1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. Recommend more native English…


Recommend more native English speakers involved in improving this course

It seems like a lot of people have already posted about the same problems I noticed with the Chinese course, but I just thought I'd reiterate...

I'm a native English speaker who has been learning Chinese for 10 years (including 5 years living in Chinese speaking countries). I'm also a professional Chinese > English translator. I went through the Duolingo Chinese course just for fun. To me it seems like only native Chinese (ESL) speakers were involved in creating this course, because the English translations are frequently awkward, and often times correct alternative versions of the answers in English are not accepted. I've been flagging them as "my answer was correct" each time, but I was surprised how frequently that occurred. It seems to me that native English speakers should be asked to help make improvements. Honestly, I would be happy to volunteer... I really enjoy this type of thing.

Also, I haven't gone through all the "crown levels", but noticed they don't really seem to get more difficult like they're supposed to...

October 11, 2018



That would be a great idea to improve this course! I tried applying for Chinese for English speakers course since I spent more than 20 years, utilizing Chinese throughout Asian communities. However, I realized that there are no people added to the team nor any progress made, concerning the reports from the sentence pile.

If you have the following:

  • Well-exposed to some/most sentences of same meanings, but different ways of saying; that can include sentences that pose the characters more descriptively and with some complexity other than literal translations.
  • At least HSK 4/5; HSK 6 won't be needed to since that would be a bit too advanced for the learners

Then suggest these (along with your willingness to help) to the Incubator!

  1. I've reported a couple sentences and stuff and eventually got a couple e-mails saying my answer was now accepted. :D

  2. You can apply to be contributor. :)

  3. Crown levels are levels of repetition, not levels of difficulty.


Actually crown levels are supposed to increase difficulty. Or so they said when we got them.


When the crown levels are increased, then you will be limited to manually create your own sentences phrases on your own.

When testing your skills to earn the gold set at 4/5 Crown Level, you are going to encounter that.


as you go up crown levels it makes you type the answer more often (omits the word box things) and asks for more english -> chinese translations.


I often click 'my answer should be accepted' and later I often get a message saying 'Thank you.' and 'We now accept this translation.' So I guess the English speakers who do the course our helping to improve it.


Same here. I've done both the ZH-EN and EN-ZH courses and liberally used the "My answer should be accepted" button.

It was frustrating, but maybe will help future learners?


I did the same thing and got messages back saying they accepted the answers I gave. They accepted quite a few. I started using Duolingo Chinese right after it was first created. I left out of frustration eventually. I'm back and it seems a lot better now. They are fixing it little by little.


I have the same problem. Even though I have flagged the same answers multiple times, it seems like Duolingo does not take any steps to make any correction/adjustment.

[deactivated user]

    I am glad I'm not the only one who noticed it. I am both a native Chinese and English speaker and honestly I am so annoyed when I tried the Chinese course for fun. A lot of the sentence structures were wrong and the there should much more variations in the answers. There were also Chinese words that can mean many other things in English and the answers should be accepted. I wouldn't mind helping out with improving it too but I'm not sure how.


    You could apply to become a contributor in the incubator. It doesn't seem likely that you would be accepted (not because you are not qualified, but because of the seeming absence of the Chinese team).

    If that does not work, every learner here would be very thankful if you reported correct answers that are not accepted. You can also report sentences being unnatural etc. I hope that you can help to improve the course. ^-^


    I'd love to become a contributor- however i am too young :(


    If you think you can help improve the course, there's always a chance that they'll accept you to help if you apply as a course contributor:


    There's a link below the course title where you can apply.


    I applied a long time ago. Never heard back. Just gave up. I lived and studied Mandarin in Taiwan for three years.


    U'r right! It happens frequently. Duolingo doens't accept my answer even correct in my language. For example, "I am so happy today", In my language, we rarelly speak "I", we speak, " am so happy today" we call this sentence of "subject hidden" but Duolingo doesn't support that.


    Having finished the course, is the audio from a native Chinese speaker? In the forum, I have read that it is not.


    It’s a text-to-speech system, as is the audio for the vast majority of Duolingo courses.


    Well, I wouldn't be surprised if it is, but I've noticed the speakers stretch their tones way too far, and they speak quite slower than most people will in China. I know that is kind of a no-brainer for learning, but I think they should speak faster and smoother.


    As a native English speaker, who frequently visits countries where Chinese is spoken, I find it the most frustrating and difficult language on Duolingo. No idea what I am doing. Sad because I want to learn.


    I realize you posted this a while back, but in case you're still interested: I had a very hard time getting started with Chinese on Duo. Steep learning curve at the beginning. So, I began using other apps like Hello Chinese. After a while at that, I had another try at Duo and it works well, actually providing more of the challenge I now need. So, I recommend trying another app that is better designed for the earlier stages.


    Some Chinese expressions are not appropriate either


    If you find such sentences, please report them for being unnatural. It is the only thing to do if you are not a contributor.


    Oh yes! I have also noticed this. Since I speak fluent Chinese (first language) I decided to try Duolingo's course, but after about one lesson I noticed some colossal mistakes. My mother (who grew up in China) also looked at it and her answers were 'incorrect' as well. It was irritating, so I stopped using the Chinese course and it sits there, in case somebody fixes it and I can go back and try it again.

    Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.