Writing in portuguese
The problem of Duolingo is to write in Portuguese. I think that after a certain level we should stop to write in the native language. It is impossible to learn English, being, at all times, using the native language. I have a great misunderstand when I need to translate some frase or word. It is difficult to improve your new language. I want a hard game instead a simple form to wast my time because I really want to learn a new language. It is my opinion.
If you mean the level of the course materials, they are similar. If you mean your Duo level, no, you have different levels for each course, that is, for each source language. What will show here is your highest level for a particular language. So for example, if you have 15 in English from Portuguese and 12 from French, what would show here (on the web version) would be just the 15.
Duo used to have a formula where they added in part of your level from other languages, but it disappeared a couple of years ago.
I totally agree with you. When you are learning a language for a long time you don't care about what the things means in portuguese. You just want to think and to write in english, not in your native language. I really liked that these exercises of translation were optionals.