https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta

Spanish Course Update! -- 2/11/2015

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<h1>Contributor Updates</h1>

January 2015

  • Remy leaves us as mentor! We still miss him, but we do see him around the incubator and the forum a lot.
  • vivisaurus takes over a mentor! She speaks Portuguese, Swedish, English, and a little Spanish, and has been really helpful to us so far.

February 2015

  • Royraju is added as a contributor to the English for Spanish speakers course. She's still sort of learning the ropes currently, but she's doing well! She introduces herself down below.
  • yonoleo steps down. Thanks for your contributions!

Currently active team members:

AntonnioSpinoza -- Mod for both courses
jenna_swiss -- Mod for both courses
LeeRoccy -- Mod for both courses
Samsta -- Contributor to both courses
Royraju -- Contributor to EN<-ES

<h1>Grammar updates</h1>

We're trying to become more consistent so we have some new rules for translations:

  • For "El caballo no es mío" we will translate "The horse is not mine" (and not "It is not my horse") because the original version says "mío" (mine), not "mi" (my). Don't know the term for this, but it applies to all sentences of this kind.
  • Subject order should remain, e.g., "hombre y mujer" = "man and woman", not "woman and man".
  • The same goes for verbs. We don't accept "Yo bebo y como" for "I eat and drink", only "Yo como y bebo". Also, "She plays, you write" = "Ella juega, tú escribes", not "Tú escribes, ella juega".
  • EDIT: This change has been reversed. We've decided to go with more leniency in this case. Last one is that we will now be less lenient with "madre", "padre", "mamá", "papá": "dad" = "papá", "mom" = "mamá", "father" = "padre", "mother" = "madre".

We'd be happy to hear your feedback and suggestions!

Well, that's it for now. Not too exciting, but hopefully some of you find it interesting. I will probably update this post if I miss something.

EDIT: Big thanks to my awesome teammate LeeRoccy for putting all this information together! I just translated it and made it look a bit prettier. :)

4 years ago

99 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Hi everyone! I’m the new contributor for the “English for Spanish Speakers” course. I am a native Spanish speaker, from Spain, and I love English and teaching. I’m really happy to be a part of this great team. I hope I’ll be able to help so that the course will continue improving every day.
Thanks Samsta and my other team mates for your help and your vote of confidence!

¡Hola a todos! Soy la nueva contribuidora en el curso “Inglés para hablantes de español”. Soy hispanohablante nativa, de España, y me encanta el inglés y la enseñanza. Estoy muy feliz de formar parte de este gran equipo. Espero poder ayudar para que el curso siga mejorando cada día.
¡Gracias Samsta y demás compañeros de equipo por su ayuda y su voto de confianza!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CedarPrince

Welcome! Thank you for being willing to help with the Duolingo course!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Gracias, CedarPrince. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/noramorales
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Cordial bienvenida. También soy hispanohablante nativa, o si puede decirse "latinohispanohablante". Me encanta el inglés porque lo considero práctico, muy preciso y sobre todo universal. Creo que hay gran riqueza y variedad en el español pero es quizás un poco más difícil de aprender. Gracias por la ayuda que nos prometes.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Gracias, Noramorales. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olaf78
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Welcome! And thanks in advance.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Gracias, Olaf. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/murphy6581
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Hola Royraju. bienvenida y gracias. Encantada. ( Espero que esto sea correcto español )

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Gracias, Murphy. Encantada. Sí, está bien. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SvenHaers
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Well if I may be so bold as to suggest an alternative to your wording (apart from wishing you good luck of course)? You wrote 'so that the course will continue improving every day.' - which is grammatically correct, but an Englishman would rather say 'so that the course will continue to improve each day'. I can't really explain why this is (but a native English speaker might).

I'm not a Spanish nor an English native, so I value your work immensely and work on my Spanish as often as I can. Thanks for all your efforts (to come) :-).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
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In many cases infinitives and gerunds are interchangeable, although there are some situations in which one is used in preference of the other. You found one of the cases in which the two are indeed interchangeable, regardless of where you speak English!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Gracias, Jenna. Los infinitivos y los gerundios siempre son un problema. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emachine81
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SvenHaers is correct when he says that most people would not say "so that the course will continue improving every day." As a native english speaker (from the great American Northwest) it just sounds off, however I am not sure why this is. A more natural sounding sentence with a gerund would be "so that the course will keep improving." All that said, no one would look at you funny if you said, "continue improving."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
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Maybe it would sound better to you in the passive "so that the course will continue to be improved" since the course doesn't improve itself? Just another way to look at it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

American midwest here. I think it sounds fine both ways. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Gracias por tu ayuda, SvenHaers. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adros_

¡Bienvenida paisana! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

¡Hola y gracias! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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Awesome! I recongnize your name as someone who always had good advice in the forums, and I know you will be a great addition to the team!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

¡Muchas gracias, Wazzie! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adahad26

I always see you in the forums, being helpful and giving advice where it is needed. You've really made a difference and helped all of us improve. Thank you! You'll be a great addition to the Duolingo team!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Muchas gracias por tu comentario, Adahad. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

Thank you, Royraju! You are always so helpful!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Gracias, Susanna. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dtremenak
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When you're making word order between parallel elements more strictly literal, please take extra care with set phrases which DIFFER between languages in word order. The classic example is "black and white," which is correctly translated only as "blanco y ❤❤❤❤❤."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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Yes, you're correct. We do realize that there are exceptions and we try to be extra careful. If you find any of these kinds of problems make sure to report them. Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davidcwalls
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It seems to me that one should err on the side of allowing flexibility in wording rather than trying to have a one-to-one correspondence between the languages; language is such a varied thing that even if a phrase sounds strange to you, there will likely be cases when someone else can give an example that justifies it (assuming it is grammatically correct). For example, "Black and white" can mean two different things in English, and it seems unlikely to me that Spanish would prevent the expression of both of those things: it can be a phrase that means a single thing, that is, a visual system that allows only for grayscale colors, e.g. a B&W TV, or a book that has only B&W pictures. But it can also be a simple conjunction of two distinct color specifications, e.g. "What color tiles do you want for your kitchen and for your laundry room?" "I want the white & black, respectively." In this kind of case, the order may be significant, and it should therefore be possible to correctly say "❤❤❤❤❤ y blanco" in Spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
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Fantastic!! Thanks for the update, Samsta! For my part, I've been going through the course making sure that acceptable translations really are the BEST possible translations for each sentence or phrase. This includes making sure that only direct translations and closely related synonyms are accepted, and that we maintain syntax (word order) as closely as possible while accounting for differences in word placement from language to language.

It's AMAZING to have feedback from so many enthusiastic learners! We welcome your suggestions and ask that you carefully consider and proofread them. We sift through thousands of suggested translations per day to make sure that we have designed the best possible course for YOU, so help us help you and make sure that when you make a suggestion it is error free!

Thanks again to all of you for your continued work and contributions!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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carefully consider and proofread them ....when you make a suggestion it is error free!.

I just want to highlight this very important suggestion. There have been several times when I've had a reply to a post saying a mentioned suggestion is now "accepted" saying that Duolingo didn't accept that translation for them. I then go back through the course trying to trigger the sentence to see if that translation really is no longer accepted. Every time I have done this, when I put the 'not accepted' translation back into duolingo, I find that it is still accepted. This means that the person made a typo or some other mistake that caused their translation to be rejected. When I find these, I usually try to add a screenshot of the solution being accepted as proof something else went wrong with their translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
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That's awesome!!! good job team =)

One suggestion, what about adding liks to the new contributor's profiles? so we can follow and leave a message (only nice messages please Xd) hehe.

"mío" (mine), not "mi" (my). Don't know the term for this,

  • My -> Possessive adjective
  • Mine -> Possessive pronoun
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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Yes, I'll do that now! I didn't have time when I first wrote it. I know those terms, but I meant the sentences as a whole... Don't know if that makes sense.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
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Oh in that case ignore my comment, I don't know either =P

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bsimmo14
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i think the mama/papa and madre/padre thing is a little unnecessry

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
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In written exercises the distinction may seem insignificant, but a difference in register, the level of formality between speakers, is definitely present within the word sets father/dad and mother/mom. For all other intents and purposes the words within these sets are completely interchangeable, but when spoken the word "mother" creates a different register than "mom" and would be used in different situations. It's such a simple distinction that it may not seem worth noting, but in spoken language the difference created in register by use of one word in preference of the other is considerably greater than in written language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SatPurusha

Note that 'Mom' is American and "Mum' is English!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
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Of course! We accept mum as a translation for mamá! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TatianaBoshenka

Here in the southeastern US, mama is quite common for mamá and daddy for papá. I know it sounds hokey to people from other regions, but it's very ordinary and normal for this area, and does not sound strange in the least. But thanks for warning us about that change in the course.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
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Hokey? Not really! Different strokes for different folks! The change will no longer be taking effect.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

It's mommy and daddy here in the midwest US. I think these are used throughout the US so it is not hokey at all. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/letter_s
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Welcome Royraju! You have already been giving us many great answers for a long time. Thanks so much! You really make a difference here. :) Here are a few lingots for you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Muchas gracias, Sanlee. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
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Thank you for the update! :D It's nice to know what's going on.

Also, I thought Viviaurus spoke Swedish as well?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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Thanks for reading! Yeah, I guess she did say she knows some Swedish too.

Congrats on 500 days!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
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Thanks! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/goldy1992
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Other changes that could be made,

although you teach a phrase such as: "yo como una manzana" at the beginning to ease people into the grammar, it's more common in speech to use "me como una manzana" Maybe this could be explained.

there are also plenty of times where "habría" would appear instead of "hubiera"

Apart from that keep up the good work guys.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rozzie
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You know what I don't like? Is that I don't get 10 xp for revisting a lesson why is that? Why do you guys break up the points it's harder for me to do a lesson an enjoy do it. That is my only complant.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mattreed_duo
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Is something new? I've only noticed it over the last few days.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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It's a test that's going on right now. You get XP based on the words that you strengthen.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

I suppose it works for some people. For me, it takes longer to strengthen my memory than what Duolingo calculates. I go over the same lessons many times. Oh well, I'll just get fewer points. It won't hurt me, really, and if it helps some other people...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rozzie
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so you are telling me that if I do a whole lesson right that I revisit I won't get 10xp the new xp level is less then ten? Unless it's a new lesson that is the only way to get 10xp? Is that what I am suppose to believe well you need to figure out a better middle ground because if not you might just lose a learner. That's just my opinion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

Rozzie, it does seem strange. Why would Duolingo try to analyze how long it's going to take us to memorize a lesson and then basically penalize us if we go back and do lessons that we're "supposed" to know already. What is the point of that? And, anyway, who would go back to do easy lessons just to get a lot of points? Maybe I misunderstand, but it seems like they're treating us like little kids!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rozzie
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Maybe your right or I'm just over looking this situation but when my lessons get un-golden I go back and re-do them. That's why I'm upset is that when I re-do the lessons that get un-golden I don't get full credit and it just upset me that's all I'm saying. Give us the full credit back and I will be a happy learner again.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

If enough people don't like this point system, they will probably change it back. Possibly we don't really understand what they've done. I always keep all my lessons golden, but I also do them many times anyway.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/notjustaknitter

What happened to the accents and tilde on the Spanish keyboard? We want to be able to write Spanish correctly and not be illiterate!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Teenage_Polyglot

Thanks for updating us. It seems many courses graduate, then leave. I look forward to applying!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sheldon_penny

Welcome aboard! Your feedback (from all mentors) will always be appreciated.

Is it possible to request additional mentors for the French - Spanish boards?;-D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Royraju

Gracias. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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This is really awesome Samsta, and I really appreciate it. I especially aporeciate the grammar update. I try to answer questions in the forums as best as possible, so it is great I can give a response like "the course creaters have decided not to accept this" over the tired "if you think your answer should be accepted, blah blah blah" :).

Thanks for all your hard work!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
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Hi everyone! After talking with Luis it was decided that changes regarding madre/padre/mamá/papá will NOT go into effect, as the only differences are in register, not in meaning itself. Thanks, Luis, for reminding us of that fact!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
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Have to say I'm not fan of it.
So if teaching register does not matter, does the course accept for usted and usted for ? ;) ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
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The words father and dad can be and are used completely interchangeably and have no difference in lexical meaning, unless you want to delve into how paternal roles affect this usage, which has more to do with sociology than linguistics.

We accept tú, vos, usted, vosotros, vosotras, and ustedes as translations of the word "you". Tú and usted are both Spanish words that mean "you" and neither word is an English language translation of the other.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
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Was more talking about the distinct registers and their difference of use in SP. ;)

Well, the course could maybe teach some sentences where the you specifically refers to a friend, a little brother etc. and so where in SP you'll not use usted but . In order to teach this deep difference with english: register exists when speaking to one person. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jenna_swiss
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I think it's a great idea but I don't think our course/tree is properly equipped. It doesn't differentiate between true gerunds and the progressive tenses, either. :(

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
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Tree versioning... soon ! ;) ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

May I suggest that we have to type out the Spanish words more so that they get in our memory better. I am finding that it is harder to memorize the words as I get higher in the tree. Most of the sentences are in Spanish for me to translate to English. That is pretty easy to do. It is much hard for me to come up with the words in my head, but when I am forced to do so it sticks in my head better. I know I am not the only one that has noticed this since a few of us have discussed it.

Thank you for your time.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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I would suggest that you try the reverse course (English from Spanish); I think it has just what you're looking for.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

I do do that Samsta. It did help but I got to a point that I didn't know enough that I had to come back. Also, it is kind of boring typing the "type what you hear" stuff. Especially since the audio is bad on that and I get some wrong! lol I did make a comment on a couple that they really need to fix it because the wrong words are being said in the normal speech pattern.

Thank you for taking the time to write back. :)

Now can I bug you about something else that was never taken care of? No messages come to my e-mail any more. It started before Christmas. Even the daily reminders stopped coming. Right now I have everything unchecked in my setup because I was hoping that if I wait a month or so, that when I go back and recheck them all it will somehow magically work.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
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I'm currently having the same problem for the second time (it has been solved once like 1 month ago).

This bug seems to happen to some of us since 2 or 3 months ago and need an action from Duo dev team to be solved (well for me last time at least).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

Wonder what they changed that caused it. Thank you for letting me know that others are having the same problem. I actually had to switch to Chrome to get this program to work correctly too. I couldn't go into the notification "bell" to go to my messages either until I switched.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jrikhal
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Note that changing your email in your profile (if you have a second email to give to Duo) does workaround the pb too.

But it can't be a permanent solution. :)


I wonder if they changed something (I don't think) or if it's that sending so much mails to some users (150-200 per day for me) it somehow "overload" it. Maybe their system receive some "non-delivered" answers (because our mailbox's server think someone is spamming us?) and then deactivate our current email address for notification in their DB?

It could explain why:

  • up to now I've only seen users that are here for a long time (so are probably following a lot of discussions) to have this pb.
  • changing our email address workaround the issue.
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

That is a big possibility! Never thought of the spam issue.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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Also, it is kind of boring typing the "type what you hear" stuff. Especially since the audio is bad on that and I get some wrong!

Go into your settings and turn off the audio. Then you won't get those type of questions or have to listen to the English voice.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

Thank you for the suggestion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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Interesting; I would write a post in the troubleshooting section. That's where these types of problems are often solved.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

I did.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

Samsta, Going through the reverse course is a good suggestion. I tried it before, but I wasn't very far along in Spanish and kept running into grammar I didn't know. I want to try that again.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

I totally agree, vicki. I find that I really haven't learned the vocabulary and grammar until I can come up with the Spanish words myself and create whole sentences. That's why I've been making flash cards of sentences at Quizlet. I keep duolingo as my primary learning source, but I have to use other sources, too. I'm also using StudySpanish.com. Have you been back to Quizlet yet? I can make some of my sentences public pretty soon, if you want to try typing out the Spanish from the English. There are other things one can do there, also. Anyway, I hope Duolingo will take your suggestion and have us translate from English to Spanish more often!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

I have not taken the time to do that yet. It's tax season for me which means working two jobs up to seven days a week plus teaching class and getting them ready for a performance in two weeks. If I didn't love it so dang much I would totally give it up! lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

¡Hola, Vicki! I went back and looked at Quizlet again. It looks like the way we would share work is by forming a group at Quizlet. I would have to study how to do that. When you have time, I can help you with it if you want. You are really busy! Are you going to make a video of the performance? It would be fun to see! I'll talk to you soon!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vicki.kura

That might be a good way to study. I may hit you up in a couple of months with Quizlet. Since we are on stage we never record ourselves. I think someone did upload a video from the last performance. I'll have to see if I can find it and send you the link. It's all for charity so don't expect professional dancers. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SusannaEDavis420

¡Gracias, Vicki! It's wonderful you are doing that for charity!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bruno_de_Brito
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Samsta, I gotta tell you that vivisaurus also speaks swedish (portuguese and swedish as native languages) =]

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jose_davidfd

That is excellent..! I love Duolingo is a good way to learn and practices many lenguages

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/micspressie

i love this site

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jayway223
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Great! Looking forward for the end of this tree. ;)

By the way, you have a typo. I believe that it's yonoleo, while you said yoneleo.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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Thanks! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jayway223
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¡De nada! ヽ(^。^)ノ

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/albodartmouth

How many levels are there in Spanish Duolingo>

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TatianaBoshenka

25

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/awsome776

yes, thanks!!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/awsome776

woow!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandstandSteve

tocas means you write? I would have used escritas. Sorry Im a bit tired and this looks wrong...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ygpdxwlr
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"tocas" means "you play", but in the sense of an instrument ("Él sabe tocar el piano."), not a game. Also, "you write" is "escribes", not "escritas".

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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That was a typo. Odd, could have sworn I fixed it earlier.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lani_Mo
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Hi everyone, I feel proud for my resilience so far :) :). I am almost down from the Spanish tree. Add me on mlanik1989@gmail.com and let's practice . Hasta pronto :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
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I hope this isn't over stepping the bounds of feedback, but reading through your grammar guidelines got me to thinking...

Occasionally, I come across post like this one where a translation isn't accepted, and the comment section is filled with comments saying that it should be accepted, which then draws users to write "still not accepted" as replies. I think it would be very useful if a moderator could write a comment in the discussion detailing (or just saying "we don't want to", I don't care) why they have chosen not to allow that particular translation.

Of course, I don't think this should be done every time someone feels slighted that their translation wasn't accepted, and often times these issues work themselves out, but for those rare occasions that they don't, it would be nice to have an official resolution on these.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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We have done it (and non-contributors as well), and it's definitely helpful. Like you said, we can't do it all the time though. You could send them to us if you find any of these types of sentence threads.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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Is Remy still employed with Duolingo?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
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Yes, he's just not the mentor of our course (and a few others) anymore. We were told that he was taking on new roles, although he still does mentor a few courses.

4 years ago
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