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Thread: Anyone using Duolingo?

  1. #1
    creator kali's Avatar
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    Anyone using Duolingo?

    I'm on Level 7 German. I plan to finish all the lessons by the end of January.

    What positives/problems are you finding with the app? The language? I think it's amazing and I think I'm having the most trouble with the gender in German and some of the syntax, but I think it would be sorted out the more I play.

    Someone add me so I can compete with you!

    http://www.duolingo.com/kalieckford
    "I fucking hate the cold!" - Wim Hof

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  2. #2
    Utisz's Avatar
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    I'm Level 11 on Spanish.

    I like the application and that it takes care of the spacing of repetition for you. The gamification aspect is quite good and it has been good for learning vocabulary and verbs. I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to get started on learning a language. I also like how little commitment it can be ... you can drop in for 15 minutes to do a lesson or two, leave it, come back later, etc. For the most part, it doesn't feel at all stressful to use.

    I just use the application "straight up". I hear other people use notebooks and flashcards and memorisation for words they pick up in Duolingo, but I don't bother. However, I'd recommend reading through a pronunciation guide for the language alongside/before using Duolingo. You'll pick it up by osmosis, but I found it easier to transcribe the audio and remember spellings once I had learned how the letters map to sounds (and about things like diphthongs and emphasis).

    My main gripes are that the learning curve can be inconsistent. You'll breeze through some lessons only to come across one that requires you to learn 60 infinitives and the seemingly random prepositions that follow verbs (i.e., get ready to fail many times). Also, since it almost exclusively requires you to learn by example, sometimes shit would be easier if they taught you more rules (esp. for things like numbers, etc.) ... I think it would be really great to explain the rules when you hover your mouse over the examples. The timed practice can become a pain in the ass later on since you have thirty seconds and it'll throw really long sentences at you that 1) you're likely to fuck up and 2) are given the same time as shorter sentences (I just type in nonsense to load the next question). Sometimes it doesn't accept a seemingly okay answer, but this is rare enough that it's not a major issue, and you can report these issues.

    I've tried the translation (i.e., "immersion") for a bit but didn't find it too engaging yet. Feels a bit more mechanical turky than being educational.

    But yep, I'm focusing too much on the cons ... they really shouldn't stop anyone from trying it. I'm still quite far away from anything resembling conversational Spanish but the few words I've learned have definitely helped me lay some groundwork in the language. I also aim to have all the lessons done by the end of January.

  3. #3
    Member Hexchild's Avatar
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    Looks like a good idea for a website, but I doubt I'll be registering before they have courses for languages that are neither latin nor germanic.

  4. #4
    full of shit Dr. Fungi the Fifth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hexchild View Post
    Looks like a good idea for a website, but I doubt I'll be registering before they have courses for languages that are neither latin nor germanic.
    Damn, I was excited, because I thought I might have a good opportunity to brush up on my Latin skills.

    I'll just have to keep up with my conjugating when waiting in lines and shiat.

  5. #5
    Member Hexchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by md5fungi View Post
    Damn, I was excited, because I thought I might have a good opportunity to brush up on my Latin skills.

    I'll just have to keep up with my conjugating when waiting in lines and shiat.
    At least it's a latin language, lol. But I guess you won't really learn the grammar by studying its distant relatives.

  6. #6
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    I am learning German too! I'm on level 6, but far behind you on the lessons. I like to practice a lot and do them at a slow pace. I added you as a friend.
    The Adjectives lesson left me a bit crazy! There are too many words to learn and some of the adjectives they choose to include in this lesson are too vague so I get confused. Practical, likely, ready, possible, etc.. Another thing that bothered me about this lesson was that they don't give us the corresponding opposites of the adjectives.
    I am having a little difficulty remembering the correct articles, but I think it will get better with practice. I love to find out the meaning of words I've heard or seen before in songs, movies, company names, etc.

    I agree with the pros and cons Utisz talked about, and I'd add that the audio is not very good. Sometimes the pronunciation is off. I've been recommended the DW audiotrainer, maybe you'd be interested: http://www.dw.de/learn-german/audiotrainer/s-9677

    I've been playing everyday for 11 days now, and I think it's really worth it to try. I've tried a few other methods of online language learning and this is the first one that I actually feel like doing. It's fun, easy and fast.

    I have no idea of how long I'll to take to do all the lessons.

  7. #7
    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Here's me: http://www.duolingo.com/sitkaspruce

    For a while I was doing pretty well working on a bit of French every morning before work but then I went to England and fell off the cart. Should pick it up again.

    I agree with a lot of what Utisz said. I like the spaced repetition and the fact that it focuses on showing words and grammar in context, but I find that it's thin on grammar and explanation. Sometimes I just don't understand why a certain answer is right and that makes it harder for me to learn. The learning curve is wonky too. Some sections are easy to learn and some of them are super hard and take me a long time.

    I wouldn't want to use this method alone, but I think it's great to augment other language learning materials.

  8. #8
    creator kali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utisz View Post
    My main gripes are that the learning curve can be inconsistent. You'll breeze through some lessons only to come across one that requires you to learn 60 infinitives and the seemingly random prepositions that follow verbs (i.e., get ready to fail many times). Also, since it almost exclusively requires you to learn by example, sometimes shit would be easier if they taught you more rules (esp. for things like numbers, etc.) ... I think it would be really great to explain the rules when you hover your mouse over the examples. The timed practice can become a pain in the ass later on since you have thirty seconds and it'll throw really long sentences at you that 1) you're likely to fuck up and 2) are given the same time as shorter sentences (I just type in nonsense to load the next question). Sometimes it doesn't accept a seemingly okay answer, but this is rare enough that it's not a major issue, and you can report these issues.
    Yes, I have gripes with that too, I just figure I'll try to practise the harder lessons a shitload. I just wish they would separate those into many lessons. I prefer completing more lessons on that than doing 7 lessons on furniture.

    I tried Duolingo ages ago and I think gave up a bit because I was frustrated that they wouldn't explain grammar rules beforehand. But they've improved on the site/app so much, and I think the comments section is super useful.


    Quote Originally Posted by mondschein View Post
    I am learning German too! I'm on level 6, but far behind you on the lessons. I like to practice a lot and do them at a slow pace. I added you as a friend.
    The Adjectives lesson left me a bit crazy! There are too many words to learn and some of the adjectives they choose to include in this lesson are too vague so I get confused. Practical, likely, ready, possible, etc.. Another thing that bothered me about this lesson was that they don't give us the corresponding opposites of the adjectives.
    I am having a little difficulty remembering the correct articles, but I think it will get better with practice. I love to find out the meaning of words I've heard or seen before in songs, movies, company names, etc.

    I agree with the pros and cons Utisz talked about, and I'd add that the audio is not very good. Sometimes the pronunciation is off. I've been recommended the DW audiotrainer, maybe you'd be interested: http://www.dw.de/learn-german/audiotrainer/s-9677

    I've been playing everyday for 11 days now, and I think it's really worth it to try. I've tried a few other methods of online language learning and this is the first one that I actually feel like doing. It's fun, easy and fast.

    I have no idea of how long I'll to take to do all the lessons.
    I saw your username before and was like "hmm, this looks like german for -- moonshine", and I googled it and was pleasantly surprised!

    Thanks for the audio link, I'll definitely look into that. I've heard people express dislike for duolingo pronunciations, I just figured there were a variety of german accents. Like how with "nicht" some people pronounced it with the more hissy "ch" and some with a more soft "ch"..... at least that's what I've heard in songs. Also I sound like a dumbass when I try to pronounce an "r" in a german words.



    Quote Originally Posted by gator View Post
    Here's me: http://www.duolingo.com/sitkaspruce

    I wouldn't want to use this method alone, but I think it's great to augment other language learning materials.
    Added! Also totally agree, I have a traditional book + CD to complement my studies... Duolingo is more fun though ha
    "I fucking hate the cold!" - Wim Hof

    art and flowers: https://www.instagram.com/cloudlilt/

  9. #9
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    I've just joined up under German. Didn't know the site existed :P I'm going from the beginning, but I've got a bit of the language behind me already and have a bit of an intuitive grasp for how the grammar works relative to other beginners.

    Lets see how long I stick with it. I would like to work on my languages, but i'd also prefer immersion which is basically impossible here...

    http://www.duolingo.com/LuciusFaramond

    Edit: I notice it doesn't match up with my (i believe quite german) pronunciation of "Er"/"He". I would pronounce it more like my english "AIR" as opposed to my english "ur".
    Edit2: It appears to only happen when its saying it slowly.
    Last edited by ACow; 12-29-2013 at 11:11 PM.

  10. #10
    Member Aurast's Avatar
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    Instead you should come hang out with me in my lonely German discussion thread.

    I've heard good things about Duolingo but I have not used it. My old room mates had some kind of Duolingo Spanish race going and always accused each other of cheating.

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