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Frustrating for Intermediate and Above Users

  • 1021

I'm having a hard time sticking with the course. It's terribly frustrating even though my Korean level is pretty high. Two main issues:

  1. Correct answers (that are variations of the expected answer) are not counted. For example, I just typed in 느려요 instead of the exacted 느립니다, and I got counted wrong.

  2. The answers are inconsistent. For example, sometimes "the woman" translated as "여자" and sometimes as "그 여자." Both are fine in my book, but I get counted off for adding 그 sometimes and counted off for not including 그 other times.

Because of this, it's really hard to test out of levels I already know really well. I'm just not sure which of the multiple correct answers the computer will be looking for.

October 29, 2017



It is in the beta stage. It is important that you (and everybody else) report all of these instances, so that they can improve the course further.

The Korean course is especially vulnerable to this problem because you can say the same thing in Korean in many different (and correct) ways.

  • 1021

I have been reporting them. It just means I have to take the test-out tests multiple times.


It is obvious that DL is not the best resource for improving once one has attained a certain proficiency in the language, however I though it would be useful for improving both hangul spelling and typing, as well as a review to further entrench vocabulary in long-term memory.. There is also a certain satisfaction, in trying to help improve the course with alternative translations and other suggestions.

I have felt the same frustration and disappointment. At first there was no opportunity to answer in hangul, and I nearly quit, but shortly after the rollout for desktop hangul appeared (I understand from another post that it was only available to "test groups",) and I renewed my efforts, making "reports", purposefully not entering what I knew was the accepted answer in order to expand the bank of answers, and making in depth suggestions at https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24887752 It was somewhat gratifying to see the team respond to many "reports", but I think it is unfortunate we can't communicate directly as was possible in the past. So far I haven't detected any feedback from the team to that discussion, and the same gross errors still exist in the early stages of the course.

The problem you bring up could be mitigated by simply specifying which level of speech we should practice in a given unit. As an example "For all the exercises in this unit, consider that you are speaking with a superior or elder, and use the most honorific form of the language.

And for other units instructions could be written to specify formal speech or casual speech..

Similar instructions could be given to limit answers to plural or singular,

And since we are on the topic of frustration, I was hoping there would be more units, more exercises within each unit, more problems within each exercise., and problems more true to life instead of so many trying to be "cute." As a comparison, the Spanish course unit total exceeds Korean by more than 20!

And now the tiles have appeared again. I am hoping that it is because I am on a different computer (traveling with my laptop), but if the same situation exists when I return to my desktop next week, DL and I will sadly part ways.


To go backwards, the Spanish course added many lessons since its inception, so that's not a fair comparison. I have been receiving some emails as well saying they're accepting my translation suggestions, so some progress is being made.

I do think it's an interesting idea for there to be a prompt to indicate which formality level they want for a question though. That would be a useful innovation. Plus it would pave the way for future lessons where they teach much more colloquial verb endings that couldn't be used in the course thus far.

While I'm at it, the onomatopoeia words are a good idea for future lessons considering how ubiquitous they are.


If you're an intermediate/advanced user, then Duolingo isn't the right tool for you. You're better off using appropriate materials for your level. Duolingo is for beginners.


Came here to comment this as well. I found that out after doing the level test and only having a number of skills left to complete.

  • 1021

Yeah, mostly I was hoping to have a simple way to keep up my Korean, since I don't use it much lately. If anyone has a suggestion for a different app that I could do that with, I'd really appreciate it.


Unfortunately the best bet is to make your own courses on Memrise. I've been doing that for a while, reading 신짱 and adding words to my own vocab list that I don't know. Same with Korean-version board games. I've learned tons of words this way, but all the leg work is on you. At least it is a good app in of itself.


It's frustrating because while these issues can be fixed by the gradual incorrect answer - reporting - incorporate new answer process, that's really slow and frustrating for the actual users of the course. I'm guessing the course was made by multiple native or fluent Korean speakers who could easily go through and add alternative translations - at least in the earlier stages that get the most traffic - in relatively little time.

I understand the course is in beta, and appreciate the creators' hard work... It's a vast course and a project that has been ongoing for a long time. However it really seems like there should have been more consistency and effort in writing acceptable answers on both the English and Korean sides.


There should be more people added to the team to do what you're describing. My Korean friend applied before it entered beta but was rejected; clearly that was a bad choice since there is a f***ton of work to do still.


For serious students, Shu Chaang has just posted an amazing compilation of helpful sites for learning Korean. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/25843190

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