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Suggestion: Allow native speakers to assist more easily

I've learned enough Italian that I like being able to answer questions about English from Italians on the site. However, it's a lot of hassle, since I have to go and switch my account to "Voglio imparare inglese" to view Italian discussions. I suggest that the discussions about English in other languages be more readily available for us who think we can provide "madrelingua" assistance and answer questions. Maybe add it to the list of discussion categories on the right.

As a side note, it'd also be cool to have a little thing on your profile pic showing what your mother tongue is.

August 12, 2013



I thought this was quite simple but now I realize I was just lucky. If you follow any user who answers questions in the appropriate English section you can click on one of their discussions there to get a link (as cloudhorizon has already said). Just click the "English" button at the top of their discussion to get to the English questions without having the hassle of switching your account.

Here are some shortcuts to the English sentence discussions of users learning via:

Portuguese: http://www.duolingo.com/topic/273/sent
Spanish: http://www.duolingo.com/topic/217/sent
Italian: http://www.duolingo.com/topic/456/sent
French: http://www.duolingo.com/topic/652/sent

Thanks to r_i_l_e_y for most of these.

If you are fluent in English and think you have a reasonable grasp on one of the four languages mentioned, have a go at answering the questions accessed via the links. Then the native speakers will get help with their English doubts and you'll get to practise your newly acquired language skills.


My Spanish isn't good enough yet to contribute to the Spanish to English forum, but I learn a lot reading that forum.


Just memorize the number for the language you're learning.

TIP: If you want to go to the "General" page for that language, simply subtract one from the number after "/topic/". Example: if you want to go to the Spanish "General" section, simply subtract one from 217, which gives you 216, and type it into the URL bar like this: http://www.duolingo.com/topic/216

You don't need to put the "/sent" at the end.


Oooh, awesome. That's very helpful!


Also, finding an English learner on the board can be difficult. The English learners won't display their "I'm learning English" bling, i.e. Their user name isn't followed by a US flag.

So, if you ever see a user name without any language flags after their name, but they have a "flame" with a large number (stream = # of sequential study days), that person is likely an English learner.

If you follow one of them, then whenever they comment on the English board you can use that link to see the rest of the English boards.

Or, you can use the links that Davu has posted :) (I just find it easier to sneak onto the Spanish to English board from my friends list.)


Guess the streak is very important. There was a user in this discussion showing no flags, so I clicked looking for English in her stream. But nothing. Then I reread your reply, and noticed she had no streak. Que llastima!

I am a native speaker in English and have taught grammar, so a link would be appreciated!


Thanks so much for these!


I am a native speaker in English and have taught grammar, so a link for English would be appreciated!


Good idea. I know the wordreference forums have these combined discussion sections for each pair of languages and it works very well. Maybe duolingo should do something similar.


I like both of those ideas - I hope Duolingo implements them.


Great idea. It would also allow people to practice writing in the language they're learning (expressing themselves rather than just translating) which is something lacking in Duolingo at the moment. Having more interaction between people learning different language pairs, as happens on the Wordreference forums, would be really good. Right now it seems as if the two groups are almost invisible to one another!


I completely agree. Although I also think it should be easier for native speakers of non-english languages to have access to our sections as well, so that they too can help out while practicing their English. Right now, what I do to get to the English section for Portuguese speakers is clicking on one of my followers, going to their stream and clicking on a topic they posted in. Coincidently, that's how I came to find that section by chance, I didn't even know it existed before.


I agree. I have spoken Spanish since I was able to talk, as well as English. I am fluent in both languages but not sure which is mother tongue, but we should have something on our profile to show what we speak.


That's just where the 'mother tongue' analogy breaks down. In reality, if you have spoken them as long as you have been speaking, then they are both your 'native language' and you are bilingual. Lucky you!


I think they assume most of us are English speakers.


I believe there are a lot of non-natives of English :)


Well, probably, but there are also a lot who aren't. Some people may even be on here doing, say, French, and their native language might be German. They may be speaking English, but it isn't their native language.


Agree with the above, I speak English fluently but my native language is Russian :)


I wish there was Russian on here. I don't know too much, but what I do I need to strengthen. :]

[deactivated user]

    Well, why not. Make a suggestion to the DUO team, they have the software obviously running, and an additional language shouldn't be the biggest problem, I would guess. Dobro poschalowatch! Welcome! I speak a little Russian too, and would probably join in to refresh my skills. :-)


    I would request too many languages. I also wouldn't mind seeing Polski on here as English, Polish and French are the main languages my family speak. :D


    Great idea! I've been doing it as you are. All language specific discussion groups should be available to everyone regardless of the language your are learning or your native language. If you are fluent enough to translate web articles you are fluent enough to read / answer questions in, say, Spanish or Italian.

    I would like to see the user's mother tongue as well but not just in their profile but next to their screen name. If I ask a grammar or usage question I would give a tad more credence to a native Spanish speakers answer.


    That's basically what I meant. On or under their profile pic or next to their name would be useful.


    I will give Duolingo points for at least making such a thing available and possible programmably scalable. I notice that when I switch my native language in settings , which I can conveniently access from the "more" button at the bottom of the language list at the top-left of the screen, my home page shows me the English page that I have and to the right of it are 2 empty spots, as if they planned for such a thing to happen.

    It didn't take them .. too.. long to realize the other languages to learn, other than spanish and german. I suppose it is only a matter of time before the non-English speaking crowd gains access sporadically to more than just English lessons.


    The idea for them to make this into a simple feature is brilliant! On LiveMocha and Busuu you can help out speakers of other languages.

    Why not on Duolingo? It shouldn't have to be so complicated. I'm for it!

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