ysobel: (learning german)
Tried poking at French on duolingo ... and then realized it would mess up any Spanish attempts (or the Spanish attempts would much up French) because they look similar and sound so different, and I had a moment of "je suis, tu eres, il/elle/es est" (bad jumble of french and Spanish with a soupçon of German). So ... for now I go back to German for Duolingo purposes, and refresh Spanish grammar/vocab through other sites. (I am currently tempted by https://www.rocketlanguages.com/ which is paid, but I will probably get over that temptation and just stick to free resources.)

I did realize why I suddenly had urges to go do other languages, Greek or French or whatnot, rather than continuing with German. It's because the words aren't sticking right now. It's not difficult vocabulary -- z.b. Ort, Kneipe, Bezirk, Grundstück, Umgebung, Unterkünfte -- but I can't remember the words or their meanings at all. Each time it's like I'm seeing the word for the first time, and by the time it comes up again I've dropped it again.

Which is, um. Frustrating. And makes me want to avoid it. And to some extent repetition is the key to learning things like this, but it's hard to repeat things you can't hold on to.

I kind of wish I could just download language knowledge into my brain.
ysobel: (learning german)
So I went to the Duo Facebook page to see if there was information about the app changes (health meter and "gema")

There wasn't

...but a) there was an announcement about Japanese coming to Duo, and b) i sort of ended up starting the Greek course. No real reason (especially since it's modern Greek rather than ancient) but it's not like welsh had a purpose, lol. I do judge courses based on the early lessons (eg i want to learn danish but the first lesson makes me despair -- "drengen" sounds like drying but smushed into one syllable, "kvinden" sounds like kving, and it doesn't make *sense*) but Greek is starting with the alphabet. Sensible.

So far I can say such useful things as το γράμμα δέλτα (to gramma delta / the letter d), woo. Knowing Cyrillic helps, because I'm already used to ρ being r and π being p; otoh I suspect knowing German will make me inclined to read β as ss rather than b.

...I'm not sure why I'm switching. I'm not at the end of the German course. I'm not even up to where I was before -- I did the course up to like 10 units from the end, and then wandered off to welsh, and then had forgotten some of the German so I went back to re-do each unit that had unfamiliar words, and I'm only up to the middle of the fifth section, 57 units behind the farthest unlocked one. And it would make sense to stay with German because it's familiar -- I used to be fluent back in high school, so right now it's a weird mix of translation and knowing; there are some words that i have to think about and some words that are just sort of there, I have to look up tatsächlich but selbstverständlich is just, well, self-evident, no pun intended.

Semi unrelatedly, I'm still frustrated at the differences between the website and the app -- how much information isn't available through the app. Things like https://www.duolingo.com/words or like the blurb for a lesson about how articles work or conjugations or whatever. I find the app easier to use, but then I miss stuff. Grarh.
ysobel: (learning german)
This has been bugging me for a while:

"Das Objekt, aufgefunden in den Keller gewurden der Oper, funktioniert noch"

Why is gewurden smack in the middle of den Keller der Oper? (It feels wrong to me -- why isn't gewurden last?

...or oh oh oh is gewurden part of the noun phrase? I was thinking it was part of the verb phrase (aufgefunden gewurden) but if it's the noun phrase -- is that, like, "the cellar that used to be (but isn't any more) part of the opera house ?

Hilfe bitte! (Is there a German equivalent of halp? Halfe? Lol)
ysobel: (learning german)
Today's duolingo lesson included Flughafen. *is easily amused*

Duo grr

Jun. 3rd, 2015 10:31 pm
ysobel: (learning german)
Duolingo is driving me fucking crazy tonight.

First off, a thing that is not really entirely their fault: I use the app because typing on the iPad is tons easier for me right now than typing on the computer -- but with the keyboard split (which is how I can use it) it is very easy to accidentally hit the "done" bar across the bottom of the screen.

Second, a thing which is: the iPad app has absolutely no way of submitting corrections or complaints, or flag things as wrong.

And it's being downright fucking stupid tonight.

Example: "Hast du eigene Kinder?" Freeform translate to English. It is the first time I have seen the word eigene, and my instinct -- which turns out to be correct, dammit -- is to translate this as "do you have any kids", but as my instinct is rusty as hell, I tap the word to see what duo says. Provided translations: own, separate, peculiarly. So I hesitantly type in "do you have separate kids", which is wrong, but dammit.

Example: "ich bezahle den technischen Bücher". Again freeform translate. I brainfart and translate bezahle as buy, and that gets marked wrong, which is fair, but the provided and therefore preferred translation is "I am paying the technical books", which is so augh. Not paying for, mind you; apparently the hooks themselves are extortionists or blackmailers or something.

Between that sort of thing (which I can't fucking report without going through the website) and the misclicks, it took me twice as long as usual to get through the lesson. Sigh.

(185 day streak, though. That's something.)

Um.

Apr. 23rd, 2015 09:17 pm
ysobel: (learning german)
So I am refreshing my German using Duolingo -- 146 day streak woo -- and one of the words today was Ernst, meaning seriousness. One of the sentences I encountered three times with this word; the first time was the “refrigerator magnet” sort of thing where you have a list of words that you pick out the correctly translated sentence from.

The German sentence was “Im Ernst” -- and there is no punctuation in Duo but the vocal inflection was as a question. Literally, this translates to “in the seriousness”

The only possible English translation from the provided words, and apparently the default translation for that sentence, is “No kidding”.

Seriously, Duo? Seriously?
ysobel: (learning german)
(Still, always, want to type that as Duolinguo. Gah.)

So I am at the point with Spanish where I have gone through all of the Duo lessons and am mainly doing "practice weak skills" over and over again. Which is not unwarranted -- there is a lot I'm shaky on still, even of what duo gives me, and I am nowhere near ready for real world applications.

But I sort of want to use Duo to brush up on my German. And I can't decide how to do it.

Option one is to do both German and Spanish, one right after the other. Which is easy enough to get in the habit of (the biggest hurdle is remembering to do it; two lessons instead of one is not a problem) but seems like it would be the most confusing to my brain.

Option two is to alternate days. Spanish one day, German the next, etc. Less immediate switching between languages, but still involves some.

Option three is to alternate weekends/weekdays (so do one Monday-Friday and the other Sat-Sun). Has the advantage of making it easy to remember which I'm supposed to be doing on a given day.

Option four is to alternate weeks.

Option five is to just use duo for German and find a more immersive source for keeping Spanish practice.

...I can't decide. Halp?

Poll #16370 Decide for me
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 10


Which option should I do?

View Answers

Both every day
0 (0.0%)

Alternate days
1 (11.1%)

Weekday/weekend split
2 (22.2%)

Alternate weeks
0 (0.0%)

German only, find something else for Spanish
6 (66.7%)

Spanish only until you're fluent, you slacker
0 (0.0%)

Ticky?

View Answers

Ticky!
5 (55.6%)

Tea!
2 (22.2%)

Tea and ticky
5 (55.6%)

Ticky needs to go to sleep
5 (55.6%)

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masquerading as a man with a reason

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