https://www.duolingo.com/vis.15

Suggestion: Show pronunciation

vis.15
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It would be nice to have how to pronounce words. For example, if you click on th word in the vocabulary section, the pronunciation could be shown there. I just find it hard sometimes to pronounce the very long German words. Thanks.

4 years ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
idshanks
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I would absolutely love IPA transcription to be available, especially given both the reliance on TTS for the audio portion of the side, and how flaky TTS can be from time to time. Having IPA transcription available, perhaps with different transcriptions for the most notable dialects of a language, would be amazingly helpful for just bolstering the site's general effectiveness on the audio front.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kortaggio
Kortaggio
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Yes! IPA for sure. This may be relatively time consuming because you'd literally have to transcribe every vocabulary word, but it would be one of the most extremely helpful improvements in my opinion.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/idshanks
idshanks
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It would certainly be an initial hurdle to implement, but once implemented, it's as simple as all the other information attached to each word to add in the first place. You could even do it via submission with language moderators checking submissions - that would open the system up to greater flexibility and could even potentially allow a user to select to see specifically the IPA transcription for region X if available. So, for example, someone learning English who is learning because they want to live in Britain could select to see British English transcriptions when available so that they will learn English that approximates (obviously regional dialects are more varied and particular than this, so perfection is probably unattainable) the area in which they wish to visit or live.

But then that's all just more lofty thinking on my part. Really, I would just love the up-front general IPA implementation :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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yeah, transcriptions would be helpful, but... who and how will add them? I just use a good dictionary to learn pronunciation, conjugation and so on. You cannot learn a language using just Duolingo. You need to use some other tools.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

I disagree strongly that it's not possible to learn a language using just Duolingo. I think the whole idea of Duolingo is that it gives you ALL the tools you need to develop a proficiency -- vocabulary memorization, grammar drills, vocalization, visualization etc -- and succeeds at that. The biggest issue, to me, is that it STOPS once you complete a tree. As a method, Duolingo seems to put forth nothing short of a manifest that calls into question the efficiency of the usual academic tools such as dictionaries and grammar textbooks.

I agree that Duolingo will not bring you up to the expert level in the language of your choice. On the other hand, not too many of us here have an aspiration to build a professional career out of linguistic skills we develop with Duolingo. Our goals are more practical, and immediate. And to those ends, Duolingo is PERFECT. The keys is continuing practice -- reading, speaking, and listening to the live language.

I will even agree that other tools may COMPLIMENT Duolingo nicely. For example, I had a few a-ha-now-it-clicks moments studying the verbs at http://studyspanish.com. But again, I feel that Duolingo is an excellent, viable way to learn a language even used standalone.

As for the pronunciation goes, personally, I find Duolingo's text-to-speech wholly adequate. Having a transcription feature would be nice, but the already existing text-to-speech largely makes it "nice to have" as opposed to "need to have" feature. Besides, since there is no single transcription feature for ALL languages out there, it would need to be developed for EVERY language in Duolingo individually.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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I just think we have different definitions of what it means to learn a language and be able to use it. I don't think that Duo alone is anyhow enough to become fluent in any language. I would say that it does a really great job to allow you to start reading, and as soon as you start reading (real texts, not duolingo sentences) your language skills will improve significantly. In regards with listening and especially speaking, I don't think there is enough help provided by Duolingo. I doubt that only using Duolingo you'll ever be able to understand news, movies or fast conversations. Even with grammar, have you noticed how many people ask questions, and how often there are links to some grammar sources which explain this and that? We're preparing the course for Russian speakers, and it is already obvious that for some people it will still be hard to get articles with only the sentences we have, we'll definitely have to explain them at some point. You said yourself: "The keys is continuing practice -- reading, speaking, and listening to the live language." How would you do that without other tools, but Duolingo? At least a good dictionary is the must. For Russian speakers I can highly recommend multitran.ru

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

You said yourself: "The keys is continuing practice -- reading, speaking, and listening to the live language." How would you do that without other tools, but Duolingo? ^^^^

Please note that I am stressing the different roles of these two components -- CURRICULUM and PRACTICE :) Duolingo vs classroom and textbooks is the former. Reading/speaking/listening is the latter. With both Duolingo and the academic approach, you STILL need a robust practice -- no denying that on my part.

With regard to spoken-word understanding and speech, I still maintain that Duolingo gets the job done. My own experience -- I started Spanish tree back in May. In September, I finished it and I continue to bone up. I have no trouble understanding and speaking to by my Hispanic fellow students at my Judo school. I cannot quite keep up with news on Spanish TV channels, but it's getting progressively easier. And my understanding Latino summer hits' lyrics is near perfect (not that there is a lot of challenge :))

You seem to put a lot of stress on the grammar. But think about it -- a lot of Russian-speaking people in Russia proper and FSU have a rather poor knowledge of formal grammar and punctuation rules, even though most "just get it" and manage to write passably OK. This is not because they were good in school, but because they memorized or just "made sense" of the grammatical patterns over time... Which is exactly what Duolingo excels at.

I spent 7 years of my childhood in Armenia, and I still can read and banter in Armenian serviceably. Besides learning the alphabet, my formal instruction was zero. I picked it up on the streets, at school, from the news etc. I can/could decline objects and conjugate verbs -- even though I have no freaking idea what the names of these tenses are!! ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Just in case, I do not put any stress on the grammar. I'm a big supporter of systems like Duolingo, where people learn grammar intuitively from practice. I do it myself and recommend to others (while it doesn't work for everyone). Still I don't think that learning grammar is absolutely useless, and that the Duo alone is sufficient. I don't see the point of continuing this argument further though, as it's again just a question of definitions, when I said that you need more tools to learn a language than just Duo I implied higher levels than you did. I did not separate curriculum and practice, when I made my statement, and so you actually agreed with me, as you accepted that one needs additional tools for practice. My point was just that it is probably not worth it to create transcriptions on Duo, as one will have to use some other tools for practice in any case.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Gorilla800lbs

With that, and on the point of going beyond the casual proficiency level, I fully agree :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
TheGandalf
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I strongly agree that you can learn a language using just Duolingo. Before 2013 my Italian knowledge consisted of "ciao". Now I can read most Italian articles on the web. The only other tool besides Duolingo that I've used is Google Translate (for the occasional word look up). The one area in which I have trouble is listening to spoken Italian. (The speaking part is easy as long as you plan what you're going to say ahead of time). Learning to understand spoken Italian will I guess only come with time, I suppose.

But seriously, I'm learning Italian very well using only Duolingo.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alba133

I completely agree.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FelixKatze

One possible solution, would be to have natives (and only natives) make recordings for Duolingo to use instead of TTS. Could award points, or lingots, or whatever, to motivate beside the desire to be helpful.

As for those saying it is possible to really learn a language (i.e., you'd expect to be able to read full non-light novels, have real natural conversation, write essays, and so on) using Duolingo exclusively-- no, it is not possible. That's not to say it's not a great tool, but like any single tool, it has its limits.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Youtube has some great pronunciation tutorials. ^_^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xiuhtecuhtli

Doesn't the robot voice accomplish that? If you have the speaker turned on in your settings, the voice should read out the word when you mouse over it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L
Larisa_L
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Haven't you heard her mispronouncing words? I have, multiple times. And also, we develop an ability to perceive all the sounds of our language in the first couple of years of our life. Then later, with a foreign language it can be hard to hear some sounds or tones, if you don't have them in your own language. They just all sound the same to you. So it takes time to learn them, and a transcription definitely helps with that.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/alba133

Yes but you may forget them.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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One of the staff has already answered (http://www.duolingo.com/comment/462063), although I don't see it happening anytime soon. Online dictionaries have implemented this already, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel, maybe just a plugin, addition, duolingo could buy, or use an opensource alternative.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robodl95
Robodl95
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I don't think that would help anything. You'd either need IPA (which most people don't know) or a phonetic transcription which would be problematic because of different accents.

German pronunciation is easy once you have the basic sounds though. Maybe this'll help? http://german.about.com/library/anfang/blanfang_abc3.htm When dealing with the long words my advice to you is to break it into the smaller parts. Don't get overwhelmed with the massive glob of letters.

4 years ago
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