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The immersion system used to be much better

I've just returned after a couple of months break, and overall, I love the changes. The language incubator is a brilliant idea. Generally it is all very good.

The only thing I don't like is the immersion tab. Previously I had translations in 'envelopes' in each lesson and the system even tried to choose sentences contaning words from the lesson! It just couldn't have got more awesome. I always did lesson + a couple of sentences of translation.

I have a degree in language teaching and I can say, at least with some authority that it was just freakin good.

But now... the immersion tab is just a database of texts. I go there and everything is already translated anyway and it has no connection to the lessons at all. It doesn't give you any workflow nor does it encourage systematic work.

It's either that or I'm using it comletely wrong?

October 10, 2013



More than a couple ;) It was over 6 months ago when that change was made! There was a forum posting made at the time of the change that explained why they decoupled translations from the skills. Essentially, Luis said something along the line of they didn't feel like the old system did a good job of giving translation work appropriate for the skill in which it was presented. I'm pretty sure that I've seen Luis mention elsewhere in the forum that translations will eventually be reintegrated into the skills in the tree somehow, though that goal may have changed since that was said.

For now, if you click the "real world practice" on your DL home page (just below your lingot, word and streak count), it will choose articles suited to your progress within the tree. Doing this will also show you a running list of words that are strengthened as you work through the article. The only shortcoming of this option is that articles chosen seem to only be ones that need checking rather than ones that need translating.


I don't see that "real world practice", is that only available in some languages?


Hmm.. I hadn't noticed that before. I had assumed that it was available for all languages, but I can see now that it's not available to me on the German tree. I had only played around with a few early German lessons, so I had incorrectly assumed that it wasn't available because I had not progressed through the tree far enough. I took a shortcut test to move further along (I learned a fair bit of German while in the country for a few years in the early '90s), and was surprised to see that it was not available. Apparently it's still in testing / development and hasn't been made available for all languages yet.

Here's what it looks like when it's available.


I should also note that this is option is presented whenever a user completes a lesson (in a supported language) as part of a dialogue that estimates how many words the user can understand in a typical news article based on his learned vocabulary. It looks like this:



Thanks for those screenshots! Two questions.

  1. How did you embed those screenshots in your post?

  2. Do you think that percentage is accurate? I have only studied German really and so I have never seen the "Real world practice" button nor the "You can now read..." percentage.


You can embed an image using standard markdown tags like this:

<pre> ![Imgur](http://i.imgur.com/Iy3yyHt.jpg) </pre>

That is ![alternate text](image url) which will make this happen:


As for the percentage, it depends. DL bases that estimate on the fact that most things written for wide consumption, such as news articles on various web sites, use simple grammar and common vocabulary, typically less than a couple thousand words. In that regard, I think it's reasonably accurate, but in no way can I read 96% of anything written in Spanish.


i gather that there are always a lot of things changing...and that's fine.........but for a new person on this system, it is really difficult to find information.........and I've been very frustrated by the reaction when I've posted something in discussion trying to get the information........ usually a few folks provide a nice cordial reply with info......but then there is also the bombardment from others 'yelling' at the newbie for not reading some guidelines or something that I guess they think we know where to find it!........

I have been trying to hunt down something that explains how 'points' work in translations now - I thought there was something that was changed with the latest version several weeks ago....... but I can't find it......and all I know is that i'm translating sentences........and sometimes I get a point...........sometimes I don't............ I just got one point today for something I translated more than a month ago.........no idea why it took so long to get the point.......I have some other sentences where I translated them a few weeks ago.......they have 3 or 4 up votes and no down votes........and I have not gotten any points.........

how does it work? sometimes I am translating a sentence that promises 5 or 6 points for translating it.......I do it...........get up points and no one changes it.........and I get nothing or just 1 point......

is there a current explanation somewhere?


Well if there IS a plan to reintegrate translations with lessons then it's wonderful news! From what I remember there were complaints about transaltions being complsory, but later it was changed to optional -- and this was spot on. It would be a shame if the real world translations were neglected because otherwise Duolingo is absolutely awesome.


Luis' comment that I referred to was just one made in passing somewhere on the forum over the last several months. I don't know what specific plans they have, but to my mind, it's inevitable that they'll reintegrate translation into the language skill trees somehow. Their business model is built on the idea of getting users to translate materials, and they'll need to compel users to translate once they figure out the best way to do it. Luis has stated that the majority of users access DL via the Android and iOS apps, which don't even have translation / immersion built into them yet. I suspect that there won't be a major push for reintegration until translation capabilities are rolled out to both of those platforms. Then we should see DL's typical approach of testing various approaches on subsets of users to find what they think works best.


I agree - I used to spend a lot of time doing the translations, but now rarely venture to that section at all. Many of the articles already seem to be mostly translated and it's just a matter of saying whether you agree with the translation or not. I don't learn very much from doing that and I can't say it's all that enjoyable, so mostly I don't bother. There's no connection to or integration with the lessons.

On the other hand, the rest of the site is hugely improved and the lessons are great. Just a shame that the translation side of things seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit.


I agree, the translation part has become useless as far as learning, I no longer use it.


I just started uploading my own articles. I picked a field I wanted to know more about (Spanish guitarists) and I'm translating articles about that from the Spanish Wikipedia. Pick something you want to learn about & you can do the same. Learning a language AND something else at the same time - I think it's fun! And, interestingly enough, when I think about Spanish guitarists I think the sentences in Spanish.


Thanks, that's a good tip. I might try it and see if it reignites my enthusiasm for the translation side of things...


I don't use the immersion system at all now and it seems that there are no translations available for me as a beginner. I'm confused. How does it work? I remember how it was when Duolingo started.


same problem here , looking for answer ! I don't want DL to post the article automatically , so I can't change it .


I think have you translate real life articles is the very purpose of Duolingo... Though I don't know how it looked like before.

What I'm sure of however is that the translation thing could be way improved. But that's a different story.

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