https://www.duolingo.com/AndyBates4

Can Duolingo remove capitalization on answers where you choose from multiple words?

Here's a problem I’m seeing on some questions and answers on Duolingo, at least on the iOS version:

Translate into English: Vous êtes allé courir.

Word choices: running go walk he You go went

When you look at the answers, the word "you" is capitalized, so you automatically know that it’s the first word of the answer, because the answer sentence is capitalized. This is an unnecessary hint that gives away part of the answer.

Is there a way that Duolingo can automatically convert answer words to lower case, unless they are proper nouns or something that would always be capitalized, like "I"?

7 months ago

32 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ash.Purple

I agree. Unfortunately it's been asked before many times, so I don't think they want to change it. Instead I answer the sentence in my head first before looking at the choice of words.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/buddah389

That's what I do, it's nice to have the crutches there to use when you want them, but you have to be the one to practice discipline as you become more advanced.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TrisBp
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I just use the keyboard and type the answer instead of selecting from the list of words. It helps more with actually learning the words beyond just understanding them.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CameronLishus

glad to find im not the only person who tries to listen to the sentence and complete in my mind before looking at the keypad.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Heioqei
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I think so too. They could capitalize all words first, and then change all of them to lower case as soon as the first word is chosen.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/speising
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oh yes. the all-powerful "metrics". which only means: dumb down to the lowest level. they could make it a user option, for those who want a bit more of a challenge.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/svrsheque

a user option was a no-go because the users apparently sabotaged their own engagement. it's in the same thread.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndyBates4

I still hate it, and I agree with the Reddit comments pointing out that it's dumbing down the app.

The company should fix this issue and let the chips fall where they may! The numerous workaround just make it obvious how much of an issue this really is. It's an extra hint that doesn't need to be there, and there are easy programmatic soltuions!

Anyway, thanks for the information. Hopefully this will get looked at someday!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hermesianax
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It's just something to make it a little easier, a small hint. It can also guide the user to an answer they would not normally have thought of, but which is more natural sounding or part of a more complex word order.

If you think this is too easy and want to avoid this, there's an option too: complete the lessons in the browser version without the word bank instead of on the app. Typing the answers yourself is more challenging, but also teaches you more (:

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndyBates4

I disagree with the responses of "it's just a small hint" or "it's something to make it a little easier". A bug is still a bug, even if it makes things easier. (And in fact, in this case it's a bug precisely BECAUSE it makes things easier!)

The ideal solution would be one of two things:

ONE. When displaying words for the word bank, remove capitalization on all words which are not normally capitalized (requires each word to include information about capitalization).

OR

TWO. All words and sentences are stored as lower case (except words which are normally capitalized), and when same sentences are displayed, Duolingo should automatically capitalize the first word.

The second solution seems like the best option, because it is more flexible and requires less work on the content side. And really, it should just be a one-line code change.

Hopefully we can get this fix someday! I'd rather have my hints be intentional than unintentional!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaPau
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I don't know how far you are down the tree... but on higher levels it sometimes becomes even a trap, because you get 12 or more words to choose from from and 3 or 4 are capitalized...

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hermesianax
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I just don't think DL perceives it as a bug. I think it's wholly intentional, perhaps for the reason I stated.

Good luck with the desktop version!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Simius
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It is indeed intentional. They even ran an A/B test, I believe, which showed that keeping the capitalization was good for user retention.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lethal_gnome

I feel like this is something that'd be a good idea to let the user change in the settings somewhere, if possible.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

I think you are jumping the gun and declaring it a bug, just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it a bug.

How do you explain that this bug seems to 100% of the time capitalise the first word in the sentence while in the word bank :P

SEems to be working as intended.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/calynca
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Oh, the second one is actually a nice solution, I didn't think of that.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

If they just remove capitalisation it would possibly teach the wrong lessons, teach that you shouldn’t capitalise words etc

If possible they should make it so the first word you select is capitalised.

So in the op example if you selected running first it would appear as Running in the sentence.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KawaiiKiwi21

Quite often, it gives me 2 or 3 capitalized options. Or, it gives me capitalized options in phrases, where there are no capitalized words. For example,

la pizza rouge

the They butterfly pizza red She

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/veeless
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The way I work around this issue is that I avoid looking at the word bank until I’ve thought about the answer and said it aloud.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ca11um
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Admittedly I do sometimes benefit from the capitalisation hint. Perhaps it could be configurable in user settings?

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alexmane

For that same reason, I almost never use the word bank option unless there's some words I haven't learnt yet

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GforGrand

This is what I do too. I use the keyboard option, unless I am confronted with unfamiliar words or phrases.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karel184242
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I dont agree. I like it as it is.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pilgrim1712
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I like it as it is as well. Choosing the words from the list is already much easier than needing to translate from scratch. But if I lose my health too many times my motivation goes down.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/calynca
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Maybe a reason why it's not yet implemented is that they can't just change the first word to lower case but have to check first whether it's in general an upper case word. Which might be difficult if sentences are just saved as a whole. E.g. "English is an easy language." or "Katzen haben neun Leben.".

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/icemule1
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Using the word bank option is already taking the easy way out, so if you want a challenge, and it sounds like you do, just use the keyboard option. Problem solved

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NoelBells

Agree! Please remove the capital letters!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/B-Bot8765

I think every word you put in the first slot should be capitalized while it is in there. That way this change won't bother people who are sensitive to capitalization. After reading other comments too, I think an Easy Mode should be added to Duolingo. This would be an easier mode that would allow more hints (such as hovering over words to get definitions) and extend Duolingo's scope to young kids. It would be a large step, but I believe it would be worth it in the long run.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KrisCoady
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Agree 100%. This is the one thing that annoys me when studying Spanish.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Flooowri

i think they made it that way to really help you figure out if you know what the sentence means. like instead of relying on external hints. but, you're right; it is a bit distracting.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/yppiL

Yeah it's a problem, instead I try to ditch the word bank (on PC, you can probably do so on iOS or Android too) and challenge myself.

7 months ago
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