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

Wrong answers being marked correct

I'm not referring to wrong answers being marked correct with a note about a typo. We know that is a recognised bug in the system and the mods tell us there is nothing that can be done about that. However over the past couple of weeks I have noticed wrong answers being marked right with no qualifying note whatsoever. Also wrong accents being passed without any note about "pay attention to the accents".

I reported one such instance yesterday. It was "Òrd uaine", which I mis-heard as"Bòrd uaine" in the recording. I was marked right with no typo note. When I reported it Joanne said this should not be happening and to try to take a screen-shot of occassions where it does.

Today it happened three times. Once I couldn't make out whether the speaker was saying "Tha mi..." or "Bha mi..." and plumped for the former. It was the latter, but "Tha mi..." was marked right without any typo flag. Unfortunately I clicked "continue" before I realised, and didn't screen-shot it.

Then I typed "Diune leisg" instead of "Duine leisg". It was just a typo, fingers moving too fast, But again it was passed with no note about a typo. I reported this one and screenshotted it.

Then there was a third one and again I was too quick and clicked on "continue" before I realised and I've actually forgotten what it was now. But that's three times in an hour's worth of practice.

It's not that the typo flags and the "don't forget the accents" flags aren't there at all. I'm getting them on quite a few answers. But we need them to be there all the time. Having the system pass wrong answers without any indication at all that there's a mistake is not good for learning.

So I started this thread to see if anyone else is noticing this, and if so maybe we can collect a few screen-shots to report to Duolingo.

March 5, 2020

28 Comments


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

I understand there are conflicting views about whether answers with wrong or absent accents should be passed as essentially correct (there was a long thread about this only last week), but at least the "pay attention to the accents" note does flag up to you that you made a mistake. I'm not a happy bunny over the one-letter errors that are forgiven as "you have a typo", but again, at least there is an indication that our answer is in fact wrong if we take the trouble to read the message.

Clear errors, even if they are only one-letter discrepancies or missing or wrong accents not being flagged up as in any way wrong is in a different league. How can we learn if we can't trust the software to flag up a mistake? I often type an answer I'm slightly unsure about, trusting that if I'm wrong the software will flag up my error and then I can correct myself for next time. If my answer is passed as right with no caveats whatsoever, I assume that I was in fact correct and that reinforces the answer in my memory. I'm losing confidence in the whole thing. This is not good.

Is this a recent bug, or has it been there for a long time? I've only been noticing it in the past couple of weeks, but that could be because I've improved a lot at the language and actually notice my mistakes even when they're not flagged up. Is it affecting other languages? It's hard to believe it's only happening in Gaelic.


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

I agree with this - thanks for posting. I see this quite regularly. But I don't know if it just started in recent weeks - or if it was there all along and I just hadn't noticed. But, yes, it definitely happens. I've wondered if part of the general algorithm allows X number of mistakes per Y number of letters in any answer, or something like that. And then maybe course writers are allowed certain flags they can set (such as for accents). But I don't really know. I actually would not mind having every type of error marked wrong because I'm doing this to learn (and I'm not competitive enough to want to "win" all the time) - although I can understand allowing a few errors through so that people don't get too discouraged. I think allowing errors to go through and also flagging them for people who want to know is a good idea.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miss-Sparkle

I can understand allowing a few errors through so that people don't get too discouraged. I think allowing errors to go through and also flagging them for people who want to know is a good idea.

Exactly. I'm collecting screenshots for a bug report right now and I have just posted in this thread https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/34564094 to find out whether enthusiasts of lenient spelling would really be bothered by a little notification at the bottom of the screen.


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

Hi all! Not to disagree with any of the above, but Duolingo staff will not see this on the SG forum as it is looked after by volunteers with no power to affect changes to software. I would encourage anyone who encounters a bug to either submit a bug report or post on the generic or troubleshooting forums. Tapadh leibh.


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

Well, that was kind of the point of the thread, to encourage people to take screenshots and submit them as bug reports if they saw an example.


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

Fair play. Just wanted to make it clear to folk that this is not something the SG team can change.


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

Joanne said to report it when it happens and suggested taking screenshots. My thought was that we needed a few, and preferably from different people. It's obviously a Duolingo bug, although I haven't really seen people doing other languages talking about it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miss-Sparkle

It's also happening in Spanish from German, especially in the listening exercises. I just typed "no lemos durante la cena" instead of leemos and it was not even flagged as a typo. I hate having to check the discussions page after each and every word.


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

I can confirm this happens regularly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FergusMart4

On a different tack. Marking one variant of Sunday wrong when there are two ways of saying it!


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

If you're sure you didn't make any mistake, you should have reported it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FergusMart4

Pretty sure I hadn't but engaged finger before brain kicked in to reporting.


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

That's how I missed reporting two of the three problem answers yesterday.


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

Yes - I had this happen and I did report it.


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

Hi Fergus, I have just checked all sentences and we accept "Didòmhnaich/Latha na Sàbaid/Là na Sàbaid" for all of them. Most likely explanation is a user typo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FergusMart4

I think I might have come across it, and it barely registered at the time. It's probably gonna happen all the time now ;-)


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

I haven't seen anyone saying this is happening in any of the other languages. It's very odd.


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

I think I’ve seen at least one other user saying it happened to them on another language course and that they reported it as a Duolingo bug. Anyway, I think a regular Duolingo bug report or a discussion on the general Duolingo forum (not just Scottish Gaelic one) would be better – there’s higher chance there that people who can actually do anything about it (ie. Duolingo stuff) will read and consider it.


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

Yeah, I was thinking to go that way, but that maybe we could collect together some more examples to strengthen the case first. Three times in an hour's work is a bit disconcerting, and that's what happened to me this morning, but I only got one screenshot.


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

It is happening in the German tree. I got lazy on a few sentences and didn't use the umlaut characters and they were accepted without any warning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SebastianW37025

Doesn't happen on my phone but happens all the time on my laptop. Conversely I get marked wrong for using a word which they don't accept "fireman" instead of firefighter (which I don't think I've said in fifty years). Similarly I'm marked wrong for saying I'm playing instead of I play whereas I don't think there's a difference in Gaelic.


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

I tried fisherman and got marked right. I think you should report fireman as "should be accepted". Same with "I'm playing". They sometimes miss correct answers unless you tell them, then they add them.

I think the worst error I had marked right was when I was on my phone. I was using the word tiles and I had only clicked on half of the ones for the sentence in question when I fumbled my phone and submitted the answer prematurely. The half sentence was marked correct without any qualification!


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

Hey that's because "neach-smàlaidh" is a non gendered term. To say a fireperson you would use "fear-smàlaidh".


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

Yeah, but the other way around in English, "man" can be used (and often is) in the same way as "duine", for either a male human being or more generally for a member of the species homo sapiens. Plenty female chairmen around.


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

Will have a think, we have to be careful with what we accept here as we might shoot ourselves in the foot when making the distinction between “bean/fear/neach” if we decide to teach it.


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

I think if there's a reasonable gender-neutral term in English (like firefighter) then it's fair enough to use it in the lessons, but I also think that the -man suffix should be an acceptable answer, because that is how English has always worked, despite the efforts of the PC brigade to get us all to imagine that every time the word "man" is used it means a male person. Leading to the butchery of some classic hymns like "pleased as man with man to dwell" and "born that man no more may die" and so on.

Where there is no accepted gender-neutral English term, to my mind we need to remember that "man" in English is also the word for any member of the species homo sapiens, like mensch in German.


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

If the owl makes a few mistakes sometimes, well so do I! and the owl is a cheery cute sort of peson whilst I can be gu math gearanach, uaireannan....

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