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Discussions locked out?

When I first started here I tested out of a lot of things on my tree. Now I am going back and doing each lesson. At times I have a question on the lesson and hit the Discuss button on the bottom. I have found in many of the early lessons it says across the top that the discussion has been locked out and I am not able to post a question or give an answer.

It is not because it was a simple lesson and all the questions had been asked or answered correctly. For example the lesson said "Es una papa" and the answer was "It is a potato". I wanted to know if "He is a father" would have been accepted and it was not asked in the Discuss area previously. Also someone asked "Why is the "it" not stated in the Spanish sentence and there was not an adequate answer to the question and I was not allowed to put one there.

It is not because there were many off subject responses because there were only 14 responses in that Discuss subject. I have seen a Discuss subject about "That surely is my elephant" have hundreds of responses having nothing to do with the grammar of the sentence and it not be locked out. I do however hate these types of Discuss topics because it takes forever to wade through all of the garbage to find an explanation for your questions.

So why does Duolingo lock out Discuss topics on certain subjects?

January 1, 2018



I can't find that sentence. I did find this one, https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13373374, which says "It is a potato" and translates to "Es una papa" but it is not locked.

I found https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12549640 - "No es una papa, es un limón". It is locked. There are a lot of deleted comments in that discussion, such as:
- ...as potatoes are so often confused with lemons!
- ikr i once thought i saw an apple but it was a pineapple so yeah...
- Even if you're colorblind, the texture of the skin is so different, you would also need a large sight impediment to mistake a potato for a lemon.

Some sentences just seem to attract a lot of off-topic clutter. Clutter like that makes it hard for folks to find answers to legitimate questions, and even after they've been deleted they still make the discussion page load more slowly (even if you can't see the deleted comments, they're still there). So they get locked.

There are a lot of sentences that have not yet been cleaned up and locked. It takes a surprising amount of time to clean up a messy discussion.

You can always ask your question in the general forum. To answer your specific question, "He is a father" would not be accepted because la papa is the potato, el papá is the father, and el papa is the pope. Note the differences in gender and diacritical marks (accents).


I am sorry I did not add this.

I know that I can ask my questions in the general forum and have done so and received quick answers to my questions.

The problem is that if I am halfway through my lesson and I have a question about the sentence on the screen, I want to be able to ask and follow the discussion right away and not have to write the details of the sentence and answer down as well as write down what my question was and then get out of the lesson and go over to the discussion tab and write my question(s).

The Discuss button was created to let students of the language or other languages help each other. It is very clear that the Duolingo staff does not enter every discussion every day, week, month or year and answer peoples questions. It is a daunting task and is not expected. Thus is the reason for my question. Why prohibit other learners from answering questions in Discuss topics by locking them out.


La papa = the potato (feminine noun)
El Papa = the Pope (masculine noun)
El papá = the dad (masculine noun with an accent mark)


Thank you. I figured it was something like that.


I've seen some discussions get locked for having controversy in the comments typically related to the phrase, but I can't really imagine what "It's a potato" could have. There seems to be a few in the German from Spanish course, if I remember the course correctly. Also, just in case you still need help, to answer your question about the sentence: No, "he is a father" would not be accepted, that would be "Él es un padre". El papá works for "dad", but is different than La papa.


Thank you that helped.


No idea, but I'm finding it annoying too... There's a surprising number of them in the Portuguese lessons and I don't know why.

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