Internet course errors
This is the first time I've done this but the 'internet' course, just before checkpoint 6 contains an awful lot of errors. A lot of alternative translations aren't accepted, and there is a lot of comments saying that the sentences have been reported. Yet still no changes have been made.
Maybe one of the course editors could take a look at this! I've finished it now but it was quite annoying to do, I would like to save my fellow French learners this hardship :)
Thanks in advance!
We have all suffered from what appears to have been at least one contributor who wasn't really fluent in EITHER French OR English - as the mistakes are bidirectional!
Complaints raised over many months have not been addressed and that central 18 skills need to be endured rather than enjoyed - they definitely did not add to the course when they were included into the tree a few months ago.
Duolingo should pull them, until they are fixed, but it doesn't seem to be able to acknowledge and effectively deal with language issues in its upgrades.
Report them. I've reported several of them. All of the 18 or so skills added just before the sixth checkpoint have many omissions, and some errors. Some are worse than others. Health 2 was really bad. Internet has many as well. The default duolingo translation for email, for example, is "courriel" or "courriel electronique" so you may need to report "e-mail." I know I have.
Somone has also reported "images" for pictures (the default is "photos").
The default English translation for "un article par jour" is "one article a day". ("one article per day" has been reported and is now accepted.)
The English translation for "c'est logique" is "that makes sense" rather than "this is logical". You may find it useful to report that as well.
The sentence "D'abord, tu copies puis après, tu colles" has generated many comments by native francophones. Even one moderator has said that it does not sound natural, but it has not yet been updated. Perhaps no one has reported it, or perhaps none of the report options apply. (I don't always see the option for "the french sentence is unnatural or has an error.")
I have found that they will eventually get around to responding to your report. I started a folder on July 4 of last year in my email inbox just for communications from duolingo, in order to keep account of how many I receive. In the nine months since I started that folder I have received 143 messages. A small number compared to the number of sentences that I have reported, but it does show that someone is working on the problems.
Just report the problems when you find them. In a few weeks, or a few months, you will get a message that looks something like this:
You suggested “I am downloading nothing” as a translation for “Je ne télécharge rien.” We now accept this translation. :)
Thanks for the contribution, please keep it up!
The original contributors and current mods/contributors no longer have access to modify the tree or include alternate answers. Duo staff updated the tree a couple of times at least (2 or 3 times) to be "CEFR" compliant and now volunteers can no longer do anything except answer questions in the forums. Duo staff tends to throw content over the wall and then forget about it. I've also seen comments in the forums that suggest there may have been no native French speakers amongst the staff that made these changes.
This scenario is repeating itself in other languages like Spanish, and German changes like this are coming.
My experience has been that quality has suffered greatly. The comment forums are very helpful, and despite some saying "don't complain in the forums, just report it", I find that history of complaints quite helpful in seeing what other answers are being rejected, and what other possibilities there are for a given answer.
While I still find Duo very useful for daily grammar practice, the noticeable drop in quality can be very annoying, and some lessons are worse than others. Some are just laughable. But more importantly I feel there is a growing trend of Duo staff that do content creation being completely out of touch with users.
In the software world there is a term called "eat your own dogfood". The concept is that employees, especially software developers should actively use their own product to understand if their creation is palatable. I feel Duo needs more of that, especially at the director and above level. And understand my intent isn't to trash talk Duo here, because I continue to use and benefit from Duo despite its shortcomings, but in the last year the quality of new content has suffered, and I think Duo should put more energy into the ongoing maintenance of language trees and the forums, not just spitting out new content.