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Using a microphone - Does Duolingo actually check what youre saying?

...I don't think so, but I could be wrong, so that is why I am asking here. I am studying spanish and was thrilled when I saw the option for using a mic and being asked to speak instead of always typing. I was under the impression that the wave was being analysed for correctness, but I realized its not because of a few things that occurred. First, I was saying something very basic and I know it was correct but the thing kept saying it didnt understand. On another occasion, I started to speak a sentence but made a mistake half way through and stopped, but it accepted my answer. That led me to begin testing it where each time I was asked to speak I would say something completely unrelated to what I was being asked, and it would always accept my answer... So basically, am I correct in thinking the spoken/recorded items are not at all processed or analyzed by duolingo? Are any of the languages on the site actually processed for correctness? Thanks.

September 5, 2013



I tested the speech recognition by speaking random rubbish and it still says that I got it correct. It's not very good.


I have two computers and one computer does not listen. The other underlines the words that I say correctly. I think it must be something with the software we use.


I noticed the same things dude, turned it off months ago


I have experienced the circumstances you described. I don't mind the feature because it does encourage me to say the phrases and I can conveniently play them back and see if they sound anything like what it should. That being said, there's no reason you couldn't use another method and if you prefer it, by all means switch off the microphone feature on Duo. If it's giving me grief I switch it off until the next lesson.


Thanks for the replies. MrHuckabee my pronunciation is actually one of my better skills in spanish as i have been partially speaking spanish for many years as a lot of my close friends I grew up with were native spanish speakers. That's the reason I came here, to become more fluent as it's really the nouns that I don't know. I can read and write and speak in spanish, in full sentences but I get tripped up when I don't know the words for things/objects, but i am catching up quick. My current spanish speaking friends are quite impressed with my progress when I whip out full sentences with a bunch of nouns they never heard me say before. I have one friend who told I speak too properly, lol. Anyway good luck everyone.


I personally rather keep the mic on, I think it's better to deal with the software than not practicing your pronunciation at all.


I have the same problem as MrMattUK: whatever I say, the speech recognition thinks it's correct. I also can't listen to the recording I've made even though I've heard some other people have been able to do that.


I would suggest just turning it off. It's just that much easier to pass a lesson you truly don't understand. Chances are you're pronunciation is mostly wrong anyway. Only way to get better is by conversation and immersion (watch movies, listen to music, play video games, etc.).


Seems a lot of people learn a language that way. I've known people personally that learned English because their favorite video games happened to have majority English speaking players.

It's just the next logical step after finishing your tree.


Yep, I totally agree. In many non-english speaking countries they have so much American culture around them (TV, video games, music etc.) that it can help them learn english quite a bit easier than here. In Spain, for example, the top music is usually always in English, a foreign language to them, while here, the top music is never Spanish, French, etc. I have a friend in Spain and he learned a lot of his English from watching a tv show in english (because of course the english version is better) called Jailbreak.


I've noticed the microphone interface works MUCH better with the iPad app than with the website. Usually, I find myself turning off the microphone option on the computer after 10 tries or so with the same @#$% phrase.


I posted about it in the French section (because I only tried it in French) yesterday. http://www.duolingo.com/comment/781351 Really not happy with with the speech recognition.


I've just tested this and on my PC if I use Google Chrome then the voice recognition software works great, highlighting the words I've said correctly as I say them. On Firefox it doesn't work at all and just says everything I say is correct.

SOLUTION: Use Chrome if you're on a PC, or experiment with different browsers.


I tried speaking the wrong words it still say i am correct


For extra fun, record what it says to you with sound recorder and play it back into your microphone - most of the time duolingo marks itself wrong.


Or, the algorithm may be checking for users recording and playing back what Duolingo says, and marking that wrong.


I still find it usefull. we can say and repeat the sentences and compare them with the original ones. this is so good in language education

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