Anyone on Duolingo?


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Anyone on Duolingo?

Feb 6, 2017, 12:31 pm

I signed up for Swedish a few days ago and am finding it a lot of fun. Any chance someone here wants a learning buddy? I decided to make this my year for Scandinavian languages (minus Finnish and Icelandic), the plan being to get to Norwegian and Danish trimester by trimester. So even if you're learning those and not Swedish, give us a shout. Or, you know, any other language actually.

They give these cute little badges for every language you sign up for... collect 'em allllllll!

Feb 6, 2017, 1:45 pm

I started on Irish a couple of months ago (to take my mostly forgotten bad basic Irish further), but I lapsed after a couple of weeks when I went travelling. However, I would be a bad learning buddy for your Swedish lessons, because, well, som du själv skriver...

Feb 6, 2017, 3:20 pm

I've got Esperanto completed, and I keep intermittently poking at German. It's a useful language, but not enough to keep me dedicated. I keep hoping for Estonian, but that's not even in the incubator.

Feb 6, 2017, 4:58 pm

I've completed Spanish, Italian and Swedish over the last five years or so, all mostly with the idea of reading books in those languages. Spanish was really useful, Italian less so - probably Duolingo Italian isn't such a good match for literary Italian - and I got frustrated with Swedish because it turns out to be difficult to buy Swedish books in Holland. There's only a limited amount of fun you can get out of watching Wallander with the subtitles turned off. I also started Russian at one point, but got distracted before getting very far.

Feb 6, 2017, 5:33 pm

I was doing the Italian, mostly to brush up and to keep in practice when class wasn't meeting, but I haven't done it for a while.

Feb 6, 2017, 7:17 pm

HEJ! :) Don't confuse me with that advanced stuff, I've only just learned how to say "the reindeer is drinking milk". Och jag är ett ägg; varsågod!

Well, my handle there is San196926 if anyone wants to connect.

Is there a language we'd all study as a group? I mean to be serious about my Skandi-year, but if there's collective interest in something, I wouldn't mind following that in addition, although less intensely. (Probably MUCH less intensely. For Swedish I committed to the "insane" daily goal.)

For my part, any of these would do: Hungarian, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Turkish, Romanian. Polish and Czech also possible, but I already read them, albeit with a dictionary, so expect to place above beginner level.

Feb 8, 2017, 3:18 am

The first thing you simply have to do is to switch to -- one of the few translated interfaces that is actually kept up to date.

Feb 8, 2017, 7:58 am

>6 LolaWalser:
Out of those, I think Turkish is probably the most interesting for me - mostly for social and tourist reasons. (I wonder why Duolingo doesn't seem to offer Arabic, incidentally?)
Otherwise, Czech or Polish might satisfy my craving for something Slavic, perhaps...

Japanese is one that I've sometimes thought about trying, but I'm sure I would need something a lot stronger than Duolingo to get anywhere useful with it in a sane amount of time.

BTW - one of the translation sentences I remember from the Swedish course was "My sister's wife is a priest" - I think that might be as good a reason for learning Swedish as any other...

Feb 8, 2017, 9:48 am

I'm on duolingo although I find it a little bizarre trying to translate their example sentences...I keep wanting context!

I've been using it to get myself to the point where I can read newspapers in French, Italian and Spanish. (Not quite there with Spanish yet). But my plan is to get through the other languages on offer: Russian, especially. But I'd like to read Hungarian, Hebrew, Turkish and Romanian as well, and may pick up those when I'm at the "brush up" point with the romance languages. I think I'll be there by the summer.

Feb 8, 2017, 10:16 am

I'm tackling Spanish again. I do really well for a few weeks and then forget. Maybe if I try the lessons just before bedtime, I'll actually get through the course this time. I'd like to eventually try French and Turkish. At least with the Turkish, I might be able to practice with some cousins.

Feb 8, 2017, 1:36 pm

my plan is to get through the other languages on offer: Russian, especially.

A wise choice for any American today! :)))

Well, how about Turkish then, y'all. I'm not on Facebook so any contacts will have to be through there or here.

Having tested the system on a couple of languages I know, the weaknesses of the machine environment are more apparent. I can't say I believe one could actually become "fluent" with this system alone. But the ability to do drills, to be prodded to exercise, is invaluable. Usually that's the hardest to make oneself do when studying solo.

Feb 8, 2017, 3:11 pm

I've just created a "TurcoThingers" club on Duolingo, the magic code is available on application. I'm "KaterMurr" on Duolingo. I haven't tried clubs before, so I've no idea what purpose they serve, but it seemed like the thing to do. Apologies for the lameness of the name.

Feb 8, 2017, 3:11 pm

I didn't know about Duolingo, but have now signed up and started on the Greek, which I've been trying to teach myself from a book for many years.

Feb 8, 2017, 3:17 pm

>8 thorold: I wonder why Duolingo doesn't seem to offer Arabic, incidentally?

A number of people have taken courses in reverse, taking English for Arabic speakers to learn Arabic. It's a bit harder, but you get basically the same quizzes.

I think, especially now that they've burnt through any starting money, that they're almost completely dependent on volunteers for what courses they start. They've also seemed to put their emphasis on "... to English" courses, and sometimes "... to other rich First World languages", letting the reverse be done when and where volunteers showed up.

Feb 8, 2017, 4:19 pm

>12 thorold:

Well, I like the name. Thanks. :)

Feb 8, 2017, 4:20 pm

Greek, Arabic etc.--one thing I wonder about is the ease of using it with different alphabets, but I suppose that depends mostly on how deft one is with switching keyboards. Something to try later, as far as I'm concerned...

Feb 8, 2017, 4:25 pm

KaterMurr!--I just followed you! Um, how do I find TurcoThingers?

Feb 8, 2017, 4:32 pm

Long time (and inconsistent) Duolingo user here. I use it for Spanish and Turkish.

I think you have to post the club code here for others to join. AFAIK the Clubs interface is only available in the mobile apps as of now, not on the web version.

Modificato: Feb 8, 2017, 4:36 pm

>16 LolaWalser: that is one of the delays in creating the Arabic for English speakers course, for example. The Hebrew course actually starts out with a good 16 lessons on various letters in order to work up to the lessons with actual content which are all in Hebrew (no transliteration).

For Turkish I do actually use the Turkish keyboard on Windows and Android, but even if you don't, it will forgive you for typing the "i" in place of a dotless i or a g instead of the Turkish g.

Feb 8, 2017, 4:39 pm

fyi, that club thing isn't accessible from the web interface, only via the apps.

Feb 8, 2017, 4:54 pm

Sorry for those who couldn't find the club thing, I normally only ever use the iPad app. In the app you get to it by clicking on the little shield with a bend sinister - not sure what they're trying to tell us there...

The iPad solves the keyboard issue for most languages, of course - it even seems to be clever enough now to know to switch back and forth automatically during the lessons so that you don't end up trying to type in English on the other language keyboard, as used to be the case.

Feb 9, 2017, 12:23 am

Ooh Duolingo! I finished the Chinese-English tree and now I'm slowly working on Chinese-Spanish and English-Spanish.

Anyone can add me-

For people who are starting out, note that the first dozen topics in a language have very few lessons. As the tree progresses, topics get more intensive. It's easy to underestimate how much of a time investment a tree is.

这个女人吃面包. (incessant 这个's...)
La mujer come pan.
Die Frau isst Brot.

Feb 9, 2017, 2:42 pm

I've followed you, Anoplophora.

Mark, would you start a Turkish thread in here, perhaps, in addition to the club? So that we can participate regardless of the tech.

By the way, what's the best way to indicate errors and inconsistencies--clicking that "report a problem" button or contacting someone specific (who?) Or both?

Feb 9, 2017, 4:01 pm

I've accumulated a ton of lingots, if anyone wants some, let me know.

Feb 9, 2017, 4:09 pm

Hm, not exactly sure how to do it to someone directly, but there's the option to give a lingot (or more?) to someone's discussion post. At least.

Feb 17, 2017, 12:21 pm

Swedish rocks. That is all.

Feb 17, 2017, 12:56 pm


Feb 17, 2017, 2:07 pm

Ahh, honeymoon early days of language-learning... but what will the scenes from married life be like? :)

Feb 17, 2017, 4:21 pm

I'm learning Spanish and am about halfway through but I need to stick with one language at a time. Plus I do just one lesson and one practice a day, so I'm pretty slow. But I am consistent. I'm up to my 91st day in a row.

Feb 17, 2017, 5:03 pm

I'm up to my 91st day in a row.

Wow! R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Apr 2, 2017, 11:30 am

With the second trimester, I added Norwegian. It feels like I'm cheating on my Swedish girlfriend with her brother... Duolingo tells me I'm "46% fluent in Swedish", which sounds meaningless but nice.

Apr 2, 2017, 1:53 pm

Oh, how COULD you? *sob*

Apr 2, 2017, 2:14 pm

Ha, um. And that's not all... third trimester, the Danish cousin joins the fun... :)

It will be interesting keeping it all, er, straight! In their proper drawers!

Apr 2, 2017, 2:18 pm

Swedish is still going amazingly well, btw. All that time with Bergman and Roy Andersson must have prepared my ear.

The only trouble I'm having is with pronouncing that "F/H/SH" sound, largely because it occurs when I don't expect it, as in lektion, presentation, version etc.

Apr 3, 2017, 2:25 am

Written Danish is trivial when you have Swedish and Norwegian, but the phonetics might throw you.

Yeah, the sh/kh sound can arise from many different historical sounds. The first two there are from Latin via German, in -ts-, the t became assimilated but changed the quality of the s. In the last case, I think it's palatalisation caused by the -i-.

Apr 3, 2017, 1:43 pm

Yes, I keep slipping into the s/ts pronunciation! The initial "sk" is another funny one, but I think I got used to it being "f". Beundra min vacker sköldpadda!

Apr 4, 2017, 6:04 am

F? In standard Southern Swedish, sk- followed by a soft (palatalising) vowel is pronounced exactly like -ti- in lektion. Never is the sh/sk/stj/sj/ti/etc sound an f.

Apr 4, 2017, 11:01 am

Yes, it's not a real f, sort of an "aspirated" one--something like Hfv--but my pronunciation is mostly an f and it passes... So skärp, sköldpadda, skjorta begin with the same sound as the middle ti? Great tip.

(Ordinarily I'd work on pronunciation first but I was curious to do this the Duolingo way, through immersion rather than memorising and exercising from paper.)

Ott 6, 2020, 9:40 am

I'm on Duolingo and concentrating on French.

Ott 6, 2020, 3:27 pm

Hej, hej! Long time no update. What has everyone been doing, or not? For Swedish, Norwegian and Danish I've switched to paper learning long ago--proper grammar books, dictionaries and all! Passive use is going along very well; however, I've given up on any semblance of correct pronunciation of Danish. It's not hugely important as long as I keep it to myself but still that annoys me... however, there are many vids out there bemoaning the difficulty so at least I know it's a common problem.

I've neglected Turkish but have vague plans of returning to it.

>40 robertbruceferguson:

Bonne chance.

Ott 6, 2020, 3:29 pm

>41 LolaWalser: I've given up on any semblance of correct pronunciation of Danish

Welcome in the club! It's you, me, and 5,000,000 Danes.

Ott 6, 2020, 3:35 pm

oh lol!

Maybe that's the secret to Danish happiness-no one has any idea what anyone else is saying, they just nod, smile and go their way...:)

Ott 6, 2020, 4:05 pm

>41 LolaWalser: I've neglected Turkish but have vague plans of returning to it.

Similar here! I’m not quite sure what happened to my motivation for Turkish, but I stopped at some point and didn’t resume. I seem to have been doing Portuguese for the last few months, just switched to Russian in honour of the new RG theme read, not that I expect to get anywhere useful with that in three months.

Ott 6, 2020, 4:31 pm

>44 thorold:

I presume you know the Greek alphabet well? I found that in general Westerners tend to get hung up on the unfamiliarity of Cyrillic's appearance, but in reality they are usually already able to decipher it (most of it) if they bring to the fore the Greek connection. And once it's comfortable to read Russian, well, you decide how far you want to go...

Ott 6, 2020, 4:33 pm

>45 LolaWalser: When I learnt Russian I was just twenty, and you're a much slower learner when you're older, but I found it took a week to learn the alphabet, and a month to get fluent in reading it. Mastering the verb aspects, that's quite a task, but not even all Russians agree on which aspect to use when, so ...

Modificato: Ott 6, 2020, 4:43 pm

>45 LolaWalser: Yes, I’ve been able to cope with the alphabet (more or less) for a long time, often had to deal with Russian texts in my old job, at least at the level of picking out proper names and recognisable technical words. But of course prepositions and verbs and basic vocabulary are going to be harder to make sense of, without a feel for how Slavic languages work. I’ll see how it goes, I’ve still got a Teach Yourself book somewhere as well, I think.

Ott 6, 2020, 5:15 pm

I think it must be easier to learn Russian from a German base than from any other Western European language. To me the hardest was making peace with their avoidance of auxiliary verbs (the preponderance of clauses with the form "subject-adjective/past participle"), but the prepositions and prepositional word-formation, the existence of cases and three genders, all that is surprisingly similar.

Otoh, there are the gendered verb endings, which is more reminiscent of the Romance languages, so hey... bring your German AND your French to the party.

Ott 6, 2020, 5:28 pm

Does Duolingo do Proto-Indo-European?

Ott 7, 2020, 2:59 am

>48 LolaWalser: Yes, German has many structural similarities with Russian. That's what I thought, too.

>49 Crypto-Willobie: Alas.

Ott 7, 2020, 10:43 am

I should brush way up on my highschool Spanish, and I also want to dig into Welsh and Latin but I know I'll never find the time...

Ott 7, 2020, 4:20 pm

Do it, Crypto, do it, do it...

You can sign up for as low a daily threshhold as 1 point (to maintain your streak).

Modificato: Nov 13, 2020, 2:45 am

I just hit my 250 day streak on Duolingo. :) Focusing mainly on French but others as well.

Nov 13, 2020, 4:12 am

still brushing up my German and struggling with the Welsh.

Nov 13, 2020, 12:11 pm

>53 robertbruceferguson: Well done!

I'm not far behind, I've just hit a 200 day run!
Portuguese, and now Russian.