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Errors in the Finnish course

I am a Finn. Born in Finland and speak fluent Finnish, of course. I have found some errors in the Finnish course which, of course, is slightly annoying. Also, if one uses British English answering the questions, one frequently gets an error mark. Nevertheless, it is nice to have this Finnish course, because that will maybe make Finland and the Finnish culture a bit better known in the world. The reason why I got involved with Duolingo's Finnish course was just to check how it was and also because it was offered to me in an e-mail message.

July 31, 2020



Keep in mind the Finnish course is still in Beta, so it's very likely there will be errors here and there. When you spot one, just report it and it will be fixed in a future update. :)


I agree. It is great to see the new Finnish course up and running. I’ve been trying to learn the language since I was a student there in the 1960s and this course is a great help. I’ve noticed quite a few anomalies particularly in the English translations. I think it needs a proper English speaker who is acquainted with idiomatic British English to take the blue pencil and make some additions and corrections. I also look forward to an extension of the course by adding more verb tenses and some of the more difficult grammatical Issues. Maybe, too, it’s time to work on an Estonian course which should not be too difficult to develop considering that, in many ways, it is closely related to Finnish.


Despite overall good grasp of English by us Finns, we still tend to commit the same common mistakes like forgetting to use definite/indefinite articles where due. That is to say, I agree having a native English speaker would help in improving the content.

The positive is that at least in the exercise comments -section, I've already seen some very good suggestions from Beta-testers on how to improve the English (main) translations. I trust that most have also reported these translations to the team. I hope that the team is then able to evaluate the translations, pick the "best" for the main translation and then allow the other valid translations as alternatives.


I think "some" is generous. There's dozens of glaring mistakes i've seen and i've only done the waypoints to hit the goal.


If you see any errors in a particular exercise, or know of an alternate translation, please click the report button on the bottom of the screen. The contributors aren’t infallible and can’t think of every possible translation, so user reports are very important for refining the course.


Indeed, that's what I've been doing. I understand the situation and I'm trying to help if possible.


Great! Thank you for helping with the course.


The only way to report mistakes seems to be within the course itself by clicking the flag icon for each individual sentence


It would appear so.


For me, using ipad it is a little, just a little tiresome. When the language that you should write in switches from Finnish to English, you get a Finnish text to key in. That text may contain names etc containing ä and ö, which are not supported by the English character setup. When going the other way there is no such problem as the Finnish character setup contains all English characters. The first thing you have to do when duo lingo switches from Finnish to English is thus to manually switch the keyboard back to Finnish to be able to write Finnish names correctly. This will not disturb the order in Duolingo at all.


I don't understand why they picked the Finnish last name "Pöllönen", especially in a beginner course. There are thousands of Finnish names that would work, for example "Peltonen". I am working on a Norwegian keyboard and this was just an unnecessary hassle and cause of irritation. The same with using "mämmi". Yes, it is a traditional Finnish "delicacy" but there are others that actually exist in English like "jogurtti".

I also understand that the developers think strange combinations are a good learning tool, like "the Viking cat" or the "Sami shaman". Personally I understand that they may make us think a little more, but Vikings, wizards, and shamans are not exactly commonplace when I visit Finland and I have never heard my Finnish wife ever mention these.

So far I have had to learn these odd "professions" but the only real world ones I have learned are teacher, waiter, and engineer. I would think bus driver, store clerk, manager, would be better choices.

I am enjoying the course, but these "little" things are like the little stone in your shoe, they ruin the experience of even the best pair of shoes. Sure, the obvious, sarcastic, answer is "stop using Duolingo then" or it's free, what do you expect, but Duolingo wants customers and they want us to recommend to friends and we they are getting paid by all the advertising, so fix the little "bugs" and deliver a better product and I might consider Plus.


Why did they pick Pöllönen? Well, I guess it's because pöllö means owl (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/p%C3%B6ll%C3%B6) in Finnish. And who is the vihreä pöllö? :) Herra Pöllönen is the mascot of Duolingo!


I read somewhere that the course doesn't teach the Finnish used in more formal situations. Would this be a problem in any circumstance?


"Nevertheless, it is nice to have this Finnish course, because that will maybe make Finland and the Finnish culture a bit better known in the world."

Since you mentioned it! It was the "Deadwind" series that made me want to learn Finnish :) (I believe the original Finn name is "Karppi"?) ... "Ivalo" and "Sorjonen" will be next ;)

I loving this course! Congrats on a beautiful language and country (and Netflix productions ;)))


Yep, I have been streaming my Duolingo lessons on Discord to my Finnish friend, and he was laughing at some of the sentences and often shouted out: "Nobody would say that!" That was a bit discouraging, but I suppose it's still good to learn with it and just double-check with an actual Finn. :D


Just remember that just because one person wouldn't say something doesn't mean that someone else wouldn't. There are plenty of things in Finnish that I'd never say, but I know some people do. And that's ok. Pretty much the most common topic across Duolingo forums is native English speakers arguing among themselves over what is said in English and what isn't.

Also, the language taught here is the official language. Few people speak like that, and spoken everyday language is very different.

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