Author Topic: Duolingo App  (Read 735 times)

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Offline jfkimberly

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Duolingo App
« on: January 30, 2018, 06:20:22 PM »
My husband and I have really enjoyed watching all of the series of the The Trip, and now the Hairy Bikers Meditteranean Adventure.  We really want to do a roadtrip like the Hairy Bikers (or an upscale one like The Trip... either will do).  But my husband pointed out that we really need to be able to speak the language if we want to find out all the local secrets and get the most out of the adventure.

So we're learning French, using DuoLingo because it makes it a game.  It's a free app, and it's actually really quite good for familiarizing you with the language (if you want proper instruction in grammar, you'll need to find supplemental material, which I think I'm going to do because I need to learn why things are said they way they are to help me remember...).  They have various languages to choose from.  They even have Japanese, KoD!

(It's free, but there will be ads.  You can pay to get those to go away.  The free version is robust, and I don't mind the ads.)
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Offline margo

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 07:30:30 PM »
My husband and I have really enjoyed watching all of the series of the The Trip, and now the Hairy Bikers Meditteranean Adventure.  We really want to do a roadtrip like the Hairy Bikers (or an upscale one like The Trip... either will do).  But my husband pointed out that we really need to be able to speak the language if we want to find out all the local secrets and get the most out of the adventure.

So we're learning French, using DuoLingo because it makes it a game.  It's a free app, and it's actually really quite good for familiarizing you with the language (if you want proper instruction in grammar, you'll need to find supplemental material, which I think I'm going to do because I need to learn why things are said they way they are to help me remember...).  They have various languages to choose from.  They even have Japanese, KoD!

(It's free, but there will be ads.  You can pay to get those to go away.  The free version is robust, and I don't mind the ads.)
My pastry chef friend used duolingo to be able to talk to the people he works with, it's really good!

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Offline historyenne

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2018, 09:03:41 PM »
Not to be all Debbie Downer, but as a language teacher I really, really don't recommend Duolingo, or really any similar app (Babbel, etc). All they can do is help you memorise certain pat phrases, but they can't teach you to speak or understand the language in any meaningful way. I'm fluent in French, and tried the French lessons on both Duolingo and Babbel, and had the same issue with both--many of the phrases they teach simply aren't used or aren't the best way to express the idea that they say they want you to express. The interactions are stilted and don't mirror natural language or natural conversations with native speakers. To an extent, this is always true with beginner language lessons; much of it is memorisation because it has to be, but I was working on the Intermediate--Advanced lessons and it didn't get any better.

If you want to learn French, I'm a qualified teacher and I can do lessons on Skype. Discounts for UKY members!
On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
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Tu seras mon unique projet.

Je t'aimais, je t'aime, et je t'aimerai.

--Francis Cabrel

Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2018, 09:17:43 PM »
Not to be all Debbie Downer, but as a language teacher I really, really don't recommend Duolingo, or really any similar app (Babbel, etc). All they can do is help you memorise certain pat phrases, but they can't teach you to speak or understand the language in any meaningful way. I'm fluent in French, and tried the French lessons on both Duolingo and Babbel, and had the same issue with both--many of the phrases they teach simply aren't used or aren't the best way to express the idea that they say they want you to express. The interactions are stilted and don't mirror natural language or natural conversations with native speakers. To an extent, this is always true with beginner language lessons; much of it is memorisation because it has to be, but I was working on the Intermediate--Advanced lessons and it didn't get any better.

If you want to learn French, I'm a qualified teacher and I can do lessons on Skype. Discounts for UKY members!

I can readily see the limitations of apps like this.  But I do already have some basic understanding of the grammar, so at least at this basic level I understand why the phrases are what they are.  I don't know if my husband goes beyond rote memorization (he doesn't know English syntax, either, and only speaks properly because it "sounds right").  But I kind of know what it's telling me and can associate it with the English counterpart... if there is one.  (Gendered nouns, man!  WHY?!)

As I said, the apps are good for training, but if you want to understand the why of it and go beyond memorization, you'll want supplemental materials for the rules of grammar.

For me, though, this is the part of language study I could never compel myself to do: study.  If you don't use what you're learning through lots of repetition, you don't really learn it.  But the app encourages me to use it.  :)
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Offline historyenne

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2018, 09:28:01 PM »
For me, though, this is the part of language study I could never compel myself to do: study.  If you don't use what you're learning through lots of repetition, you don't really learn it.  But the app encourages me to use it.  :)

There's something to be said for that, certainly :)

Let me suggest an alternative to the apps, though. This one does cost, but the benefit is that you get input from actual speakers and depending on which course you choose, deeper explanation and exploration than the apps are able to offer. I've done some art history courses using this site and am going to get the Latin ones while they've got an offer on:

https://www.udemy.com/courses/search/?q=french&src=ukw&courseLabel=5880&p=1
On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
Pour cette vie et celle d'après
Tu seras mon unique projet.

Je t'aimais, je t'aime, et je t'aimerai.

--Francis Cabrel

Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 09:39:31 PM »
There's something to be said for that, certainly :)

Let me suggest an alternative to the apps, though. This one does cost, but the benefit is that you get input from actual speakers and depending on which course you choose, deeper explanation and exploration than the apps are able to offer. I've done some art history courses using this site and am going to get the Latin ones while they've got an offer on:

https://www.udemy.com/courses/search/?q=french&src=ukw&courseLabel=5880&p=1

ooh, after I have a vocabulary to work with, I might try the Structures courses... That's exactly what I need: grammar lessons.  If I know the rules, for most cases, I can extrapolate phrases that I've not been taught yet.

But I am definitely going to finish this DuoLingo course first.  It's done wonders for me in just four days.
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
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5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
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Now just waiting out the clock for ILR.

Offline larrabee

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2018, 09:42:29 PM »
Duolingo... love the name!  :)
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Offline historyenne

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2018, 09:54:46 PM »
But I am definitely going to finish this DuoLingo course first.  It's done wonders for me in just four days.

If you insist :).

But please do PM me if you have anything you want explained. I'll be happy to help.
On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
Pour cette vie et celle d'après
Tu seras mon unique projet.

Je t'aimais, je t'aime, et je t'aimerai.

--Francis Cabrel

Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 10:26:56 PM »
If you insist :).

But please do PM me if you have anything you want explained. I'll be happy to help.

Thanks!  I'm going to sit down and write out the suffixes for conjugating regular verbs at some point.  I'm learning them through all the repetition, but I'd like to have a quick table to reference when needed.

And there will be the odd thing that won't make sense, because it's language, and that's how language is.  If I get stuck, I'll come find you for sure!  :)
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Offline AweSam

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 10:56:14 PM »
I use Duolingo to keep my Spanish from completely disappearing (studied it for 8 years, high school thru college) and it's really helpful for that! I've done a few of the French lessons for fun and can see how it'd be a great tool, too!

I'm currently self-learning Japanese and thought I'd use the app to supplement that...but not ideal. Even in the first few lessons there would suddenly be kanji with no explanation of it, which makes it really difficult to retain. Maybe it's better for someone more advanced, though?
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Offline lyonaria

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 11:37:09 PM »
I've found the app on your phone can be useful but actually doing it on your computer is MUCH more comprehensive.

I've been doing Deutsch and the phone app is good for keeping things fresh AFTER I've done the lessons on my computer.
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Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2018, 12:04:39 AM »
I've found the app on your phone can be useful but actually doing it on your computer is MUCH more comprehensive.

I've been doing Deutsch and the phone app is good for keeping things fresh AFTER I've done the lessons on my computer.

Oooh... does the computer version teach the material more, rather than just being a bunch of exercises?  I will check it out.  Is that part free, too?
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Offline lyonaria

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2018, 01:04:40 AM »
Oooh... does the computer version teach the material more, rather than just being a bunch of exercises?  I will check it out.  Is that part free, too?

I definitely think so. It's more varied than the app and I felt like I was learning more with the computer version.

And yep, it's FREE. You just need to know your user name and password. It keeps it all connected too so what you do on your computer shows in the app.

I took German in college and the web version was much more like what I learned in class from my actually German Deutsch teacher.
The usual. American girl meets British guy. They fall into like, then into love. Then there was the big decision. The American traveled across the pond to join the Brit. And life was never the same again.

Offline jfkimberly

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2018, 01:27:57 AM »
I definitely think so. It's more varied than the app and I felt like I was learning more with the computer version.

And yep, it's FREE. You just need to know your user name and password. It keeps it all connected too so what you do on your computer shows in the app.

I took German in college and the web version was much more like what I learned in class from my actually German Deutsch teacher.

I'll check it out, now.  Thanks!

Edited:  Oh my!  Yes!  This is exactly the sort of thing I was going to compile!  Thanks for steering me toward the website, lyonaria!  This is excellent!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 01:32:00 AM by jfkimberly »
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Offline lyonaria

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2018, 11:28:51 AM »
I'll check it out, now.  Thanks!

Edited:  Oh my!  Yes!  This is exactly the sort of thing I was going to compile!  Thanks for steering me toward the website, lyonaria!  This is excellent!

You're welcome!

There's also this cool app called Tiny Cards for your phone that acts as flashcards for your vocab words. It's useful!
The usual. American girl meets British guy. They fall into like, then into love. Then there was the big decision. The American traveled across the pond to join the Brit. And life was never the same again.