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https://www.duolingo.com/Nealbo

"You can now translate/understand x% of all Spanish text" seems to be wildly inaccurate

So I was wondering if everyone else found the same issue. I'm now at the stage where apparently I can translate 52% of all Spanish text according to Duolingo, yet when I go into immersion it is very, very rare that there is even one sentence that I can 100% understand without guessing or looking up on Google translate.

Aside from Duolingo I've been building vocabulary separately, brushing up on grammar etc., doing vocab and verb drills so it's not like I'm just plodding through the lessons and not recalling what I've learnt.

Does anyone else feel the same? I don't believe percentage that I'm shown is correct at all.

3 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/chaered
chaered
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The numbers that duolingo gives you are only 32.4% accurate.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skelkingur
skelkingur
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That number, I believe, is based on how much of the grammar you are able to understand. You obviously won't know all the vocabulary, but given a dictionary you should be able to understand about 50% of the texts based on the grammar you have learned.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jgarner0

"there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RunningFrog

Did you know that 36% of all statistics are made up?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TatianaBoshenka

Yes I kept saying to myself "If I can read 75% of Spanish text, then the other 25% must be the part with all the meaning." It's probably measured on the word level, and if you can understand 52% of the words in a sentence, that doesn't mean you can understand the sentence! I take it as a somewhat meaningless measure that helps us to compare our progress at one point with another. It doesn't mean I can read all Spanish yet (or 82%), just that I'm farther along than I was.

I just this morning finished looking up all the words in a translation of Peter Rabbit that I have. A few of them weren't even in SpanishDict.com. I'm sure I will be expanding my Spanish vocabulary for a long while. =D

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Most of the folks that have been on Duo for a while consider that stat to be "inaccurate." I was once told I could read 98.7%, and if 'text' includes scientific and medical journals, I can't do that in my native English, with multiple graduate degrees. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BobbieL
BobbieL
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My personal assumption has been that it refers more to how much of an arbitrary given text we're likely to understand, rather than what % of total texts we'll understand.

For example, the word "the" supposedly makes up roughly 4% of the English language if you weight words by frequency of use. If someone had a good understanding of what "the" means, then, you could say that they understand ~4% of all English text they're likely to encounter.

There was also a while when the system seemed to be wildly optimistic, telling me I understood something crazy like 90%, and then one day it cut back drastically to something more like 65%, and I figured they'd probably fixed some kind of massive bug in the calculations.

I think it tells me I'm somewhere in the 70ish ballpark right now (I haven't finished the tree, but I'm not really making forward progress right now either) and that actually strikes me as being a potentially credible claim. If I open up a Spanish website or glance at the Spanish portion of the instructions for something, I can usually maintain a reasonable idea of what's being communicated to me without getting all of the nuance.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/C.lp
C.lp
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I can't imagine that this calculation is based on all texts on the Internet (or any other kind of bigger text collection). I guess, a few (simpler) texts are used to calculate your level, e.g. smaller Wikipedia texts. However, this is just a guess.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cruise2525

I assumed that was the percentage of the Duolingo lessons that we understood at one point, not the actual amount of a foreign language we have acquired. I felt overwhelmed with the immersion too.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cruise2525

I'm doing the lessons with the words and sentences first. Then I plan to go back and work on the immersion.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Conquistador299
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Yeah, the more work I do, I supposedly am unable to read .1% or .2% of what I had before. The number is going down!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Leena_E

The percentage shouldn't matter. Thankfully, Duolingo has given us SOME kind of percentage, even if its inaccurate. It is nice for you to know whether you are still in the VERY basics or are a little bit more advanced. Either way, there is nothing called 100%. You can always strive to be the best and become advanced, but the reality is that there will always something out there to learn because the dictionary is pretty darn thick.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oldschool.flora

I think it based on which part/ lesson you have finished previously. I finished the whole Hu>En tree, but two days ago I repeated one lesson from the beginning (to check the new sound). And after that I got 57% again and I had seen much higher numbers earlier. I hope it's understandable, writing is still difficult.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ethanlr
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I think it is entirely based on the amount of words Duo thinks you know, and how well it thinks you know them. Presumably the most commonly used words are weighted more heavily.

That's why you're told fairly early in the tree that you can understand 50% of Spanish text because you cover the most common words. In that last sentence you read, at least 15 of those words are covered early on so (if it had been written in Spanish) you would understand 57.7% of it.

That doesn't mean that you understand the sentence but you understand the majority of the words in it. Like others have said, it would be incredibly difficult for any of us to read specialist content and understand it but we would still know a majority of the words.

I just think of it as an indicator. The higher the percentage that Duo tells you, the more sentences you can get the gist of.

You can manipulate that number by just doing the flashcards in the words section. By reviewing all the words that haven't come up in exercises recently that you know but Duolingo doesn't know that you know well, you can increase that percentage a lot.

3 years ago