Quality of the lessons
I hope they are still working day and night to improve the new Portuguese lessons, because the quality is quite poor at the moment. E.g. multiple choice questions where 2 answers are correct and the system just accepts one of them (where it's unpredictable which one).
I think this language has been published too early. At this moment the course isn't yet good enough to be used by the public. E.g. the unpredictable misunderstanding of the word seu/seus/sua/suas, which according to Duolingo sometimes means 'your' but not 'her' and sometimes means 'her' and not 'your', where the word actually means your/his/her/its/their, will cause serious confusion for people without prior knowledge of Portuguese.
I couldn't agree more. Having waited so long for Portuguese, it has been proudly released not just with 'a few bugs' but with FAR too many mistakes. Sentences sometimes don't make sense, there is a lack of appreciation of the difference between American and British English and many strange language formulations. Lives are lost, confidence is lost and frustration ensues. It is my first experience of Duolingo and in its current form is the most unprofessional language learning product I have come across, So much potential but so much sloppiness in the execution. Wish the people at Duolingo all the best however and hopefully this can be a lesson learned.
It was enthusiastically announced on Facebook in a post that didn't even mention that it was in Beta (you had to read until the end of the blog). And many will think that 'beta' means possible technical problems rather than basic language ones. With all the mistakes, I cannot think of anyone whose time is well served by its current incarnation - neither serious nor casual learners. Many will find it frustrating and so will never come back,
I defend jcbos' right to express his opinion. I'm sure the post would have been written more positively, as I would have done too, if there weren't so many basic and avoidable mistakes. As for the question of where to post this, well Facebook questions (such as the fundamental question as to when Portuguese was going to be released) mostly got no response so if there is more chance that this will be read here then this feedback can help for the next language. As for the beta thing, I don't accept that. If my boss when he asks for a draft report, I cannot hand him some work full of casual mistakes and say, 'Don't worry, it's just a beta version'. People working on this are paid a salary, the core infrastructure of the programme was already in place and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a bit more professionalism in the content prior to (a delayed) beta release.
It's free. It's in Beta. No doubt the team are working very hard to make all this happen. I'm happy to offer what I think are solutions and corrections because our role in this at this stage is to help make it better.
However, I think Duolingo could explain what Beta means more prominently to explain to frustrated users who are expecting a more seamless experience at this stage.
I posted this here, so that people without any prior knowledge of Portuguese can see that they would better wait a little before they start to follow the lessons. I think Duolingo should seriously consider before they publish a new language, to let it be tested first by a group of users with prior knowledge of that language, then evaluate their feedback and then publish it for all users.
Everytime I see an error, I send feedback, to help improving Duolingo. Sometimes I try a less common translation intentionally, for that purpose.
Yes. If you had to apply to be part of the beta testing, then Duolingo could engineer a community of dedicated members of the public who could use their language skills to get the product ready for public release. I find is almost irresponsible that a new language learner could learn things that a native speaker would never say, all because of a simple typo or error.