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Regarding the definite articles of the Dutch (Nederlands) Duolingo

Because the use of the definite articles "de" and "het" are somewhat inexplicable, like many gendered, definite articles, I believe that it would be beneficial to implement the articles into the English to Dutch translations of nouns. German Duolingo has this requisite, and it has greatly helped learners with their article memorization. For example, when one is asked to translate "book" into Dutch from English, requiring that the correct answer be "het boek" would be more beneficial than only "boek," or "de man" instead of "man."

August 24, 2014



Please read my response in this thread. :)

Summary: We see your point, but we do not have that feature. There are also reasons why we didn't include the article in the noun hints. In fact, in 90% of the cases, the right article should be given when you hover over de/het.


Thank you for your prompt response! While I understand some of the reasons you've listed, I fail to see the correlation between the German hints and the Dutch. I think the reason why German can afford not to display the article in the hints is that it reinforces their knowledge in their introductions and in the English to German translations, like I've mentioned, whereas in the Dutch course, you don't learn the articles in their introduction or in the English to Dutch translations. So, it would make more sense for the Dutch course to implement the use of article hints in the beginning of the course, at least, until the article issue can be later addressed. Do you not agree?

Other than that, I find everything wonderful, and it's going swimmingly. I just figured that it would be something to mention while the course is working towards its finalization.


The lack of articles taught in the word image exercises is also primarily due to the way the Duolingo team engineered them for the "reverse" courses.

Initially, the incubator was only used to create courses teaching English. When adding word images to these courses, the Duolingo team provided us with a way to add words to their corresponding images.

This feature lacked the ability to add articles because you don't need to distinguish gender in English. (There are also arguments to include the English article here for native speakers of languages that don't use articles, e.g. Russian, but that's a different issue).

When the ability to create new trees for the reverse courses was added, Duolingo kept the old image exercise adding system, which didn't have a way for us to add articles.

Now, they are working on a way to include articles in the image exercises, but there is no ETA on this.

I hope what we have explained here and in other posts suffices as references regarding the situation with definite articles in new Duolingo courses.


Unfortunately, hints are global. We cannot introduce articles at the beginning and leave them out later. ^^"

As mentioned, we need to wait for increased functionality: more types of exercises, more flexibility in editing the course, etcetera. Not to worry, we are nowhere near finalization. There are, for one, many bugs and glitches which need to be solved at this point.

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