher" or "female teacher".

What they can do about it is make sure that you never ever get given both of the German terms as options. Either "der Lehrer" or "die Lehrerin" should be one of the 3 choices given, but never both.


This complaint about the Swedish course sounds rather similar to yours (multiple words with a single English translation making the correct answer impossible to determine), which further suggests it's a new code problem and nothing to do with Pearson (I don't think Pearson has any involvement with Swedish).


I created this discussion before I saw this report.


It's possible to submit a bug report, as described by Pentaan.


I see the problem. This is indeed an issue. Both are correct I assume since in English it's the same word for both.

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