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Common Phrases?

It's really irritating when you try to translate common phrases that don't make sense in English and get marked incorrect. Like, Meinem Kind ist Schlect.

We're taught initially that "schlect" means "bad, poorly, not well.." but Duolingo counts "My child is bad" wrong because it want's you to magically know that this phrase means "my child is sick."

Another phrase: "Das ist mir egal." The phrase makes no sense in English when transliterated, so a person has no idea that it means "It doesn't matter to me."

There needs to be some way that the phrase is always introduced before the program assesses you, or the parameters for acceptance of such an answer need to be expanded.

July 8, 2012



The parameters of acceptance can't be expanded cause that is not what the phrase means. I do think though that there needs to be a better way of introducing expressions that can't be transliterated though. They just throw them out there and there is almost no way for the student to get them right. For phrases like this, they should use the "remember this word" feature that pops up with certain vocabulary.


I believe those are called "idioms" in English. Amerikans have plenty trouble learning of them, so yes, I think Duolingo should have a lesson on Idioms.


Although after you completely fail. Dulingo repeats the idiom over and over an over again so you do actually learn it eventually, just with no chance of getting it right the first time that you see it.


Yeah, those are idioms, Duolingo just has a horrible way of throwing them out there with no warning and the student has virtually no chance of getting them right.


That's true. There's just something irritating about having a computer tell you you've failed at something you had no way of knowing :P


I agree. I ran into this first when I went through the Spanish lessons. I did not know Spanish, so my experience was similar to that described above. I then went through German-- a language I know-- and was surprised to find the same phenomenon with a slightly different twist. I would translate an idiomatic phrase that I knew, and would still be marked wrong because Duolingo had expected some very specific words, but not the words I had used. I've left quite a few comments behind on situations like this. Of course, we should realize that this is a difficult task for an application like Duolingo, but it sure can be frustrating to someone who is trying to learn. If we were learning directly from a human teacher, we would probably get a lot more slack and help.

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