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Am I missing something?

  • 226

So I last used Duolingo about 4 years ago. I started with German and didn't progress very far. Now 4 years later, I find Korean language has been recently added (I understand it is still in beta) and find it very different than I remember.

I guess I'm a bit confused with the learning process here.

It seems I am expected to know words without being taught them previously. The lesson introduction explains a bit of grammar, and then you take the lessons and are supposed to guess the right words? If you guess wrong, I'm assuming you lose points. You can look at the hints (which would also deduct points?), but shouldn't they be there to remind you of words you have previously been taught?

Then on the flip side, you're sometimes given pictures along with the multiple choice answers, making the correct answer obvious and too easy.

I breezed through the first couple of lessons only because I had learned the words elsewhere beforehand. If I hadn't, I would have just been picking answers at random. Or where you do not have multiple choices, not having a clue.

I don't know, maybe I am doing something wrong here?

December 2, 2017



don't worry, you don't get points deducted for looking at hints, or guessing wrong. you just might have to do that same question over until you've learned it

  • 226

Thanks for the quick response. So it really is just a "try until you get it right" kind of game. Except when it comes to words, the only way you're going to get a correct answer is by looking at a "hint" since you are never taught it. Seems a bit odd.

If that's how it is, then fair enough. I just wasn't sure if I was missing something.


Actually, you can get it right by trying, getting it wrong, but remembering the answer for the next time (or the time after that or . . .)


yeah, when i get a question wrong, it deducts points but when I am almost done with the lesson, it gives me that same question! Good Times!!


Just to add to all that has been said here: don't forget for many exercises you can use the drop down hints to find the word. When you use the hints Duo makes sure you get that word again later.

I know you're not new to Duo but I'm assuming a lot has changed. Here's a compilation of links you might like:

If you are new to Duolingo you may find these tips helpful: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/4821654




1st rule of Duolingo: read the comments before posting.

2nd rule; read the Tips notes on the page with the lessons

3.rd rule: use the hover drop down hints....move your cursor over a word and the meaning will appear.

Here is the whole Discussion link you might find helpful:


And of course, come back with any other questions.


The greatest success comes after failing a few times. The brain adapts helps put the words in long term instead of short term memory.

Not knowing the word and making educated guesses based on the rest of the sentence is probably the best way to learn. Very satisfying getting a word correct or close having never seen it before.

If you look at the words right before a lesson then all you are doing is a short term memory exercise.


HLM1, duolingo is an app for practicing grammar and for new vocabulary words. The fluently on the duo scale counts your progress in Duolingo plus the grammar you already know. If you want to strengthen your formality/rememberence of words, just go back to the previous Level.

People who learn duolingo use other learning tools aswell. I can see why you were confused because people say "I learned a language with Duolingo!" And your just like "how?".


Welcome back. It seems to be a teaching technique DL is using in the Korean course-- instruct / learn through testing. There have been several comments expressing mild frustration at vocabulary "slipped in" to the alphabet studies, and wounded ego protests of, "How was I supposed to know?" But is our goal simply to play the game and rack up points, or is there the higher goal of learning the language. It is not "cheating" to take a peek at a clue, and you won't lose any points. Finish the exercise and you will receive 10 points no matter how many times you have missed or peeked. Hopefully we won't need too many looks at any one word as it starts to etch its way into our brain. And thankfully, there aren't too many of those multiple choice questions that allow you to select the correct answer simply by recognizing a picture. (This, too, is a way of presenting vocab, though) The course is far from perfect, but it is worthwhile, though it should be only one of the sources you use if you really intend to learn he language. Browse the blogs on the "Korean Discussion page" https://www.duolingo.com/topic/950 and you will find all kinds of suggestion for supplementing your studies, as well as folks who will try to answer specific questions.

  • 226

Thanks, that does clear things up a bit. I guess I will just have to start seeing hints as something other than "cheating" and get used to a more "trial and error" way of learning, which is not the way I usually learn things. I did not really look much into how scoring works. I just see a red X and hear a "uhuh" sound and associate it with a bad thing.

You can see I have only progressed through a few lessons so far, but I have already been studying from a different resource for some time in the more traditional way.

It's already gotten a bit confusing where grammatical principles have been taught in a different order and I find myself thinking "wait, that's not what I was taught before" but that's just something that comes with the language.

I'll continue using Duolingo and see where it takes me, as despite my comments I have found it mostly entertaining to use.


The structure of Korean course (not only Korean...) has a failure. You are not expected to know unknown words. It is simply a course in a too early Beta phase.

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