Understanding speakers on duolingo.

I really have difficulty understanding the female person who gives verbal sentences for the learner to translate. Often the slow version is even worse than the faster one. I've tried listening at various volumes and with and without headphones. Often I just give up and types something so that I can see the answer. I have also used other French learning programs such as Behind the Wheel French and don't have that same problem. I generally like duo because I have to write answers, but the female speaker is a problem for me.

November 22, 2018


Sorted by top thread

There will be a large group of French speakers who learned it as a foreign language that will have a new weird accent I call Duolingolese. It is derived from trying to comprehend and emulate the female Duo-robot voice as we struggle to learn to speak the language correctly!

I hope our French friends don't laugh too hard when they hear us speak in this unnatural accent!

November 22, 2018

Partly it is that spoken French is brutaly hard to understand. At first I could not even make out the words that were the same in English.

Since I've been learning French, there have been a few issues I've had understanding the female speaker also. In some instances she has said the wrong word and in other instances i simply couldn't understand the word she was saying, even at slow speed. But these really haven't been too bad for me and overall i understand her.

Is this problem for you the same across all platforms? Mobile and desktop? Or more so on just one?

Many people have complained about the female voice. However, I had noticed an improvement. I don't know if Duolingo fixed the problem or I just moved on to different exercises where the problem does not exist.

The female voice is pretty bad. She even pronounces the hyphen in e-mail and t-shirt.

I generally have issues with the listening exercises anyway, since many words sound the same and need context that the exercises don't provide, (eg "Il mange/Ils mangent, Travaillent-elles/Travaille-t-elle, etc). It's frustrating to be marked wrong on these.

And the slowed voice is kind of a coin toss on whether it helps or not since it doesn't pronounce the liaisons at all which makes some words impossible to figure out without context.

So yeah, not your fault. Just something you gotta put up with.

It can be hard to understand, but A: this is french. B: not everyone you speak to in France / French Canada / anywhere else will have a perfect voice. C: Despite this (probably) being a real voice actor, she only has to read words that are not in order, making it not sound right. Duolingo can't do much about these issues without extreme difficulty or making it inaccurate to the real world.

It's a computer generated voice.

Yeah, I'd agree. Though I can make out what she is saying a majority of the time, there is that one time where I can't understand what she is even saying. Plus, they even don't pronounce some words correctly, like the male robotic voice saying Oui, as it sounds like he is saying oy in "Oy, where is my money" kind of thing.

So I am not the only one who finds the male voice difficult, it is not just his 'Oui' either

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