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  5. Duolingo works in reverse mod…


Duolingo works in reverse mode a good few times. It first tests and then teaches later.

It happens very often. I suddenly get asked the meaning of a word that I've never listened before. For instance, I was learning skill two when, without notice and any training, I got asked the meaning of word "boleto". I mean if I never heard it, I wouldn't know what it means.

And the next question would be — which one of these is "a ticket"? And I'd get four choices to choose from. It's very easy since the images are given and in no way a ticket in Spain could look like an apple. So it becomes extremely easy to choose the correct answer.

So what I suggest is the questions with answer containing image should be asked first because one can only know the meaning of word if one is taught so.

And once the meaning of a word is clear, only then it is supposed to be asked again. You know what I mean.

If I'm teaching Spanish to someone, I wouldn't ask him the meaning of a word they never heard because that's unfair. You first teach and then test. But in your case it seems reversed.

If you think this process is more productive and works more effectively, then I'm fine.

August 20, 2019



Yes, you are right that sometimes it is random and weird. (One time, I got the same question 19 times in a row.) But as a teacher, I love that Duolingo uses a "no opt out" method. This means that when you get an answer wrong, you keep getting prompted until you get it right.

So let's say hypothetically that you got "boleto" and didn't know what it meant, and didn't have the dictionary hover over option, and for whatever reason didn't look it up in the dictionary that you have by your side. ( :) You do, have a dictionary, don't you?) So you get it wrong. You are moved on to the next question, which is the picture. You get it right.

At the end of the lesson, any questions that you missed come back up. This time, you have seen the word before and you get it right.

Here's the deal, though: It takes the average person seven times of seeing a word before they have it internalized. Seven times! So tomorrow when you log on, you might not remember "boleto" at all, or you might remember that it starts with a "b" and is masculine, but you still need that repetition before you really remember the word and know how to use it.

So yes, it's kind of funny when you get the questions in a weird order, but take a deep breath and know that you need all sorts of exposure to the word before you can really use it. It will all work out in the end.

Hope this helps!


Thanks a lot for the response, MedameSensei. I completely understood your point. I guess Duolingo wants their users to use dictionary to look for the meaning of a word that they've never seen or heard before so that they can remember better. I guess it stimulates the active learning among students. Anyway, thanks a lot again.


It's very easy since the images are given and in no way a ticket in Spain could look like an apple. So it becomes extremely easy to choose the correct answer.

Obviously the "picture exercises" do only make sense on the lowest L0 crown level, when you are learning NEW words.

Unfortunately I even see those activated on completed skills which are on L1-L2 (L3) crowns and where I am only reviewing.

Duolingo often combines pictures + multiple-choice which makes it even easier to find the correct word option (including review mode).


If you want to DISABLE picture exercises (hide the image until you have answered / selected the right one) you can do this - on the web portal (not the mobile app!):

With Camilo's userscript "Duolingo Tree Enhancer" with the installed browser addons Tampermonkey / Violentmonkey:


The sooner you switch away from the (tapping) mobile app to the www.duolingo.com web portal to "hopefully" get a few more typing exercises when you want to learn a Romance language, the better.

Try to learn to construct your own sentences.
Focus on the correct verb conjugations (endings) for the personal pronouns.
Focus on correctly RECALLING the verb stems for different tenses and where to place the accents/diacritics.
Put the words together by yourself by correctly applying the grammar rules (e.g prepositions, contractions,...).

Learn from your own (sentence contruction / typing) errors.

You can't really do this with the tapping mobile app with all the given hints (word banks).

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