In the Japanese course, alternative (kanji) answers are not accepted for listening exercises.

For listening exercises, only the "preferred translation" is accepted, which often does not include kanji. The system should accept (all?) alternative translations for the listening exercises to ensure that correct answers are not counted as incorrect.

Example: If ふくをかいました is expected, 服を買いました the kanji equivalent, will not be accepted in listening exercises. This needs to change.

July 22, 2018


I agree, it makes it so painful, especially when you are testing out of skills. I find that the Japanese course has an extra layer of complexity, not because of the language, but because you need to essentially know every skill like the back of your hand. When you're typing with the Japanese keyboard, you need to know which sentences you can stick with the Kanji, and which sentences you have to type in hiragana. The weird thing is, when you hover over a word, it gives you the kanji and furigana, so clearly it is in the system somewhere. Makes the whole thing quite off-putting and strenuous, as it becomes less about learning Japanese and more about knowing what and how to type the translations. So many times I've gotten a sentence wrong because I typed 「彼女」instead of 「かのじょ」, as Duo teaches that word in hiragana rather than in kanji, and thus the sentence is marked wrong despite the rest of it fully utilising kanji.

July 23, 2018

I can’t tell if this problem is lumped in with the one you mentioned here, but I just encountered a strange problem with a listening exercise on the app. Pics here:

Unless I’m going blind (not impossible), it seems that the program only wanted to accept this answer in one possible way.

July 23, 2018

Any time it doesn't accept an answer that it should, you can use the report flag at the bottom to let the course team know. I do it all the time when I run into a problem on my tree. You could also comment in the sentence discussion thread so you can get active feedback and maybe an update when the correction is made.

July 23, 2018

As a contributor to the course myself, I realize this :] this report is about listening exercises in particular, which only accept the "suggested" and not "alternative" answers.

July 23, 2018

Are there any plans to fix this at all? It has been a while since this post went up and it is still an issue. Even if there was just an option in the "report" section to say "My answer is right but your system is too stupid to realize" would make me feel less frustrated when it tells me my answer is wrong when it isn't.

May 22, 2019

Still no sign of this being fixed after 10 months. My main issue is that often both the correct kanji and hiragana are available in the word bank, hence there is literally no way of knowing what answer they are expecting.

May 27, 2019

I need to find a way to actually try out these listening exercises. I've not yet encountered any, presumably because I always have the "speaker" setting disabled since I listen to music whenever I use Duolingo.

I guess I could try enabling the speaker option but muting the browser tab instead? Or are listening exercises for the mobile app only?

July 22, 2018

Turning off the speaker does mute Duolingo, so you'll never get any listening exercises. That's actually the point of disabling the speaker.

July 23, 2018

I have the "speaker" option disabled but left the "sound effects" option enabled. This stops sentences from being read out automatically. It used to still play the sound effects this way and I can manually play the sentence audio.

There didn't used to be any listening exercises in the Japanese course. They're a pretty recent addition. So this wasn't the specific purpose of disabling the speaker option until recently.

I've enabled the speaker option now, and even left the browser tab unmuted, yet I'm still not having any luck encountering even one listening exercise so far. It's not an A/B test for the Japanese course is it?

July 23, 2018
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