If you speak the language properly, but Duolingo keeps telling you that it's wrong, try this...
Since I am a computer technician, I know a few tips to adjust your microphone to work better.
If you have an old or low quality microphone you probably didn't know that you can actually improve it by boosting the microphone volume, reducing the possible noise, and improving overall microphone quality.
First of all, you should know that Duolingo records your voice through Flash Player, which means that you should start with checking/adjusting Flash Player microphone settings. This is how you can access these settings: Start any lesson and go through questions until you get to point where you have to speak. Right click on red microphone button (circle) and click on Settings. This is where you can adjust just a few microphone options which are used in Flash Player.
After adjusting Flash Player microphone settings, you should check your operating system microphone settings which are more important in my opinion, so read below.
Windows Vista/7/8/8.1 users: Open up your Control Panel, search for Sound settings, and once you get there, a sound settings window will pop up. You should see a "Recording" tab at the very top of that window, where you need to select your currently used microphone and click "Properties". Now play around with settings in Levels and Enchantments, which could really improve your microphone quality if set up correctly.
Windows XP users: Open up your Control Panel, search for Sound settings, and once you get there, a sound settings window will pop up. You should see a "Voice" tab at the very top of that window, where you need to select your currently used microphone and click "Advanced". Now feel free to play around with those settings which could really improve your microphone quality if set up correctly.
Mac OS X users: Open up System Preferences > Sound > Input, and feel free to play around with settings. I recommend turning on Ambient noise reduction, and increasing (or decreasing) input volume if necessary.
And btw, maybe you should first call a friend on Skype and ask them if they hear your too loud or too quiet, or if they hear any noise. Once you get to know these details you can adjust settings more easily.
I hope this helps someone.
I think instead, duolingo should let us record our voices and compare it with the automated voices. That's the best way to gage how well our pronunciation is.
Thanks, this is potentially very helpful!
Are there browser extensions that might be helping or harming the microphone function?
You are welcome. I am glad to help. Many people experience problems with too much noise or too low or even too high microphone volume which can potentially lead to missunderstanding words while speaking in Duolingo lessons.
I don't think there are any browser extensions as it all runs through Flash Player.
If it's all through Flash, then a lot can interfere, like AdBlock or the browser setting "stop plugins from playing automatically." Though I suppose they'd see the mic straight up not functioning, and if they were looking closely at the url bar, they'd hopefully see an error pop up. (Though I have a story from working tech support where three of us missed the popup blocker notification...)
I found that increasing the input volume and adjusting the angle of my Macbook screen helped, so thanks for sharing your advice!
That's true, a lot can interfere. Although AdBlock surely won't block such elements because they are not even close to ads. On the other side, I am actually using the "Stop plugins from playing automatically" option on Safari on my MacBook, and it doesn't even matter because you need to click the microphone button anyway, so this way you only click it twice because you need to activate the element first.
And yeah adjusting the angle could help a lot, which I didn't mention, but I am sure that someone will find it helpful from your comment though. Thanks for commenting! ;)
Very helpful - I'd foolishly thought that the voice processing was happening on Duo's end, and not my own computer. By tweaking my local settings, I'm now able to do the spoken French exercises, which had previously worked perhaps 15% of the time. Thanks!
You are welcome ! If you really have any problems with your microphone, it should help. I recommend calling a friend on Skype and ask them if they hear your too loud or too quiet, or if they hear any noise. Once you get to know these details you can adjust settings more easily. Also check your Flash Player microphone settings.
A unidirectional microphone can remove a lot of noise, because it only "listen" mainly in a narrow direction - just in front of you.
About unidirectional microphones : http://www.learningaboutelectronics.com/Articles/What-are-unidirectional-microphones
The most inexpensive cost $ 6.29, look at this amazon.com search: