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Suggestion: put words into vocabulary to practice even if you flunked the lesson

Learning French, and really like Duolingo.

However, I wish that when I try a new lesson (I'm on Questions in the tree) the words in the lesson would be added to my vocabulary page to practice, even if I've bombed the lesson.

I find it really discouraging to have to try the same lesson again and again (facing 20 questions) with no other way to practice/ learn the new words I've gotten wrong in the lesson and caused me to to get kicked out by the owl, once again.

To get around this problem in earlier lessons, I took to taking screen shots (literally, with my camera) so that I could find the word on another site and practice. But, this is pretty onerous.

Any suggestions? Anyone else have the same frustration?

August 28, 2013



I don't have much frustration even though I flunk lessons every day. (9/10 of them are failed) The only reasons you'd probably fail lessons are because of typos and you don't understand or expressions. I'm guessing for you mainly it's you don't know.

I know it's kind of frustrating of all your hard effort getting nothing. But here's the thing, many people after failing a question take so much time reviewing which I did a while ago. But I realized all that reviewing isn't so very useful. (of course clicking the continue button without reading the question won't help) but the thing is, when you get it wrong just read the question slowly and continue. It already goes into your memory and the next time you do the question, Ding! it's the question I got wrong! And then you do it the correct way this time. Sometimes it might not work for some people but I find it very effective.

Going on other websites may help as the other users have said but do you think you badly need it? It's hard finding a website as good as Duolingo.

I know it's very upsetting being kicked out of a lesson without any credit for doing it but think about the knowledge you've earned. Maybe the vocabulary didn't appear on the physical list but it probably already did on your mental list.


thanks for the response! Yes, the reason I fail lessons is new words. Not typos, though guilty sometimes.

Very admirable that you are willing to go to 9/10 failed level. Yes, I agree that it's lodged in my brain somewhere, probably. However, I also agree with your insight that it might not work for some people... me.

My objection is not that I get kicked out without any credit- not the issue. The issue is that I wish that the words for a failed lesson would be put into my vocabulary list on Duo so I can practice them specifically. Or, once one attempts a new lesson, all of the new words be put into my Duo "vocabulary". Just saying what would help my style of learning.

I think Duolingo is great. I bought a commercial program, which has been really good helping me on French pronunciation, but now I spend almost all of my learning time on Duo. At the same time, I do find it useful to go to other sites as a supplement. I am not good at rote memorization, so I often poke around other sites, for example to figure out the origins of French words (esp. Latin), and make mental associations. This is just how I learn.

Again, thanks for the response! I hope to get to your level of French as time comes. And, then, perhaps, on to the other romance languages...


Ok, that explains more, then the only thing Duolingo should do is make a "starting to learn/continues to lean" kind of list. Adding the not-yet-learned words to the already-learned words is not going to help anyways.

But don't continue being admirable to me. I was once so raged because I finished 12 lessons failing on the last question being kicked out, I crashed into the wall and almost got knocked unconscious. (Yeah, that's why there shouldn't be anyone admiring me and oh, did I tell you how much I wanted to crack the computer?)

Anyways back on topic, I understand that everyone learns differently. I the way you're doing it will be very effective for you. I hope you can get to my level but I suggest you don't do Portuguese, Italian or Spanish at the same time...(I only suggest that from the mistake I've made and now my knowledge for Italian and Spanish is blended into a language probably called ita-ish)


Thanks! Yes, I like your suggestion about the "starting to learn/ continues to learn.

I admire your patience, that's all! ;) And, thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot. And, no, I will not delve into other languages for now. If I ever get to other romance languages, that will be a miracle.

I've "always" wanted to become fluent in French (which I will have to do beyond Duolingo). But, didn't have the time b/c of a demanding job. French, I think, b/c it was the first foreign language I was exposed to, and it appealed to me for whatever reason. Plus, I've had great experiences on my occasional trips to France, even when I used my poor high school French. Pre Duolingo.

Your comment about Ita-ish is funny, but certainly I can imagine the process. Three years ago I went to Morocco for three weeks- it's a Francophone country to some extent, and I got to use my HS French. What was really odd, was that when I came back to the US after that trip, I would hear local workers speaking in Spanish, and I could actually understand something of what they were saying! Well, not so odd, considering the language origins.

Hope above makes sense!


I'd say that makes perfect sense.

Anyways, romance languages have a lot in common so it should be easier for you to pickup a language because of that wonderful experience coming back from Morocco (the best experience I've had is trying to eavesdrop on someone's conversation only to understand "hello")

Anyhow, I hope Duolingo improves the list and for you to become almost bilingual.


Thanks again. I'll try to figure out how to keep in touch via Duo.


You can also work, in parallel you're studying in Duolingo, your vocabulary with some very useful freeware as Mnemosyne (http://mnemosyne-proj.org/) or Anki (http://ankisrs.net/). Duolingo is really really great but when it comes to learn only vocabulary, I still prefer to use Mnemosyne.


thanks very much for the suggestions. I will check them out, as they are new to me. Vocabulary is a challenge to me, as I am not good at rote memorization.


My method is to have a note application open and note the new words as I go through the lesson - which I save to drop box. Otherwise it gets very frustrating that you kind of know the word but can't spell it correctly yet.

If I do a lesson on my Ipad/Iphone I just have to get all of it right.


thanks. I didn't go that fancy, but adapted your idea.

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