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Old 2017-06-10, 01:49   #100
only_human
 
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I use the same handle of only_human on Duolingo.

I've spent a fair amount of time there during the last few days because they've just introduced Japanese lessons there. They currently are only available by app; the web version isn't out yet.

The Japanese lessons are quite limited currently. They only introduce 88 kanji in addition to the two phonetic syllabaries of hiragana and katakana.

I still think they did a good job and it was a good review of college Japanese from three decades ago.

How we invented a new way to teach one of the most difficult languages to learn
Quote:
イエーイ!

That’s Japanese for yay! Today, we officially launched Duolingo’s Japanese course for English speakers – the most highly anticipated course launch in our five-year history.

It’s not surprising that Japanese had been our most-requested course. Japan’s culture is celebrated worldwide through film, food, literature, music, art, and much more, and learning Japanese opens up a whole new set of opportunities for appreciating it.

However, not only is Japanese among the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn, it is even more difficult to teach effectively. That’s why our team devoted so much time and effort to developing a course that offers a completely new method of learning Japanese.

In this blog post, we discuss the unique challenges in teaching Japanese and how we invented new ways to teach it effectively on Duolingo.
Quote:
Our course is heavily backed by research
Since Japanese is so different from Western languages, we designed our curriculum from scratch based on research-based teaching guidelines.

Specifically, we used the JF Standard, which is a Japanese-language education framework based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), an international standard for describing language ability. This enabled us to make sure we cover 100% of the necessary topics, vocabulary, and grammatical concepts in the right order to bring learners to the CEFR A1 level upon completion of our course so that they have a basic understanding of the Japanese language.

Importantly, our course teaches all of the vocabulary and grammar needed to pass JLPT N5, the most popular Japanese language proficiency test in the world.
I only know one forum member here that also visits Duolingo. There are social and gamified aspects to Duolingo but recently they nuked a portion that let people easily monitor the progress activities of their followers. I used that portion to continually refresh my memory on all kinds of sentence patterns in multiple languages as people in my social chain commented on sentences but, alas, system load considerations and low user utilization led them to nuke that aspect of social interaction.

Here are my experience levels scored by their lesson point system for the top few languages that I've studied the most there:
Quote:
Achievements

STREAK (on fire) 4 Days
LANGUAGES

Spanish - Level 22
Next level: 936 XP
Total XP: 21564 XP

French - Level 22
Next level: 2585 XP
Total XP: 19915 XP

German - Level 21
Next level: 928 XP
Total XP: 18072 XP

Portuguese - Level 14
Next level: 660 XP
Total XP: 6840 XP

Esperanto - Level 12
Next level: 382 XP
Total XP: 4518 XP

Japanese - Level 10
Next level: 102 XP
Total XP: 2898 XP

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2017-06-10 at 01:56 Reason: s/day/days/ s/duolingo/Duolingo/
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Old 2017-06-10, 02:03   #101
Dubslow
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I've recently started using Memrise -- or at least technically started, used it like twice in the last three weeks. I *might* go to duolingo at some point....

Tangentially, has anyone here studied Lojban?
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Old 2017-06-10, 02:08   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
I've recently started using Memrise -- or at least technically started, used it like twice in the last three weeks. I *might* go to duolingo at some point....

Tangentially, has anyone here studied Lojban?
I've never heard of Lojban even though the tubes tell me that it's been around a long time. Constructed languages (CONLANGS) are extremely popular these days especially with n-grams and other computational linguistic tools available.

LaurV has put in a lot of time on Memrise and he's cleared up my misconceptions about its usefulness. Again we benefit from computational tools since spaced repetition is a good learning technique.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2017-06-10 at 02:13
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Old 2017-06-11, 04:22   #103
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I'm not a fan of Duolingo. Seeing words in Duolingo is like seeing animals in a cage in a zoo. It's a sterile and limited environment. To understand what an animal like a cheetah is really all about, you have to go on safari and observe the ecosystem and how the cheetah interacts with it.

Spaced repetition systems are also overrated. They're good for reviewing what you know, and for making sure you're ready for a test (if you're foolish enough to try to learn a language in a classroom), but again it's a sterile and limited environment, and therefore not so great for learning new things. And if you overdo it, SRS can take all your time and end up being the only thing you do.

With both Duolingo and SRS, after an initial honeymoon you soon fight yourself fighting tedium.

I prefer the "just start reading" approach. Whatever topic fascinates and excites you, find some reading material about it in the language of your choice and just plunge in. It doesn't matter if you don't understand all of it, or even most of it. Drink from the firehose. Of course, this only works for mainstream languages with a large Internet footprint.
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Old 2017-06-13, 06:17   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GP2 View Post
I prefer the "just start reading" approach. Whatever topic fascinates and excites you, find some reading material about it in the language of your choice and just plunge in. It doesn't matter if you don't understand all of it, or even most of it. Drink from the firehose. Of course, this only works for mainstream languages with a large Internet footprint.
I feel that you're right about this. Among the books that I've made some incomplete halting efforts to read are Perry Rhodan science fiction series books in German. Dresden Files and Harry Potter books in Spanish, Candide in French. As yet I've never persisted enough to matter. The hardest push was an effort in Spanish several months ago yet today when I went to a doctor's office but ended up in the wrong building I asked a janitorial staff employee for help in English and when she pointed elsewhere and said "afuera" I merely said "afuera, outside" and didn't even construct a single sentence.

I think they might say that Duolingo's lessons take people to CEFR A2 with particularly dedicated learners perhaps getting to B1 but I wouldn't say that even my top tier foreign languages are A1 at the moment. German particularly has online accessible material about their language skills testing at the Goethe Institute but it's way beyond me at the moment.
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Old 2017-06-21, 10:23   #105
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Looks like our chucks have discovered Duolingo.

For the last several days one of them has been learning crow as a second language. She's doing a perfect imitation of the crows (or perhaps rooks) that fly around this part of the world.

There's nothing obviously different about her other than this strange new hobby.
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Old 2017-12-08, 03:07   #106
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My efforts to read from the firehose are still lacking persistent follow-through. My last efforts were on a Spanish translation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

All the same my interests in languages continue to be a welcome distraction from depression and morose meandering. These past 49 days particularly I've put some time in on Mandarin Chinese on Duolingo.

I took a class in Mandarin thirty years or so ago so the Chinese on Duolingo was not my first pass at the language; this is good because it would be a rough introduction with no previous exposure.

My greatest difficulty with the Chinese on Duolingo is that words are introduced by character and sound without the corresponding meanings, to which I find memorization without context to be difficult.

Here are my Duolingo levels for languages using their eXPerience metric:

LANGUAGES

Spanish - Level 22
Total XP: 22209 XP

French - Level 22
Total XP: 19945 XP

German - Level 21
XP: 18157 XP

Portuguese - Level 14
Total XP: 6850 XP

Chinese - Level 14
Total XP: 6654 XP

Esperanto - Level 12
Total XP: 4538 XP

Japanese - Level 12
Total XP: 3901 XP
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Old 2017-12-08, 03:26   #107
Dubslow
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A couple of months ago I started DuoLingo on French (after having 3+ years of immersive-classroom experience). I'm not too impressed with their methodology, all things told. They need to introduce more-than-one-sentence type stuff in the later parts of courses. Also I don't see much meaning in their "XP" thing.

I also haven't touched it in a month. Maybe I will today.... (I think if they changed their "goal" from "daily" to "weekly" I'd be more engaged. Seeing days with zero progress is depressing, especially since many people have days where they simply haven't the time on any given day. Doing a weekly goal allows doing more work on 3-4 days instead of less work on 7 days, which is easier to schedule.)

Also recently (and also some over the summer) I've been dabbling in Lojban, or rather, reading the reference grammar on github (which IIUC is somewhat out of date, though still 98% correct). Has anyone here ever tried it?

Last fiddled with by Dubslow on 2017-12-08 at 03:27
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Old 2017-12-08, 04:22   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
I'm not too impressed with their methodology, all things told. They need to introduce more-than-one-sentence type stuff in the later parts of courses.
Well they are making slow progress added additional content.
Today they introduced a Spanish podcast:
Learn Spanish with this innovative podcast
And the Duolingo Labs also has Duolingo Stories (again Spanish at this time) and get-together Duolingo Events.
Duolingo Stories:
Quote:
Welcome to Duolingo Stories (Beta)!

Practice a language through mini-stories that challenge your reading and listening comprehension. Complete all the stories to unlock the next set!
SET ONE

Tenemos que hablar

Cuidando un pájaro

Encerrada en el baño

La carta perdida

Sigue las flechas

La peor cita de mi vida

Tres deseos

Bellas artes

¿Puedes hablar?

¿Te conozco?
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Old 2017-12-08, 04:33   #109
Dubslow
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Half of those titles read like horror short stories I had indeed seen something similar in my earlier browsing of the site, but as you say it's early work yet.

Last fiddled with by Dubslow on 2017-12-08 at 04:33
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