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Minor gripes about lesson structures

I'm about 90% of the way through the tree (and having a blast!) but I'm starting to really notice some issues with how the lessons are set up.

Basically it seems like they are expecting you to take 25-30 exercises to complete a lesson - which may be the case for some but I'm sure I'm not special in that I can usually finish lessons in 17-20 exercises.

This is causing two problems for me - and it may very well just be me, or pure bad luck!

1) There are not enough English to Swedish exercises. It seems like the first 10-15 exercises are usually translating from Swedish to English. I understand this is to teach you the words, but if the first 15 are that, I may get 1 or 2 English to Swedish exercises at the tail end - and that's what I really need practice with. Translating into English is MUCH easier - what I need to work on is pulling those Swedish words out of the back of my mind, not English ones. I just did two lessons in a row with ZERO English to Swedish (I completed both in 17 exercises).

2) When I complete lessons in 17-20 exercises, very often I will not even encounter all the words that are supposed to be in the lesson (as listed on the lesson description). It seems like I would have to get a bunch wrong to start getting some new sentences and finally encounter all the words.

I am absolutely LOVING my Duo experience and these are very minor issues, but I was just wondering if anyone else was running into the same thing and wanted to make the devs aware.


March 8, 2015



I agree with you, but these are general things that work the same way over all Duo courses, so it's nothing we have been able to influence as course builders. Many users have said they want to translate more into the language they're learning (I'm one of them) but Duo always say they make A/B tests to see what works best, and the current rate is somehow optimal. I do wish one could customize that. Maybe if a lot of people lobby for that in the general Duo forums the chance will be larger that it will happen one day…


Yeah. I figured it had something to do with the A/B tests, however I wonder if it tests better just because it's easier. So grateful for your hard work as always!


Just what I suspect too. I try to do as many reverse courses as possible to get more practice, but unfortunately they won't let us make English for Swedish speakers (for technical reasons) so you won't be able to in this case, at least not the foreseeable future.


I would love to hear those technical reasons.


What they've told us in conjunction with this is basically that having many interface languages makes every update of the site more difficult. There are lots of text strings everywhere that may need to be changed whenever a new feature is added or something is changed. I know they've considered making it possible to study other languages within an English interface, but so far they've decided not to. There have been many discussions about the problems with switching between languages (if you're studying, say, French from English and English from French at the same time) and Duo always says there are many complications to this, but I don't know anything more about that part of it.


No English for Swedish speakers? :`-( I was just talking the other day about how, once I finished my Swedish tree, I was going to start bugging team Swedish to make the reverse tree. It makes me so sad to know it can't happen because of technical reasons!


I am not doing Swedish, but I am noticing a very similar problem in the English to Spanish tree. You kind of just have to redo them again and again to get through all the material sometimes. It is a little funky, but Duolingo is just a start for learning a language. I personally use Duolingo along with three other Spanish learning sites that I like. However, to be truly fluent, you have to speak with a native speaker. Online programs can't match that, but they will give you a place to start. Good luck!


Revision. Revision, revision, revision.

And also not relying solely on Duolingo.

You shouldn't expect to master the lesson first time round, unless you're a linguistic savant.


Like the others've already stated, this is not an exclusive problem for the course in Swedish. My best advice is to run timed practice over and over and over, and only try a new lesson when you feel completely confident in all that you've learned before. Also, like someone else pointed out, it may be time for you to start complementing your studies by using resources outside of duolingo.

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