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Learning Foreign Languages Thread - October


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It was great to discover that so many WTM members are studying foreign languages. I'm not even studying Spanish, but I managed to learn a few things from the September thread! Please feel free to launch into any direction with this thread. 

I started using DeepL as a translator for Dutch. I like it a lot better than Google Translate. It supports quite a few languages. Alas for me, one of them is not Danish.

Link to the September Thread

--

For October, I plan to continue with Latin (Level II), Danish (Upper Intermediate), and Dutch (Beginner). 

 

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I think confusing your brain and letting it learn to sort it out is extra good for us as we age. But nutty me is currently reading a book in German,  watching a Netflix show in Spanish Spanish,  liste

It was great to discover that so many WTM members are studying foreign languages. I'm not even studying Spanish, but I managed to learn a few things from the September thread! Please feel free to laun

@Quill I didn't want to derail the book a week thread but I like your idea of watching Harry Potter in another language. We have the movies in both DVD and digital versions but I never looked at the l

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I posted this on the September thread and just as I posted saw that there was a new October one!  So reposting here so it doesn't get lost...

You guys have made me want to play with some new languages.  I've started up Portuguese and Chinese.  It is fun!

But, I'm annoyed by the ads, and I keep being told I'm spending too much time and need to add 'gems' or upgrade to Plus.   And now I've run out of gems to add. 😒  So, anyone know how much Plus costs?  It doesn't say, of course, just offers me a 'free trial'.  I am wary of those, especially when they don't tell me what the charges are when the term ends!

And, anyone wanna be my friend on Duolingo? 😁

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I'll be your Duolingo friend, @Matryoshka ! I'd have a friendly competition with you on Portuguese, but I think it is Brazilian Portuguese and I am interested in European. I haven't used my account in some time - I'll have to look up my user name.

I've never had a paid account, so I don't know anything about that. I never HAD to upgrade to continue - is that new? I've had to do things like watch ads to get hearts.

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2 minutes ago, Penguin said:

I'll be your Duolingo friend, @Matryoshka ! I'd have a friendly competition with you on Portuguese, but I think it is Brazilian Portuguese and I am interested in European. I haven't used my account in some time - I'll have to look up my user name.

I've never had a paid account, so I don't know anything about that. I never HAD to upgrade to continue - is that new? I've had to do things like watch ads to get hearts.

I'm think (?) the biggest difference is accent, which really isn't a big deal. I don't think they have things like divergent verb conjugations like Spanish,  and honestly even rhat isn't a huge deal.  For the intro it is, it is fine.  No one bothers teaching 'Southern US American English' which is likely as much divergent from 'standard American English' than Brazilian Portuguese is from the continental variety.  I'm mostly interested in it for reading, anyway.  

How do we figure out who the other is on Duolingone to friend the right person?

And... yeah, this is the screen I'm getting - I don't see anywhere to watch a video or any option to continue other than upgrading?

Screenshot_2020-10-01-12-06-04.png

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Thanks for starting an October thread, Penguin!  I'm torn with my decision to watch Danish TV and also try to learn Spanish. The Danish is MUCH easier for me and it's really alive in the thoughts in my head. However, I'm still doing alright with Spanish on duolingo. 

What would others suggest:

1) Finish watching the DanishTV series and take a break from Spanish. Then restart Spanish and try to use it as much as possible. 

OR

2) Do both and let my brain figure it out. The brain is still making lots of great connections and it will sort things out.

Notice how there is no option #3 where I stop watching the Danish TV show. 😅

Edited by wintermom
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2 hours ago, Penguin said:

I'll be your Duolingo friend, @Matryoshka ! I'd have a friendly competition with you on Portuguese, but I think it is Brazilian Portuguese and I am interested in European. I haven't used my account in some time - I'll have to look up my user name.

I've never had a paid account, so I don't know anything about that. I never HAD to upgrade to continue - is that new? I've had to do things like watch ads to get hearts.

What does it mean when I have zero idea what "hearts" are?   I am still using free account (that I've had for many years) daily since January.  There are ads in the sidebar, but they don't interrupt my lesson and they're not that obtrusive.  I'm using the website, not a phone app.  People who've done youtube videos all recommend the website over the app.  .

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47 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

What does it mean when I have zero idea what "hearts" are?   I am still using free account (that I've had for many years) daily since January.  There are ads in the sidebar, but they don't interrupt my lesson and they're not that obtrusive.  I'm using the website, not a phone app.  People who've done youtube videos all recommend the website over the app.  .

Same here. I have no idea what they are talking about--I haven't had to watch a video or anything. I am only two weeks in though. Maybe it is because they are using the app?

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

What does it mean when I have zero idea what "hearts" are?   I am still using free account (that I've had for many years) daily since January.  There are ads in the sidebar, but they don't interrupt my lesson and they're not that obtrusive.  I'm using the website, not a phone app.  People who've done youtube videos all recommend the website over the app.  .

Yeah, I'm using the app. In the past I've mostly used the computer,  but way back when I did that, only the mobile version had the feature where you speak and it checks your accent.  Does the desktop version do that now too? Or are you using it on your phone in a browser? 

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Yes, the hearts are on the app. I have also heard that the website is better than the app, but Duolingo  functioned for me as a filler activity. A thing to do on my phone when I stuck someplace waiting around. I don’t go anywhere now, and that is why I have fallen away from Duolingo. 

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

Thanks for starting an October thread, Penguin!  I'm torn with my decision to watch Danish TV and also try to learn Spanish. The Danish is MUCH easier for me and it's really alive in the thoughts in my head. However, I'm still doing alright with Spanish on duolingo. 

What would others suggest:

1) Finish watching the DanishTV series and take a break from Spanish. Then restart Spanish and try to use it as much as possible. 

OR

2) Do both and let my brain figure it out. The brain is still making lots of great connections and it will sort things out.

Notice how there is no option #3 where I stop watching the Danish TV show. 😅

I think confusing your brain and letting it learn to sort it out is extra good for us as we age. But nutty me is currently reading a book in German,  watching a Netflix show in Spanish Spanish,  listening to an audiobook in Nicaraguan Spanish, and just started Duolingo simultaneously in Portuguese and Chinese, so consider the source. ..😂

I used to alternate reading a German book and a Spanish book, but lately I've thrown caution to the wind... I figure it's good to stop the ol' brain calcification. ..

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9 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah, I'm using the app. In the past I've mostly used the computer,  but way back when I did that, only the mobile version had the feature where you speak and it checks your accent.  Does the desktop version do that now too? Or are you using it on your phone in a browser? 

I think you can do that on the website but I haven't tried it yet.  Let me check.

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Just now, cintinative said:

I think you can do that on the website but I haven't tried it yet.  Let me check.

It's not an option on the mobile app... it has lessons where tells you to speak as the only thing you do - you have the option of saying you don't have a mic to skip it, but it's opt out, not in.

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30 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah, I'm using the app. In the past I've mostly used the computer,  but way back when I did that, only the mobile version had the feature where you speak and it checks your accent.  Does the desktop version do that now too? Or are you using it on your phone in a browser? 

I rarely use my phone.  I've never had the website ask me to pronounce something, though I do have a mic.  I do pay a lot of attention to pronunciation. I'm around a lot of native spanish speakers, and have received a lot of compliments on my pronunciation.  I was speaking with one last night, who said he can tell how much I've improved.

I will hover over a word, and practice saying it as many times as it takes to say it correctly.  Now, it's when stringing words together.  e.g. today, i had a sentence with esta aqui - there was only one "a" pronounced and it like es-taqui.   like saying "eses escuales" is "eses-cuales".

29 minutes ago, Penguin said:

Yes, the hearts are on the app. I have also heard that the website is better than the app, but Duolingo  functioned for me as a filler activity. A thing to do on my phone when I stuck someplace waiting around. I don’t go anywhere now, and that is why I have fallen away from Duolingo. 

I'm willing to use it if there aren't other people around - I don't want to be talking into my phone practicing spanish in front of others - or replaying a spanish sentence over and over as I try to type it out.

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5 minutes ago, cintinative said:

I added the option to speak. It looks like it gives me maybe one or two speaking exercises per mini-module (e.g. lesson 3/4 of level 2)

on the computer?  I supposedly had it turned on, and it has never give me a sentence to speak.

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16 minutes ago, cintinative said:

I added the option to speak. It looks like it gives me maybe one or two speaking exercises per mini-module (e.g. lesson 3/4 of level 2)

On the computer?  Where does one turn this option on? I can't find where one does that, please share!  (I just opened DL on my desktop so I can play some more, since the app won't let me... boo... )

ETA: Hold the presses! It just gave me a speaking exercise, so apparently it's already tuned on! Though I think I need to figure out where to direct my voice so I'm clear... that's easier with the phone...

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Here are two screenshots from my app. The hearts are in my upper right corner. Every mistake costs me a heart, but I can get a new heart with a practice round. I forget what the gems do, and I don’t know why they are greyed out. I think I can use them to refill my hearts when I run out? The hearts auto-refill each day.
 

I just skip over the speaking bits when I was in public. 

C472F941-6BD1-41BA-9921-98E6C2AEEB97.png

F2EB96A2-F556-4BE3-A957-8E4B62741BD5.jpeg

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24 minutes ago, Penguin said:

Here are two screenshots from my app. The hearts are in my upper right corner. Every mistake costs me a heart, but I can get a new heart with a practice round. I forget what the gems do, and I don’t know why they are greyed out. I think I can use them to refill my hearts when I run out? The hearts auto-refill each day.
 

I just skip over the speaking bits when I was in public. 

C472F941-6BD1-41BA-9921-98E6C2AEEB97.png

F2EB96A2-F556-4BE3-A957-8E4B62741BD5.jpeg

Yeah, I was already in the middle of practicing when it cut me off, so no way to get out without losing progress.... stupid.  I'm just forging ahead on my laptop.  So there, silly duolingo! Have to go exercise, though (my body, not just my brain!)

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Happy October ! 

Thanks for this thread @Penguin

I don't have the discipline to do duolingo every day, so I am using my Netflix "immersion" to try to kill two birds with one stone. Found this. 

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/language-learning-with-ne/hoombieeljmmljlkjmnheibnpciblicm?hl=en

Now it comes with a major disclaimer that I have not tried it and I watch most Netflix via smart TVs. But I use something similar on a website called Viki to learn to read Korean and it has been surprisingly efficient. 

This month, my goals are to improve my French and Spanish by reading English-French and English-Spanish bibles which seems a bit of a daunting effort. I also discovered Manga is published in French, so will be doing a lot of reading of that in French along with Asterix comics in French. Hoping to begin baby steps of learning Urdu and Bengali, a life long bucket list of languages to learn and what better time than an unending global plague where we are shut in to do so. I am using beginner work books for the same. 

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3 minutes ago, cintinative said:

This is what mine (on a laptop/desktop) looks like. There are not hearts. I have no idea what the gems and stuff are for. LOL.

 

image.png.654e9a113c8f30f4552694a3f7fe412a.png

I'm on the desktop now. I poked around on their message boards. Apparently gems and hearts are an app thing, and gems replaced lingots (which I'm also not clear on).

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

on the computer?  I supposedly had it turned on, and it has never give me a sentence to speak.

For mine, it was under account settings. I had to turn it on for each computer.   This was the list, and I had to turn on "speaking exercises." When I moved from my laptop to my desktop, I had to turn the speaking exercises on the desktop.

Sound effects  
Motivational messages  
Speaking exercises  
Listening exercises
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I'm jumping into this thread because it's never too late to try and learn a language right? I also need some accountability. Duolingo keeps reminding me I'm overdue for lessons. 

I started with Italian because that's my ancestry, then added Spanish. I then realized two things. One - I probably shouldn't have picked two such similar languages. Yes, there are major differences but there are also words close enough to confuse me. Two, my ancestors didn't speak Italian. They spoke Neapolitan, which is considered vulnerable to extinction by UNESCO but isn't available on Duolingo. Most people in the Naples area speak Italian now though where my family is from (Avellino) they still speak a dialect of Neapolitan.

Anyway, I think I'm just going to stick with Spanish for now. It's useful here in Florida plus I took it in high school so I'm hoping some of it will come back to me.

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I just did Duolingo's version of the CLEP test 🙂 for Spanish and tested out of the introduction and "4 skills" whatever that means. I don't think it means the first 4 lessons but maybe it does. I will do more tomorrow because dh wants me to watch a movie with him.

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3 hours ago, cintinative said:

For mine, it was under account settings. I had to turn it on for each computer.   This was the list, and I had to turn on "speaking exercises." When I moved from my laptop to my desktop, I had to turn the speaking exercises on the desktop.

Sound effects  
Motivational messages  
Speaking exercises  
Listening exercises

Ah - I don't have a setting that says speaking exercises.

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5 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

I think confusing your brain and letting it learn to sort it out is extra good for us as we age. But nutty me is currently reading a book in German,  watching a Netflix show in Spanish Spanish,  listening to an audiobook in Nicaraguan Spanish, and just started Duolingo simultaneously in Portuguese and Chinese, so consider the source. ..😂

I used to alternate reading a German book and a Spanish book, but lately I've thrown caution to the wind... I figure it's good to stop the ol' brain calcification. ..

That’s a fascinating idea; I might go ahead and confuse my brain, too, just to see if its up to snuff. 

In January and February, I was learning German on Babbel (which I have otherwise never studied), but since Penguin put up this thread, I got the Duolingo app on my phone and planned to squeeze in a bit of French every day. I really want to concentrate on speaking with an accurate accent and I need to increase my listening comprehension by a lot. I do like that with Duo, I can just fiddle with a lesson or two while I’m waiting for something. I got curbside dinner tonight for our anniversary and I was doing French in the parking lot! 

I intend to get a French Harry Potter book so I can read a very familiar story entirely in French. I’m just busy with other things at the moment and have not done that yet. 

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7 hours ago, wintermom said:

2) Do both and let my brain figure it out. The brain is still making lots of great connections and it will sort things out.

 

Children in my native country are taught to read and write in 3 languages from the age of 3, each with it's own script. It was the case with me. Learning a new language at any age has been proven to create new neural pathways. I have seen even people with the benefit of formal education speak 2 or 3 languages through immersion often in one sentence. Your brain will figure it out.

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13 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

Children in my native country are taught to read and write in 3 languages from the age of 3, each with it's own script. It was the case with me. Learning a new language at any age has been proven to create new neural pathways. I have seen even people with the benefit of formal education speak 2 or 3 languages through immersion often in one sentence. Your brain will figure it out.

My old brain doesn't work the same as those young brains, though. 😉  Language acquisition for the 12 and under set is in it's own category.

Sure, I struggle away and 'figure it out,' however would a more focused approach be better than a smattering of 2 different foreign languages with neither being part of an immersion situation. That's what I'm trying to decide. I'd love to use my time before my move wisely. 

 

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17 minutes ago, wintermom said:

My old brain doesn't work the same as those young brains, though. 😉  Language acquisition for the 12 and under set is in it's own category.

Sure, I struggle away and 'figure it out,' however would a more focused approach be better than a smattering of 2 different foreign languages with neither being part of an immersion situation. That's what I'm trying to decide. I'd love to use my time before my move wisely. 

LOL, but our old brains can really use the workout! 😏

This has been a dangerous rabbit hole for me to fall down into, though!  I need to make sure I don't spend so much time having fun working my brain that I forget about my body!  I really need to get in an actual physical workout today!

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Bringing this over from the September thread so it does not get overlooked. 

10 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

A big thank you to those of you who let me know the desktop Duolingo works differently than the App.  With the boards down yesterday, what else did I have to do but spend FAR too much time playing there, which I wouldn't have been able t do with all that heart/gem ridiculousness!

It also appears that on the App, I have to pay gems (which I do not have) to test out of a level, or pay for Plus?  😒 Thankfully not on the desktop version - I've been happily testing out of Portuguese levels (it's similar enough to Spanish that I don't need that much repetition, especially at the lower levels.  I have been doing the first level or so of each circle through first, though, as the intro is good to have to get myself oriented).  Going a lot more slowly in Chinese!  I have had a tiny intro before, so it's still going reasonably quickly as I had some familiarity with some of the basics, but I will likely have to slow way down after the first benchmark or so.

And, I think I've figured out how to add friends there if I know their names.  Anyone who wants to be my Duolingo friend, PM me your Duolingo username (which I think includes numbers after your name if it gives them to you by default), or I can PM you mine. 🙂 

 

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Ugh, speaking of old brains, I realize I just posted an update in last month's FL thread!  Whoopsie.  Posting again here:

A big thank you to those of you who let me know the desktop Duolingo works differently than the App.  With the boards down yesterday, what else did I have to do but spend FAR too much time playing there, which I wouldn't have been able to do with all that heart/gem ridiculousness!

It also appears that on the App, I have to pay gems (which I do not have) to test out of a level, or pay for Plus?  😒 Thankfully not on the desktop version - I've been happily testing out of Portuguese levels (it's similar enough to Spanish that I don't need that much repetition, especially at the lower levels.  I have been doing the first level or so of each circle through first, though, as the intro is good to have to get myself oriented).  Going a lot more slowly in Chinese!  I have had a tiny intro before, so it's still going reasonably quickly as I had some familiarity with some of the basics, but I will likely have to slow way down after the first benchmark or so.

And, I think I've figured out how to add friends there if I know their names.  Anyone who wants to be my Duolingo friend, PM me your Duolingo username (which I think includes numbers after your name if it gives them to you by default), or I can PM you mine. 🙂

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News flash: Speaking Danish is so much fun! I can actually feel the little potato stuck in the back of my throat. It's real and it's hyggelig. 😅

I decided to try actually speaking Danish with a Danish accent, instead of speaking Norwegian. I sound hilarious! 

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I'm not studying a foreign language, so forgive my intrusion. I thought I'd suggest a relatively inexpensive resource that those studying Spanish might like to consider. My daughter used it many moons ago when she was studying that language.

Read a few of the reviews and you'll get a good idea of the content. If you are a thrift store shopper, you might get lucky and find this book used; I see it often.

Regards,

Kareni

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31 minutes ago, Violet Crown said:

October Latin update:

I thought the subjunctive would be so easy. I can use it in French, I said. I still use it in English, I said. How hard is it to see there's an ut or a ne and ecce modus subjunctivus, I said?

But the subjunctive is eating my lunch.

LOL.  I love playing with Latin roots.  I've got tons of Spanish subjunctive experience in four tenses and am quite familiar with case declensions from German.  But then it sounds like Latin has even more modes of subjunctive than Spanish and two more cases than German?  AND all my conversation partners are thousands of years dead?  Backing slowly away from the Latin... 😄

I'm a gonna play with the Chinese that has NO verb conjugations OR cases of any kind!  Or articles.  And there doesn't even seem to be a verb 'to be', at least it hasn't come up thus far... Chinese fascinates me!

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12 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

AND all my conversation partners are thousands of years dead?  Backing slowly away from the Latin... 😄

As my daughter's Latin instructor told her, you will be able to use the ATM at the Vatican.

Regards,

Kareni

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22 minutes ago, Kareni said:

I'm not studying a foreign language, so forgive my intrusion. I thought I'd suggest a relatively inexpensive resource that those studying Spanish might like to consider. My daughter used it many moons ago when she was studying that language.

Read a few of the reviews and you'll get a good idea of the content. If you are a thrift store shopper, you might get lucky and find this book used; I see it often.

Regards,

Kareni

I've heard of that, and it seems a good resource for a motivated adult language learner.  I think I had some kind of similar book for French onceuponatime that was just enough to get me over the hump with it so I could read and understand basic things.

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8 minutes ago, Animula V. Blandula said:

I love Chinese, and

Chinese will be the end of me.

The language lures us in with the simplicity of its grammar, and then launches an attack on our spirit with its impossibly rich vocabulary, with our faithful friends, Greek and Latin roots, completely unable to lend us a helping hand. 

Just last night it took me half an hour to get through a few pages of a kids'adventure story.

But I love Chinese. 😄

Yes, I anticipate that this will be exactly my trajectory.  I don't think I'll ever be remotely fluent or be able to read anything that isn't at a ridiculously simple level. With the other Indo-European languages I learn (esp. Latin-based), I have so much commonality to fall back on - Chinese is just utterly, completely different, in every way!   But it's so fun!  I also have fun with the characters.  Right now I'm just learning to reliably recognize a few more (Duolingo's doing a better job with this than I thought it might).  I used to know how to write a few with the correct stroke pattern, which I have long since forgotten except that there very much is a correct stroke pattern to follow.  I have a few workbooks on writing Chinese (like first 100 characters, with stroke information) that I bought years ago in hopes of someday resurrecting my interest, so I've taken them out and when I'm a bit further along the Duolingo tree, I may start character writing practice as well!

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I was doing so much yesterday, I really didn't get to the duo-website to practice.  So - I used the app.

 

I started scrolling down to where I'm at - and immediately found circle for lessons I hadn't done.  - in the pre-level.   I found a few more as I scrolled down. there are "bubbles"/circles/lessons - that aren't on the website.   I will assume it's true in the other direction as well - lessons on the website not  on the app.

 I admit, I was just fine doing something easy last night.   it's still not on the website - so when I did get to my computer, I did my three refresher lessons and was back to working on where I am at level 4 1/2.

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20 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

I was doing so much yesterday, I really didn't get to the duo-website to practice.  So - I used the app.

 

I started scrolling down to where I'm at - and immediately found circle for lessons I hadn't done.  - in the pre-level.   I found a few more as I scrolled down. there are "bubbles"/circles/lessons - that aren't on the website.   I will assume it's true in the other direction as well - lessons on the website not  on the app.

 I admit, I was just fine doing something easy last night.   it's still not on the website - so when I did get to my computer, I did my three refresher lessons and was back to working on where I am at level 4 1/2.

Well, that's interesting.  I've been going back and forth a lot, and so far for the two languages I'm working on it's the same... hmmm... wait, I'm double-checking, now!  Looks like the App has "bonus" lessons that aren't required to finish the tree?   At least the first level of Portuguese has two; I don't see any at higher levels (maybe just because I'm not there yet?), and Chinese doesn't appear to have them; likely different languages are set up differently.  I don't notice for these languages anything that's on the desktop that's not on the App...

Giving thanks again for the heads-up that the desktop version is so different from the App in its behavior!  I use the App now when I'm sitting around and have plenty of 'hearts' and 'gems', but if I run out, I can just go to the desktop, and I've done a lot of leveling up that apparently I'd have to 'pay' to do in the App.  That would annoy me no end.  Going at my own pace is part of what makes this fun and useful!  

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11 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Well, that's interesting.  I've been going back and forth a lot, and so far for the two languages I'm working on it's the same... hmmm... wait, I'm double-checking, now!  Looks like the App has "bonus" lessons that aren't required to finish the tree?   At least the first level of Portuguese has two;  

They weren't "bonus" lessons (those are still there, and have lines before and after separating them from the others.

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Re Duolingo

- on the app, where you have hearts, I have lingots. Weird!

- I vaguely remember having 3 hearts when I was on the computer and testing out of levels in Spanish. If I made 4 mistakes I failed the test and had to do lessons individually.

- when you get a lesson (or circle) up to level 5 (5 crowns) it will be included in the pool of lessons that prompt you to "refresh" the lesson once in a while. So for me, every 24 hours 3 of my gold circles show up as "broken" and if I click on them I can refresh the lesson. Duolingo used to be fabulous for its spaced review algorithms; I think the broken circles are a weak replacement.

- on my phone the listening/speaking exercises are nonfunctional. Apparently this is a thing on some devices.

-some languages offer "stories" that you can listen to and answer comprehension questions on - German, Italian, and Spanish at least. Those are a fun change once in a while. Add you progress the stories and the instructions get trickier.

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5 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

They weren't "bonus" lessons (those are still there, and have lines before and after separating them from the others.

Well, more evidence that each language tree is quite different!  Were they new 'topics' then??

10 minutes ago, SusanC said:

Re Duolingo

- on the app, where you have hearts, I have lingots. Weird!

- I vaguely remember having 3 hearts when I was on the computer and testing out of levels in Spanish. If I made 4 mistakes I failed the test and had to do lessons individually.

The hearts appear to have different purposes entirely between the App and the desktop.  When I'm on the desktop, I get three hearts when I try to test out of a level, and those are the number of mistakes allowed.  In the App, they are awarded based on time, or you can watch ads to earn them, and if you make mistakes just going through the regular stuff you run out and have to wait a certain amount of time for them to be refilled before you can do anything else on the app (or quit out, lose your progress on what you're working on, then watch an ad to earn a heart).  Stoopid.  Lingots are still what you earn on the desktop; on the App you earn gems (which is a third way to 'buy' new hearts).

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- when you get a lesson (or circle) up to level 5 (5 crowns) it will be included in the pool of lessons that prompt you to "refresh" the lesson once in a while. So for me, every 24 hours 3 of my gold circles show up as "broken" and if I click on them I can refresh the lesson. Duolingo used to be fabulous for its spaced review algorithms; I think the broken circles are a weak replacement.

What did Duolingo do to remind you to practice before the broken circles?  I remember when I played with it aaages ago the gold circles did something to remind you to come back to practice, but I no longer remember any details...

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- on my phone the listening/speaking exercises are nonfunctional. Apparently this is a thing on some devices.

Used to be I could only get speaking/listening on my phone and not my desktop.  I have a feeling it's likely my old laptop didn't have a built-in mic, and this one does.

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-some languages offer "stories" that you can listen to and answer comprehension questions on - German, Italian, and Spanish at least. Those are a fun change once in a while. Add you progress the stories and the instructions get trickier.

I just did my first story in Portuguese!  Fun!!  Doesn't look like Chinese has them.  Boo.  

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20 hours ago, Animula V. Blandula said:

I love Chinese, and

Chinese will be the end of me.

The language lures us in with the simplicity of its grammar, and then launches an attack on our spirit with its impossibly rich vocabulary, with our faithful friends, Greek and Latin roots, completely unable to lend us a helping hand. 

Just last night it took me half an hour to get through a few pages of a kids'adventure story.

But I love Chinese. 😄

I'm in awe of those of you studying Chinese! it's really interesting seeing these snippets of information : ) 

I don't know if this question is too vague to answer but -- what does it mean that Chinese has a very rich vocabulary? Do you mean that the sheer number of words is greater? If the grammar is almost non-existent, does that mean that you can't transform a noun into an adjective (like beauty and beautiful) and you just have to learn a totally separate word for each? 

 

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