[Course Forum] Duolingo Italian course by JeffHammerbacher

Here is a link to the course:

Many thanks to JeffHammerbacher for creating the course. I’m not sure if he is still maintaining it. I have come across quite a number of synonyms that need to be disambiguated. Also a couple of mistakes. And there are a many words that are now in the Duolingo Italian course that could be added. I will be glad to provide details. Or, I would be very happy to be added as contributor on the course and work on these issues. I have experience doing this with another course. (Will be glad to provide details about that as well.) Thank you! Would really appreciate being able to sort out these problems. It is a valuable course.


Hi @wynrich,
As discussed in our (private) messages, I emailed JeffHammerBacher to invite him to this thread.
Three weeks have gone by so I have added you as a contributor to the course. If I do hear back from the creator in future, I’ll make sure to let you know.
Best wishes,

Thank you, Lien!

Your input is appreciated. If you see problems or have comments or suggestions please post to this forum.

To see changes made to the course, please see the following spreadsheet which documents those changes:

I just checked it out and I am curious as to why in Italian it gives the definite articles yet the English translation doesn’t include them?

It’s pretty typical in the Memrise courses to leave off the article in the English word, at least in Italian and Spanish and probably the other languages where nouns have gender. Since the article in English is always “the”, it’s understood, but it’s important to learn the articles along with the words in Italian so it’s usually required when translating the word.

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That’s weird. I haven’t noticed this in any of my other courses.

You know, I haven’t seen it with “the” as a part of the English in the Spanish and other Italian courses I’ve taken. But, it must be more common than I realized. I agree it would be much clearer to include the “the”. But this course was initially set up without it so I don’t think it would be a good idea to go back and change every single noun.

@wynrich Thanks for the notes! I created the course for my personal use; feel free to create another if you’d like to maintain a Duolingo course for the community.

(hm, no offence, please, but… I thought you’d say “thanks wynrich for your hard work, I’ve been inactive for a looong time” . If you make courses only for your personal use, keep them “unlisted” or at least mention in the course description that the course is private/for personal use only )


Excellent work, the course was great before and now it is even better. Some ideas:
1 I still cannot get nessun and nessuna determiners in level 29. I tried to look it up on the web but I am only finding contradicting explanations:


2 Caro and costoso seem to mean the same. We could add it to the list under "Disambiguate synonyms"
3 We should distinguish between “corto” and “basso”.

Sroka, thanks for posting and your kind words. The course creator jeffhammerbacher had not been active for quite some time so I asked the Memrise administrators if I could fix problems and they granted me that access, but Jeff has returned and I’m not sure if he wants me to make changes. I hope either he or I can fix the problems you brought up. Thanks!

Potentially worth adding to the list as well is ‘since’ in English is translated to ‘sin’ in Level 14.
Since as a preposition seems to be best translated as ‘da’ in Italian based on my conversations with native speakers, or ‘da quando’ as a conjunction. Duolingo also uses ‘da’.

Hey, I love this course, but there are still many words without audio. Can someone give me admin rights to ad audio to some of the words.

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Andri, the Memrise administrators gave me admin rights after it was noted that JeffHammerbacher, who created the course, hadn’t been involved with the course for a while. I made some corrections and clarified some synonyms. However, after that Jeff objected to anyone else working on the course. (See messages above.) If Jeff will give me his blessing I will continue to help maintain the course and also work on adding audio. I am very busy with another project until early May but, if Jeff agrees, I will start working on it then.

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Thanks wynrich, Let me know if the admin rights are restored. I would be happy to help improve the cause, mainly the missing audio sections (I prefer using synthetic voices, like Duolingo uses)

Guys, I don’t believe that original author really cares about it anymore. His only answer seems more like “Leave me alone, I’m busy” than really being interested in what will happen to this course. I doubt we will get any more responses from him. If I had admin rights I wouldn’t hesitate to make improvements to the course

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Sroka, with encouragement from your comment today I disambiguated caro and costoso. Changed caro to “expensive, dear, beloved” and costoso to “expensive, costly”. And disambiguated corto and basso. Changed corto to “short, brief, little”. Changed basso to “short (of stature), low”. I hope that helps.

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bcl, thanks for pointing out the sin/since translation. As far as I can tell, “sin” does NOT mean “since”. (If anyone knows better, please let me know.) I changed it to da/since.

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Excellent, thank you :slight_smile: