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New (empty) French Immersion Categories

How joyful I was when, on a lovely sunny day, upon entering the Immersion Tab I saw that the right sidebar welcomed new categories! Lets see... lets celebrate by translating an article from Science and Nature.

To my horror, Science and Nature was empty. All is not lost, lets try Technology.OK, History? Humor? Maybe it's the 1st of April.

There are several issues here:

  1. Out of the 26 Categories, only 6 had articles in them: Car, Finance, Garden, Health, Luxury and Wikipedia. The probability of selecting a category at random that has articles is just over 23%.

  2. Too-similar Categories. Seriously, why have Cars when you have Cars & Motorcycles, or Finance when you have Economy & Finances? Same also applies to Health and Fitness & Health. There is a similar situation in the Spanish Immersion Section. Like Economy & Finances and Economy & finances or Entertainment and Entertainment & gossip

  3. What is the function of the show more button? That would make sense it you wished to show the top categories to the user. However, in current form I can't see what purpose it has, other than to increase wrist movement. Click on show more, then select Youth. Then try switching to the Wikipedia category. You'll see what I mean.

  4. Listing the categories in alphabetical order is great, but the Other category only makes sense when you have seen the other categories.

  5. Gossip? Maybe I'm wrong, but It looks like a magnet for poor quality stuff.

  6. In his DuoOwl cape Duo stares at us and orders us to Help the world!. I'd very much like him take a more active part in this process. In the Science & Nature section he could a let us in on highly-commented sentence. Or even tell us a quote from the preface to Mécanique Analytique.

  7. In the title bar it says Duolingo: Translation not Duolingo: Immersion. Or is it supposed to be this way?

  8. While not listed in the categories, this page has interesting articles: https://www.duolingo.com/#/translations/Imaginary

EDIT: While not related to the Immersion Tab, a preview button and a larger textbox when creating a new discussion would be highly appreciated.

EDIT 2: These problems don't seem to be limited to the French Immersion Tab; the Spanish Immersion Tab is suffering too.

April 12, 2013



Your every point makes sense, I second them.

I've never liked French immersion much. I'm not interested in Cars and Luxury. Health is sometimes fine but not every time. Wikipedia is good to find information but not very useful for language learning. Many articles contain tons of names, titles and dates that are not a pleasure to translate. Others consist of some very specialized knowledge. I came across some article about mushrooms in the French Wikipedia immersion section. It would be great if I was interested in mushrooms, but do I really want to learn all those biology terms in French? At my level, I'd prefer to learn some more common words than to look up all those spores and stuff which I'll eventually forget in a minute.

German immersion seems better. At least, I've translated a few personal blog posts which were really fun to read. I remember one about a German traveling to the USA and one about a guy arguing with an internet provider. Those were nice to read and consisted of real everyday German, not of some scientific terms or names. I wish there were more blog posts or articles about traveling in all the languages.


Good for you if you like the German texts, but most of them are not really appropriate for learners. I wrote down my opinion a couple of months back. http://duolingo.com/#/comment/59409 Not much seems to have changed since then.


In the HTML file of https://www.duolingo.com/#/translations, if you remove all instances of class="hidden" as well as the last list item in the unorder list with id="categories", NO. 3 will be solved.

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