Chinese Lessons are too Strict on Answers
The answers required on the Chinese Lessons aren't what people will usually say in English. When they ask you to translate Chinese to English, I'm forced to type in a way that no one ever uses anymore. I speak fluent English and Chinese, so I can tell you that it needs to be fixed. One example: I put in United Kingdoms for 英国, but it marked me wrong and said the correct answer is UK. The Chinese is also sometimes grammatically incorrect.
Well as a native speaker I've been helping people on the forums for a month now in sentence discussions. Was alpha-testing, and half of my correct and fluent answers weren't accepted. When you come across those sentences, report them. Honestly, some translations were horrible eg "Who needs a fork" is supposed to be 谁需要个叉子, but the so-called correct translation is 谁要叉, which is an unnatural way of saying "Who WANTS a fork". But then, it's a beta course, so we should give it some time.
I have seen numerous complaints in the forums from native speakers that the translations are incorrect. Some of the English translations that are recommended are awkward and occasionally I've found one that is egregiously incorrect.
What I don't get...I know so many people who are native Chinese speakers and also speak very good English. Wouldn't they have a potentially massive pool from which to choose from? How could they have possibly selected people from the team who would make mistakes?
And does the team even have any native English speakers on it, checking the English translations?
Some of the failures in the course seem really basic. What is going on here?
To my knowledge DL only uses its own staff to make the Chinese course, and volunteers weren't accepted in the Incubator. I could be wrong though.
I feel the more you progress in this course, the more you have to remember duos "perfect answers", otherwise you will just keep getting it wrong.
Lately whenever I try to "strengthen my skill", I spend most of the time not learning words I have forgotten, but trying to remember whether the sentence have placed the time before the object or the object before the time. It is utterly frustrating.
I'm glad I'm not the only one experiencing this. I learned Chinese in college but had to quit the course because I didn't have time. I want to pick it up again and get better, but a lot of the answer are too strict, or not really right-- for example, in Contact 1, it uses "cellphone" and "number" interchangeably which... I've never heard of before? (Not to say I'm an expert at all). The way the lessons use 叫 is also really unstable, and in the same lesson will mark it being used as "call me ___" as both correct and incorrect. :(
It shows, there are serious deficiencies in the course beyond those the OP mentions here. I recently posted about how the hover-over hints are abysmal, many of them are totally missing or outright wrong, and I have seen literally zero progress or improvement in the hints since the course was launched...in spite of reporting.
Clearly, the team is overwhelmed and/or lacks the resources to keep up with the reports.