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'Guessing' the answer

Dear Duolingo i sometimes encounter (i think it is often the first question of a new chapter) a question with photo and for example in german (Die, Das, Der) but the object itself you just have to guess because you have not yet learned that, for example i see a strawberry and i can choose one of the three above and next just guess the word and there is absolutely no way of knowing this at that time? Is this a technique to learn or? I encountered the same in my spanish course.


October 20, 2017



This is a good question. This topic was discussed recently and the responses mainly split into two groups. One group believed that introducing a new word that forced you to guess was a flaw, unfair and a distraction to the lesson. The other group believed that guessing new words is a learning technique, because this happens in real life situations. For example, new words will often come up when speaking to a native speaker or when reading. Sometimes you can guess the correct meaning of the new word by dissecting its base elements and by understanding the context in which it is spoken. Based on this, I believe that learning to "guess" a new word is a useful learning technique, especially as I progress in my language skills and when referring to resources outside of Duolingo.


This is a bit of a flaw. Luckily I learned alot of German before I started my 'Duolingo experience'. But I see your point and believe it should be remedied with a quick view of the words at the start.


Likely, there is no single correct answer because there is no single learner profile. Different people learn differently.

For me it works, because it simulates effectively an immersive learning situation.

Example, you are in a German-speaking country and in need of a public convenience. You are faced with three choices: a door says “Damen”, another says “Küche”, the third says “Herren”. Which one do you choose (assuming that you care about the distinction)?

The above actually happened to an Australian (the one with kangaroos) colleague of mine, btw.

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