Quality in Duolingo - German

Whether we like it or not, in German there are clear rules for upper and lower case writing. Why is DL so absolute ignorant of this fact? Accepting e.g. "sein vater ist lehrer" as correct German is not really helpful for learners. What do others DL users think?

July 9, 2018


To me as a German native "sein vater ist lehrer" really looks weird. In the above mentioned link Ridemulino wrote a (one) good example showing why capitalization is important:

"Der gefangene Floh. The trapped flea. Der Gefangene floh. The prisoner escapes."

In general I think it is a question of personal intentions. If you only want to be able to talk to people you may get through with oral knowledge.

I personally think written language is part of a complete language. And as already was said writing in the correct way can help you understand the phrase.

Concerning Duolingo I am joining mekeliki at this suggestion: "Perhaps a good solution would be to incorporate more strict grading as the program progresses."

Enjoy learning! :-)

July 10, 2018

I was going to argue with you, but I have seen this discussion:

I have learned the meaning of a sentence can change if certain words aren't capitalized, so yes, I guess you're right.

July 9, 2018

yes, there are many funny examples to demonstrate the importance of capitalization in German, similar to "Der Gefangene floh" vs "Der gefangene Floh". In the overwhelming majority of cases the written content is understandable nevertheless. I do not mean that keying in the wrong case should be sanctioned by DL. But learners should be given the correct written answer. When I learn a foreign language I am grateful for being told about the mistakes I make, even if it may not have too much of a practical relevance.

July 10, 2018

I think the philosophy at play here is that with enough repetition we will of course know the importance of capitalization. But, in the interest of moving people along and keeping them engaged I can see the merits of not nitpicking too much about it, at least in the beginning. I don't mean to suggest it isn't important because like you say, it really is. I just think there's an argument to be made, in the interest of maintaining enthusiasm, for relaxing the grading standards.

Perhaps a good solution would be to incorporate more strict grading as the program progresses. I think that would work nicely. Don't get me wrong though, you make an excellent point. In fact, I could probably be easily persuaded that being strict from the beginning is the best method. Who knows. They must have some reason for it, right!? maybe... :-)

July 10, 2018
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