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VoiceOver, Duolingo


I hope you’re well.

I’m a visually impaired person who is using the app and has to use voiceover on the iPhone to access it.

I’m having two issues with it.

The first is, with voiceover on it does not read out the word ‘are’, in a sentence or as one of the options when needed to pick it which is weird and the second is I can not access the accents for certain letters with voiceover on.

I would greatly appreciate your help with this.

Thank You Yosra

August 25, 2019


Sorted by top post


Ok, I don't use an iPhone but it would probably help if you explain when this happens. Is it only in the Duolingo App? Is it only with German or a certain language? This seems like it might be an issue with Voiceover rather than with Duolingo. Does Voiceover have options for non english settings? Can you see "are" when you are using English and just not in German? Did you try contacting voiceover? Does this happen when you try using the Duolingo website? I am not visually impaired but I do have a MacBook and if this is also happening when you use the website, I can try installing it and see if it happens to me too (if this is helpful for you). I can't do it on my phone because I use an Android.

August 27, 2019



Thanks for responding!!

Yes only in the app and German is the only language I am using it with, so do not know about other languages sorry!

Can you please clarify what you mean by voiceover having options for non English settings, as I don’t quite understand what you mean?

No, I cannot see it but as I know what the word ‘are’ is in German, I know to click it to continue with my sentence.

No I have not tried contacting voiceover (yet), as I thought to message here first and see if I could sort it out that way.

I have not tried it on the website, just the app. I do not have an Apple laptop or computer, unfortunately and so don’t know I’m afraid.

Yes please, any help would be much appreciated with what you can play around with and seeing if it makes a difference!

Also, I notice that when I click on a word which is underlined with voiceover on, words come up under it (for example a German word and the English translation under it), voiceover does not read it out (I only discovered the words in the first place by accident as I thought the app had just randomly underlined words, ha!) and so I’m having to guess what the words are from the options that I can click on in the boxes with them all jumbled up to make the sentence, so I am missing out on being able to access that too, meaning I am getting sentences wrong which is annoying, because I’m just having to guess a lot of the time!

Thank You Yosra

August 29, 2019


Ok, Hi! So, I looked at VoiceOver on my Mac. (I first tried to use the Samsung Version on my phone and it was annoying to use, but it worked fine. I did it in the Duolingo App, using French). It was difficult to get it to turn off and much slower. I don't know how much different the VoiceOver App for Mac is. I looked at the settings in my macbook and It's much more complex, It has a lot of more choices and options, in a good way! It even had a braille setting if you have one of those braille displays.)

I notice it does have a setting to change the language it's speaking to you in. How does that work when you are using Duolingo and you use it in English and German? Can it recognise when the words aren't in English? Is it skipping over the word "are" in English or the German word for "are"? Because I noticed in the settings that there's a button to press if you want it to pronounce words that it thinks are wrong. (There is also a setting to "do nothing", like not say the word if It thinks it's a wrong word. If it's only missing words in German, maybe it thinks it's a misspelt word? I can't imagine how frustrating this must be for you. I would probably just get in touch with Apple or VoiceOver and Let them walk you through it if that's an option.

I don't know how much success you are having with Duolingo, but have you thought about using a method that is more audio based to begin with? I will write a second message with what I can find out.

August 30, 2019


Ok, you should try to see what happens in Duolingo on the website. If that makes a difference. I've used Duolingo app and the website both on my phone, so there's nothing to be afraid of.

If you want to try a different app or approach. Babbel @ https://www.babbel.com has german and they have an app. But you might like something like Pimsleur Audio program better. Here is the first lesson from Pimsleur on Youtube, it's all audio, @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zR05Zwlz9Y

I used to rent out language lessons on audio from my library. There is also Mango App, which is free if your local library subscribes. Good luck , I hope this is helpful for you.

August 30, 2019
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