https://www.duolingo.com/1km

The big French keyhole has appeared ...

At last, we can skip lessons, but ... ! On my first attempt I bombed out because Duolingo would not accept Fr. "clef" as the spelling for Eng. "key". Nor would it accept Fr. "toujours" as a synonym for Fr. "encore", meaning Eng. "still (up to this time)". OK, the third mistake was a typo and DuoLingo quickly fixed the above when fed back, but I still maintain we should be credited with a free go when valid feedback is reported. Only two attempts left. Anyone else been brave enough to attempt this feat of mind-reading?

August 12, 2012

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo

anomalocaris had a go a couple of days back and blogged it in her stream. It seems she had a similar frustrating experience.

As for me, as a child I was taught it was wicked to look through keyholes so I don't dare... ;)

August 12, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalocaris

Haha, yes I did. I sent a bunch of feedback, made a bunch of mistakes that were my own fault, and ended up failing three times--it's gone now. Of course the shortcut test should be hard to prevent people from passing it who really did need to learn all the intervening material, but the grammatical mistakes and the inflexibility make it pretty impossible for everyone. It would be cool if they brought it back--I'd definitely try again. Well, bonne chance!

August 12, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt

My French is really not good enough to even try the padlocks. On the other hand I did the German padlocks and I passed the first three without a repeat performance and the last one I had to repeat because my English was faulty. But how is a free go to be determined? I have sent tons of feedback on which they never reacted, probably because I wasn't right. Using feedback does not automatically qualify for an extra heart or something like that. to me the problem is much more common in the normal exercises. The frustrating Duolingo efforts cost me a whole exercise in both French and German. They were four times wrong in one exercise. It is irritating, but well ... German is not a beta version any more, so my feedback activity there is much less frequent. It would be good if the padlock came back, but since the content in French is so unpredictable, I would advise to delay that.

August 12, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Do you know you can just refresh your page after losing the last heart and start over? ;) This will not count as an attempt.

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt

@ olimo, no I did not, I never get past the main features of a program. Thanks for telling me, but: Isn't that a bit like cheating? :)

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

@siebolt, yes it is! But I don't feel ashamed for such cheating because the owl is not always fair too!

Mostly, I use this feature when I do the regular exercises. I usually start over if I lose a heart or two at the very beginning. But there are also times when I have 15 or 16 points to gain to master a unit, then I use the test-out option (because if I don't, I'll have to go through the refresh twice and get only the same 15 or 16 points). Then, if I see it does not go well, I refresh the page and start over.

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt

How do you find this test-out option? I never saw one. (Probably I will not find one ever because I finished every subject on the minimum scale and mastered about 3/5th. At the moment I am trying to master all the blocks left.)

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/monzac

siebolt, when you go into a lesson on your language skill tree, at the top right-hand side there is an option to 'test out of this skill'. Three attempts are offered. I have been doing something similar to olimo. If I make a mistake in the first exercise or two, I refresh and start again.

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

@siebolt, open any unmastered unit and you'll see a progressbar in the upper right corner. There is a link "Test out of this skill".

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt

Thank you both.

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/schoenewaelder

There was a comment from a German a few weeks ago that even he, a native speaker, couldn't get through the second padlock.

I was hoping to get through the whole of French by "testing out" but a combination of my own ignorance and carelessness combined with duolingo's quirky* questions and translations have finally let me down, and I just find it too frustrating to carry on.

*I'm feeling a bit more mellow now. Last week I would have been more abusive.

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/weerlicht

For info: you can avoid spoiling an attempt by quitting the test before failing it.

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt

We are all looking for ways to preserve our self esteem in this, aren't we?

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/siebolt

that was nice. I tried it with communications and it worked!

August 13, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/jrubal1462

I thoroughly enjoy when I hear something in French, ignore the directions, and accidentally type it in English. They're astute enough to remark that it looks like I accidentally typed in the wrong language, and then they take a heart off for the fun of it.... REAL NICE!

August 14, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo

1km is perhaps too modest to report that he appears to have succeeded on a later attempt. Congrats!

August 14, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/1km

Thank you OskaLingo. Like Alice, I have now entered a strange new world where nearly all of the sentences translated contibute directly to mastering one or more lessons, rather than just lots of skill points. Plus the full quota of skill points for having "completed" each lesson in the tree. So, 1000+ points reward for relatively little effort, but a lot of frustration, in trying to find a way through. Unfortunately, the DuoBot is still here, grinning like the Cheshire cat. From some of the other posts, it sounds like the keyhole has now closed. Is that the case? anomalocaris?

August 14, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalocaris

Good job 1km!

I haven't been using olimo's technique (well, not much...) and it seems to be the rule that if you fail a test three times you lose the ability to take it and are forced to go through the lessons individually. I know the keyhole closed for me right after my third attempt. Not sure what's going on with other people, but it could be that it hasn't been rolled out to everyone yet, or maybe Duolingo closed it down in response to all of our complaining. ;)

August 14, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo

“Perhaps it doesn’t understand English,” thought Alice. “I daresay it’s a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror.” (For, with all her knowledge of history, Alice had no very clear notion how long ago anything had happened.) So she began again: “Où est ma chatte?”, which was the first sentence in her French lesson-book. The Mouse gave a sudden leap out of the water, and seemed to quiver all over with fright. “Oh, I beg your pardon!” cried Alice hastily, afraid that she had hurt the poor animal’s feelings. “I quite forgot you didn't like cats.”


Both of you attempted the last keyhole I gather. Another keyhole appears further up on my progress map, just below family and verbs present 3, which is basically where I am up to. I am happy to trundle on through those lessons but once completed I might try the keyhole just for fun. If it's like Alice though, I must remember not to leave the key on the table before I follow the instructions on the bottle labelled Bois-moi...

August 15, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/1km

@OskaLingo - A very good adaptation (although I can't recall that particular double entendre in the Disney version).

August 15, 2012

https://www.duolingo.com/schoenewaelder

@Oska - If you go past the keyhole by mastering the lessons, the keyhole then just disappears.

August 16, 2012
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