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Duolingo-the free language course-any pros and cons or feedback from users?

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I've been playing around with it for the last few weeks. Overall I like it. It has an addictive quality like a game that you keep coming back to so you can improve your scores and get to the next level. It also does a pretty good job reviewing similar sentences over and over so you can solidify words you've learned.


My major problem is that I'm a big picture person. I have been learning French (with no previous experience) and I was having the hardest time figuring out masculine and feminine articles and how to conjugate verbs. It all seemed totally random. So I finally looked up some French Grammar basics on About.com, and that has helped immensely. I've drawn myself a some little charts with pronouns, articles, and various verb conjugations, so I don't get the random examples jumbled in my head.


Also, its voice recognition system doesn't seem to be all that great. I know I've totally butchered pronunciations and it tells me I'm doing a great job. Less often, I have pronounced the phrase nearly perfectly, but paused in an odd place and it told me to try again. Rosetta Stone does a better job with making you pronounce things correctly, but that's hardly worth the price difference ;) I find myself just repeating everything DuoLingo says out loud to practice contorting my mouth into unfamiliar French pronunciations.


ETA: Has she previously studied any other Romance languages? If not, I think you'd want to supplement (or start out with) with something that teaches some basic French grammar.


I learned some Spanish in high school, so I was familiar with the concepts of masculine and feminine nouns and different verb conjugations. I think I'd have been even more lost if I had jumped into DuoLingo French with no previous knowledge of how Romance languages operate.

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I'm enjoying playing around with the French language program. I don't like the audio quality and would like to be able to hear another voice speak the same thing to determine if it's the quality of the audio program or the speaker herself. Other than that, I'm learning quite a bit. It reminds me of Rosetta Stone (without the workbook component). I'm still in the beginning stages so I don't know if I would consider it a complete foreign language program, but it s fun and I'm learning a lot.

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Thanks so much! From what TKDmom said, this won't work for us-dd is a parts-to-whole learner and needs the grammar specifically and sequentially spelled out (we learned that from Latin! Minimus was a flop, LL and LFC were good)


Guess I'll have to do a spinoff thread! Thank you.

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