itt: stories of yr attempts to master tongues via DUOLINGO

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i am learning welsh obviously (plus brushing up french)

the welsh is going badly -- french is telling me i am 24% fluent, which is a fib imo

mark s, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:23 (one week ago) Permalink

should I install this and see how bad my German has become, y/n

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:28 (one week ago) Permalink

(I'm already downloading it)

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:29 (one week ago) Permalink

Duolingo is a great way to absorb language basics and grammar rules, but once you have that stuff down and are in the mode of adding vocabulary I found it kind of inefficient.

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:29 (one week ago) Permalink

xp You will learn many duck-related German sentences ime

JoeStork, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:32 (one week ago) Permalink

i have been surprised how much french i still know in terms of vocab: my grammar was and is terrible

mark s, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:33 (one week ago) Permalink

polyphonic otm, I finished the French tree and have never gone back, currently use Memrise (and used Lingvist until I ran out of words) to build vocab

rob, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:35 (one week ago) Permalink

in welsh i have discovered nothing about ducks but i have encountered a DRAGON (draig)

mark s, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:38 (one week ago) Permalink

I completed the Japanese Duolingo and it is good for absorbing things by wrote but I grew frustrated with never having any of the grammar explained to me. It’s provided a good base.

There’s some more discussion of Duolingo

Do You Speak A Second Language?
日本語は話せます 🇯🇵

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:39 (one week ago) Permalink

pimsleur >> duolingo

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:39 (one week ago) Permalink

well but Duolingo is free

rob, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:44 (one week ago) Permalink

honestly DL is more like a fun app that helps you read stuff in a foreign language

rob, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:45 (one week ago) Permalink

huh 46% fluent

not bad I guess

the Hannah Montana of the Korean War (DJP), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:45 (one week ago) Permalink

Was going to say, however tell me more about why pimsleur is good? Everything else I have been trying has been lower cost but really falls down on getting me to speak. I’d pay for some live interaction.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 19:51 (one week ago) Permalink

I used to be fluent in Portuguese but haven't used in 20 years - wonder if this could get me back on my bullshit.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 20:27 (one week ago) Permalink

Duolingo fluency shield suffers from grade inflation especially when you are progressing through, say, the first third of the course or have just taken the placement test. At some points if starts to drop off and decay and you may regret giving into your ex-clever schoolboy’s craving for this particular form of external gratification.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 21:49 (one week ago) Permalink

Think last word should have been "validation."

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 22:00 (one week ago) Permalink

whenever i type "nos lau" (thursday night) it tells me i have a typo and that the correct spelling is "nos lau"

mark s, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 09:20 (one week ago) Permalink

Did you type a lower case “el” (wrong) or a capital “eye” (correct)?

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 09:42 (one week ago) Permalink

oh right that makes sense yes

mark s, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 09:43 (one week ago) Permalink

That was really it?

Some of the answers in some of the courses are messed up so that it will tell you about an alternate answer or typo which seems to be dependent on some punctuation, or even some other “invisible punctuation.” There seem to even be cases where it is supposed to accept some letters from say, a standard English alphabet, without certain diacritical and just tell you to “mind the accents” but it gets into some looking glass world where it doesn’t accept the correct foreign alphabet letter. Feel like I️ saw this happen in Turkish, with the non-dotted i, the ı.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 09:56 (one week ago) Permalink

i haven't gone back in and checked but yes, it's quite likely tha:, since i realised when i read yr post that i was listening to DL's pronunciation of Iau and thinking "wow the initial i sound in front of those vowels is really like an L isn't it?" -- based on assuming my grasp of welsh pronunciation is actually worse than it is

(the pronunciation i learnt as a kid IS different to the version they're using: spoken welsh has surprisingly strong regional variation: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13474058/Dialects-much-more-than-a-simple-north-south-divide)

(but it's not really the consonants that vary)

mark s, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:04 (one week ago) Permalink

Ah, some weird keyboard autocorrect is now putting something strange when I type the letter capital “eye” I.

Speaking of which, at some point iOS seems to have added a Welsh keyboard, which may um, assist you in your answers.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:04 (one week ago) Permalink

"wow the initial i sound in front of those vowels is really like an L isn't it?"

or maybe the other way round, anyway i was struck by how different their pronunciation was than mine would be -- which is because i was misreading the letter

mark s, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:06 (one week ago) Permalink

Sometimes wonder if the Welsh as taught is just some sort of approximation standard that is in fact spoken by no one at all, like Bokmål/Nynorsk, I️ think.

How is your pronunciation of the letter double el?

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:12 (one week ago) Permalink

Ach, still the weird “ego problem” or “ego trip” with the capital eye. Think I️ need to delete my autocorrect dictionary.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:13 (one week ago) Permalink

Tom, delete ILX all my bookmarks my autocorrect dictionary now!

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:15 (one week ago) Permalink

Ah, that didn’t seem to work. I’m stymied.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:16 (one week ago) Permalink

my double ll pronunciation is p good i think! the nearest large town to where we went on family holidays when i was a kid is machynlleth and i know how ppl who live in it say it

this was before welsh was actually taught in schools -- indeed, it was actively discouraged in schools back then, and i know someone who was made to leave school at 16 because he preferred to speak welsh (as did his entire family, of hill farmers)

(he became a mechanic and a builder, and is now very comfortably off and owns half the town)

mark s, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:18 (one week ago) Permalink

Ah. I have never been in the presence of a Welsh speaker as far as I know, apart from John Cale at an instore.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:25 (one week ago) Permalink

I against I against I

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:27 (one week ago) Permalink

(Had to chose the *RONG* spelling for each of those eyes to get the correct one)

Seems to me the pronunciation of Welsh, especially the “ll,” involves a lot more spittle than, say, English.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:30 (one week ago) Permalink

At one point I was having some problems with the days of the week with when to put the word for day in there, such as “dydd Iau.” Seem to have sorted it, can’t remember what the problem really was.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:39 (one week ago) Permalink

The other thing to remember of course about the “i” is that the word for Thursday starts with j for Jupiter-or Jove! do u see?! in most Romance languages.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:47 (one week ago) Permalink

yes i haven't worked out when not to use Dydd yet!

(tho i also haven't yet been marked wrong on either, and have been assuming -- perhaps wrongly -- that they are effectively interchangeable, at least in this limited context)

ooh handy steer on the root of the day names, i'd spotted they were "a bit like French" but hadn't taken it any further

mark s, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:50 (one week ago) Permalink

To throw a spanner in your welsh works - Memrise has a course in Belter Cant.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 11:01 (one week ago) Permalink

Sut mae, Marc? Sut dych chi?

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 November 2017 01:13 (one week ago) Permalink

Dych chi eisiau coffi?

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 November 2017 01:17 (one week ago) Permalink

Learning Dutch thru this atm and I like it.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 9 November 2017 01:17 (one week ago) Permalink

Hartelijk gefeliciteerd!

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 November 2017 01:25 (one week ago) Permalink

Both the Dutch and Welsh courses have been spruced up in the past few months, so you guys are on the cutting edge.

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 November 2017 01:27 (one week ago) Permalink

/too much time on Duolingo

Bazooka Jobim (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 9 November 2017 02:50 (one week ago) Permalink

"The grapheme k was also used more commonly than in the modern alphabet, particularly before front vowels.[3] The disuse of this letter is at least partly due to the publication of William Morgan's Welsh Bible, whose English printers, with type letter frequencies set for English and Latin, did not have enough k letters in their type cases to spell every /k/ sound as k, so the order went "C for K, because the printers have not so many as the Welsh requireth";[5] this was not liked at the time, but has become standard usage."

"why doesn't welsh have the letter k?"
"we ran out that one time and never restocked"

mark s, Thursday, 9 November 2017 09:46 (one week ago) Permalink

grrrr i am just as bad now at grammatical gender in french as i was aged 13: le cheval but la souris whyyyyyyyyyyyy pourquooooooiii

mark s, Friday, 10 November 2017 11:06 (one week ago) Permalink

some rules and patterns here (but of course no clue why le cheval but la souris):
http://www.french-linguistics.co.uk/grammar/le_or_la_in_french.shtml

mark s, Friday, 10 November 2017 11:07 (one week ago) Permalink

my devoted year+ on duolingo french got me enough of the basics that I was able to get a civil servant job in France where I speak French full time. it helped that I was living in France most of that time and that I'd already spent a lot of time reading french (or trying to, with much dictionary use) and that I already spoke Spanish pretty well (son of a native speaker but didn't grow up speaking it, only learned it in school). so I am yay duolingo!

I spent some time on the japanese tree earlier this year as I learn that language next but I'm going to need more than just duolingo to do it because I don't have a great sense of the grammar whereas learning a second romance language, I already grokked the main structures, what I really needed was enough confidence in applying those structures to go ahead and speak it irl.

although I think the japanese accent is easier than the french accent, so duolingo may be ok in that regard (japanese mostly sounds like it looks, unlike french)

droit au butt (Euler), Friday, 10 November 2017 15:55 (one week ago) Permalink

I'm doing German which I'm already sorta conversational in as my Dad is from there. I wasn't raised speaking it though and what I do know is only what I've picked up listening to him speak with friends and relatives and the times that I've spent there. I'm really enjoying it so far though and am excited to improve :).

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Friday, 10 November 2017 16:03 (one week ago) Permalink

i just discovered the chats-with-bots feature (after several days of just ignoring the you-have-mail signal): i like that it goes "excellent response!" after what is (in another, more accurate sense) a pretty basic not-actually-rude response

mark s, Friday, 10 November 2017 16:14 (one week ago) Permalink

I spent some time on the japanese tree earlier this year as I learn that language next but I'm going to need more than just duolingo to do it because I don't have a great sense of the grammar whereas learning a second romance language, I already grokked the main structures, what I really needed was enough confidence in applying those structures to go ahead and speak it irl.

I can recommend the ‘Human Japanese’ App for this.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Friday, 10 November 2017 20:29 (one week ago) Permalink

currently working on:

FRENCH
WELSH (beginners' stage): the language of the holidays of my youth
NORWEGIAN (beginners' stage): many of the student helps in the school i grew up in were norwegian
VIETNAMESE (barely even beginners' stage)*: significant enclave of vietnamese live in my part of hackney

*I am finding Vietnamese very hard to be honest, I am not sure I have securely remembered a single word yet. I mostly do it last thing at night, when I would otherwise be playing some stupid free game on my phone, so I am often quite sleepy.

mark s, Thursday, 16 November 2017 11:05 (three days ago) Permalink

mark, here is an entertaining article about Lydia Davies' endeavour to teach herself Norwegian using one long "boring" novel and no translation dictionary (caveat: Davis is a translator who already speaks three languages and knows her limited way around a couple of others)

http://lithub.com/lydia-davis-at-the-end-of-the-world/

Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Thursday, 16 November 2017 12:01 (three days ago) Permalink

Davis, rather

Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Thursday, 16 November 2017 12:07 (three days ago) Permalink

i tried to take welsh my first year of college. I got a big F in that.

akm, Thursday, 16 November 2017 13:21 (three days ago) Permalink

i should use duolingo to brush up on German though which i took for years and years. but my issue is mainly vocabulary at this point.

akm, Thursday, 16 November 2017 13:21 (three days ago) Permalink

About a week in. Enjoying!

Currently:
Welsh, because we've got some Welsh translators coming in at work, and I think it would be polite and politic to make the effort - wish them good morning, ask them how they are, tell them that I am a dragon and I like to iron school clothes.
French to clean some of the rust off - I can read it okay, but I can't produce and my grammar is sloppy.

Ambitions:
Irish. I'll drop Welsh for this at some point - it's my cultural background and I dimly feel that if I'm going to learn a Celtic language, it really should be this one.
Russian - I'd like this back to a basic level, but it'll wait (feel like I need some focus to jump the hurdle of dicking about with international keyboards on my phone)

woof, Thursday, 16 November 2017 13:37 (three days ago) Permalink

Dunno how much this could help me learn a new language, but it was PERFECT for gradually brushing up my high-school Spanish to where I could pass an open-dictionary translation exam for school. So... that was cool! Struggling to keep up with it afterwards though. Agreed that the continual review of old vocab items, while helping me remember them, makes it less fun and game-like to open the thing up for a few minutes on the train. The fun of unlocking new "levels" is gone. Wish there was a second, upside-down skill tree that gets revealed at the end :-/ LOL at the idea that I'm 55 percent fluent, also.

Doctor Casino, Friday, 17 November 2017 14:20 (two days ago) Permalink

I've been idly contemplating learning a language for, well, years really. Thought I'd finally attempt something and didn't want to do a language I'd already studied (French, German) although I've forgotten a lot of what I had learnt (especially German). I've gone for Spanish, started up a Duolingo account, seems fine although I know my pronunciation is going to be terrible (e.g. I am completely unable to roll Rs, which is probably quite an impediment and maybe I should just pick another language). Dunno if I'll keep this up, I do have a vague interest in languages and linguistics, I'm also a terrible procrastinator and have a habit of starting things then forgetting about them and starting something else, so...

Colonel Poo, Friday, 17 November 2017 14:47 (two days ago) Permalink

Doctor Casino... a common tactic once you complete a tree is to do the so-called Reverse Tree, which means switching Duo to the language you were originally learning and then learning English from there. I'm doing that for Spanish now and it is actually useful, at least once you get past the basics.

brain (krakow), Friday, 17 November 2017 16:43 (two days ago) Permalink

wooooahhhhh

gimme the beet poison, free my soul (Doctor Casino), Friday, 17 November 2017 16:46 (two days ago) Permalink

Not sure what I think of Davis' way of learning Norwegian.
She did choose a stunningly boring book, but at least it's one that has a minuscule vocabulary. You just need to learn some Norwegian words for "married", "born", "daughter", "son", "inheritance", "dowry", farm" etc and you've got most of it covered.

It's like learning English by reading the Domesday Book.

Duolingo was pretty enjoyable for the little while I managed to keep with it, but I only used it to try to improve my skills on a language I'm moderately familiar with. I stopped, figuring I'd be better off fighting with some "real" texts. I think I'd feel like I got more out of it by picking a language I know virtually nothing about. (I.e. a non-Germanic one)

Øystein, Friday, 17 November 2017 17:01 (two days ago) Permalink

Must..resist...properly posting to thread again...until the weekend

Modern Sounds in Undiscovered Country (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 17 November 2017 17:07 (two days ago) Permalink


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