1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. DL not correcting egregious e…


DL not correcting egregious errors

Why do DL not correct definite and egregious errors even when they have been reported on multiple occasions?

I have just answered a question where a correct answer is rejected and the suggestion is completely wrong. The discussion confirms this and indicates that it has been reported but still it remains, potentially confusing everyone.

What is the point of providing a 'report' button if they are going to ignore it and leave incorrect behaviour in place?

January 10, 2018



It varies, depending on team. The Spanish -> English team lets me know from time to time that they've added an alternative translation that I've suggested.

  • Because the number of course moderators are limited. (Though adding loads more does not equal better results)

  • Because there are a lot of reports to go through, and unfortunately a lot of them shouldn't have been reported. Why?

Spelling errors, grammatical errors, word order etc.

Some people seem to think that if they make a small mistake their answer should still be accepted (no we cannot add wrong answers). E.g. writing they instead of the, using wrong word conjugations etc.. A comment often made is I'm learning Dutch/French/German/Italian, not English, so accept my mistake.

Wrong articles.

While English only has the other languages have several options le/la, de/het, der/die/das, etc.. Duolingo checks for left to right, hence if you use the wrong article, and there is a possible noun that goes with that article it will suggest that answer. Though still people seem to think that their answer should have been accepted. Perhaps it would have been better to suggest the other article rather than a different noun but that is something course contributors cannot change. E.g. (in Dutch):

  • The girl = het meisje - de meid
  • Write de meisje and it will suggest to use de meid

Absolute nonsense:

Some examples: "fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff", "aboaingeaoeiteawoinvbonabeoiwneiojewfon". Or even complete unrelated sentences etc..

Correct answers:

Yes often it happens that correct answers are reported. It can be that it is a bug, or it can be that people are just using the report function for the sake of using the report function. We can test it in the incubator if it will indicate that the answer will be rejected or not. Though unfortunately if there's a bug it will not show in the incubator.

Now obviously these examples are fairly easy to identify that they should be rejected. However, it still takes time to deal with them. Especially when you keep in mind that there are often hundreds if not thousands of reports per skill to deal with. I see that the Italian course has 3 contributors at the moment so that is a lot of work to deal with. And while with some reports it is clear what the issue is, with some you have to have a close look to spot why that answer was rejected.

Then there is also the issues that while contributors generally are fluent in both languages, they don't know everything. So if something is reported it can take some time to look things up. Often people will say "I am English/German/French/Italian/Dutch and we (don't) say it like that", sometimes it's true, sometimes it isn't. It would help if there was some reference but mostly it is up to the contributors to check if that is the case.

  • Issues contributors cannot change

In the Dutch course there have been some issues with sentences already being completed in the app and/or being rejected (often related to the presence of a 's) or contractions that are wrong. Those are issues contributors cannot do anything about. We can only provide the correct answers in the system. Contractions for example are handled by algorithms. Hence these should be reported with a bug report.

So yes you should use the report function if you are convinced that your answer should be accepted. Though keep in mind that there are a lot of reports and it can take a while until your report is handled.


Thanks for the comprehensive write-up. A good reference, indeed.

It seems to me that the report option that actually sends a user's sentence to the Incubator is only available if the sentence has been counted wrong, so that all the correct answers showing up are necessarily due to bugs (or, potentially, additional answers having been included after the report was submitted and it not having been deleted for whatever reason). Am I missing something?


Could be several options. Perhaps in the past it was possible to select that option even though the sentence was accepted. Or else it may have been related to a (temporary) bug that would reject the answer, give the option to report it even though it was accepted.

It is possible to see when the report was submitted so that would make it possible to see if the answers were adjusted before or after the submission.

For clarity, if your answer is rejected and is exactly the same as the suggested answer it is best to take a screenshot and send a bug report.

Alternatively the screenshot can be uploaded somewhere and the link posted in the sentence discussion. That way contributors can easily identify what the issue might be and other users experiencing the same issue can also use that screenshot to send a bug report.

Unfortunately a lot of people simply comment "my answer as exactly the same and was rejected", without making a screenshot or even reporting it. This makes it impossible to know if there is an issue or (what often is the case when people did report it) that there was an error present in their answer.


For clarity, if your answer is rejected and is exactly the same as the suggested answer it is best to take a screenshot and send a bug report.

Have seen requests for this for the Greek and Turkish courses and maybe Dutch, too. Have been happy to comply and will keep on doing so. Thanks for all the work you guys put in!


I think the all-volunteer language team idea is really starting to fray at the edges and is proving unworkable. Italian never picks up these errors. But hey, it’s free.


It's still weird that some errors remain for so long. I know it's all free, I know the volunteers are doing the best job they can, but sometimes it just seems as if errors aren't communicated properly, in some way.


My understanding is that the volunteers are swamped with reports. When you compound this with the fact that many of the reports are repeats and many are probably off-base (just because someone thinks their translation should be accepted doesn't mean it should), the volunteers have their work cut out for them.


That's very unfortunate. I always avoid to report something, unless I am absolutely sure there's an error involved - that means I first check the discussion to see if other people have noticed the same thing. I suppose the system would work better if we all were a bit more cautious with reporting everything that might seem strange.


free program that sucks < paid program that works


Or Duolingo that works against Rosetta Stone that doesn’t work


Without giving an example, it could be your answer is incorrect.


The Irish course errors are still there after...3 years of, I assume, endless reporting.

It does seem that the errors are even more blatant towards the end part of the course. I suppose the course creators and the people who tested the course may have ran out of steam...

On top of that, assuming the team that is supposed to read the report button results exist at all, if that team starts working on the most reported errors, then the end part of the course being less frequented will forever be neglected...

Anyway, I am so used to "errors" by now, that (in a perverse way !), I am nearly "enjoying" the unexpected and varied way in which it can occur !

All part of the fun!


Some errors are easy to correct...such as adding other translations or removing erroneous ones. Some errors would entail a whole change of the computer system...which is not in the hands of the moderators who usually report it to the tech staff.

Errors in the source language are also not easy to change which is one reason we have the option of creating a new tree. Creating a new tree which we hope will be richer and of course as error-free as humanly possible takes time and the cooperation of a whole team...and yes all volunteers so with jobs and families etc.

I'm not here to make excuses for the mods but just wanted you all to know we are trying our best and some of us work longer hours on Duo than we do on regular 9-5 jobs.


Errors in the source language are also not easy to change which is one reason we have the option of creating a new tree.

You mean the language the tree is teaching, right? Not sure if this is a typo or a different way of thinking about the matter; to me that'd be the target language.


Years ago, I reported errors in both the Russian and Ukrainian courses, and then subsequently received messages that my concerns had been addressed. These were on the web version, not the app, and there was a lag time of days to weeks before I got responses. However, I appreciated the feedback, and it was very satisfying to know that at that time the system was working,

[deactivated user]

    To this day I'm yet to find out if the sloppy translations that are reported are looked at or not. In German I don't think so... I've read messages from 3/4 years ago and the bad translations remain in place.


    The useful reports are buried in heaps upon heaps of garbage. I once saw the list of reports for a sentence as simple as "I am a man." There were dozens: all of them, unsurprisingly, useless.

    For the particularly egregious cases (i.e. it's been years), I don't think making a discussion in the relevant course forum to draw attention to the issue is inappropriate.

    Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.