Author Topic: Duolingo App  (Read 667 times)

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Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2018, 11:11:33 AM »
I've got a love hate with Duolingo. Was fine for when I was brushing back up on my italian...but now that I'm trying to learn Japanese, it was really hard as there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason behind the order they teach you phrases in. I haven't used it in months so I might be remembering a different app as I downloaded a few, but I believe it just taught you words/phrases without really giving you much explanation behind what you were learning so it was hard to try to put them into practise.

I think sometimes it comes down to how you learn. For me, I think repetition works best so I like using podcasts when possible as I can hear the words said over and over and practise saying them myself without needing to stare at a screen.

Offline lyonaria

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2018, 11:15:29 AM »
I've got a love hate with Duolingo. Was fine for when I was brushing back up on my italian...but now that I'm trying to learn Japanese, it was really hard as there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason behind the order they teach you phrases in. I haven't used it in months so I might be remembering a different app as I downloaded a few, but I believe it just taught you words/phrases without really giving you much explanation behind what you were learning so it was hard to try to put them into practise.

I think sometimes it comes down to how you learn. For me, I think repetition works best so I like using podcasts when possible as I can hear the words said over and over and practise saying them myself without needing to stare at a screen.

But did you try it on your computer?

The app itself is kind of crap, it doesn't give the full range and was definitely repetitive. The website is loads better. Give it a try!
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 x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2018, 11:17:34 AM »
But did you try it on your computer?

The app itself is kind of crap, it doesn't give the full range and was definitely repetitive. The website is loads better. Give it a try!

I didn't try it on my computer as I just hate having to sit at the computer/laptop (obviously I can move my laptop around but the battery life is so sh*t that it limits where I can take it as need to be plugged in almost constantly). I wanted the app so I could practise on lunch breaks or when travelling etc. as I do that stuff "on the go" more than sitting in one spot. Maybe I'll try  it on the app (although, I find a lot of apps when learning Japanese want to teach you to read it as well..I've given up that and just want to know how to say things LOL)

Offline lyonaria

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2018, 11:20:52 AM »
I didn't try it on my computer as I just hate having to sit at the computer/laptop (obviously I can move my laptop around but the battery life is so sh*t that it limits where I can take it as need to be plugged in almost constantly). I wanted the app so I could practise on lunch breaks or when travelling etc. as I do that stuff "on the go" more than sitting in one spot. Maybe I'll try  it on the app (although, I find a lot of apps when learning Japanese want to teach you to read it as well..I've given up that and just want to know how to say things LOL)
Yeah. I downloaded it for that same reason,but after I started on my laptop as I didn't know about the app until later.

App was a bit disappointing, but it would have to be space hog for it to work like the website.
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 jimbocz

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2018, 11:32:54 AM »
I didn't try it on my computer as I just hate having to sit at the computer/laptop (obviously I can move my laptop around but the battery life is so sh*t that it limits where I can take it as need to be plugged in almost constantly). I wanted the app so I could practise on lunch breaks or when travelling etc. as I do that stuff "on the go" more than sitting in one spot. Maybe I'll try  it on the app (although, I find a lot of apps when learning Japanese want to teach you to read it as well..I've given up that and just want to know how to say things LOL)
I thought there was a simplified "alphabet" that a lot of things are written in that's not so hard to learn.  Is that what they are trying to teach you?

Offline historyenne

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2018, 11:35:04 AM »
it just taught you words/phrases without really giving you much explanation behind what you were learning so it was hard to try to put them into practise.

Bingo. There's no pedagogical foundation to Duolingo. It's basically an electronic phrasebook. And I've tried the computer version; it's got more bells and whistles, but structurally isn't any better than the app.

Programmes like this have been around for decades -- anyone remember Rosetta Stone? They give people the illusion of learning because they offer what looks like concrete progress. Here are a bunch of words and phrases you didn't know when you started, but now you know them! See, you're learning! But I have been a language teacher for over 15 years and have studied language acquisition, and I promise you that this is not substantive and not sufficient to really get to grips with a language, even at a beginner level.

I'm not saying that there's any harm in using Duolingo or any of the others. Any language study is better than none at all. Just please don't buy into the hype. It's a free app, it's not going to magically confer upon you something that has always taken years of dedicated study.
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 x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2018, 11:38:32 AM »
I thought there was a simplified "alphabet" that a lot of things are written in that's not so hard to learn.  Is that what they are trying to teach you?

That's Kanji i think you're thinking of. I don't want to even try learning that though hahah I want to just learn phrases. From Japanesepod101, I've learned a few greetings, how to say "souvenir" and thank you (the polite way) and I can say "nice to meet you, my name is Tori" but they don't have anymore of those basic ones on the actual podcast app :(

I started off trying to learn Kanji but it is just too much for right now. I want to get some basic stuff that I can use first and foremost, then go back and learn to read/write that stuff.

Offline historyenne

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2018, 11:38:52 AM »
I thought there was a simplified "alphabet" that a lot of things are written in that's not so hard to learn.  Is that what they are trying to teach you?

Japanese has three alphabets ;)
Kanji are the Chinese symbols, hiragana is the phoneme-based alphabet that is used with kanji to make it fit the Japanese language (kanji was designed for Chinese, but Japanese is a very different animal), and katakana, which is for loan words. Japanese is a beast to learn. I lived in Osaka for a year and only managed a handful of phrases and about a dozen kanji, though I got pretty good at the other two alphabets.
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 x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2018, 11:43:54 AM »
Bingo. There's no pedagogical foundation to Duolingo. It's basically an electronic phrasebook. And I've tried the computer version; it's got more bells and whistles, but structurally isn't any better than the app.

Programmes like this have been around for decades -- anyone remember Rosetta Stone? They give people the illusion of learning because they offer what looks like concrete progress. Here are a bunch of words and phrases you didn't know when you started, but now you know them! See, you're learning! But I have been a language teacher for over 15 years and have studied language acquisition, and I promise you that this is not substantive and not sufficient to really get to grips with a language, even at a beginner level.

I'm not saying that there's any harm in using Duolingo or any of the others. Any language study is better than none at all. Just please don't buy into the hype. It's a free app, it's not going to magically confer upon you something that has always taken years of dedicated study.

Rosetta stone was good in that it would listen to you repeat words and tell you if it sounded like you were saying things right/wrong (although it wasn't always accurate), but I agree that it's still just "here's a picture, here's some words to say in another language, repeat them. THERE! YOU NOW KNOW WORDS/PHRASES!" but I couldn't for the life of me tell you what was actually being said based on the pictures alone. I could infer a bunch but I had know way of actually knowing what the direct translation was. With Japanese it's hard as well because anything in "writing" is symbols so it's not like I could go and easily google a word I've seen to see what direct translation is.

I prefer the podcast as it started with greetings. Then moved to "my name is/nice to meet you" and progressed. it's like it's teaching me relevant things I need in the order I need them but Rosetta stone was like "here is how you say your greetings....here is how you say 'she wants to go swimming!'" ... Why do I need to know/care what that means in the first chunk of lessons?!

Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2018, 11:45:52 AM »
Japanese has three alphabets ;)
Kanji are the Chinese symbols, hiragana is the phoneme-based alphabet that is used with kanji to make it fit the Japanese language (kanji was designed for Chinese, but Japanese is a very different animal), and katakana, which is for loan words. Japanese is a beast to learn. I lived in Osaka for a year and only managed a handful of phrases and about a dozen kanji, though I got pretty good at the other two alphabets.

You're right, now that I see it, it's Hiragana I believe i was doing, not Kanji! sorry!

Any tips/links for how/where to just learn important phrases?

Offline historyenne

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2018, 11:59:27 AM »
You're right, now that I see it, it's Hiragana I believe i was doing, not Kanji! sorry!

Any tips/links for how/where to just learn important phrases?

What do you consider important phrases? Things like introducing yourself, or like asking for directions/practical stuff for travelling?

I still have the books that I bought in Japan, you're welcome to borrow them if you like. They're a bit dense, but they've got some good information. Also, if you'd be interested in doing a language exchange over Skype, I have some Japanese students learning English who might be interested. Let me know :)
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 x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2018, 12:07:56 PM »
What do you consider important phrases? Things like introducing yourself, or like asking for directions/practical stuff for travelling?

I still have the books that I bought in Japan, you're welcome to borrow them if you like. They're a bit dense, but they've got some good information. Also, if you'd be interested in doing a language exchange over Skype, I have some Japanese students learning English who might be interested. Let me know :)

I'm definitely not opposed to doing a language exchange! That would actually be pretty cool! Curious to know how that works really? Do they speak to me in English and I struggle through broken Japanese with them?

I try to avoid books as I just find I never know if I'm actually pronouncing things right unless I try it out with "Google Translate" and I just like having something to listen to as I can have it on while doing loads of things. Appreciate the offer though :)


Sorry JF - didn't mean to hijack and turn this into japanese talk instead of french! hah


Offline historyenne

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2018, 12:23:24 PM »
I'm definitely not opposed to doing a language exchange! That would actually be pretty cool! Curious to know how that works really? Do they speak to me in English and I struggle through broken Japanese with them?

Yep, that's basically a language exchange! They're just learning English themselves, though, so you'll be helping them while they help you. There aren't any rules for how it works, you just have a conversation and ask each other questions, and practice the languages together. If you're worried about your pronunciation then talking to a native speaker and having them model the language for you can be really helpful. If that sounds like something you'd be up for, then I'll ask around my Japanese students.
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 #28 on: February 02, 2018, 12:44:19 PM »
Sorry JF - didn't mean to hijack and turn this into japanese talk instead of french! hah

Don't be sorry!  This thread has potentially led to you having the opportunity to talk to native Japanese speakers in preparation for your trip.  I don't care how we got there, the end result is a win!

The language exchange is a great idea, Historyenne!  My husband's aunt has lived in France for probably 40 years, and his cousins were all born and educated down there, so we will be able to practice with them.
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
Now just waiting out the clock for ILR.

Offline x0Kiss0fDeath

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Re: Duolingo App
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2018, 01:20:35 PM »
Don't be sorry!  This thread has potentially led to you having the opportunity to talk to native Japanese speakers in preparation for your trip.  I don't care how we got there, the end result is a win!

The language exchange is a great idea, Historyenne!  My husband's aunt has lived in France for probably 40 years, and his cousins were all born and educated down there, so we will be able to practice with them.

Might be able to find tips/materials here or other language exchanges JF - https://www.reddit.com/r/learnfrench/