I don't want need to read and write, just speak and listen... any advice?
I'm here in India, learning Hindi. I really only want to have conversations in Hindi, learning to write/read the letters is not as useful for me. And as I go through the mini-skills, I get slowed down (and discouraged) by the questions that ask me to translate the written Hindi text. Is there any way to turn those types of questions off?
No. Duolingo is primarily about written language and the verbal is secondary, so it might not be the right platform for you.
However, learning as an adult by just listening and speaking is probably going to take you very much longer than being able to visualise the written words and methodically learning the grammar that applies to them. You can't use the same sort of absorption learning that a baby uses because, quite simply, even living in the country you don't have the same 24/7 of people around you talking to you and to each other that a baby does - and, in addition, your sleep-time learning when you automatically go over what you've heard during the day, is clogged with a million and one other things. You have to short-cut that system, which is usually done through written language, otherwise you risk spending years and years in the country and never being able to converse effectively.
Maybe duolingo is the wrong tool for what you want to do. There must be other (introductory) courses out there that use transliteration instead of devanagari.
Your question is similar to those of people looking for a Japanese course in romaji or a Chinese course in pinyin -- and the answer is the same: look outside duolingo, this is not the tool you are looking for.
Discussions on whether that is an effective method for learning the language are a separate matter.