The listening is really difficult

Not because of what it's testing, but it's so hard to understand what is being said! The sound quality is awful and cuts out randomly!

June 17, 2013


The woman reading it sounds like she's constantly running uphill and is out of breath!

June 17, 2013

To me she sounds like she's dying, just trying to push one more word out before the end.

June 5, 2014

"un" and "il" often sound the same so i get the whole answer wrong for that one word

June 24, 2013

the "i" and "e" sounds (as in ragazze, ragazzi) are identical to my anglo ears. I have a 50/50 chance of getting these rights.

July 7, 2013

you can try to pay attention to the article in this case (as i do)

November 3, 2013

That's fine, unless you have a spoken phrase to type...This is where the problem lies, even at slow it's impossible to distinguish. Internet is not a Hifi equipment.

January 5, 2014

Indeed, it's sometimes really difficult or impossible to distinguish. But if you pay attention to the article you have an extra tip.

January 6, 2014

I agree. At regular speed that is no way certain words sound correct, not even to an experienced ear. So disappointing because everything else is so flawless.

July 17, 2013

On one hand you're right but on the other - try to understand a real Italian speaking, it's much more difficult :D

July 22, 2013

For being free, the audio is amazing. Duolingo is brand new to me, and I'm just blown away by how good it is. The parsing of the sentences on the slow function is strange, but understandable. Overall, wow, so cool that audio is even available, and I'm so glad they don't over-enunciate like voice actors on programs I've used in the past do.

October 31, 2013

I agree . Have to hit repeat button several times!

July 19, 2013

I agree, I listen on the Mac and the IPad and its the same

June 17, 2013

I concur with all previous comments. I am using a sophisticated desktop computer with a high quality sound card and a stereo sound system. I still have not found a way to separate out some of the words unless I were to install an audio equalizer in the system and it's not worth it. So I struggle, and it takes three times as long to get past a lesson.

June 28, 2013

I have ended up turning the speaker and sound effect settings off so that I don't get the pure listening questions; although my smartphone seems to get confused sometimes and give them to me anyways.

Until it is improved I would rather watch films, practice out loud independently, or use audio books for speech and listening recognition.

June 26, 2013

Replay using the "turtle" button ( just below play ) one or more times to hear the sentence read slowly

September 18, 2013

In my case almost everytime the sound doesn't come out on my smartphone. It's quite annoying. I end up guessing the answer, and am always wrong.

June 18, 2013

I agree I often get the questions wrong because I can understand what she is saying.

June 25, 2013

Agreed. Even with headphones the sound quality is very difficult to understand.

July 2, 2013

Yep, please improve the sound quality!

July 10, 2013

Only thing that is really keeping the teaching back, I agree.

July 24, 2013

In some tasks the speaker says una , and when you type una the correct sentance is la or l' , really annoying !

August 27, 2013

it is, I am taking italian in college and the lady for this program rushes through words and doesn't always pronounce everything. Not to mention my teacher talks to us in a normal pace of italian, not slowed down, but it is hard to understand what she says in this program as she skips pronouncing everything.

November 16, 2013

They really need to hire some Italians of different genders and regions of the country to read out some phrases. The electronic voice really isn't cutting it for me.

November 17, 2013

she sounds like having an orgasm actually. i hope she enjoyed it^^

November 29, 2013

That's so true. Every time she says "i ragazzi" she sounds excited. And that is creepy

December 12, 2013

Bingo, well said! I laughed my head off!

November 30, 2013

I have problems hearing the short words, like il or un or ho. It's a problem, so I often just guess based on the other words.

September 17, 2013

they really need to fix it that is what makes me lose

December 16, 2013

I sent an email to support asking if they could fix it.

July 14, 2013

Several times I have had to replay the dialog. The woman has a light and breathy voice, so it's difficult to understand the articles, as well as the I & e plurals. Could you get a man with a deep voice to pronounce the words more clearly? Grazie mille. Lana Agnew

July 15, 2013

I have already left a comment of agreement. Since I just recently started I fear it will become more irritating as I advance because longer phrases will be even more confusing.

July 17, 2013

I can not hear the robot lady too

July 30, 2013

I also am finding it difficult to understand the spoken words here

August 23, 2013

Agreed! compared to the Spanish audio this one is woeful. It's a shame really as many parts of this system are really good. Thanks for the earlier tip though, I'll turn the sound off and just use the writing questions for now, as that's the best part of this system I think anyway.

August 29, 2013

Maybe the sound it's not perfect, but i understand it without problems. My native language is spanish, so for me italian listening is not difficult. Maybe i'd complain if i practice with english audio ;)

September 6, 2013

Difficult to understand. I agree. The thing that is simply always in my mind is that whenever you would try to listen to a native Italian speaker... It would probably be much, much more difficult. So this "practice" is kind of useful. My only problem has been my own computer, that sometimes doesn't play sounds at all.

October 3, 2013

Good point. Make the practice tough, and the actual "game" becomes easier. ;-)

October 4, 2013

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that has this problem. It's nearly impossible to tell if she's saying "un" or "il". 50/50 chance.

October 12, 2013

or e'

October 12, 2013

I agree with almost all the comments here. It seems to me the problem is not the quality of the sound, but the Italian lady speaker. Listen to the Spanish lady speaker, for example, and see how perfectly well she pronounces the words, and she does it always the same for every word. The Italian lady speaker pronounces the same word differently in various sentences. Take for example é' sometimes 'ehhhh', sometimes 'éh', and still other times a very short sound that remotely resembles é. I personally would appreciate if DL replaces the Italian lady speaker with someone that is not out of breath all the time, and that can pronounce the words clearly and correctly, and most importantly, always the same. I must add that other than this problem, DL is a perfect five star language learning tool, the best I have ever encountered!

November 28, 2013

Well, the italian lady speaker doesn't sound like a native italian at all

December 12, 2013

As I mentioned earlier, and I know this sounds a bit funny, but Google Translate has much better pronunciation...

Just a funny example :

December 12, 2013

I am in total accord with the comments. The audio and even the pronunciation on this Italian course is lamentable and not a patch on the Spanish course or even the German where I thought there were a some issues. It is such a shame that Duolingo are not addressing this because, even though it is a free course and we all greatly appreciate what Duolingo is offering, I fear that this Italian course will damage their reputation and all the good comments that I have been pleased to read about Duolingo and have been only too happy to endorse.

November 28, 2013

Probably the cost of re-doing the whole Italian course with a new professional speaker lady (or gentleman) is more important to DL than their reputation. I personally am ready to make some contribution, if cost is the issue. It's worth helping such an excellent language learning program to get perfect.

November 30, 2013

I agree, absolutely terrible. Slurred, like she is mumbling. And the "slower" speech is even worse. She pronounces very poorly as well, often making "e" endings sound like "a". I am also doing German and Spanish and they are both very very clear.

January 7, 2014


June 20, 2013


September 26, 2013

La frutta is always a quieter word than everything else, and it drives me crazy!

October 16, 2013

Agreed. I've been studying Italian for a few years and lived there for 6 months and have trouble testing out of some of the basics because I can't "hear" the woman very well when using the app on my phone.

October 22, 2013

me too...hard to understand

November 10, 2013

I think it has to do mainly with the phonetics you are used to. I am a native spanish speaker and since italian and spanish are both romance languages the phonetics are similar; but I can see how difficult it can be for germanic languages' speakers.

November 12, 2013

ho il sound so much like un i fail because of it

November 16, 2013

As a native Spanish speaker I understand perfectly the listening bits.

November 18, 2013

I have to say that I am extremely happy with "DUOLINGO". What a beautiful way to teach a foreign language. CONGRATULATIONS! Obviously, the person that Duolingo has for the Italian class is not a native Italian. I had an Italian boyfriend from Rome for many years and I was surrounded by Italians from different cities. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

November 25, 2013

sometimes if u dont have a microphone on your computer and you do the listening parts, its really hard.

December 2, 2013

thanks for the heads up. I tried it and it sure gets better. But still I have problem deciphering some of the words she says, especially single syllable words like é, ed, e and so on. Problem is her tone of voice greatly goes up and down, sometimes her pronunciation of single syllable words is so low and vague that I have no way to guess what she says. Of course the bigger problem is probably myself, if I was more advance in Italian, I could have guessed the right word with respect to the overall structure of the sentences. I keep trying harder :D. Cheers

December 11, 2013

yeah, i agree. But sometimes the lady voice gets so low you cant hear it; then you think she said something else when she really said something else. Its confusing

December 11, 2013

Yeah, I agree with you as I just made a mistake 'cause I kept hearing something like "op" instead of ho il piatto.

P.S. Google translate has much better sound quality and pronunciations... in case you're not sure how to pronounce something

December 11, 2013

I agree, the sound quality of Google translate is excellent. Thanks for the tip.

December 14, 2013

I agree. I'm glad duolingo has audio, don't get me wrong, (and the 'turtle' button does help a little bit) but sometimes the words still slur together, or some of the letters sound the exact same which is hard to pick the correct answer.

December 21, 2013

I have mistaken ho and ha a couple of times but overall I think the quality is decent. Don't complain guys, its free lessons and I must day they have done a pretty good job

December 22, 2013

I agree. Concept is great. The French lessons are worse. I have good speakers and it is still a problem.

January 7, 2014

she sound like a rapper

January 24, 2014

Hi there! I have created this page to share the grammar rules that Duolingo doesn't explain. Follow, share, collaborate, and keep practising at Duolingo! Impariamo insieme l'italiano! =)

February 10, 2014

So this topic is 11 month old and still no development? I just started Italian and the audio completely demotivates me to continue.

June 6, 2014

The sound problem drives me crazy. Why is it not possible the Italian pronounce clear - especially with the turtle button?

July 26, 2014
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