Despite four decades of being a native German speaker, I could not make it past the second locked skill tree section
Something seems off with the translations. They appear to expect a certain pattern of grammar and vocabulary that doesn't always comply with the actual language at hand.
Since I didn't expect to fail so miserably I didn't take any screenshots, but every time I was told that I was wrong, I was totally baffled. They even shoved an archaic version of a verb down my throat which was outdated when Goethe was still alive.
I love duolingo and I'm learning a great deal of Spanish with it right now, is there anything we as users can do to improve this?
@Qot: concerning your question what you can do about it: Use the 'still think you are correct' button and give them feedback. They can add your solution as well. As there is no further context, I consider 'Salz ist vorhanden' as a valid translation of 'salt is in stock', although there may be better alternatives, especially since 'vorrätig' isn't the kind of word a novice learner of German is likely to know.
There is a similar issue with the user-translated areas as well. I am by no means fluent, but I am using Duolingo as a bit of a refresher and as a means to get past my limited former German-language skills. You can translate something correctly, but it is not considered "correct" because 90% of the users just did a word-for-word translation that does not match the meaning of the phrase. I would start collecting examples if I thought that it would help.
In English (US), I can't imagine ever using the phrase "Salt is in stock". If I ask about salt at a grocery, they will say "yes, we have salt". The only time I can imagine the phrase "salt is in stock" being used is if a manager of a grocery was asking an employee if salt was in stock when deciding whether or not to order more from the supplier.
Check this out, http://i.imgur.com/qhd35.png That's a perfect example of what I was trying to say above. My translation is flawless, yet I get spanked by duo. Not to mention that "Salz ist vorhanden" is a sentence I have not heard in 40 years. It's grammatically correct, but I have no clue who would ever say that in whatever situation.
"Salz ist vorhanden" doesn't seem that odd to me. It sounds perfectly natural to me in the following dialogue: Ist denn noch Salz da? - Ja, Salz ist vorhanden. There are a couple of scenarios where "vorhanden" sounds more idiomatic than "vorrätig", especially in non-commercial/non-professional contexts.
christian, "especially in non-commercial/non-professional contexts"
See my screenshot. The English phrase to translate was "Salt is in stock."
That's not a phrase the English use in a colloquial conversation at home when wondering if there's some salt in the kitchen.
Thank god I'm not the only one. I thought I was going crazy and starting to second guess myself of my German skill. I'm half american and half german and grew up with both languages and when it was telling me I was wrong when I knew for sure I was right I just raged quit haha hopefully things are better now.