Introducing the PT-EN Course Newsletter!
Hello, everyone! Oi, gente! Olá a todos!
As a part of our effort to keep you engaged and up to date with the latest news and progress of our course, we’re very happy and proud to present to you the first issue of the PT-EN course newsletter!
Many of you might wonder sometimes where are the people that work behind the scenes, and why some course flaws have been the same for so long. So here we are to bring you news and keep you up to date!
We intend to post this newsletter here in the forums once a month and its purpose is to serve as a quick review of the most important things going on in our Course and on Duolingo :D
Its main sections are:
- Progress Report - which will bring you the main changes made to the course during that period and our plans for the future;
- General News and Announcements - here you will find an easy gateway to news and announcements about Duolingo and our course;
- Notes from the Lusosphere - a segment with learning tips and articles about the culture/society of Lusophone countries;
- Community Corner - a space to fill in with topics and discussions coming from the community members!
Well, let’s get started!
Completed and ongoing tasks
- We are slowly but steadily adding European Portuguese possible answers and translations that were not accounted for when the course was first created. We now accept some EP translations such as “cachorro = puppy”, “ananás = pineapple” and allow students to drop the definite article in some sentences containing Spain, France, England and Italy (just to give a few examples); please remember that some sentences might not have been updated yet - please keep reporting those which haven’t;
- We’ve cleaned the Past Perfect section, erasing all traces of the pretérito perfeito, which was incorrect. So, for standard sentences, please stick with the standard “had + past part. = tinha + past part.” to make sure you finish the skill without hitches;
- We’ve finished adding all possible English translations of “seu/sua/seus/suas”, the dreaded many-faced possessive;
- We’re adding Tips & Notes sections to a few skills and reviewing the content of the rest. As those who are here for a long time may have noticed, several skills now contain useful tips, and the ones missing are coming soon; if you spot any error or innacuracies while reading them, please let us know;
- We’re also in the middle of an extensive effort to accept “A gente” together with “Nós” in all Duolingo sentences where that would be considered colloquial, but still grammatically correct (always keep in mind the importance of context in your decisions): for example, “A gente” in the sense of “The people” and “Toda a gente” (everybody) are not included. The project is currently halted due to technical difficulties, but we welcome you to try using “A gente” (as long as you do so correctly, using the same verb form you’d use for “Você/Ele/Ela”) every once in a while to test the database and to report your answers if you feel they were wrongly marked incorrect.
Upcoming tasks and projects
- The EP Learner’s Guide, a proposed (if time allows) gradual addition to each Tips & Notes section of important and/or interesting information and tips for European Portuguese students on Duolingo (mainly regarding differences in grammar, vocabulary and phonetics between BP and EP in the matters covered by a given skill);
- An in-depth content review of the skills we know you’re struggling with the most, including Present Perfect, Abstract Objects, Subj. Past and Phrasal Future Tense. Let us know in the comments which skills you feel could use more work and why so that we can prioritize our choices when we find the time to start these reviews. Please forgive us for the lack of improvement in the Present Perfect skill. We depend on “Tree Versioning” for reshaping the words selection for this skill, and that depends on tests and improvements that have been going on among several courses.
General News and Announcements
- Duolingo is launching a new feature – Characters! Take a look!
- Please do not substitute “uma” for 1 and “duas” for 2 if you decide to type the digits in your answer; our system believes you’re thinking about “um” and “dois” and that’s why your sentences are being considered wrong. This issue cannot be fixed by us, so please just stay away from using these digits in numbers when they have a feminine inflection.
Notes from the Lusosphere
- Don’t forget to check our Portuguese Help Index to find grammar explanations and tips; if you’re an EP learner/speaker, you should really check and/or contribute to our EP List of Study Materials;
- You can find a small but interesting book (in Portuguese) about regência verbal e nominal (while not comprehensive, it shows which prepositions go together with a number of verbs/nouns covered by the course) in this link;
- A book from the same publisher about concordância nominal e verbal (nominal and verbal agreement) can be found here.
Society and Culture
- BBC World - “Migrant crisis: Middle East refugees who chose Brazil over Europe”
- BBC Brasil - “No RJ, 'casa do futuro' de R$ 5 mi terá chão que produz energia e ar condicionado que vem do solo” (in Portuguese)
- Folha de São Paulo - “Brazil Selects 'The Second Mother' as Official Entry for Oscar Consideration” (in English, Portuguese version available via a click at the end of the article)
- Folha de São Paulo - “Athlete Dreams of Becoming the First Native Brazilian to Represent the Country in the Olympics” (idem)
- The Guardian - “A one-pot Brazilian feijoada fit for any celebration”
- Folha de São Paulo - “Diretor de 'Tabu', Miguel Gomes disseca crise em Portugal com trilogia” (in Portuguese)
- Público - “Museu dos Coches ganha prémio internacional de arquitectura” (in Portuguese)
- The Guardian - “Silent blight in a countryside of empty homes and shut shops”
- The Portugal News - “Aveiro physicists explain 'chaotic rotation' of Pluto's moons”
- The Guardian - “Porto city guide: what to see plus the best hotels and restaurants and bars”
Since we don’t have any content provided by you just yet, we’d like to use this first “Community Corner” to thank you all for choosing Portuguese as one of your learning languages and for sticking with our choose through thick and thin – we know the course has its fair share of flaws, but you should know we work every day to make sure it keeps getting better. We look forward to your reports, suggestions of interesting language-related discussions to be posted in this segment (ring Luis_Domingos on his profile page to send your submissions) and to a healthy debate in the comments.
Finally, we would like to extend a special thank you to four long-standing members of our community for their continuous efforts to give you the best possible language knowledge in our sentence discussions: Davu, emeyr, Ruama and Paulenrique,
Thank you very much!!. You’re all incredibly valuable members of this small yet vibrant community of Portuguese speakers old and new, and we hope you’ll stay with us for a very long time and keep helping our course grow in the future.
That’s all for now! The comments are open for everyone who wants to give us suggestions and for general debate, but their content will still be moderated by us, so please make sure you keep your contributions respectful, engaging and to the point :)
Good luck with your studies,
The Portuguese team
Edit: If you want to follow our newsletter, you can add yourself to a mailing list by sending us your email address using this form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SnnTDK3_GANQtbejWP3v5usAlo62EI-8FrHx_s_ixuc/viewform). Alternately, you can Follow this discussion (by clicking on the "Follow Discussion" button) and wait for us to paste a link with the new issue as soon as it comes out.
Thank you so much for your continuous support, Mark! We're always looking for outstanding contributions from our most engaged community members, and we'll let you and the rest know about those opportunities whenever they present themselves. In the meantime, all constructive criticism is most welcome to make sure the standards of course grow daily :)
Thank you again for your input, and good luck with your studies :)
I really like the layout of this newsletter. I like newsletters like these, since it points out content/resources that I would have missed otherwise.
Thank you for your feedback! It's good to know our little initiative will achieve its aim of helping out the community :) Good luck with your studies!
Quando eu digo que você está fazendo um ótimo trabalho não é brincadeira, e ver como o time de português tem agido, incrementando cada vez mais e participando (Eu amei umas dicas que o Danmoller me deu tempos atrás e a vivisaurus é uma figura cativante) é sensacional!
P.s: Ananás = Abacaxi :P vivendo e aprendendo!
Agradeço em nome de toda a equipa pelas simpáticas e calorosas palavras que nos endereçou! Aconselho você a ficar atenta às novidades que estamos a revelar para a árvore de inglês para falantes de português :) Continuação de bons estudos!
Thanks for all the help and the support throughout this adventure, Daniel! It couldn't have done it without you :)
Thank you for your feedback :) It's good to know our work is striking a chord with our students :) Good luck with your studies!
Muito obrigado. You guys are really fantastic helpful. No need for me to search for information myself on the net. You do a tremendous job
You're welcome, and thank you for the feedback! It's good to know we're helping you out somehow. Good luck with your studies :)
Good initiative. I suggest that newsletter send notifications in some account, like mail, facebook or google+. Now, I hope for the EN-PT course newsletter!
Thank you for the feedback. We're planning on launching the reverse newsletter soon, but while you wait you can read our latest, exciting announcement about the EN-PT tree (https://www.duolingo.com/comment/10718145)!
I'll see what I can do about creating a newsletter database - we're not supposed to handle our users personal information directly (nor we like people to divulge personal data in the public forums), but we can try finding other, more creative ways of making sure you're up to date on the course's progress.
Good luck with your studies :)
Hello, again! I just wanted to let you know that we've checked with other moderators and we've decided to start a mailing list after all! If you wish to be a part of it, you can send us your email using this link (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SnnTDK3_GANQtbejWP3v5usAlo62EI-8FrHx_s_ixuc/viewform).
Obrigado pelo seu interesse e continuação de bons estudos :)
That's good, I'm glad they were helpful! Good luck with your studies :)
Thank you very much for the course, the great material that is available in the discussions and this newsletter. I just found it. The "Notes from the Lusospher" section is awesome and the other details are very informative. Thanks!
I really love the Portuguese community at Duolingo. It is what keeps me trying to learn Portuguese every day, even if I do not have much time. It lets me dream of a time, where I will learn every day more than a few minutes and really study the language with all the great material I find in the discussions. Please, never stop your great work. Especially all the volunteers like Luis_Domingos, Danmoller, Paulenrique and Davu. Thank you!
You're welcome! It's good to know we're helping you remain invested in the language and enjoy the Duolingo experience to the fullest of your possibilities.
We've released a second newsletter a few days ago - if you haven't checked it, you can find it here (unless you were brought here because you saw that one first; if so, nevermind).
Continuação de bons estudos :)
I have found the course great. Until recently voice recognition didn't work for me, I started over when I found I could get voice recognition on the website. I have found that it works on the website but not on the Android app. I would like it if you would make a point of adding voice recognition to the Android app. Or if it has voice recognition, tell me what to do to get it to work. I might mention that I am able to use voice recognition on my Android in several other languages, it's just Portuguese that doesn't work.
Thank you (again) for your feedback. Sadly, all technical issues are outside of our jurisdiction (it's the Duolingo IT staff in charge of running the app that decide which settings are allowed in the app and in which courses), but we expect that as soon as our course reaches an even stabler stage they'll add that feature to the app.
Good luck with your studies :)
This is great - it's helpful to know what's going on behind the scenes and to have signposts to resources both cultural and grammatical that I'd have otherwise missed.
I'm particularly happy to see that you're including more information about European Portuguese - flagging up the differences in the notes will be particularly useful. Might it be possible to have EP as a bonus skill, to indroduce some of the vocabulary differences and to hear a EP accent?
If you're looking for suggestions for the newsletter, perhaps in future issues you could review a grammar issue that people have been finding difficult or that has raised lots of questions in the previous month? Or have a regular feature on BP/EP differences?
Thanks again for all the work you put into enabling us to learn Portuguse.
Thank you for your feedback - it's good to know we have engaged people on your course!
Regarding your questions about EP: we don't believe adding EP as a bonus skill would be all that good since the little changes and differences in vocabulary and grammar are felt almost anywhere; relegating EP to a bonus skill would only accentuate the feeling of uneasiness for EP speakers/learners with being left out, and we're trying to integrate them and explain the differences instead of placing them on a corner. We have discussed introducing bonus skills about Brazil and Portugal with topics about culture and society that are solely missing from the rest of the course and that we feel would give you a better feel of not just the language, but of the countries where the language is spoken. When we have more news on that, we'll let you know here :)
Your suggestions are very good, so thank you for that - especially the BP/EP differences, since that's my own area of expertise :) If we implement them, make sure I don't forget to give you due credit! Good luck with your studies :)
Hi - thanks for the response. I see your point about not having an EP 'bonus skill' - to be honest just having the BP/EP notes will be wonderful as I'd resigned myself to this just being a BP course. Having bonus skills about Brazil and Portugal would be great, too. Thanks again!
We're trying to make this more and more of an EP course - if Duolingo decides to change voices (like they did with the French and German courses a while ago), we can always lobby HQ to give us a better BP voice and the possibility of an EP voice (and hopefully more and more EP-friendly options).
Meanwhile, you should see this course as an introduction to the basics and then immerse yourself in our beautiful language (from both sides of the Atlantic). At least I find it easier to learn speaking when I'm listening to something in it (and when I listen myself speaking that language).
Continuação de bons estudos :)
"... the possibility of an EP voice (and hopefully more and more EP-friendly options)..." YES!!! I am learning Portuguese for two reasons: because I like the language, and because my son now lives in Lisboa and when I visit him quero entender o que os portugueses dizem e poder ler um pouco nos jornais. And in the market I would want to buy an ananás, because I'm sure the vendor would laugh if I asked for an abacaxi - (which is a beautiful word!) Thanks a million for your work on this project, it has enriched my life!
You're welcome! It's always good to know we're making a difference in someone's life.
Funnily enough, we do have "abacaxis" in Portugal - supermarkets and vendors usually make a distinction between a sweeter "abacaxi" (probably imported from Brazil) and a slightly tarter and more acidic "ananás" (probably cultivated in Madeira or the Azores). They're really two varieties of the same fruit (called "ananás" over here, "abacaxi" in Brazil), but don't be too surprised if you run into both words at once :)
Good luck with your studies!
Muito obrigado pelo curso, e também por vocês adicionarem/estarem a adicionar o sotaque europeu :)
(Espero que o uso do infinitivo pessoal aqui seja correcto)
Oi/Olá, Adam! O uso do infinitivo pessoal foi perfeito (especialmente "estarem a adicionar", que é mais correto aqui por dar uma ideia de continuidade à ação do verbo).
Continuação de bons estudos :)