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Question about Microphone

I'm not actually sure if this is even a technical issue or if it's another factor entirely. I know little about how the microphone system is set up, whether it is the same across the board or a different voice recognition system for each language, or what, but I thought this was odd. Currently I am learning Italian and Dutch, and at the same time investigating the French course, mostly for the sake of curiosity and maybe to blow off some of the dust (I'm fluent). Learning Italian has been very fulfilling, in part because the microphone always seems to pick up my voice perfectly. But when I use the microphone-dependent exercises in the French tree, the microphone fails to pick up my natural speaking voice (which, for context, is female) more times than it succeeds. When it does pick it up, it usually misses words here and there. The other day, while getting progressively more frustrated speaking louder and clearer and optimizing my distance from the microphone, on a whim I decided to lower my voice significantly below my normal pitch, and strangely enough, the mic could pick up the entire sentence perfectly. Making my voice deeper for a few mic-dependent exercises is not a HUGE pain but if I could help it, I'd rather not have to. Is it possible that the microphone for the French tree is... I don't know, optimized to deeper voices, or something? Like I said, I have little idea as to how the technology works, so I could very easily be talking out of my ass. I'm glad, at least, that this is happening to my French course and not to Italian, or my confidence re: Italian would have quickly taken a hit. With French, I can be pretty damn sure I'm saying it properly.

August 24, 2014



This is good feedback, so thank you! Duolingo microphones do tend to have a lot of problems. They are mainly there to remind Duolingoers to practice speaking out loud. Ive personally turned off my microphone and just say everything out loud now, which really helps. And for pronunciation, i use tutorials from Youtube.

A few tips: its always a good idea to include in your main post what operating system and browser you used when you encountered the difficulty.

Also, please don't cuss anywhere on Duolingo. It is a violation of our website guidelines which you can read here: http://www.duolingo.com/guidelines thanks! :)


Oh, gosh, I'm sorry. I guess I should have a look at those guidelines... I guess I assumed those words weren't strong enough to count. Now I know. Again, sorry. I probably will end up looking to secondary resources for pronunciation assistance. If duolingo has any major issue, it's with pronunciation, both production and reception. I'd ask whether there has been thought given to using audio samples from native speakers, but that's probably a question for a different section of the discussion boards. For documentation purposes, I'm working from the Chrome browser on Windows 8. I just use the internal microphone on my laptop.

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