https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jlesnick

I love Duolingo, but the dictionary really sucks.

I don't even know what the point of hovering over the words is sometimes. 9 times out of 10 I have to refer to a secondary dictionary. I really think they need to fix this.

September 9, 2014

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pont

Fortunately for us, they don't really need to fix this, since it's easy to have a decent dictionary open in another tab. http://pons.eu is my favourite, and http://linguee.com to find phrases and idioms in context.

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anne_omoly

I think when a teacher tells a student things that aren't true, or right, or appropriate, it actually is something that needs fixing. I'm not talking so much about idioms, because sometimes they'll slip through, but I think that having an obscure meaning of a word or a wrong meaning of a word is actually worse than having nothing.

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lazar.ljubenovic

I think the meaning are always correct, they're just not context-aware. Words have bunch of different meanings depending on the context, plus they can be translated differently depending on a context. Maybe German uses two words for something that English only has one word for? Maybe it's the other way around?

And I think that 9/10 is extragratting. It helps you 9/10 of time and fails once in a while.

Isn't the point of Duolingo not to learn words separately but in a context? Otherwise, we could grab a pocket dictionary and learn 20 words every day.

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anne_omoly

It lists, as a translation for "essen", "the chimneys", "forges" and "hearths" although admittedly in the expanded list. The short list just gives the noun definition for "essen" (verb) and the verb definition for the noun (Essen - note that in German you can tell the difference purely from spelling!). As far as I can tell some of those definitions seem to come from Old High German, and as a general rule I prefer my context to within the nearest millennium!

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

As far as I can tell some of those definitions seem to come from Old High German

That's not true at all. None of the definitions are for Old High German. The definition of "Esse(n)" you mentioned is not wrong, either. It's just not relevant.

http://www.duden.de/rechtschreibung/Esse_Schornstein_Schmiedeherd_Hut

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anne_omoly

My apologies, I stand corrected. Everything I looked at gave "Kamin" as the translation for chimney - the only place I found "Esse" for chimney was in discussion over the etymology for Essen, the place. (but my German isn't good enough to use German language sources). If Essen (chimney) is in common usage then of course it ought to be listed - under the noun - and I've learned a new word today.

edited to add: so, that makes a neuter singular noun, a feminine plural noun AND a verb that Duo can't tell the difference between? No wonder people keep on telling me articles are important (and no wonder I haven't learnt them yet!)

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Portofan

Forget the word "Essen" in this meaning, it is completely irrelevant. I only knew it from some old stories and fairytales ;)

September 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrkSolskin

Thanks for the links - I didn't know these dictionaries and actually used Google translate, which is just as bad as the Duolingo dictionary...

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/christian

Unfortunately, this is not something that can be fixed with the switch of a button. The hover dictionaries in the old courses (pre-Incubator) are just regular old dictionaries. A lot of the time, they show translations which are not wrong but irrelevant in the given context. In the newer courses, the hover hints have been added manually by the contributors. That's why they're much better quality. We hope to start doing that as well sometime in the near future, but we can't do that just yet due to technical limitations.

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rememburn

Download the dict.cc expansion to chrome, highlight a word (plus press the hotkey if you selected one) and voila, you got your proper translation

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wolhay

The tooltip should only be used as a guidance.. The words can have so many different meanings that it can be pointless to look at all of the different translations without context. Using a proper dictionary is better.

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grubhunter

you are so right

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlosJFort

I use a paper Langenscheidt Spanish-German/German-Spanish dictionary, as well as SlovoEd on a PDA I have. Besides, I try to use common sense to figure out which of the translations is the good one.

September 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BalajiPonn

The dictionary is not working

May 25, 2015
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