DailyDuo OPEN THREAD INAUGURAL POST 
Do you have a question that needs answering? Are you uncertain if it's been asked before, but can't find the answer you need through search?
This post will be a place for you to ask your questions without fear of it being downvoting out of the forums. Throughout the weekend, you can comment down below with whatever it is you need help with.
What kind of questions can I ask?
Well, anything, really. From lingots to Leagues, Duolingo to downvotes.
Just try not to flood this with spam, okay? You can find the definition of that in the Community Guidelines if you're unsure.
Who will answer my question(s)?
Myself, possibly other mods, and anyone else who wants to.
What will happen after the weekend?
This post will be locked (which means you can see it but can't comment on it) and a new one will be opened on Monday at 12:00 am EDT. (Don't worry, if you submit questions to this at 11:59 pm EDT they'll still be answered before the forum is locked.)
How will I be able to find this post after it's locked?
I've put in a "code" of sorts in the title, as well as a link to this post for Monday's so you can find it. Monday's code is 20190715.
So please, ask away!
Special thanks to @Scutigera for suggesting this idea. You can find the original idea here.
175 Comments This discussion is locked.
I'm kidding with you. I think it took you all of 30 minutes to get the post up from time of suggestion. :D I thought it might have to go through a committee first, then an incubator, and A/B testing and then maybe we'd see the first Open Thread in the general discussion 6 months to a year from now. :D
Anyway, it's not like I am some genius. I have seen Open Threads on other forums. I think they are community building which is something that is sorely lacking on Duo since we lost the profile feeds, and then Clubs. What I was not anticipating is that the Open Thread here seems to feel like a safe place for those who have questions. I like that.
Thanks for implementing it. =)
I do have a question though after all. :)
Can mods see who down-votes (or up-votes) a thread or comment?
We can't. The voting is 100% anonymous.
I'd consider this akin to A/B testing, except just available for everyone. If a week proves to be too much time and it becomes too much to handle, I'd definitely consider moving to the "Daily Duos" (which is more catchy). I want to see how this pans out first, though.
Well, if you do go for Dailies (which I think might be more effective and, once people catch on to the whole idea, might really slow down the extraneous posts that end up getting hidden by down-votes), then I believe it will need to be a shared task (maybe you take one shift per week) as otherwise you will burn out.
Maybe they could even get temporarily stickied (the most current one). And as new rotating posts people will look for them which will generate more interest.
Also you do not have to answer every single question. At least not right away. Relax. Let the community work for you. As we saw by Merkavar's thread, people are eager to answer questions. We just do not want our answers disappeared (another reason the open threads can be a great resource).
So far though it is turning out better than I expected (I believe I chose wisely by bringing the idea up to you). :)
And thank you for the quick answer too (I have been wondering about that for weeks; now I can ponder other things). :) :)
Regarding the people who verify reported sentences in the courses, are they able to prioritise these by the number of downvotes the sentence has received in the comments, or is there some other way of prioritising which sentences to correct? I am interested in this as there are still some examples of incorrect grammar or unnatural language usage in sentences that have been in the courses for a long time (sometimes more than a year), but still haven't been corrected. There were some particularly bad examples of this in the Chinese from English course that weren't corrected for around a year or more despite being downvoted (and presumably reported) many times, though most of the worst examples have now been corrected.
Downvotes on the sentence discussion don't accomplish anything. In fact, if they do anything, they make the sentence less likely to be noticed by anyone with the ability to do anything, because they're hidden when they get to -5.
In the Incubator, we can look at the sentences with the most reports, but the problem is, the vast majority of the reports we get are useless. They're spam, or they're just wrong, or they're asking questions (which we have no way to answer except in the SD, where it's usually already been answered), or they're reporting a technical issue we can't do anything about, or they're insulting us, or... 99% of reports are one of those, only.a very small percentage are actually useful, and we have to wade through all the others to find them, so it takes a long time. Also, there are thousands of sentences, getting thousands of reports every day, and only a few people working on the course, so even if most of the repirts weren't useless it could still take quite a while to get to any particular report.
It would be nice to get the "There is a problem with this exercise" option available for reports on desktop. That way, people can describe the exact problem they have, instead of checking every single box in the report dialog even though those issues do not apply. I've seen people do that a lot when there is an issue with a sentence and the options in the report dialog don't even have to do with the problem they have.
If you mean the reports where you can write what you want, I agree that it would be nice to have those on web too. Having said that, though, most of the freewrite reports we get shouldn't actually be reported in that way. When a correct answer isn't accepted, the "my answer should be accepted" reports are far more useful to us. With those, all the identical reports are grouped together, so we can see how many times it's been reported (and when it's wrong, reject them all at once), and we can see exactly what the user wrote. Very often there was a typo and it would have been accepted without it. We also rarely need an explanation of why something should be accepted.
When there's a bug, we can't do anything about it, the place for those is the bug reports here. When it's a question, we can't answer it because we have no way to reply and we can't see who wrote it. Those should go in the sentence discussion.
That isn't to say that they shouldn't be used. By all means use them, for example if an answer is accepted which should not be. Just make sure it's the right place for the issue and check the sentence discussion first.
When I was finishing crown level 5 on the English->German course I hit quite a few sentences that were basically just broken. They didn't accept natural, valid answers, and often had pretty unnatural "model" answers. The sentence discussion went back years with people saying they'd reported answers that still weren't accepted.
It's pretty understandable that many of these sentence discussions had then been heavily downvoted: it was the only lever left! As most people don't read the forums, telling people here that downvoting is the wrong thing to do isn't going to change things.
You're fighting against this:
The sentences with really negative scores are upsetting people for some reason. Sometimes the sentences really need updating. Sometimes they are controversial. Sometimes they are just hard and whining learners don't like being wrong. But I'd argue it isn't just the last category, and negative votes are a useful signal. It would be worth inspecting the most negatively-voted sentences, and either fixing them, or dropping a note in the discussion to say why the sentence and answer is useful and staying as it is.
If it's not possible to find the negatively-voted sentences, then consider asking Duolingo to help with that. Their current system has set up the "desire path": their design should respond.
My point is exactly that downvotes aren't a useful signal on sentence discussions because we don't see them and they make it less likely that we will (we don'thave a tool for finding the most dved discussion, and if we did it would be a moderator tool, not a contributor tool). If a sentence has a major problem that would prompt the downvotes, then we'll see it when we look at the sentence in the Incubator, especially since we'll have the reports sent through the proper channels to help us. Downvoting the sentence discussion won't help us to find them that way, which is the main way we have to locate problems; even if it did, we can't reset the votes so the downvotes are still there after the sentence is fixed, making them rapidly a useless tool.
We could ask staff to give us a way to find the most dved SDs. But Duo has limited dev time, and many demands on that time, and tools we've been asking for for years that would have far greater impact for us aren't here yet. Because its usefulness would be so limited, I would much rather staff spend their available time on other things that will do far more to let us find problematic sentences quickly.
Also, downvoting SDs has another drawback in that once they have 5 downvotes, they're hidden (which is why we're even less likely to find them), and they don't show up in search results.
Downvoting sentence discussions does not reach contributors at all. You need to use the report function:
I suggested this idea years ago. I'm glad a mod is trying it. Some people tried it back then, but it wasn't stickied or official. Scutigera you got the right person's attention. One thing we should do is use the search key Ctrl+F in Windows. Then we can search the post for questions that might have already being answered.
One thing we should do is use the search key Ctrl+F in Windows. Then we can search the post for questions that might have already being answered.
Have you tried searching "Turkish" on this post? My point is: content is loaded dynamically while you scroll the post and you cannot use ctrl + f to search unloaded content (I haven't tested Firefox).
This is so true dogomoto! Good point. This hampers the Google searches too. There are also often people in the discussion forums who ask question but when I refer them to the other comments that answer their inquiry they respond that the app does not show all the comments. :(
But I certainly do not need that stupid app "feature" on the website.
Yes Corrinebelle, you had a good idea. :) I wish they had listened to you then. But we have hope now. :)
I don't think that's it. For one thing, the course wasn't there very long. I'm not sure it even ever had contributors. Courses with no contributors have stayed in the Incubator far longer than that. In fact, courses haven't been removed from the Incubator before, excepting those added for April Fools a few years ago, no matter how long they've had no contributors or been inactive. Also, if work has been done on it, there's no point in removing it just because nobody's active anymore. It can still be useful to any future contributors.
As a trial, this post will be a place for you to ask your questions without fear of it being downvoting out of the forums.
I mean, you can still be downvoted it just won't disappear lol.
Anyway I've wanted to ask for a bit now: what does the daily life of a mod here look like, as far as "work" (quotes, because as far as I know you aren't compensated) goes? What kind of systems are there in place to assist you? My only real moderator experience was on the r/teenagers subreddit on Reddit. We relied pretty heavily on bots that would catch key phrases we programmed and sent us the posts through a queue. Is it anything like that?
That's why I said "downvoted out of the forums" lol. You can't stop people from downvoting.
I think we're all fairly normal. I'm pretty new (only got added to the team a few days ago) so I can't speak for everyone that's a mod. It's 100% volunteer and we don't use bots. I think its a pretty organic operation, though I believe some use scripts as a means of easing the workload.
There's 230 some odd of us (give or take, people leave and join) spread across all of the 130 some odd forums on Duolingo. We all help each other out and communicate if something's going on in a forum we're not a moderator of.
When you finished a story, you would get a prompt asking if you would like them to be added to tiny cards and then a personalized mini deck would be created for you, in tiny cards, full of the words you clicked on while reading the story. However, lately I am not getting that option. I am not sure about German, but it was available for French, Spanish and Portuguese.
You might be interested in checking out:
- https://making.duolingo.com/how-are-duolingo-courses-evolving .
from April 2019.
From what I pick up there is continued commitment by Duolingo to add to additional language learning resources.
- https://podcast.duolingo.com/french : with new podcasts released in June 2019
Stories continue to be extensively developed also, from what I see.
And they now cover Spanish, Portuguese, French, German.
Though as you mention, tinycards seems to be taking a bit of a back seat at the moment, with all the momentous changes across these features, as well as :
And including the substantial work of continued improvement on the courses, as mentioned above.
Also another something I keep my eye on, being the stated manifesto :
Bear in mind, this is IMO (in my opinion).
Why isn't it possible to see how many XP there are left to reach the next level anymore?
Why isn't the forum section organized as a regular forum so people don't ask the same questions all the time? It's not unusual to see the same questions being asked the same day, others at least a few times a week.
I don't know why to Duolingo Team decided to get rid of it. I don't see any value to it other than it possibly takes away the "I'm grinding 500 Basics 1 so I can get to Level 25" factor.
I'm also not sure about why the forum is more organised. I decided to open this post (after it being suggested of course) so that the random questions could congregate here. Or if people are posting new questions we haven't answered before, then we can see them as opposed to them getting -5 votes and it's suddenly invisible.
I had this problem once. I had 300 XP for the English for Spanish speakers course, and then 30 XP from my English for Japanese speakers course. It did not count the Japanese reverse tree XP for my total English count.
Only one counts, and thats the one that has the highest XP. So in that case, I only earned xp from my Spanish reverse tree, since it had more XP than my Japanese reverse tree. Eventually I just deleted the Spanish reverse tree and did my JP one and it counts it all now.
Edit: also, I love the idea of having a post like this, Little_Tatws :)
Here are my six courses learning English from 6 different languages.
I used only the course from (de) en (ge): you can see the level (22) en the words (1402/1397) and the xp's (20645/20284)
The other courses in wich i did only a few skills have also high xp's: 19571 till 20645.
But for reaching a higher level in the languages in which i did only a few lessons i have to collect about 19000 xp's.
Probably it is changed with the start of the levels/crowns,
But it likes that there is only one counter for total xp's for a language learned from different basic languages and that that counter is displayed for each course (all 6 courses).
The little difference between the courses is probably because of all the courses have not the same number of English words.
61 English (de) L 22 W 1402 XP 20645 +1855 XP to next level
74 English (fr) L 22 W 1397 XP 20284 +2216 XP to next level
21 English (es) L 0 W 0 XP 19895 +-19895 XP to next level
3 English (it) L 0 W 0 XP 19661 +-19661 XP to next level
23 English (tr) L 0 W 0 XP 19646 +-19646 XP to next level
0 English (pl) L 0 W 0 XP 19571
Duo did use to have an activity feed/stream (similar to FB) for everyone and we could talk to each other on that. Apparently it was problematic for the site stability and took up a lot of resources, but also it was a bit of a troll-fest. I never had any problem but if someone had the profile pic of a pretty girl (even if that was not them but maybe a movie star) then they would receive relentless messages. I saw the feed of one of the admins and it was just hundreds of guys saying "hi" with some asking to practice with her, some asking to meet, and so on. No one needs that, especially on a language site.
Here is one example of how it looked (non-trollish):
Finally, once Duo focused on schools having a messaging system seems a little dangerous for those who are underage.
Unrelated, you do not have to put the date in your posts. You can just hover over the timestamp of your post and you will get the date, along with the exact time of day it was posted.
Couple of questions.
Will anything else be added to the Lingot shop?
I'm in the Gold League right now, and I do roughly 100 XP in a week. I've been seeing many users climb up to the Ruby League. I'd guess I need about 300-400 XP to be promoted from Gold to Sapphire, but what is the minimum amount of XP I need to get in a week to be promoted from Sapphire to Ruby as well as to stay in Ruby?
EDIT: I also have some feedback about the forums that I forgot to add here.
Upvoting and downvoting in the forums is bugged - every time I try to upvote or downvote a comment (on the Android app), exit the comment section, and then reenter, I notice that my vote on the comment is gone.
It would be nice to display the time stamp for the comments on the app so that I don't reply to a comment that's over a year old without knowing it.
It would also be nice to indicate deleted comments and show the replies to the deleted comments (if any) on the website as well as the app.
I'd also like to see the "Give Lingot" button added to the app as well.
I doubt there could be a figure given for what XP you need to be in a certain league, given how variable they are.
I do 100-200 a day, based on how well I know the material I'm focusing on and what else I have going on at the time, and that seems to keep me comfortably in ruby.
Not sure. I'd like to see more added, but that's not up to me.
So I've been in Sapphire since May 19. I'd say you'd need about 2000 XP if you want to be in first place, but you could get as low as ~900 if you're willing to be in 10th. It varies week to week.
As for your feedback, it's appreciated. I can't do anything about it (nor do I know a lot about how the Android app works because I have iOS and they're developed separately) though.
We (mods and contribs) can't choose what courses are added to the Incubator and when. Staff decides that, based on factors like number of potential users, whether they can make a good team from the applicants, the cost of supporting the course (for example, a language like Arabic or Japanese is technically much more complicated than one like French), and other criteria we don't know. You might want to have a look at this guide on how to request and show support for a new course.
For the Finnish tree, probably nobody really knows yet how long it will be. It takes a lot of time to plan a course and it's hard to say what the final length will be until you have at least a draft of the entire tree. It probably will be long if they teach all the cases, but if they're only making an A1 or A2 tree to start with they may not teach all the cases yet.
Are the stories in the different languages "the same" or just "similar"? I had a discussion a while ago because I copied the text of a German story to offer a translation of a Spanish one. It turned out, they were different in certain points.
Follow up: is there a plan to build distinct stories for different languages or will they continue to use the same story line for all languages (... to come)?
BTW: great idea, this could turn out to become something very useful. Maybe there should be an index of the questions sometimes ;-)
Spanish for English: 192 stories (111 full stories) divided in 19 sets
Portuguese for English: 152 stories (87 full stories) divided in 15 sets
French for English: 144 stories (89 full stories) divided in 14 sets
German for English: 124 stories (69 full stories) divided in 12 sets
In total there are 114 different stories.
The stories are not identical: the storie about the woman in the bathroom that will be married: in one storie is the father divoced and in the other storie he has a happy marriage.
Moderators are Global Ambassadors who go through the forums and answer questions, make sure everything is running smoothly, and (if necessary) delete spam.
You can apply to become a moderator here. We're handpicked out of our applications and occasionally chosen for being a particularly outstanding forum user.
It doesn't exactly require a major chunk of your time. Some other moderators are also contributors, educators, etc. so they have to attend to those obligations, too. It's flexible to your needs.
I don't quite know if it's a requirement that you have to have a certain amount of experience in terms of moderating. I've been using Duolingo (if we go off of my old account) since August 2012 but as long as you're 18 or older and know how to navigate the forums, you should be fine.
One thing you could do, is to assist in creating resource here in the discussion forums for learning English for Persian speakers.
And should you wish to do this, I recommend you provide links to any discussions that you put up.
This would not just be of benefit to the community right now. It would be a resource for the future, for when what we all hope for, that this course could be included as a course in Duolingo.
It would have many other benefits as well.
Including showing how well the community or key people can work together in developing the resources. Which is also key requirement for a team to successfully develop a course.
Also do not forget you can create resources in tinycards
Tinycards also has Audio for some languages, such as English.
And if you do this, I also recommend creating discussions here that link to the tinycard decks you create.
Also check out https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/15014194 , and follow through to some of the resources others have created for Persian, to use perhaps as inspiration.
Just curious for anyone who has been to Italy:
In most of America, we eat pizza like this:
The bread/crust (on the bottom)
The pizza sauce
Toppings (on the top)
However, my family recently traveled to Chicago (Illinois) to see relatives, and we ate at a pizza place there.
It turns out Chicago pizza is unusual (at least for me).
It is made like this:
The bread (on the bottom)
The pizza sauce
Toppings (on the top)
Note: I am sure there are other places in America that eat like this, but I've only seen it in Chicago.
So I was wondering if in Italy, they eat it with the cheese on top or the pizza sauce on top.
What is it with the Incubator? Like if you wanna make a course, let's say for example Filipino[I don't know any. The first language that came up into my head ;p] and you apply to contribute for it. Do you have to have a certain amount of people contributing to it or a big amount of interest from the users? ^-^
How can I ask a question or leave a comment. Sometimes in Duolingo my answer will be marked wrong, when I am sure it is correct. I go to the comments and if others have raised the same point I can arrow up,or sometimes comment, but if no one else has commented I am unable to do anything? How can I start a comment?
Surely you already knew, then, that an awful lot of questions this thread would elicit would be ones you (or anyone else who isn't staff) couldn't answer to anyone's satisfaction?
Only doing it this way means you'll get a single, enormous, unwieldy thread that will quickly become unnavigable, rather than lots of small ones that will soon be forgotten (but easily looked up).
Also, any useful answers given will be difficult for future users to find using the search facility, as the topic is not specific and there will be hundreds of posts to wade through. Concentrating lots of diverse questions into a giant fuzz-ball of a thread is the worst possible way to harness DL's already terrible search functionality.
Having a thread like this is a very nice idea, but I don't think it's really a good or useful one.
When a course leaves Beta depends on how many reports it's getting. Obviously when a course first comes out there are lots of errors, because we're all human and errors happen. As users report the errors and they're found and fixed, the report rate slows, and once it's low enough the course leaves Beta.
There actually isn't much difference between Phase 2 and Phase 3, by the way, except for the report rate. The only real difference in functionality is that the contribs can start a new tree without extra assistance from staff after a course leaves Beta.
The entire system is randomised. As far as points per set go, it determines on what kind of people you're with. It won't take a lot of points if your league is pretty inactive vs a group earning 1000s of XP w day. The chests contain lingot prizes for the top 3.
Does that answer your question? I may have left something out.
there's a link to an application form
For more information on how to report abuse:
You have to actually do the second step (from the bottom of the comment push email "unfollow discussion") of clicking on the blue "following discussion" (at the top of the targeted discussion thread):
To get it back to the white "follow discussion":
Only then will the emails stop.
If you comment again, it will auto subscribe you again so just click on the button at the top, again.
Question for the moderators: I'm currently working through the French course and have yet to come across any speaking lessons. I've tried both in Safari and Chrome. Safari doesn't have a microphone option, but Chrome does, and I have it switched on. Is it accurate that there are no speaking lessons in the French course or am I doing something wrong?
Thanks in advance for any help that you can provide.
Are all the courses constantly getting improved? Like adding new skills and questions?
How are the extra bonus XP determined?
Also, does any questions mean ANY questions? Including requests for Duolingo to improve things? If so, I have a few:
Add more questions to each skill? (When I want to practice more it gets a bit annoying to answer the same stuff over and over again)
The ability to choose which specific lesson to work on? (Annoying to start all over again if I have a specific lesson that I want to practice)
Add a feedback page?
All the courses have a team of contributors working on them (though there may be some courses that currently have no active contribs). These contributors are maintaining the current course, which means fixing errors in existing content, and adding new sentences to the existing words in the existing skills. In the current courses, the structure is locked, skills and words can't be added, removed, or relocated. Those all require a new tree, which is a large undertaking and takes a while. Most courses are either stabilising their current tree or working on a new one. So yes, they're constantly getting improved, but users won't see the major changes like new skills on a weekly or even monthly basis.
From my own experience, I think the bonus xp is based on the number of correctly completed exercises in a row.
We can't do anything about feature requests, that's something only staff can do, so this is probably not the best place. Posts on the main forum are better for these, but look to see if there's already a discussion about it before posting a new one, and if there is, add your support there. :)
For the specific requests you mentioned here, more questions for each skill - believe me, often enough we wish as much as our users do that we could have more variety. But we can only write sentences using the words and grammatical concepts taught in that lesson or earlier, and that can make it hard to come up with even the minimum of 3 for every new word. It's as boring for us as for you, perhaps even more so as we have to look at the reports on those sentences all the time, while once you've learned them you can move on from the skill and see them again very little.
For the feedback page, the forums are the feedback page! Duo staff do read the forums and see the feedback users post there. :) That said, if the feedback is about a bug or an error in a course, there are channels for reporting these, described in these articles.
Wow! This Open Thread idea has been worth it just for your great detailed comments and insight on the contributor role. The things I did not know I wanted to know.
I'd like to see a separate "Day in the Life" post by you someday Trofaste. It could include screenshots of some helpful and unhelpful reports. :)
We could then link to it in future OT editions as a FAQ for all these future questions like those you've been answering these last few hours.
Thanks for all your efforts here. :)
I may write one someday, though my days are not typical of most contributors as I work in many different roles and spend more time in support work (mentoring new contribs and helping others with technical problems) than in the normal contri uting work. In the meantime, a couple existing discussions for you to read. :) Contributor for a day from Deliciae's (not-so-)Weekly Norwegian series, and Reporting 101 from the same series, both of which I recommend to everyone. :)
I believe most of the courses are. This is up to the contributors for those courses, though.
I'm not sure that I know how. I believe it has to do with how many you missed in a lesson.
Well, you can ask them definitely. Only the staff have any power over them though.
3.5. You used to be able to choose which lesson you wanted to work on a while back. I don't know why this feature was removed.
I thoroughly enjoyed it! Between 2012~2013 it was great to get practice by translating Wiki articles. (Plus I got a little bit of knowledge on the side.) I don't think the Immersion is going to return after Duolingo switched from a crowdsource business model to a more conventional one.
von Ahn applied the same logic to Duolingo in its early stages, by crowdsourcing translations from users as they learned new languages. The program eventually evolved into a feature that allowed users to practice translating BuzzFeed and CNN articles, but was removed after the company decided to concentrate on “just language learning, as opposed to language translation.” It has now shifted its monetization strategy toward Duolingo Plus, the company’s ad-free paid version, and the Duolingo Test Center, which offers English-language proficiency certificates.
However Duolingo still uses crowd sourcing to maintain and develop its courses and resources such as Tiny cards. This is part of the work all GA's do in their various roles.
It continues to be an amazing model of a business. With a small staff of approximately around 150 ish people, from what I have read. And with that small staff to have :
As of January 2019 the language-learning website and app offer 85 different language courses in 24 languages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duolingo
And to continue to be able to not just provide these numerous courses, but to also maintain them, to improve them, to allow interaction by learners, that questions can be asked, and answers received. And it is the crowd sourced global community that to the main provide that support. Being, for example the majority of people reading this.
And remarkably, with the small paid labor force it continues to develop new products, improve course structures, and maintain existing products. While having
"about 300 million registered users across the world" who use the app (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duolingo)
And continuing to maintain its ethos :
We created Duolingo so that everyone could have a chance. Free language education – no hidden fees, no premium content, just free. (https://www.duolingo.com/info)
Though IMO this is only possible because it is seeking to provide and continually improve its language learning resources and to provide them for free for learners. This is why so many amazing people donate their time and resources that makes it reality.
nb. all this is IMO, and do correct me for additional insights and corrections, etc.