Listening exercise issue (他 and 她)
Has anyone else noticed that, in the listening exercises, Duo expects you to differentiate between 他 and 她 ("he" and "she")? This seems impossible to me because they're homophones (tā) and 99% of the time work in the same context, but Duo won't accept one for the other (i.e. 他们是学玍吗 doesn't work as an answer for 她们是学玍吗 even though they're homophones and make just as much sense). Is there something I'm missing, or is it just a design flaw/bug?
Duo wasn't designed to handle this situation where the same audio can be written in several ways. As someone mentioned it happens with French and for Japanese it is horrible. All you can do is switch to word bank mode for these exercises or disable listening completely. Reporting doesn't work since the contributors can't add other acceptable answers.
I use the Android App. In the Android App, it seems to me we don't have the opportunity to write chinese characters. In any case, I've seen several other users describe the very problem you're reporting in the discussion pages of various exercises. I've always assumed this was an issue specific to the Web UI because people can actually type out answers there, instead of merely relying on a word bank.
Assuming you use the web UI, would it be possible for you to use word banks? I guess it should solve your problem. Of course, I can relate to the fact that using tiles makes for a less interesting exercise than writing characters. I hope you and other users are therefore actively reporting any such issue.
Also, please note I don't think I've never encountered exercises where both 他 and 她 were both proposed in the word bank (so no ambiguity there).
Last but not least, it's not a flaw which is specific to the Chinese tree. I've tried the French tree and there were a few ambiguities tied to the listening exercises as well...
I totally know what your saying, and it is quite annoying at times. I think this is one of the newer courses here so it is still developing. There is no verbal difference between 他，and 她 and between 他们，and 她们, so hopefully this is fixed soon!
This has nothing to do with the Chinese course. It is a bug than affects all courses, especially Japanese, and I highly doubt that it will be fixed soon.
他 and 她 are indeed indistinguishable by ears in most cases. However, when it comes to the plural form 他们 and 她们, we most of time use 他们 to refer to a group of people if without context.
This is also backed statistically by ngrams, https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=他们%2C它们%2C她们&corpus=23