What Updates Have Been Done & What's Coming?

Hi Mike, yes, I totally agree with keeping the sentence discussions posts separate. As per my earlier comment, I’d suggest that the sentence notes don’t appear under ‘Latest Posts’ and only appear within the specific forum for the target language, or even not at all, they could just appear against the sentence itself but still allow the moderator access to all sentence comments, for quality control reasons. Cheers


Does Duolingo have much trouble with quality control given that their discussion forums are open to all users? I’m not aware that they do, but it’s possible that moderators are deleting posts before I see them. Especially if you appoint some community moderators, I don’t see quality control as a big reason to restrict use to paid users only.

I’d be happy to see the sentence discussions moved, but I like being able to easily access the comments on the French sentences, so I wouldn’t like them not to appear at all. I often learn something from the discussion, especially when native speakers clarify things.


From what I can tell on r/Clozemaster, full of free Reddit users with no link to a Clozemaster account, the worst of it is the occasional meme which can be funneled into a humor/off-topic section.


I really had DuoLingo waste a lot of my time, the threadsd were a mixed blessing.


Well Karab, basically I have spent my time practising languages with Clozemaster, the error rate is high enough to generate queries for intercambio friends, partly this is due to lumping English & Spanish in as one language.
The facts is, I wasted an awful lot of time with DuoLingo because they tempted you into comments on the question and/or getting involved in the forum. Feedback to them was totally wasted as they introduced a horrible new system which made the app unusuable and negative customer response was supressed.
Perhaps a button to discuss a translation/thread would be useful. As it is, I’ve reported some very obvious errors between German & Spanish for instance, but often ones that Google Translate might well be prone to (informal singual/plural you and formal you confusion for example; it’s almost as if stuff was just translated to/from English with Germans and Spanish taking different descisions).


Haha I may be guilty of posting memes on the Clozemaster discussion pages from time to time!


Part of the reason for keeping the forum for Pro users only is to help with quality control.

I find the Forums here a blessed, spam-free oasis compared to other sites I frequent. Opening it up would be a disaster I am afraid.


Please please no memes, no frills, no spam. Keep it clean, keep it Pro.

This is a great site, “Mike” liaises with us regularly, a luxury compared to other sites, so respect indeed, all will be well.


@mike As per plea further up, please keep it clean, keep it Pro. Otherwise it will become just like the other place from which most of us have escaped.

If it’s occasionally quiet, no problem. Quality over quantity any day.

Best to you and your team!


So, given the last two comments it appears that I am going to put forward what may be the contrarian view (ooh, “contrarian”, I like that word - must use it more often).

I believe that there is a difference between the discussions that we have about Clozemaster itself, and the discussions that we have that are related to languages/sentences.

For my part, I do agree that having the discussions about Clozemaster itself kept to Pro users is probably a good thing. My reasons for sitting on the Pro-only side of the debate for these types of discussions are numerous. A large part of the reason is that what we discuss such as features, feature requests, “how best to use Clozemaster” type discussions etc., are typically very heavily biased towards - or reliant on - features that are only open to Pro users. In these cases I’m not sure of the added value that might come from having non-subscribers being able to participate in these discussions. I would conjecture that periodically, the contributions from some non-subscribers would be mostly about appeals/requests/demands to have those Pro-only features made available in the free version.

On the subject of opening up sentence discussions to non-Pro users, I have a very different opinion.

With the single exception of Italian, there is hardly anybody engaging in sentence discussions from the Pro community. Italian typically has around 5 to 10 people who will contribute to discussions, and amongst those people there is one person who is a native speaker who sometimes offers advice and contributions (together with @Floria7 using her madrelingua contact as an “external consultant”). The only other languages that occasionally appear to have multiple contributors are Spanish and (infrequently) German.

In other languages there are normally no more than 3 people contributing, typically it is just 2 people, and some of those are almost student-tutor discussions where a native speaker is kind enough to provide the clarifications, tips and advice to a learner. For many languages, the sentence “discussion” is simply someone posting a comment about a sentence and … that is the end of the “discussion”, as there is nobody out there with whom to discuss.

This has been mentioned on several occasions on this forum as something that limits people’s enjoyment, or that people see as a weakness, of Clozemaster, such as in this recent example mentioned by @galning -

I believe that opening up sentence discussions to non-subscribers would be beneficial, particularly for languages and language pairings that do not have a large user-base of current contributors (which is pretty much everything that isn’t Italian). Given that Clozemaster has a much smaller user-base than Duolingo the other place, I don’t think that this would make the Forum too noisy - particularly as the sentence discussions section is excluded from the “Latest” feed and front page of the Forum.

Also, there is very little discussion that goes on in the “Language Specific” category, and so again that could be something that could be worth considering opening up.

Furthermore, there could be a good argument to open up the Bug Reports section to non-subscribers as well, given that we would all benefit from the reporting (and resolution) of bugs.

The idea of having selected categories that were open to non-subscribers is something that @mike seemed happy with 2 years ago -

I would be very happy to hear what people think about opening up the sentence discussions (and possibly language specific and/or bug reports) categories to both Pro and non-Pro users, and leaving the rest as Pro-only.


The thought of this respectful, friendly, helpful place becoming another free-for-all with spam, grooming and angst just like the other place, sends shivers. Still, I’m sure our @mike will consider all angles before letting this happen. Will keep the faith meantime:-)


Having been a very active contributor on LiveMocha back in the day, I do really believe in the power of a large number of native speakers that can be harnessed even in free language communities, and I do think that the whole Clozemaster community (both free users, but especially Pro users of any of the less used non-Italian/German/Spanish/Swedish/… language pairings as you’ve indeed pointed out) could benefit from opening up at the very least the Sentence Discussion section to all Clozemaster users.

Especially since this forum already uses the Discourse platform, thus perhaps it would be possible to realise some sort of implementation where free users start off on a lower “trust” level, initially only being able to read, and perhaps “like” posts. Then only being able to post after reaching a certain level of having read content on the forums (>x hours spent browsing a minimum of y threads on the forum over the course of at least z days). And perhaps even then for their first x posts, needing sign-off (manual approval) before the posts going live, and not being able to edit them.

I know the Duolingo community, and the community on other online forums, is much larger, and thus also more likely to attract spammers, but being a voluntary moderator myself on one of these larger communities, I do know what an intensive effort it can be to battle spam bots, who post anything from NSFW spam, to “Report/essay writing” spam, to “Buy fake IDs”, etc. when there is absolutely no threshold required, which might be the case if the Sentence Discussions were opened as a free-for-all without any such “posting barriers” in place.

Thus, my take on it is this:

I think opening up the Sentence Discussions (and Bug Reports indeed, I hadn’t even ever considered that, but it could work in the same fashion) to more active non-Pro native speakers would definitely benefit the Clozemaster community overall,


I would definitely be very cautious about how to do so, making it quite a steep threshold for being able to post, which should hopefully dissuade most spammers.

And some sort of active (voluntary) moderation might still be needed to deal with any potential dedicated spammers/trolls if proceeding as such.

Without any kind of initial posting restrictions in place (or too mild ones), I would fear that sooner or later spammers and trolls would descend on the forum indeed, and would take a huge amount of utility as well as enjoyment out of it for all of us, including the Clozemaster team (mike and co.).


Agree with you 100% - especially with Swedish as DuoLingo hasn’t got features such as Stories in the Swedish tree.

When I first started using DL I was confused as to how some people racked up huge numbers of XP and then realised that their leagues are made up of people from all different language trees. As other trees have Stories and other things (which are high scoring) it makes that aspect of gamification a nonsense.

Like you - i played with Clozemaster and then paid up. Still not paying for DL as there is nothing to gain.


You make some very good points (as always) @sindaco, but I believe that it should be possible to manage these risks, whilst at the same time offering an opportunity to increase the userbase for Sentence Discussions (or at least Sentence Discussions depending on appetite for Bug Reports or Language Specific).

The suggestions that you make about trust levels are already pretty much taken care of for any new user to this Forum, including Pro members, except that they have low limits (rather than zero ability) to post topics and enter discussions. New users are assigned to Trust Level 0, and there are limitations on what they can do until they have done a little reading of the Forum as you mention (at which point they graduate to Trust Level 1). At the bottom of this post I’ve included a link to the Discourse Trust Levels blog article, for reference.

What you are suggesting is that new non-subscribers are not allowed to post at the point that they join the forums, but I would argue that this would put off any potential new contributors straight away and then you would struggle to get them back. The reason I say this, is that the main way that I suspect that most people first encounter the Clozemaster Forum is through playing the game and interacting with the discussion speech bubble on some sentence that they are playing (possibly one with a number against it to indicate that there is already an active discussion about that sentence). If they were to be able to read - but not contribute - at that stage, I suspect that they might then ignore that functionality from that point on.

As an alternative to their posts needing sign-off, the reverse capability around hiding their messages when flagged as spam already exists in Discourse. For a Trust Level 0 user, if a message is flagged by a Trust Level 3 user (a so-called Regular) as spam then that message is immediately hidden. If a number of Trust Level 3 users flag a message as spam, then this will auto-silence the Trust Level 0 user and hide all their posts. Now this does require intervention from Trust Level 3 users to flag spam, but as Trust Level 3 users are the most active on the site, and with an expectation that this would be a rare occurrence, then this shouldn’t be too much of a burden.

Now a determined spammer might still be prepared to go through the effort of signing up for a new Clozemaster account, going over to the Sentence Discussions category of these forums, and posting their spam message. All of this will be just to attract the attention of the 5 to 10 people who typically read a new post in the first day, before the message would then be flagged as spam by those enthusiastic Trust Level 3 users.

A quick check on the Sentence Discussions category today, shows that there are some sentence discussions that have higher numbers of views (e.g. 50+), but they are old posts and hence will have high numbers of views from people playing the sentence in the game and clicking on the discussion speech bubble when it has a number against it. For new sentences where people are reading the discussion on the forum itself, that view count is typically no more than 10 for the first few days.

However, I would suggest an alternative way of restricting new entrants to these forums that doesn’t require any additional monitoring of them, but would require a little work from @mike.

Rather than let all non-subscribers get an account on the forum, it could be something that a user gets when they have scored X points or reached level Y on Clozemaster by playing the game. The threshold wouldn’t need to be set very high, it could be something quite low such as 1,000 points (I don’t know the equivalent “level” that would be in the game). Even the simplest way of scoring 1,000 points requires someone to play 250 sentences in multiple-choice mode and get them correct (which I am sure would put off all but the most dedicated spammers, unless they just also happen to be keen language learning enthusiasts). The threshold could be set higher if people were to think that would be reasonable, for example 10,000 points would require several hours of playing before being granted access to the forums.

Now all of this would require a bit of extra effort to write the software to implement this functionality, although similar code must already exist (i.e. for the change that occurs when someone signs up to be a subscriber and is promoted to being Pro and gets additional benefits including getting an account on the Forum). Therefore, I expect that creating such a capability wouldn’t require the developers to start from scratch, but it could hopefully reuse existing technology. On the other hand it would be extra work that doesn’t on the face of it appear to have any direct revenue stream associated with it, although there are certainly additional marketing opportunities for non-subscribers with this approach. Furthermore, it would be adding a benefit to those subscribers who would appreciate extra contributors in sentence discussions and the added language learning capabilities and enjoyment that might bring.

So, to summarise my points -

  1. The Discourse software does already have the capability to limit the ability of any potential spammers to cause harm on discussion forums such as these, but some of that capability would rely on Trust Level 3 users being active in flagging spam if it were to appear.
  2. An additional capability in Clozemaster itself - hopefully based on already existing code - could be created that would mean that an extra threshold could be put in place that would make it much more difficult for a spammer to earn access to the site (i.e. they would need to play the game itself for quite some time before they could post their spam).

For reference - Understanding Discourse Trust Levels | Blog


I agree that the points requirement could help. It would take a pretty dedicated spammer to go through all those sentences just to send people annoying messages. And if it’s just a small number of bad apples, they’re easy to silence & won’t pollute the conversation.

10,000 seems like way too many points, considering I’ve only got 16,000 after over two months here. Admittedly, I don’t spend that much time per day, but I don’t think that should be a requirement. Also, looking at the leaderboards, it appears lots of people quit after a couple thousand points, and the discussions might keep a few more of them here.


Hi @mike

Any updates to adding our own audio to sentences in our native language? Maybe give access to native speakers to native audio or have a voting system if the audio is OK etc.

The thought here is to get away from machine translation and add authentic audio where we can.

Just a thought for now :slight_smile:


I would like to know if TTS for other languages (well, Bulgarian) will soon be available. I’m really really really looking forward to that feature.


Actually just found that listening mode is available in Bulgarian for 100 and 500 Most Common, and Fluency Fast Track collections—fabulous! And Radio Mode in the app (but not online on browser).
@mike Was this a recent addition, or did this happen a while ago and i missed it? And will it eventually work with other collections (e.g. 1000, 2000 most common, my Cloze-Collections)?


And now, 1 day later, TTS Bulgarian is available for all collections.
Just fabulous!

What can I say–no doubt about it, I’ll be renewing my annual membership when it comes due in a few months!


Quick question: how can I get the TTS to work with new collections (my own, imported, not from Clozemaster collection)? TTS works with my collections that existed when TTS first appeared, but not the new ones.

Also, is there a way to return to the main site from the forum? I can’t seem to get back.