Although I love DuoLingo, there is one thing that has been troubling me about the translations. Whenever I use a British English word such as 'colour' or 'apologise', DuoLingo tells me I have a typo/have made an error. Being British, this can get quite annoying over time as I'm being told my own language is wrong. Hopefully this can be fixed so the words are accepted as the American English words are.
Don't more anglophone countries speak British style English anyway? I'm generalising a lot here and if people know otherwise then ok, but i listen to Australian radio a lot and their English seems very close to the kind I speak here in England. They say 'Chips' to mean 'fries' to give you one example. I imagine it is the same for New Zealand too. I think a lot of Commonwealth countries such as Aus, NZ and Canada also spell words like 'colour' and 'Apologise' the same as in British English.
It's a really silly distinction in my opinion, and makes it seem like the differences are much more than they actually are. I've actually had people in Germany ask me if it is hard to understand American English, being that I am a Brit. Really, the British/American English divide exists purely for the sake of us not having to throw out all our dictionaries and write in a way we haven't chosen ourselves.
Unfortunately, it is politically impossible for us to adopt American spelling, because some people are incensed when they see 'ize' and the abscence of the odd 'u'. As a side note, Australians were all for going even further with spelling simplification a few decades ago. Since I've been in both American and British school systems, I fail to see what the fuss is about. But, it is still slightly annoying when Duo doesn't agree with me :)
Not a new issue, and Duo has been getting better at accepting Brit-isms in the year I have been here. One thing that I think one needs to develop -- or go crazy with frustration ;) -- is the understanding that 'unaccepted by Duo' and 'wrong' are often two very different things, in English, Spanish, etc.....
An interesting discussion. I am English and have noticed that Duo have accepted most of my English spellings and many phrases. There is no point about being precious about our own particular brand of the language and I am happy to input Americanisms when I realise what is being asked for. I am only disappointed if I put in a translation that I know is right and it is rejected. Duo can't be on top of all of them so we should just report them as they came up. The site does appear to respond and if our version is good English although not standard American it will no doubt trickle through
They are addressing this and I don't think they really want to be a US centric site. When I first started, when French was still in beta, there was a heavy bias towards US usage. Now, over a year later, there is much less and they have responded to many of the issues - colour is now accepted, for example. There are still some that still haven't been changed though - pants/trousers being one - so just keep drawing their attention to it in the Report a Problem section. I'm sure they will keep making changes based how many of mine they have accepted.
This is especially important during teaching. Duolingo taught me pants as "Hosen" in German, assuming I knew that they actually meant trousers, which I didn't.
I only just realised what was actually meant after reading one of the comments above (it has been almost a year since I learnt the word).