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Ratio of English to target language is too high

I feel that (increasingly?) most of the exercises involve translating from the target language into English. I would like to have much more listening/typing in the target language, and translating from English into the target language. I have tried doing the reverse tree but there I had the opposite experience (too much (for me) English).

Other users have similar experiences: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8480788

The multiple choice questions are not popular either as they are too easy, and only require a minimal passive knowledge to answer them correctly.

Would it be possible to rectify this? Much of the initial teaching can be done by target language dictation, but much more English to target language practice is needed to develop an active knowledge of the language and not just passive recognition. Thank you in advance.

May 6, 2015



I agree with this. there have been many times when I am flying throw a lesson like it's nothing then suddenly it wants me to translate from English to French (which I can most times). However, I struggle with the spelling, which would not happen if it had me to spell things out more often. I would even say have a control panel, so people can decide what percentage of their lesson they want to translate. For example, If I speak English and am learning French, set it so I can have 30% of it English to French translation, and 70% French to English. You could even on lessons you are recapping and really want to focus on spelling go 100% English to French.


Yes, please. The coach challenges me to spend more time reviewing, but it would be much more meaningful to me to have a coach feature that challenged me to review a skill by answering 90% in the target language. If a skill would only turn gold if I acheived that level, then I'd feel I was really sustaining that knowledge.

But I would like to work up to this: starting out that way would be discouraging, especially when learning non-western languages where inference is less often possible. Translating to English makes learning less painful, but it's really just recognition.

Too much recognition review is extremely tedious. My mind is engaged in a very different way when I need to compose in the target language. It is really a different skill. I know this: I will never learn to use a foreign language by translating from it into my own.


Duolingo makes money by getting people to translate articles for them, which usually means "foreign to English". So they have an incentive to develop this skill the most; the rest are just little goodies to keep people learning via Duolingo.


Isn't that a model that failed for them, which is why we have the advertisements on the mobile versions now?


I've just taken a review lesson on the mobile app, and it had loads of English>target language (French) questions! Nearly all of them, really. Has anyone else noticed this difference between web and mobile? Or maybe they've just rebalanced it all across the board?


When I was new at a language, or just starting to learn a new topic, I was always grateful for the 'easy' multiple choice questions, as they gave a moments respite allowing me time to mop my brow, before resuming the lessons I found so difficult! Also a few XPs I didn't have to struggle for! Don't knock 'em. They are good for a beginner, or even a seasoned user still struggling with something!


It is not that hard for the developers to code in a setting for this. Or better yet make it automatically require more target language typing for advanced learners

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