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Suggestion: Duolingo should make you re-type your answer when you have answered incorrectly.

I'm sure this has probably been discussed before but I couldn't find it in the topics so here goes...

I think it would be good practice for Duo to force learners to re-type answers that they get wrong before it moves on to the next question. This would give you practice writing answers you are perhaps weak on and, if the Duo voice would then speak the correct answer once it was entered correctly, would also help hearing the correct answer.

This would be very helpful for me but I'd be interested to know if other users would find it helpful too.

July 5, 2015



An excellent suggestion. So many times I've been marked wrong for a slight error in cases where I knew the correct answer. I think this would eliminate a lot of frustration.. Great idea!


Yes, this is one of the problems I was having too. I do love that Duo lets some minor errors like spelling through but notifies you. However I think an opportunity to practice writing the sentence correctly before moving on to the next question would be great too.


It seems that people are interpreting your suggestion in two ways; some people (like me) understood it to mean a feature just like on Memrise, where one is forced to type out the correct answer after getting a question wrong before one proceeds - this makes sure that the correct answer is what sticks in your mind and not your mistake. Other people seem to understand it more as just a second chance to answer the question, maybe after making only a small mistake.

I'm fully in support of the first interpretation as it helps reinforce the correct sentence! :)


Yes, it seems that this is the case. My suggestion was in line with your first interpretation: so that the correct answer sticks in your mind rather than the incorrect one.


I'm in favour of both those features, though I think both should be user-selectable options. But I'm in no doubt that the first one would be more useful to my language-learning. The second one would have more effect on my state of mind!


This would really help me learn faster, because I can immediately correct my mistakes instead of just ignoring them and moving on. I just started learning Esperanto, a language I haven't touched at all before Duolingo. It would help me learn the words faster too. Sometimes I write my answers without peeking at the word roll over hints. But I don't get to correct my mistakes :(


Excellent idea. Though it should probably be an optional feature that could be turned off in the settings by users who didn't find it useful. I would find it useful.


It kind of already does this. When I get sentence wrong, it usually comes up later in the practice session again. I feel like it probably is more likely stick longterm since you are repeating the correct version several minutes later... I think this helps me to separate the right and wrong answers in my head. If I type them back to back, my mind will just get confused later trying to recall it. I like the current system where there is a slight delay... giving my brain a chance to "reset" on that topic so I reinforce the correct version as a more distinct memory.


Yes. This, this, this.
(but, maybe include a button that lets the user skip it)


Great suggestion, I'm always getting things wrong because of mini type-os. I'm sure this happens to other people as well.


Yeah mini type-os, OR hit the Enter button by mistake on my tablet! And then it accepts it even though I only typed a couple of words!


Excellent! Though I would add that they should not show you the answer before you retype it. Because, like Raisinnoir said, I have known the correct answer, but I just misspelled it. Good idea!


Great suggestion! I've been going through Memrise Basic Farsi. That course asks me to retype the answer correctly after I've made an error (a frequent occurence :D :D :D ) and that really fixes the correct answer in my mind.


The algorithm does seem to throw sentences at you that you got wrong recently, but the immediacy of this seems better. Like others have said though, it'd be great if you could disable the feature in settings. Edit: Also I wonder how well their data analytics are. If they could implement this for some people and keep a control group, they could test if this extra step helps people learn more and end up proceeding through the tree faster.


They've probably already done this. I suspect that it actually improves retention to have the correct version flashed a little bit after, and I suspect they have honed the analytics on this target time over the last year or so. If you learn them back to back, I suspect its harder to separate the correct and incorrect versions in your memory later on... You remember writing both about the same time and its easy to confuse them. I suspect the delay improves your brain's ability to separate out the right and wrong answers after being corrected. As I described in my other comment, I feel like writing the correct version immediately after, would actually hurt my learning process because I would feel confused when trying to recall the correct version later on. Just my two cents!


Love this idea.


I like this idea for the web interface, but please don't do this on the mobile interface, because mobile typing is already painful enough without being forced to redo it over and over.

[deactivated user]

    I agree - it's very easy to scan over Duo telling you about your mistake and move on quickly. I'd like to be able to re-type answers too so it is fixed more in my mind. Great suggestion!


    Yes but ... only if you can specify the language to check. I make many typso in English and would have to learn to type slower/more accurately - when I really want to learn German.


    It is very frustrating for me, and I'm sure other German learners. to complete a complicated sentence correctly, only to be marked incorrect because of getting the case of a definite article wrong. I think it would be far more helpful to have such errors highlighted in a way that would make it make it easier for us to remember them.


    Good suggestion. I would probably make less mistakes if this was implemented.


    This is a wonderful suggestion, and would be a great use to me. It would give learners the chance to reinforce the correct answer instead of the incorrect one. I know that sometimes the lesson repeats the word/sentence/phrase etc. later on in the practice, but I personally feel that I would remember the correct answer better if I correct it right away.


    I agree, but more for if you have a typo or miss of accents i think it should credit the answer but ask you to put it back in correctly, honestly ive come across 1 or 2 times that my type has been correct when i actually thought thats how it was,

    i say good suggestion :)


    Only when the answer was in the language you are learning, though.


    Good idea...pity it hasn't happened yet after 8 months though :/


    It seems to do this now. If I get something wrong, it tends to come up again as the very next question. If it doesn't come up straight away, then all the wrong answers always get repeated at the end of the lesson.


    The ideal situation for me would be that, in the event of getting a wrong answer in the timed practice (not a small spelling mistake or missed capitalisation - these should continue to be overlooked with a reminder), the time would stop and you would be asked to retype the correct answer before moving on. It's good that the algo offers up the questions you struggled with at the end, however the point of my suggestion was to cement the correct answer in your head at the time, rather than leaving the wrong answer as the last thing you typed.


    I find VERY STRICT language learning programs to be frustrating. I want to do things correctly, but Duolingo is more like being in a classroom, where the professoressa kindly corrects you as you go along -- versus the cracking of the knuckles I find Rosetta Stone to be. I personally learn better in kinder situations and appreciate that everything I did wrong is written below for me to read...AND learn from, without shame. Also, the program takes you back to the things you did wrong repeatedly, so you will learn, but from repetition versus shame. I understand we all learn differently and wish you the best in your journey to learn German and whatever other languages you decide to try! Best, Mo PS - Maybe the difference is that I am learning Italian....which seems to have far more meanings for each word than any other language I have studied Sorry to spill over in to your German thread. I will get back to German and may feel differently when I do :)


    I think this would be very beneficial especially when you are learning a new skill. I think that you should also have the option to turn off re-typing answers, however. It could get annoying for some people. I think this is a great idea that should be pursued by Duolingo!


    Maybe an OPTION would be good -- they could have a strictness toggle and you could put it to normal or "critical'? I personally, don't want extra corrections. I think the corrections shown and the bottom left of the screen when you make a mistake are enough. I like that this site -- versus Rosetta Stone and others -- is positive, encouraging and makes you want to continue. For example, RS will score you answer as a no if you forgot to capitalize anything, or you missed an accent or even a period or comma. That is too strict, in my mind.


    For me, the point of learning a language is learning that language correctly. When I write out a sentence, its either going to be correct or incorrect. If its incorrect then I'd like to know and I'd like to know why. Otherwise I'm not going to learn from my mistake. Duo has the right balance - it lets you away with minor spelling errors and capitalisation errors with a small warning but faults you on errors which change the meaning of the sentence. My suggestion doesn't change the functioning of how you are corrected or anything else in Duo. It would just mean that when you get an answer wrong, and the correct answer flashes up, before you move on to the next question you would have to type out the correct answer in full. That would mean that you type the wrong answer - are told your error - are shown the correct answer - have to type out the correct answer - move on to next question.


    I think it would be great - as a toggle switch. When I do it wrong, if there are several of them, I don't remember any when I get to the end, and keep going thru the lot incorrectly until I finally accidentally manage to get a couple and remove them from the list, and then I can remember the rest.

    But a toggle switch would allow those who don't want the feature to not be encumbered with it.

    I do fine when I know the language (altho I now realize why I SHOULD have memorized genders) but when I'm hitting gobs of new material in a language I've never worked before, that would just be more pressure to quit. Esperanto was a lot tougher than German because I'd never (had a chance) to try Esperanto before.

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