Too little English to Spanish
I am a speaker of English trying to learn spanish and I am now in level 5. I think however that there is way too little English to Spanish that you have to translate as this is by far the most difficult. I mean it is easy to see that "Nuestros gatos" means our cats but it is only when you have to write it down yourself that you learn how to conjugate the possessives. Also having to remember how exactly you spell every word is rather difficult. I would say double the amount of English-to-Spanish per exercise!
I'm doing the German course but I had the same feeling of not translating enough to German.
Everyone agrees as per a previous discussion but apaprently Duolingo thinks the attrition from dispirited learners will be too high. At least the dictations are hard enough and wake you up to realize how little you really know.
But to truly test yourself, as soon as you learn enough verbs and some transition words, you need to start creating sentences and joining them together with your own thoughts, albeit limited due to your vocab knowledge.
I feel the same way; while as I'm not taking Spanish, I am level 6 in German and I don't feel like I'm really learning it because it's mostly translating from German to English and not the other way around. There isn't enough translation from your mother tongue to the new language you want to learn.
I agree - it's the conjugation I mess up (or the similar words such as nosotros and vosotros). Practicing English to Spanish would help I think.
You're right that there are more exercises where you translate into the language you're learning. Reverse translations tend to be quite tricky and produce a lot more errors. This is good feedback to get.