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Ratio between translation directions when strengthening skills is not good in my opinion

Hi Guys,

I personally think, that in Duo you are most of the time asked to translate from the language you are learning to your language. You have to do it the other way round very rarely. I would estimate the ratio is something like 80:20. I think it would be so much more effective to have a ratio which is closer to 50:50, because translating from your language to the other language is essentially what you have to do in order to speak the language. Also when you just translating into your language you can usually guess the words, because they are similar to english or your own language or whatever. But that way you never really internalize what EXACTLY the word is in the language you are learning.

Now I would like to know, what you think about this topic. Am I the only one who thinks, the ratio is not good as it is right now? Do you think translating from the other language to your own language is more important? Wouldn't it be possible for Duo to implement a way to set your personal preference for this ratio?

Thank you very much in advance for your answers.

October 11, 2017



Well, those problems are nothing new on DuoLingo.
You would need to start the "reverse tree" course.

I am not sure why DL just doesn't ask the user - before he/she starts the strengthen exercise - how the "translation ratio" should look like, like you request it.

Q: Does the ratio change from 80:20 / 70:30 to 50:50, 10:90 or 20:80 / 30:70 if the tree is fully golden or you have finished it?
You can read in other threads that too many learners probably left DuoLingo more early, just because of a too difficult translation ratio in the beginning.

Unfortunately we have to accept, that DuoLingo is directed more and more only to "kids learning style" with that app stuff, not serious adult learners.

For longer sentences they even:

  • a) provide on more recent Android app versions the full answer (solution) and you just have to hit enter (how silly is THAT???)
  • b) show the first 2-4 words as part of the solution if the beginning is e.g more complicated or the sentence is longer (11-12 words) and you just have to add (tap) the rest of the sentence words.

Maybe DuoLingo should add new course difficulty levels: very easy, easy, mixed, difficult, hard....
to be able to continue their "support kids learning style" but do not harm the other serious adult learners.

Actually I am waiting for that they completely drop the typing support on the web and replace it (completely) - like Mondly languages - by something silly like tapping, with NO difference in difficulty levels (which may also be great for learning NEW skills on the 1st run, but which is - just like multiple-choice - quite bad for reviews and next 2nd/3rd runs).


What do you mean by "start the 'reverse tree' course"? How can I do that? I never use the app, because of this stupid thing, that you just have to choose the words instead of typing them. If they change this in the web version as well, I'll be gone in less than a second. Yes, I would totally appreciate if they were introducing difficulties. I mean, as far as I see it it's not even that much of trouble to do so.


If you were doing Portuguese for English speakers, you'd need to do English for Portuguese speakers.


Actually I am waiting for that they completely drop the typing support on the web and replace it by something silly like tapping, with no difference in difficulty levels.

Too late. It's already happened :( Cf: Japanese. Have a look in the stickied thread about Japanese and Korean for screenshots, complaints.


Duolingo uses a very good teaching method for beginners and for people, who want to brush up their school knowledge.

  1. In the course "Portuguese for English speakers" you are learning the grammar and the pronunciation. You will mostly translate from Potueguese to English and the user interface is in English.

  2. In the "reverse tree", the course "English for Portuguese speakers", you will mostly translate from English to Portuguese. The user interface is in Portuguese, and you can start to read (and write) in the Portuguese discussion forums.
    (Switch off the sound and microphone!)

  3. In the "laddering trees" you can do "Foreign language 2" from "Foreign language 1" and reverse. If you are learning two ore more foreign languages.
    These courses are my favourites.

  4. Duolingo Stories (beta-test, only available in Spanish and Portuguese)
    Duolingo Stories uses dialogue to help intermediate and advanced learners improve their reading, listening, and comprehension skills!


No, you are not the only person to think this. Many people have complained about it frequently. The reverse course, which you appear to have started, is the only option currently.


I want to recommend that you move (edit) your thread from Portuguese to DuoLingo(English) forum.

This is not related to the Portuguese language itself.


I'm totally aware of that, but DuoLingo(English) was not an option fo rme to choose. I could choose between "English from german", "portguguese from english" and "DuoLingo(German)" EDIT: Ok, when editing the post, there were a lot more options to chose from. I chose "Duolingo" now, guess that's better, isn't it?

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