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Kids learned how to cheat on Duolingo for maximizing points

So, I created a class for Portuguese for my kids to start learning my first language. At first, they loved it and were excited about the class. They took pride in learning another language so they can communicate with family members in Brazil.

After a few weeks, they excitement was not the same as initially. They were tired, due to all of their school work also being on the computer due to the 'Rona. Which has been an adjustment to us all.

Well, I still push them to continue their studies using the Duolingo system, which I thought has been great. However, they learned how to cheat the system!

Yes, they have learned how to cheat the system and get as much possible points.

During some of the exercises given by the Duolingo system, they noticed that by hovering their mouse of the words, in this case in English to translate to Portuguese, the word translated would appear next to the mouse, then they can quickly just copy and past that word into the blank space to pass the assignments. SOB!

I'm upset because I thought the Duolingo system would have blocked such feature to make the kids learn and memorize the translated words, but at the same time I have to give them props for figuring out a problem with the system.

Please Duolingo, fix this issue.


May 12, 2020



That's how Duolingo teaches. You hover for a reminder when you can't remember the word.

Their skills will decay faster and their golden completed skills will crack more frequently because they are hovering. Hovering tells Duolingo "I need more practice".

It will work itself out. At least they're still looking at Portuguese words. There are worse ways to cheat the system but I won't mention them here :)


lolll.. are there really more worse ways to cheat??.. >..<.


Olá Ed,

Quote: Please Duolingo, fix this issue.

There is no issue, really not.

Without highlighting the orange words there is no way to learn new words and to get a clue what Duolingo is "trying to teach" you.

This is the reason you can't simply remove the hint feature from shown sentences!!

There are not any special "teaching or video lessons" on Duolingo whereas on Memrise there are six planting steps for a "word" (which can be a real single words, phrase or full sentence).

Maybe they are just not in the right age group to use Duolingo?

Or maybe you should do the lessons together with them.

If you really want to push them forward in Portuguese, then you need to add a 3rd party flashcard application as well in PARALLEL.

But if they are not really motivated, I do not see a good reason how to "force Duolingo" on them.

  • AnkiSRS (self-rating answer buttons, RECALL testing, no hints; also supports cloze-deletion)

  • Memrise web (100% typing support with a Tampermonkey userscript, turning off all multiple-choice questions, 100% forcing the L1 English -> L2 Portuguese translation direction on any classic reviews)

Just look for the "Duolingo" keywords on the Memrise website: https://www.memrise.com/courses/english/portuguese-brazil/?q=duolingo

The course by MartinPen does not have all words and does not yet incorporate the latest June 2018 PT tree update.

There is another user who started his own (full) Duolingo tree (including all article nouns) as a new user:


The real challenge on the Memrise web portal are IMHO the typing RECALLING tests:

This means there is an empty text field and not any hint.
You either know the word, or not.
If not, it is marked incorrect and will reset the spaced repetition (SR) next intervals.

For sure it is easier only having to use multiple-choice instead of full typing, or to use cloze-deletion (typing one single word in the L2 target language, not the full sentence) or even self-rating answer buttons.

Have you tried paper flashcards already?
You can test your kids yourself if they know the words or not.

You might be able to use a Leitner cardbox system to introduce some basic SR.

Muitas saudações da Alemanha


I know you feel like it is just kids, and maybe even just your kids, but you are not doing anything wrong. It is your kids choice, and you had nothing to do with it. I would discipline them and maybe talk to them about right and wrong. So many people's kids do this, so it is NOT your fault. Ask them why they did what they did.

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