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Feedback and mistakes, not losing hearts

It used to take me 3-5 minutes per lesson but now it takes me half an hour and multiple tries because of slight translation inaccuracies or outright duolingo errors. For example do I really have to lose a heart for translating Creo que as "I think that" instead of "I think"?

Someone previously suggested the idea that one should not lose a heart if they think their answer is correct and submit feedback. That should be the case. Otherwise users will grow frustrated by these errors and stop using the website.

Am I wasting my time with giving feedback? Are the webmasters totally backed up with error correction requests? Is there a reason I am finding so many errors? Is there anything that can be done to increase the speed of error correction? What can I do to help?

Also do more people read the "duolingo' question topic or the 'spanish' question topic? I've posted in both.

September 26, 2012



The developers do monitor the forums and read the feedback from the lessons. I've seen them respond to both.

If people didn't lose a heart when they submit feedback, some people would take advantage of that and submit feedback for every answer so they would never fail at a lesson. I'm sure a few wouldn't even bother trying to enter answers but would just submit junk feedback for each question so they could get points. That would inundate the developers with tons of junk feedback and would make it impossible to for them to improve the system.

I take a different approach to translating when I do a lesson than when I do a translation. In the translations, I try to use natural-sounding English and pay attention to things like tone. When I do a lesson, it's to learn a specific concept so I try to use language that illustrates that concept, even if it's not the most natural-sounding English. A lot of the time when duolingo expects a different translation than what I put, it's because the duolingo answer is closer to the Spanish or better illustrates the concept they're trying to teach. I take it as feedback that I didn't demonstrate the concept I'm supposed to learn.

Even if I have to re-do a lesson, it's not really that big a deal. You're not being graded, you're just trying to learn a language. Repeating the lesson is reinforcing what you've learned and helping you towards that goal.


@smarterthanyoda -- I'm using the site to learn Spanish. if someone wants to use the site to try to get the high score, whatever. I'm really not worried about other people trying to cheat an honor system for dubious gain.... i'm happy to redo a lesson when it is due to real errors as opposed to slight inaccuracies or duolingo not considering a perfectly acceptable translation as acceptable...

since posting this I have seen that the developers have gone through and fixed many of the errors I have pointed out, so that's great. i'm happy to keep pointing these things out so the experience of others improves. I still wouldn't mind the ability to go on to the next lesson when I am getting 'really' bogged down with feedback on a specific lesson, though. as yoda notes inundating developers with false feedback would be annoying... maybe just having a button enabling you to skip a lesson getting no points for it?


I'm getting close to level 16 and only noticed for the first time an obvious duolingo screw up yesterday. For the foreseeable future you can be sure duolingo will not have all possible translations for a sentence in their database. Even if it seems awkward I just memorize Duolingo's favorite translation and move on. The CEO mentioned most feedback submissions turn out to be wrong. So they have a sea of noise to filter through even if you're sending them useful feedback.


I'm having the same problem as the OP. Lately I'm finding that quite a few "correct" answers are:

  1. not something a native English speaker would say (e.g."gracias y hasta luego" -> "thank you and until later"),
  2. bad (imo) English (e.g. "me gusta mucho las fiestas" -> "I like parties a bunch")
  3. not even proper English (e.g. "you daughter is no longer a girl" -> you should be your)

This is happening far more than it used to. I realise that there are often several ways to say the same thing, but Duolingo's generally pretty good at that, as long as you're somewhere near the 'best' answer. What I don't understand is how the 'best' answer can sometimes be so wrong.

I always leave feedback if I think my answer is reasonable or the expected answer isn't, and I know at least some of them are getting fixed, as I had an e-mail from the team about one of them :)

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