https://www.duolingo.com/9aquatic

Problems with ridiculous French stuff

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I love Duolingo! I think you guys are awesome. However, the sentences become longer as you progress, and I'm more likely going to be docked for something ridiculous over and over, annoyingly. For example, I lost a heart for using "at" in saying "three bottles at maximum." You guys said the only correct answer was "three bottles maximum." It's such a specific difference! It has nothing to do with comprehension.

3/28/2013, 5:28:40 AM

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jeffers86

This sort of thing can be reported. If the Duolingo staff agree with you then they will update those answers.

3/28/2013, 9:37:14 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/9aquatic
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True, and I do that all the time, but it happens so often now that it's messing with my progress and I've switched over to other methods. I feel like the upper-level French lessons aren't as fleshed out as, say, German or Spanish.

3/28/2013, 3:28:53 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/jeffers86

That makes sense, since German and Spanish have been on Duolingo longer. Also, German has 2 staff experts, Spanish has 3, and French only has one.

I haven't gotten to the upper level lessons, but I hope they continue to fix problems.

3/28/2013, 5:05:13 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/9aquatic
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Ah I didn't know that; that explains a lot. I still love this place, especially since we're all using it for free.

3/29/2013, 2:08:44 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Anglea
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I think one of the problems is with the huge variety of ways we say things in English. Some of which would not really be considered correct anywhere outside a particular town or region. For example, in the British Midlands many, many people use the word BROUGHT to mean BOUGHT. - "Look what I brought at the shops.." and while that's a fairly extreme example I'm sure there's a little of this in all of us.

3/31/2013, 9:18:20 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/jeffers86

Even in the British midlands that is wrong. Not uncommon, but still wrong (shudders).

4/3/2013, 9:09:45 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/prky
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I've been having lots of challenges with prepositions....

4/1/2013, 4:10:41 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/bozzle42

Same problem here. Terrific idea for a language site, LOVE it! But I do wonder if the French translator is competent in English. I put ' It is also a port quite important for fishing'. FAIL !!! Translation - it is also a quite important port for fishing???

4/8/2013, 7:27:26 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Asyx
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I'm not a native English speaker but shouldn't it be "It is also a port that's quite important for fishing" since "quite" is not the substantive (obviously...) and you therefore can't leave out the conjunction?

4/10/2013, 3:44:54 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/bozzle42

Hi Asyx - thanks for your comment with which I cannot disagree. However, as you probably know there are so many variable ways of expressing the same thing in English, the answer which I gave would be equally acceptable. I must say that while my comment was meant seriously, it is not a major problem. Some of the rejected translations I get are debatable, but spoken English often ignores strict grammar and at least it makes me practice more than I would otherwise. Many, many thanks for making the opportunity to study French so conveniently, which I appreciate greatly.

4/10/2013, 5:31:38 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Asyx
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Well, but aren't you writing English? Again, I'm not a native speaker. I'm German and it would never pop into my mind to use stuff that's acceptable in the spoken language but actually grammatically wrong. I don't want to give examples since I don't want people who learn German and surf around the French forums picking up some bad habits. But there are so many accents and dialects in the USA, that you just can't include spoken language. If there's something that's done everywhere in the USA, then it should be in there. But I don't want to argue with you. After all, I probably have forgotten most of what I've learnt in school and don't actually have the knowledge to argue about such things.

4/12/2013, 11:40:03 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/9aquatic
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This is getting technical, and I just wanted to get this in.

Actually, what bozzle42 used is grammatically correct, but weird in everyday speech. Since "important" is an adjective for the "port" and "quite" is an adverb for "important," it doesn't matter whether they're placed before or after the noun. It's like saying, "he is wearing a shirt quite green" over "he is wearing a quite green shirt." The first sentence sounds archaic, but it's technically correct and they both express the same idea.

This site is predicated upon the assumption that its user-base already knows English, so it's super frustrating when technicalities bog you down. imho, we're not here to learn English, so the bar doesn't need to be so high for translation.

4/12/2013, 11:59:09 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/bozzle42

Having thought about it more, it seems to me that there will always be some variables that slip into the problem area. The main thing to remember is that we are only bothering to make discussion points because the site is generally so very good. I really do enjoy working my way through, and thank you ASYX for helping to make it so good. My final word on the subject!

4/13/2013, 6:07:36 AM
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