Switching between Latin and Cyrillic
This is a new feature DL introduced for our course. If Cyrillic spelling is too hard for you - pay attention to this little switch (desktop version, upper left corner, next to the Tips button) and you will get the phonetic spelling.
Our team is not really approving this way of learning Ukrainian, but there's an option for you, anyway...
While perhaps tempting at first (at first my thoughts were aligned with Luke's below) using the romanized system is actually harder, especially when you consider the exercises where you have to listen and type the Ukrainian sentences. The romanization is a snare, and it will only slow one down and make learning more difficult than it has to be. This is coming from someone who doesn't like Cyrillic script at all. And I realized I don't like it because there's more responsibility to master it since there's so much of it that is familiar already! Not wanting to take the time to learn it is pure laziness on my part, and I have to overcome it.
I personally wouldn't mind this so much if it didn't keep resetting my default to Latin characters every time I switch languages and go back to Ukrainian! I think it's fine that this is an option, but if you switch to Cyrillic letters, Duolingo should be able to save your changes without resetting it to Latin by default.
This is getting so annoying. I cannot set it back to Cyrillic during timed practice, so have to go back to untimed practice and place the settings. Also the Latin script should NOT be the default, and if I change the settings it should remember it instead of making me do this every frikkin time.
Has this been fixed yet? I just only got this rubbish Latin script today and I mainly do timed practices at the moment since I'm traveling. I echo everyone saying that Latin script should not be the default. People who don't want Cyrillic should be the ones to have the hassle.
It would be better if this was left as an option instead of as a default. Having to keep switching it off is annoying. Also surely it is better to make sure learners know which is the real script by presenting it first.I thought the course did a good job of teaching Cyrillic. I had never tried it before and have not looked elsewhere for material but am finding it increasingly easy to read. Although it does take more review than other courses require so the xp for repeated lessons ought to be higher. And the timed practice needs to freeze or add time to allow for keyboard changes, or only go in one direction in any session as you can't do more than a couple of questions the way it is.
A Duolingo user solved the problem of having to switch back and forth with an extension for Google Chrome users: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mikes-duolingo-cyrillic-e/iijepllepkndmlmphmldkpgfbjegkepc?hl=en
Here is the associated thread if you need more information: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8864924
Sure, reading Cyrillic can be hard for the first few days. An option of being able to see words, which are written in Cyrillic, as their Latin script counterparts (upon hovering or something) would be a help for anyone struggling to learn the script (Kinda like how people use furigana for kanji in Japanese? Latin:Cyrillic=Furigana:Kanji). However, there are many problems with only using the Latin script in the long term (regarding both pronunciation and reading/writing skills).
On the other hand, I think it's very tedious to switch keyboard inputs back and forth for every single question that needs to be filled. Yes, you can use shortcut keys, but it's tedious (and can be a complicated mess on a Linux computer! e.g. Japanese layouts). I think an automated input system that is native to duolingo that would switch alphabets automatically depending on which language the question is being asked in would be the way to go. (yes, I realize this may not work on mobile devices).
In conclusion, I think the thought here could be an advance in the right direction, but the method used was a mistake.
To the naysayers: if you're learning this language to have pleasant small talk with your elderly Ukrainian grandmother who won't live forever, this option is very appealing, since you'll be able to learn at a faster rate. I don't recommend this to all people, but in that or a very similar circumstance, it can be helpful. The same can be said about learning enough Japanese to order sushi, or something to that effect. Having the option hurts no one.
I agree. I wouldn't use this, but the people that are just on here to learn a few pleasantries will. The different isn't really between learning Ukrainian this way and learning Ukrainian using the right alphabet - it's between learning a little Ukrainian or not learning it at all. Those who are interested will realize they need the alphabet and that it will make it easier to read and type. A lot of people are intimidated by the alphabet at first and will pass on the language completely. I really doubt anyone with enough dedication to finish the tree is going to do so without eventually learning Cyrillic.
That said, this should absolutely remain totally optional and I hope most people don't use it after a few test lessons.
I don't care about the fact that the option is there. What really annoys me is that this option is set to be default. Even if you set it to Cyrillic, and then you switch to a different language and then back, it goes back to Latin.
To be honest, I think even in that case it would be silly to not learn Cyrillic, since it is very hard to actually write Ukrainian in English. Plus it really doesn't take all that long. It's not like it's Morse code (which I have actually learned :P). On top of that, you open up a lot more learning resources. It's a bit like in programming where you sometimes need to spend some time learning a new programming language or tool to save you time in the long run.
Of course I'm not saying that the option should be removed. I'm just saying that this should be made very clear at the beginning of the course. I'm so glad that I started before the option was added. I may have made the dumb decision of not learning Cyrillic.
I agree that having the option hurts no one, and that in some circumstance maybe it is a good option for some, but I do certainly hope that those people who go this route eventually DO decide to learn the Cyrillic. I also hope the site doesn't give Latin as the default permanently and that we are encouraging people to learn the Cyrillic, even if it is hard at first. I am using the traditional Ukrainian keyboard layout, and not the phonetic layout...it is slowing me down like crazy, but little by little it is helping and I have the pleasure of knowing I am doing it right the first time. Learning the language with a foreign alphabet and then re-learning sounds like a roundabout way of doing it, so I hope the majority of users don't elect to take that option...
Duo would be better off developing a customizable "learn/practice a non-Latin alphabet" module./skill.
Or links could be posted to something offsite, maybe in Anki or YouTube.
As greg mort points out, learning the Cyrillic alphabet is not very difficult. It just takes a little application and a few hours of practice.
The worst decision ever!!!! How can I change it back? Reading Russian or Ukrainian languages without Cyryllic letters does not make any sense! I'm using a mobile version where everything is fine but when I change to my desktop it's annoying to see 'normal' letters instead of Cyryllic one. Actually it is hard to read Russian or Ukrainian language without Cyryllics. Please anyone can help?
Cyrillic in terms of your typing them isn't in duolingo but in the system to get them you need to go into windows settings as add a Russian keyboard. then you will be able to switch your keyboard to type Cyrillic and back simply by selecting it on the taskbar.
Hope this helps.
I started learning with the latin spelling and now everything is in cryllic, which good on people for learning a new alphabet, but for someone whos just looking to be able to have a conversation with someone and not write it down, im kind of annoyed because its much harder for me to learn Russian... I already knew about the option and chose not to learn a new alphabet and now that i dont have the option its frustrating because i have to start over. (not that i was that far anyways)
I have been learning on my phone and so I had downloaded the keyboard. But right now I am on a library computer and had not realized all the ins and outs. I started at the beginning and was just getting into the lessons where I needed to type in Cyrillic and I took a chance and tried to do it phonetically (and was actually pleasantly surprised so that I knew I could continue). After that I decided I had better find out how it is supposed to work. That lead me to this post so now I know how to work both options when I am on the computer, especially one that is not mine. So I appreciate having both options available for that reason.
Although I can read, handwrite and touch type Cyrillic (using the mnemonic keyboard), I'm grateful for the Latin option because some characters are missing on the Windows 10 mnemonic keyboard. My only other options are to type using an online keyboard, copy and paste or train myself to type using the original Cyrillic layout.