Chinese course translations are so bad I cannot advance #leavingduolingo
I've decided to use FluentU instead for my practice needs because sometimes you really do get what you pay for. They- unlike Duolingo - understand that expecting someone to nit pick over English verb tenses instead of digesting complex Chinese grammar/meanings is a pointless exercise.
It is frustrating and unacceptable that I am literally being held back by Duolingo because I sometimes type "we are" instead of "we're" (or I use the reverse construction for translating English to Chinese). As a result, the system is logging an inaccurate number of wrong answers from me which does not reflect my proper level of proficiency.
In short, Duolingo is a useful tool for Western languages but a total rethink of non-Western courses is definitely in order!
Just report the sentences; the courses are made completely by volunteers who probably missed a few things while combing for errors. Reporting the sentences will help fix the course.
Also I don’t know why a course is bad because it’s “non-western”; the Vietnamese course is pretty good and that language has very similar grammar to Chinese.
I don't do the Chinese course, but I was reading a comment in the French forums earlier today where there's a similar problem with having to type "it is" because "it's" is never accepted.
The problem seems to stem from the fact that Duo ignores punctuation when grading our submissions. Therefore, Duo cannot differentiate between "it's" (it is) and "its" (belonging to it), or between "we're" (we are) and "were" (3rd person plural past tense of "to be").
It's a minor aggravation for us users, and I can see how it would be a nightmare for the programmers.
If you are getting other types of answers flagged as incorrect, just report the error. That's how the courses improve, via crowd-sourcing. It's also worth noting that Chinese is a very new course, only recently having graduated from beta-testing. This does not mean that the Chinese course is finished and error-free, only that the number of reports per 1000 exercises has dropped below a certain threshold.
“crowd-sourcing” is not a good word here, because Duolingo doesn't seem to listen to feedback about this course. We can only click the report button and hope for good surprise.
However, I've never seen a problem with "it's" vs. "its" or "we're" vs. "were." I'd be thinking there's some new bug that's cropped up. Duolingo handles contractions automatically, so normally there'd be no way for "we are" to not be accepted when "we're" is since "we're" wouldn't even have been directly entered into the system. It'd just be accepted because it's a variation on "we are," which the contributors would enter.