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Why is it that when I am translating a sentence from French to English, sometimes I will try several times to provide a response that Duo accepts as correct? Sometimes I have hovered over the word Duo has objected to and used the translation it supplies, and says it is wrong. Sometimes I have found I use the translation they have suggested is correct last time and they say it is wrong on my next attempt. I guess it doesn't really matter, in the end; I am a native English speaker and I am aware that the various English sentences are very close in meaning, but it is frustrating.

October 24, 2017



I find exactly the same thing and that this is much worse for French than other languages on Duo. Sometimes I'm sure my response is correct, agrees with the hints, but the app wants another answer...

I do find it annoying and sometimes feel like I'm not really being taught well.

I find it helpful to read the comments for a question and often learn more there.


Thanks, I hadn't thought of looking at the comments!


Yes, it is frustrating. French relies a lot on context. I'm sure you've heard that one. But it also pushes a lot of context into the conversation with shades of meaning. The English sentence "I'm bringing X..." has at least four translations I know of. Depending on the verb (amener, emmener, apporte, emporter)[1] you hear you can tell a lot of context about the action. Sadly that's just another way of saying you need to know the context to use the correct verb.

[1] https://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/amener-emmener-apporter-emporter-remporter-bring-take-french

I was having a lot of trouble with rencontrer, retrouver and other words around meetings. I finally learned that "rencontrer" carries the understanding that you met someone for the first time (or perhaps accidentally) and is probably closest to the English "to encounter" while retrouver is to meet someone based on a planned meeting. Duoling however kept giving sentences along the lines of "I met ...". Without knowing the subtle difference it's hard to tell why

  • I met some new friends today.
  • I met some colleagues for supper.

Shouldn't both be "retrouver" (or "rencontrer").

It does get better though. You've obviously been working at it so just take it as a sign that when French surprises you there is method somewhere in the madness.


Thanks, that is helpful and enlightening.

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