The Swahili course finally has audio! It took a while, but now you should be able to hear Emilian's voice reading some sentences aloud. (Disclaimer: not every single sentence has audio available.) I'm sure the audio will make the learning experience much more enjoyable!
Asante sana kwa kuwa na subira! (Thank you so much for your patience!)
I have encountered some sentences with wrong audio. It is possible that several other sentences were matched to the wrong audio files. If you find one of those, please leave me a comment down below. (This will catch my attention faster than using the report button.)
(Native/Near-native Swahili speakers, don't hesitate to apply here!)
Thanks so much! Here are some items to address:
In "Clothing," the phrase "fulana yangu" is mismatched with the audio for "fulana yake ni chafu."
In "Animals," the sentence "Paka wangu anakunywa maziwa" is mismatched with the audio for "Paka wangu anakunywa maji."
In "Present 3," the opening of the phrase "Maliza shule" is garbled.
In "Animals," the sentence "Paka wangu anakunywa maziwa" is mismatched with the audio for "Paka wangu anakunywa maji."
Just encountered this one (as a type what you hear exercise, so, yeah, got that one wrong ;)
davidvdb, could you let us know what's most useful for you if we come across something already listed a while ago in this thread? Disabling the audio I would assume is pretty immediate? So it'd be worth repeating since maybe there was a glitch and it didn't actually get disabled? Or maybe it takes a while so try to take a look and see if it's been at least a week or two?
In the lesson on comparatives we learn that zaidi ya and kuliko are synonyms. For instance, 'Tanzania is bigger than Kenya' can be translated as either Tanzania ni kubwa kuliko Kenya or Tanzania ni kubwa zaidi ya Kenya. However, throughout the lesson, one has to choose one alternative, and the other is considered incorrect. Is it possible for the contributors to fix this?
hakuandika kitabu - hukuandika kitabu
paka yupo chini ya kiti - something entirely different
chembechembe ya damu - chembechembe za damu
watalii wanahitaji mizigo yao - something else
And then a few that I'm not so sure what to think of:
protoni - I can't hear the i in the audio. I don't know if it's supposed to be silent, but it's really confusing in listening exercises...
ni vizuri kunywa maji salama - kunywa is not pronounced very clearly. I assume it represents realistic speech, but it's making listening exercises quite tricky - perhaps more than they need to be (I'm really not sure, so just wanted to bring it up)
A few more:
Wiki - audio has something longer
Hatutaimba - audio has hatutaimba wimbo
Hawajachora picha - audio is something else
Pafu baya - audio is something else
Mama anatunza mtoto wake - audio is Mama anatunza watoto wake
And something else: On the background page for Emotions, https://www.duolingo.com/skill/sw/Emotions/tips-and-notes, it translates "Kuhuzunika" as "To bereave". I'm not a native English speaker, but that looks odd to me. Shouldn't it be more like "To grieve" or at least "To be bereaved"?
I also had one where the "correct" answer was incorrect English - I think it was "a gray socks". I reported it as "there's something wrong", but unfortunately the app doesn't leave more options (I've noticed that the web site has 3 or 4 different choices available when reporting a problem, but the app doesn't :().
Here's a slightly more complex one:
On some order-the-words questions, when I tap the first word, it'll be said out loud. This seems a little bit strange in itself, because it only happens with the first word. But on the question "Six weeks" there's an error: When I tap "wiki" the audio goes "wiki ya tatu". (And when I tap "wiki" in "A week is seven days" I get the same audio.)
A few more non-audio errors (if you'd rather I post it somewhere else, just say so :)).
In the "Conditional Tense" lesson there are several errors in the English sentences. That one and Prepositional Verbs could really do with cleanup...
If he read[s] you will write
If he turn[s] off the light you will sleep
If you come home you will take [a] bath
If you drink alcohol you will not dance [to] music
If they take [a] shower they will look good
If I study I will pass [the] examination If I cook I will eat = nikipika chakula nitakula; kama nikija nitapika chakula = if I come I will cook <- in both cases chakula should be removed, or food/meal added to the English sentence
walimu huimba - audio is just huimba
Krismasi tutaenda Serengeti - something else
And a few non-audio issues:
I wanted to report Usipopika ugali sitakula as an alternative correct answer to Msipopika ugali sitakula - but I can't, it just accepts the answer as a typo ;)
Cloth is torn expects Nguo imechanika. Everywhere else I only remember seeing kupasua used for this, and the dropdown hint for torn also only gives kimepasuka so there's an inconsistency somewhere...
Ninahitaji mchele - audio is Ninahitaji mche
Kila asubuhi Rashidi hukimbia - in the audio there's something more between kila and asubuhi
Msingalienda msingalipika - audio is msingalipika msingalikula
And non-audio: (sorry, don't have a better place to post them...)
For "You had gone" I wanted to suggest ulikuwa umekwenda as alternative, but it just gets accepted as a typo.
I believe https://www.duolingo.com/skill/sw/Immediate-Past/tips-and-notes should also mention -ja- being the negative form of -me- (as far as I can see that's the level where it's introduced, it's just not mentioned in the notes).
And PS. The Negative Conditional skill badly needs a general overhaul on the English...
Do you need us to post where the problem sentences come from, or do you have a search function to help you locate them?
Here are a few more I've come across:
Mama na Juma ni walimu - the audio is something entirely different
Pafu baya - the audio is something entirely different
Mhudumu - the audio is something like mwalimumu
Sipendi joto - the audio is Sipendi jongoo
chembechembe ya damu - the audio is chembechembe za damu
hajala ugali - the audio sounds to me more like hujala ugali
(PS. I'm guessing we shouldn't edit existing posts to add more items, just to make sure you get notifications and can keep track of what's new... - please just say if you want it differently :))
@hannepanda: Thank you for your many reports regarding the sound bugs.
@davidvdb: Asanta sana kwa masahihisho yako. The improvements are noticeable and the sound really provides a better learning experience.
Just an update for the reported minor mismatch for "Mama anatunza mtoto wake": The audio still says "Mama anatunza watoto wake".
I stopped doing kiSwahili. It was making me crazy. There were too many mistakes, especially in the English sentences. It wasn't just a matter of catching various correct versions—the sentences were actually grammatically incorrect. If these haven't been fixed, then all the audio in the world won't help matters. I thought perhaps that with the lessons fully out of beta, things might have improved, but posts in the discussion seem to indicate otherwise.
I joined the team about a week ago, knowing the state of the course. In one week, I fixed over a thousand sentences (adjusting the hints and disabling wrong audio not included). Last week, the audio got added (by the Duo staff, not by me), but, as mentioned above, there are quite some issues. We all make mistakes, don't we :)
I made the post above because it's quite difficult for me to find the sentences with wrong audio, without checking every single one. The course is more than a year old, and in that time many people used the "Audio does not sound correct" button to report that there was no audio at all. There is no way for me to delete all those old audio reports and only have the new/useful ones.
tl;dr: Main focus: fixing the (sometimes very) ungrammatical English, adding as many correct translations as possible, fixing hints, disabling wrong audio
P.S. I have finals coming up next month, so my pace will probably slow down for a while, but that definitely doesn’t mean I’m gone! :)
David, thanks a lot for the update. It's really good to hear a bit about what your priorities and schedule are. Reading the forum, it looks like a lot of people have been focused on the lack of audio, so I had been wondering a bit if that was also your main thing. I'm glad to hear the other things are on your radar too :). Can you say anything about how many reports are still in the backlog? (I can see from the mails I'm getting, that there is one ;))
And good luck with your exams :)
I largely agree with this. Having the other errors fixed is more important to me than adding audio - especially when adding the audio has turned out to just add a whole slew of new errors to fix. Not at all meant as a criticism of David, I applaud any effort, but I think he got more than he bargained for, so I hope he'll stay on and also keep handling submitted reports too...
I think the English errors are getting more in the way in the higher levels - probably because the sentences get more complex, so in some cases it actually gets difficult to figure out what is meant. Also, I'm encountering more cases of correct answers not being accepted in the higher levels - probably because fewer people have done those levels, so there has been less feedback over time. In the lower levels it's a bit annoying, but doesn't really hinder progress. Section 4 (the one starting with Conditional Tense) is where it has really started to be getting in my way (though not all of section 4 is as bad as Conditional Tense and Prepositional Verbs which I mentioned above).
Less feedback at higher levels, but, perhaps more significantly, the original team (very sensibly) worked through the tree accepting reports and editing things from the top of the tree down. They certainly did a lot, but I don't think they did much or anything on the bottom portion of the tree.
Last few days I have seen a lot of new accepted translations (yesterday I got about ten of them in an hour! :-) . I started reporting badly formulated and meaningless Swahili sentences as well. I know there are translations that are fairly literally and there for not very good English. For me this is acceptable, because it helps me to understand the structure of Kiswahili.
I think in a next step the content of the course also needs to be updated. A lot of words are not very useful for a beginner.
I didn't use the course for a (long) while but had noticed there had been improvements: I got probably hundreds of notifications by email from Duolingo advising me of the corrections of the reports I had made in the past. I was very impressed, thankful and also proud of both them and myself ;-) When I recently came back, I discovered the audio feature! This is incredible. They must have been working a lot! Thank you so very much for your hard work Duolingo-swahili team your efforts are appreciated
For "Maembe hayajaiva" the "ja" part doesn't seem to be pronounced: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22092380 I don't know if this reflects the actual pronunciation or is an error.
Also, in the last few days, I've come across a number of the audio issues reported here but apparently not yet successfully fixed. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the fixes aren't "taking." Should we start submitting bug reports when we come across such instances?
Greetings-1/1: The word "mchana" is pronounced something like "?mausina?" here. Seems like an audio glitch. It also occurs in other exercises where the word "mchana" is spoken. This may be the same error referred to by another user in an earlier posting.
Thanks for all the work you have been doing recently in replying to suggestions for alternatives or corrections, some of them made years (!) ago. Polepole ndio mwendo!
You really did a good job, for a very long time no audio bugs during my learning sessions.
Today I noticed a remaining mistake: In the "Body" skill the phrase pafu baya is still mismatched with the audio mwalimu ni?? mkuu hapa. (already reported by hannepanda some time ago).
mchana is always weird. Also some sentences only have one of the words with sound. It all seems a bit hit and miss. Also although having different voices to get used to is positive having a different voice for each word in a sentence is just daft. It makes it all seem very disjointed. Two voices would have been enough. The loud voice (Emilian?) is the one I prefer and then there could have been the contrasting soft female voice. I don't get why it has been done like this and it is somewhat disappointing having waited so long to get the sound at all.