Ashley

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I think I'm actually finally understanding/making some sense out of Dutch word order. :o

Also getting better with the different tenses and all of their conjugations in Spanish. :D 

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I hate the tenses "lessons" in duolingo, I really struggle on them. I don't know if I am learning the phrases themselves, or the language, but I'll just be typing out a response and "feel" I need to write that form of the verb.. or that connective.... Also able to watch tv programs in spanish and follow the plot (though not all the detail, there are parts I only get the generally sense of... but I'm liking that at least. Next step is to start practicing speaking with more adventurous sentences.
As far as duolingo is concerned, I'm just coasting, I'm shattered when I get home from work and have so much to do I really struggle to find time for duolingo, so I'm (most days) doing a timed "strengthen" thing, get one answer right and leave it there.
I am trying to watch Spanish language films etc though, so it's more just the pure learning side I'm ditching, I'm still working on my Spanish.
Is anyone else finding duolingo more effective now than it was in earlier iterations? probably mainly for German/French/Spanish learners as I think those are the oldest English language courses (may be wrong there though! :D)

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I found meeting my Domingo commitments when I woke up the best thing psychologically, otherwise I'd spend all day worrying and then find it a struggle in the evenings.

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20 hours ago, Pestneb said:

I hate the tenses "lessons" in duolingo, I really struggle on them. I don't know if I am learning the phrases themselves, or the language, but I'll just be typing out a response and "feel" I need to write that form of the verb.. or that connective.... Also able to watch tv programs in spanish and follow the plot (though not all the detail, there are parts I only get the generally sense of... but I'm liking that at least. Next step is to start practicing speaking with more adventurous sentences.
As far as duolingo is concerned, I'm just coasting, I'm shattered when I get home from work and have so much to do I really struggle to find time for duolingo, so I'm (most days) doing a timed "strengthen" thing, get one answer right and leave it there.
I am trying to watch Spanish language films etc though, so it's more just the pure learning side I'm ditching, I'm still working on my Spanish.
Is anyone else finding duolingo more effective now than it was in earlier iterations? probably mainly for German/French/Spanish learners as I think those are the oldest English language courses (may be wrong there though! :D)

With regards to your bit about tenses, I think it depends on how your mind works and how you interpret the information. The way I do it is that I think of the language like a skeleton and the identify which parts need to go where. So, when translating from English to Dutch or Dutch to Engish, I know that you can't always do like for like. I have watched tv today would become I have today tv watched. So, in my head I'm moving the word order around first and then translating it that way. For me, being able to see stuff written down really helps, so I've learned toooooons in terms of word order, structure and tenses from Duolingo.

It depends on what you need and how best you learn. I'd say that my reading is pretty good, but my weakness is definitely the listening part, partly due to the speed of certain languages. So, I know I'll end up doing what you do and will watch films in other languages. Or even English language films with the subtitles from Dutch or Spanish, although sometimes things aren't always translated like for like.

Duolingo is my main way of learning the language. Again, helpful because I can actually see the stuff written down and it's also a good starting point. If there's an area that I'm struggling in, e.g. with tenses, I can then jump onto another website and look at conjunctions. SpanishDict is another site I use.

Learning another language is time consuming and it can be exhausting. Your brain is doing a lot of work. Consistency is what matters and training your mind to think in another language is going to help you become more able in that skill. So, if you're having success (and enjoyment) doing one thing, then do that.

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Yeah, I think I do best reading and listening to source material and figuring out the grammar from that, in a similar way to you I think.
Well. I've been watching MacGyver in Spanish, the plots aren't too complicated and the language isn't either in most episodes, I've been able to follow everything so far (watched a season and a bit :D) Also watched Bruce Almighty in Spanish.. again generally not too high a level, but then most languages aren't in day to day situations.

I'm mainly stuck for the next language after Spanish... I tried German but I generally don't find it interesting. Polish is cool, but resources are very sparse.. Italian interested me, but I am already struggling between French and Spanish, so I want to leave romance languages for a short while. Romanian I have a little too.. portugese is WAY too close to Spanish, so I won't do that to myself. The scandinavian languages seem like more accessible versions of German, broadly speaking... and once you learn one you pretty much have three... decisions decisions!

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I read somewhere that Norwegian is apparently quite accessible if your first language is English. I don't know how true that is, but it could be worth looking it.

If you don't fancy another romance language, you could challenge yourself by looking at something like Russian. I'd like to start learning that one day. There's also the option of languages such as Mandarin Chinese or Japanese. I've started doing a bit of Japanese and it is haaaard, but very rewarding. It's great being able to look at a poster or text for example and, whilst not understanding what any of it means just yet, being able to at least recognise the symbols and the sounds that they make. Challenging due it to being completely different to languages that we're used to, but potential for huge reward, too.

There's also the option of Dutch, but if you're not feeling German, I'm not sure if you'd be keen on that. :p

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I tried Ukrainian but found the alphabet was quite a big barrier for me - I don't know if they improved the interface since then, I may dabble in it again as an introduction to cyrillic. I know a little Polish (or knew probably more accurately) so that helped a lot... it's just the cyrillic adds a whole new level of complexity that is tough! :D

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14 minutes ago, Pestneb said:

I tried Ukrainian but found the alphabet was quite a big barrier for me - I don't know if they improved the interface since then, I may dabble in it again as an introduction to cyrillic. I know a little Polish (or knew probably more accurately) so that helped a lot... it's just the cyrillic adds a whole new level of complexity that is tough! :D

The different lettering system is a barrier. But, the benefit is that once you've conquered that, it'll be a huge obstacle out of the way. After that, you're left with verbs, adjectives, nouns, conjunctions, word order, sentence structures, etc, which you'll find in all languages anyway. The different alphabet just adds another layer to it. I could read Arabic as a child and would be interested to see how I'd do with it now.

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I've just downloaded the memrise app and was wondering if anybody else uses memrise here? I think you use it, don't you @Ashley

 

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Do you use the free version or do you pay for it? I'm only on the early stages so far, but what would you say memrise does better than duolingo? Did you make progress from it? 

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1 hour ago, Fierce_LiNk said:

Do you use the free version or do you pay for it? I'm only on the early stages so far, but what would you say memrise does better than duolingo? Did you make progress from it? 

I feel like I've already answered this in this thread :p

I used the free version for a long time but then they had a half price offer (which brought it to £16 or something) so I got it then.  Probably would be better if I took more advantage of the premium stuff, but £1orso per month is fine.  The offline is handy if I want to do it on the tube, but loading lessons offline takes ages (so much so I thought it was broken first time I tried).

I like the video clips of locals (because...Italian 👀) and it is useful.  It has some of the same pitfalls of Duolingo (such as it becoming easy to remember the phrases from the list of options, rather than learning to actually translate), but I think it is better, particularly when it comes to reviewing as everything is grouped together (and you do 10 at a time, but can change it).  Plus there is the 'usual' review and then a separate review for your most common mistakes.

The chatbots in the app are kind of entertaining for a bit, but I haven't used them much.

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2 hours ago, Ashley said:

I feel like I've already answered this in this thread :p

I used the free version for a long time but then they had a half price offer (which brought it to £16 or something) so I got it then.  Probably would be better if I took more advantage of the premium stuff, but £1orso per month is fine.  The offline is handy if I want to do it on the tube, but loading lessons offline takes ages (so much so I thought it was broken first time I tried).

I like the video clips of locals (because...Italian 👀) and it is useful.  It has some of the same pitfalls of Duolingo (such as it becoming easy to remember the phrases from the list of options, rather than learning to actually translate), but I think it is better, particularly when it comes to reviewing as everything is grouped together (and you do 10 at a time, but can change it).  Plus there is the 'usual' review and then a separate review for your most common mistakes.

The chatbots in the app are kind of entertaining for a bit, but I haven't used them much.

You probably did post about it already, but nobody ever reads older pages. It's the ruuuuules. 

 

It sounds interesting. I'm going to look into it a bit more tomorrow, but I'm tempted to give the paid version a go. I'm still in the early stages, so all of the Dutch stuff is mega basic. How advanced does it get? Vocab wise, is it on par or better than Duolingo? 

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Like Duolingo there's no "this is how you do the past perfect" kind of lessons, but I've found the subjects broader in my experience.

If you click on any of the courses (best to go for the ones by Memrise themselves as they definitely have audio, which in this case are yellow) you can see the subjects and then click into them to see the words/phrases covered: https://www.memrise.com/courses/english/dutch/

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18 hours ago, Ashley said:

Like Duolingo there's no "this is how you do the past perfect" kind of lessons, but I've found the subjects broader in my experience.

If you click on any of the courses (best to go for the ones by Memrise themselves as they definitely have audio, which in this case are yellow) you can see the subjects and then click into them to see the words/phrases covered: https://www.memrise.com/courses/english/dutch/

That's really useful, thanks. I clicked a few links and found a course with 5000+ common Dutch words. I browsed through it and that's the sort of thing that I was looking for. Think I'll proceed with both Duolingo and Memrise, and then will see how I go on from there. 

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I've now subscribed to Memrise Pro and have been using it for Japanese. I've really enjoyed using it, so far. It's pretty cool to have videos of real people speaking the new vocabulary and just seems a bit more intuitive than just hearing it. I enjoyed using the Duolingo app for Japanese, but I was really holding out for the desktop version, which just seems to be taking forever. 

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How is everyone doing with the language learning? I've been using Memrise Pro and am quite a big fan of it now. It's a bit better than Duolingo at the whole reviewing and relearning thing, although I prefer the interface for DuoLingo. The Memrise way of doing Japanese is actually pretty good and I've been making decent progress with it. Importantly, I feel that the information is beginning to stick. 

It's still early days yet, but I'm quite enjoying Japanese. It's different to the other languages that I'm more familiar with. 

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I was just thinking actually about whether I want to make a language learning app with the intent of it addressing some of the shortcomings of others (such as the lack of actual lessons, as they're more word memorisation, and some of the verb-specific apps look ugly as donkey butt).  Just mulling it for now.  I did have an idea for a game a while ago which was basically "Pokémon but for language learning" so maybe that.

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8 minutes ago, Ashley said:

I was just thinking actually about whether I want to make a language learning app with the intent of it addressing some of the shortcomings of others (such as the lack of actual lessons, as they're more word memorisation, and some of the verb-specific apps look ugly as donkey butt).  Just mulling it for now.  I did have an idea for a game a while ago which was basically "Pokémon but for language learning" so maybe that.

I'd very much appreciate some more formal type of lessons. I'm constantly asking @Eenuh questions about Dutch, like "why is it this way?" "when do you use this word?" "why is this word here and not there?", etc.

It's a massive undertaking, though. I wouldn't even know where to begin with something like that. You'd have to have sections which explain what verbs, nouns, adjectives are and talk about subject and object, stuff like that first and then build from there. It would get very technical, as languages can be that way. Could be amazing if pulled off!

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Hmm there might be worth in creating something that teaches you how to learn a language.  And by that I mean helps lay the groundwork to explain different verb tenses and things like the gerund and all that.

*mulls*

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10 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Hmm there might be worth in creating something that teaches you how to learn a language.  And by that I mean helps lay the groundwork to explain different verb tenses and things like the gerund and all that.

*mulls*

Yeah, you pretty much need that in your native language first before learning an additional language. Unless there's a way to do the two side by side. E.g. here's how to ask "what are you doing?" in English. Here's how you say it in Dutch: "wat ben je aan het doen?" With a breakdown about where the verbs are, how they are modified, etc. 

The Dutch grammar stuff on the web version of Duolingo is actually pretty decent for some of this sorta stuff, but I don't think it has it for all of the different tenses. It's also unavailable on the app version, so that's a downside. It's at the bottom of some of the sub-sections, but is more like a reminder, not as a true teaching tool. 

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kinda bumping.. and a slight tangent perhaps... but given the name of the site, could it be an interesting idea to have articles translated to cover other languages than just English?
I know it creates a few issues, but maybe German/French translations could be cool, Italian/Spanish as well if at all possible... I know that would cause issues, but just have a drop down menu to select language, and have a place holder "sorry, this article hasn't been translated in your language yet"....
Bringing things in a bit more to this thread, it could be neat to have an option to have a story displayed bilingually - with say an English version one side, and the german version the other...

Obviously there's a need for good native speakers to do things properly, but I think it would be pretty neat

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Yeah I think the problem has always been we don't really have staff spread across Europe. We have someone in Portugal but commitments mean he's seldom able to contribute and someone else that was in Russia and I can't remember if he's gone back...( @Nicktendo)

I don't think it's feasible as we're a small team, but "gaming in X country" features has been something that has been on the list for a while...

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I appreciate... perhaps it could be more feasible to partner up with other language sites? I don't know how good they are etc but sites like http://www.nintenderos.com/  or http://www.p-nintendo.com/ as an example. Link to their stories with a summary in English perhaps. Obviously you need someone who can interpret google translate's attempts, or make a decent translation themself in order to write a summary... and I don't know it etiquette would only require acknowledging the source or if it would be better to contact the sites directly... maybe have some reciprocity...

 

 

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How is everyone getting on? I've been using Memrise a lot over the past week and am enjoying it. Long term plan is to mix that up with DuoLingo. My Dutch vocabulary is getting noticeably better and I'm pleased with the results that I've been seeing here. Italian has fallen completely by the wayside, so I'll need to get back on that when we get back to the UK as we have a trip to Italy planned for around Easter time.

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