Turn off typing exercises

Is there any chance to turn off typing exercises? My aunt is Latvian and she wants to learn english. Since Duolingo does not offer to learn English in Latvian, she is learning it in Russian. However, she does not know how to type in Russian, which means that she cannot advance to next levels, since she cannot finish previous levels while always failing to complete writing tasks. Is there any way to turn off the writing exercises?

February 5, 2018


[deactivated user]

    Is there any chance to turn off typing exercises?

    No... they're kind of the bread and butter of the courses.

    February 5, 2018

    On the web, yes, on the app, no.

    February 5, 2018

    No. You cannot turn off typing exercises on the web. You can only turn off listening exercises.

    February 5, 2018

    And speaking exercises.

    February 5, 2018

    [deactivated user]

      I had no idea, thanks for the correction.

      February 5, 2018

      They exist on the app, but I think it's safe to say there are many more exercises where you select words from a word bank at the bottom of the screen.

      February 5, 2018

      Hi markado,

      Could you relocate this discussion in the “Troubleshooting" forum? Which is the place meant for such discussion. Thx!

      To relocate it (*), edit your original post then select said forum in the drop-down menu on top-left of the edition area (see here for details).

      (*) /!\ please, don’t create a new one /!\

      Have a look to this short guide to help you knowing where to post your (future) discussions on Duolingo’s forums.

      Turn off typing exercises

      There is not such option.

      February 5, 2018

      Yes, the way the question is phrased is about mere Duolingo functionality, but giving that the answer to the surface question is in the negative, it is really a broader question about language learning with a certain kind of impediment, like a "disability" wrought of circumstance. That seems to fit in the top-level forum, no?

      February 5, 2018

      I take it she's mostly using the app (since on the web almost everything would require typing in Russian, so the thought of doing anything without Russian typing probably wouldn't arise)?

      Russian keyboards are easily activated on smartphones and very easily used. Longer term she simply faces the same obstacle (only much lessened by the fact she actually speaks Russian) as any Latin-alphabet language native speaker learning to type in Russian. It is a manageable task. I put it off for a long while but then finally got myself a dual-labeled keyboard and it took me only a couple of hours, at which point I pretty much stopped using the dual-labeled keyboard. I suspect there's an undercurrent here of your aunt not being able to touch type any language, but if she has to hunt and peck for Latvian, then it shouldn't be too unfamiliar a notion to have to hunt and peck for Russian and with an appropriate keyboard it shouldn't be a large additional obstacle. If she gets used to doing it on a smartphone, perhaps doing it on a computer will strike her as much more manageable.

      There are sites out there with exercises specifically aimed at teaching touch typing in Russian Cyrillic if that'd be of interest:

      If "doesn't know how to type in Russian" means something more like "has problems with Russian spelling," then I think I'd recommend using Russian speech recognition on a smartphone. It won't solve the issue, but it'll make it less burdensome.

      February 5, 2018

      In this case, setting up Russian keyboard would not be a problem. My aunt understands and speaks Russian, however, she does not know how to write in Cyrillic, she could try to write words as they are pronounced, but it still would not allow her to pass typing exercises, since in Russian lot of words are written differently as they are pronounced. Nevertheless, You give me a good idea, to set up a Russian keyboard on her iPad and enable autocorrect, which might help in this case. Thank you.

      February 5, 2018

      For the typing exercises, you can also click on the word for a hint, which should help if she's a little dubious on the spelling of any given word.

      February 5, 2018

      This is probably too late, but if you enable spell checking for Russian on either a tablet (at least for Android) or on the website, then any Russian your aunt enters that is not spelled right will have a little red line below it, which will alert her to a problem with spelling.

      (I hope she is still using the course.)

      March 13, 2018

      piguy3: " I think I'd recommend using Russian speech recognition on a smartphone."

      That ´s exactly her solution. On the store or itunes look for "Gboard" the keyboard of Google and with it, she can talk and the phone will write.

      With two languages works excellent. That s what i use and how i can keep practicing with no stress, and you can really improve your speech.

      February 7, 2018

      Have you compared Gboard to iPhone built-in speech recognition? I've only used the later.

      February 7, 2018

      No i didnt, it looks they are the same thing, Gboard for android (free) and for iPhone the built-in speech recognition. (also free?) but yes, in any case thats her answer.

      February 7, 2018

      I think Gboard has a few languages the iPhone doesn't, Guaraní for example, so I've been meaning to check it out myself.

      February 7, 2018

      > Is there any chance to turn off typing exercises?

      YES! Here is how Thanks to your latvian aunt i learned it too.

      February 27, 2018

      Hello, I have heard that your aunt wants to speak English. There isn't a way to turn off the writing exercises but I'm Sure that Duolingo Will Add it In later on.

      February 5, 2018

      Hopefully one day, in the next 5+ years (1,3 years have already passed by!!!), there will an option to turn OFF those ridiculous multiple-choice challenges on the web portal as well :-)

      And if they are, maybe all challenges - like typing - are user customizable depending on if the tree is finished or not.

      February 7, 2018

      Hi Thomas,
      You only have to wait for a few months to receive the new "skill level" feature

      Duolingo is for beginners and for people who are refreshing their school knowledge.
      Personally, I like "those ridiculous multiple-choice challenges on the web", because ....

      • I really need them to improve the languages which I am learning (English, German and French).
      • They are even useful in Dutch (my mother tongue) to see which grammar can be difficult for foreign people.
      • For me, Duolingo is the first time in my life that I like learning languages. I really don't like the "schwere Wörter" learning method at school, Memrise etc.

      This is my personal point of view. I don't write this as a moderator.

      February 7, 2018

      I think there is missunderstanding, maybe its just me but i believed she does not want to type at all.

      Pentaan: Did you tried Gboard? (I know the answer)

      February 7, 2018

      I only replied to the comment of Thomas.Heiss

      Pentaan: Did you tried Gboard? (I know the answer)

      Yes, I am using Gboard on my Android phone.

      February 7, 2018

      Ok, think that it is an amazing complementary tool because you really must to speak well. Its not like the audio exercices where you can say "something like..." and get a correct answer... its trustable.

      February 8, 2018

      Well, instead of typing keep pressing the little world at the left of space key, select the first option and thats it, you just and only talk without typing, ever.

      The first time you ll need to select your languages and download the packages to use them outline.

      February 7, 2018


      Thanks for the tip.
      However I don't like to use Gboard for that purpose, because I want to learn languages thoroughly.
      For me, writing in the foreign language is very important for learning a language.

      February 7, 2018

      Hi Pentaan,

      I can understand your point, of course.

      But doing Memrise PT BR 1-7 and PT BR Basic clearly shows me:

      That there is a huge learning difference between

      • multiple options (and hits) aka remembering
      • vs self-rating answers (AnkiSRS)
      • vs Memrise "all typing' (quite hard) user script by Cooljingle activated for those courses with contained phrases/sentences: aka RECALLING

      Do I review more often / daily (backlog 0) with "all typing" activated?
      Well, no :-)
      Is it quite hard (for me)? Yes!
      But it definitely helps to activate it from time to time (my default is to have it turned ON all the time, as tere will be no "FALSE positives").

      Honestly, hardly possible (for me) at the moment to get those backlog(s) down to zero, even for PT6+PT7 alone ;)

      So I am thinking about to convert to AnkiSRS and self-rated answers for finished courses.

      But I do NOT enjoy the DuoLingo challenge concept (including newer select article / type word challenges) for my reverse PT-DE/PT-EN trees, nor the finished forward PT-EN tree.

      I also can not 100% focus on PT for the reverse.
      They ask me too many times about German articles in the newer challenges.

      Stupid, just because I have to use the reverse tree workaround to able to type PT.

      The mix between "too easy" and "too hard" is currently not very well made :(

      DuoLingo's system is e.g too stupid to know for my two reverse trees, that I already have finished the forward trees (there are MANY new words, but also well-known basic words) :(

      I still think that if this would be a great user option or the DuoLingo code would allow a user script to turn ON "all typing" in PT - converting ALL challenges to (fully) typing and forcing the translation direction.

      I could give it a go and see if I learn better / more, especially for my finished trees.

      Maybe not all days, not at all times....

      I probably would not have been using Memrise for more than one year, if those user scripts wouldn't exist and wouldn't have converted their web portal to something where I can better test my RECALLING (EN-PT).

      A course moderator has already replied to me elsewhere that typing usually won't give you longer sentences, just because of missing difficulty setting / skill crown level thing and the drop out rate was too high if they do it constantly.

      Reviewing skills is almost a joke with single word questions, especially for the wrong translation directions.

      Getting longer sentences in "timed practices" at the last 6 seconds is not nice either ;)

      I will copy this to a new thread "Turn OFF multiple-choice sentences - activate typing - customize translation direction"......

      February 8, 2018

      You only have to wait for a few months to receive the new "skill level" feature

      Hier habe ich derzeit meine (ggf. berichtigten) Zweifel.

      Ich muß irgendwie versuchen beide Reverse Bäume PT-DE u. PT-EN fertigzustellen, *BEVOR das "Skill Crown Level" Feature in den nächsten 3-6 Monaten online geht.

      Gezielte Reviews nach Strength wird es dann wohl erstmal nicht mehr geben (Skill Strength Viewer wird ggf. nicht kompatibel bleiben).

      I have my fears, that they will finally break all the reverse trees, as probably this feature will not use the right (reverse) translation direction, e.g PT.

      See my other (longer) comment posted some minutes ago, what is already going totally wrong for newer challenge types (e.g German article selects in PT-DE).

      They will probably throw in half-baked / half-tested new code, which has never been completely BETA tested for reverse trees or SR :( :(

      Too many ppl asking for that new feature....but it takes more time than just ~3 months...maybe 6 or even 12+ to test ALL side dependencies and compatiblity with existing user scripts.

      This is one of many reasons why I would be more a fan of having user scripts turn on "all typing", which perfectly works on Memrise (until new code updates are done).

      February 8, 2018

      It is certainly my hope that the skill levels will significantly obviate the need to have recourse to reverse trees to be able to actually practice recall of our target languages.

      I also dare hope that we'll be able to select a difficulty level to stay at for reverse trees that will maximize the amount of typing into our actual target language (i.e. keep the "difficulty" for getting too high, where translation would be into our well-known languages again). I know article selection exercises have been around for a good while; there are plenty of them for Italian and French, for example. Are there more of them all of a sudden for German? Obviously if those are ramping up, it would diminish the appeal of the lower difficulty levels for reverse trees, and my tepid hopes in their regard may be further dampened.

      February 8, 2018

      Has she tried using a Cyrillic input method on her computer?

      February 12, 2018

      you better read what she wants and why.

      February 12, 2018

      I'm also interested in this for the mobile app. On the computer I learn best by free typing, but typing on my phone is tedious. I would prefer to be able to turn it off on the mobile app.

      February 1, 2019

      I quite agree. Tedious and also I find my fingers chafing. In the end, I find this problem sufficiently serious to quit.

      May 24, 2019
      Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.