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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

FAQ: "My answer should be accepted/There is a problem with the sentence"

Greetings everyone!

Occasionally while doing a lesson you may encounter a problem with a sentence: the original sentence is incorrect or unnatural, the correction you receive contains a mistake, or the hints are missing/misleading. More commonly, you may enter a correct translation that is not yet accepted.

How does this happen and what should you do?

In order to answer this question, let me first lift some of the mystery that shrouds the development of your language courses.

The courses on Duolingo are created and/or maintained by a small group of contributing teams ranging between 2 to 5 people. These contributors organize lessons and add words to teach specific vocabulary terms and grammar points. Once a word has been added, new and inventive sentences are created to demonstrate how to use the new term. Each new sentence must then be translated in as many ways as possible. Even fairly simple sentences can have 50 or more possible translations. Complex sentences can have hundreds of possible translations. This all must be entered by the contributors themselves; a computer does not generate translations.

Let's take a very simple example found in the French course: Elle fait du fromage.

For this sentence one could write:

  • She makes some cheese.
  • She makes cheese.
  • She is making some cheese.
  • She is making cheese.
  • She prepares some cheese.
  • She prepares cheese.
  • She is preparing some cheese.
  • She is preparing cheese.

That is 8 possible translations into English for a very simple sentence.

Then that sentence must be translated back into French:

  • Elle fait du fromage.
  • Elle prépare du fromage.
  • Elle est en train de faire du fromage.
  • Elle est en train de préparer du fromage.

A slightly more complex sentence like, Vous pouvez avoir ce livre gratuitement has "81 possible translations into English.
This sentence Finalement, la mère demande à sa fille de goûter au café has 397 possible English translations.
Il faut que nous ayons informé les familles ce soir has 1729 possible translations.

When a new tree version is created there will be hundreds or even thousands of new sentences to go with the new vocabulary. In the process, some possible translations may not yet be accepted, because either the contributors didn't conceive of that alternative or simply forgot. Additionally, mistakes can happen when adding a lot of new material. This is where you can help make the course better for other learners. If you are absolutely certain that your answer should have been accepted (no missing nor extra accent, no missing nor extra punctuation, no typo, no grammar error, etc.) or there is another problem, please click on the REPORT tab at the bottom of the page.

Also, if your answer is identical to the translation displayed and still graded as incorrect, this is a bug. Any translation you're shown is present in our list of accepted translations. If you want to report it, please do so through the bug form, and remember to add a screenshot.

Depending on the type of exercise, REPORT brings up part or all of this list of options:

  • The audio does not sound correct.
  • The dictionary hints on hover are wrong or missing.
  • The French/English sentence is unnatural or has an error.
  • The "Correct solution" is unnatural or has an error.
  • My answer should be accepted.

Choose the appropriate option and a course contributor will at see it and fix the problem as soon as possible.
NOTE: If you are not sure if your answer should be accepted or not, please do not report it, but click on DISCUSS found next to the REPORT button. This will open a window to the sentence discussion. Here you may find other learners with the same question. IMPORTANT! Please read what others have posted before writing your question. It is possible that your question has already been answered by a moderator, contributor, educator, or fellow learner. If it has not been answered, but someone else has asked the same question, you can simply upvote their question. Adding "me too," "ditto," "I have the same question," tends to just clutter the page and makes it difficult to find information. If no one else has the same question as you do, please write your question and be sure to click "Follow" on the top right corner. If your email notifications are turned on, when someone responds to your question, you will receive an email.

Thank you very much for your patience and help! You can make the courses here better and help this community of learners.

Good luck and best wishes in your studies!

-Tex

March 29, 2018

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tiramisues

1729 possible translations

WOW.

Thank you and the rest of the contributors so much for all your hard work!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marie-Clai133496

What about the enormous mistakes on the Irish course, something like ( I am making it up for illustration purposes) "Ils fait de la fromage", completely wrong and still not corrected after 4 years of being reported...

I do not mind sticking to the answers in English or Irish that the computer system accepts, it is the completely incorrect answers which are annoying.

You have to learn to give Duolingo the wrong answer and try to remember the correct answer, and remember not to use it on duolingo...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CommeuneTexane

I can't speak for the Irish course, so this is just an idea, but since it is a very old problem, perhaps you can make a post in the Irish/English forum? Explain the mistake clearly, link the sentence discussion, and remember that the contributors are only human too. Perhaps this sentence is just buried in the course and they haven't seen it yet...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrenchWarriorCat

Thanks, that explains why some of my translations are not getting through.

Merci!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EL5tEL

Thanks for this great explanation! I understand the process much better and will continue to point to this comment when questions come up. A huge thanks to those volunteers who read all of the submissions and answer the questions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas_Wesley

Very informative. Thank you!


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