https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jenn362790

Where are the errors in the German tree?

I keep hearing about the German tree having several errors in the lessons, but where are they? To a person who's learning the language, it kind of all looks the same. Can anyone give me some examples of problems you've found?

June 9, 2014

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pont

As NathanLee12 says, most of the errors are missing alternative translations which should be accepted. These are not too painful. Others are bizarre phrasings or mistakes in the "correct" English version, which is only really dangerous if you're doing a question where you translate into English (starting from the English version, you can usually work out the correct meaning). But there are a few (mercifully few!) unpleasant ones where the obviously correct translation is rejected, and an obviously incorrect one is accepted. The one that comes most readily to my mind is:

Verständnis zwischen zwei Freunden = Understanding between friends -- [ link to discussion ]

Here, the correct English translation should of course be "Understanding between two friends", but you'll lose a heart if you enter that!

To give you a broader sample, here are a few less serious ones:

I should add that sommerlied recently assured me that the error reports are being processed, but the English from German tree is getting priority at the moment. So I think most of these will vanish in the foreseeable future (and perhaps some already have).

June 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johaquila

In your example it seems to be the German phrase that is just plain wrong. It's not idiomatic at all and seems to make little sense. It means "comprehension among two friends". But the English phrase is good, and its German translation would be "Vereinbarung unter Freunden", a very common phrase.

June 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pont

I very seldom feel myself qualified to comment on the quality of the German sentences :-). I picked that one because, whatever its other problems, it's clear that the "zwei" should be present in any reasonable English translation.

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Druckles

One of my favourites: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/203517

Also find it amusing that it has a 'score' of -3.

June 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pont

Ah yes, that one tripped me up yet again just yesterday. "Insurances" plural seems to be quite a stereotypical "Germenglish" error. I've come across it in this affectionate parody -- see item #4, "get some insurances" :-).

June 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NathanLeee

Don't worry too much. Most of the errors are alternative translations that should have been accepted, but for some reason are not. I personally think the German tree, other than the Spanish one, has the best voice-recognition program. Meaning, it almost always understands what you're trying to say.

Also, and this isn't really an "error", but just like in the other trees, some of the sentences will be highly contrived and feel a little unnatural. These sentences however, are almost always perfectly correct sentences, just ones you'd never hear or say without a very specific context.

Lastly, a small thing is that sometimes the German nouns won't be capitalized if it's a speaking section wanting you to say just one word. So you might see something like:

Speak this: Der hund (should be: Der Hund)

Like I said, not that big of an error, but just remember that all nouns are capitalized. Viel Glück!

June 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stella_solitas

Off the topic, but I specifically agree with the voice recognition part :D German voice recognition program is great, at least compared to that of French course.

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rafa.sue

Which part of the German tree does the voice recognition come into play? I've managed to reach level 5 without having been asked to speak into my mic.

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NathanLeee

I'm pretty sure there are voice parts in every lesson. Perhaps you disabled the mic, or it detects you don't have one plugged in (assuming you're not on your phone).

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jenn362790

Ok, so nothing severe. Thanks everyone. I had been noticing stuff like when you aren't sure which word to use (eine vs ein, mein vs meine) the first answer given isn't always right. But I guess if it gave you everything that easily you wouldn't be learning.

June 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AureliaUK

I found and reported one today, in the "Adjectives: Predicative 2" unit, in either the 1st or 2nd lesson. The "correct" answer was given as "Ihr sied" instead of "Ihr seid".

June 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helenvee

I find there are more errors with the app - for example, things like "Sie haben" at the beginning of a sentence where the correct translation is only "You have" although the rest of the sentence makes just as much sense if "Sie haben" is translated as "They have". As there's no way to report it the error just keeps on going.

June 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NathanLeee

What do you mean "no way to report it?" Hit the report button, and type in your comment.

June 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/helenvee

There is no report button on the iPad app, unfortunately, unlike the website.

June 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Druckles

pont gives a wonderful summary. However, it's worth mentioning that there are a lot more errors near the bottom of the tree. While the last several lessons are cluttered with annoyances and 'why is that like that's, the top of the tree is a wonderful, glistening, white sort of perfect.

June 12, 2014
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