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https://www.duolingo.com/AD592

Suggestion: Cultural Lessons

AD592
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I take French and Spanish at school and in addition to learning the language, we also study the culture of the countries that speak it. I think that Duolingo should have lessons or sections teaching culture, for example in the "food" lesson, one could contrast the diets and meal times of Italians and Americans. I remember that LiveMocha had a cultural section where people uploaded photos from their native countries, but it was flawed and full of spam. I feel that in order to fully understand and appreciate the language which one learns, there must be some cultural understanding. I hope that you consider this request and I thank you for such a great web site.

4 years ago

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
sakasiru
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A while ago I proposed an extra forum for questions regarding the culture and day to day life of the countries. For example, it's much easier to understand when to use which of five different words for "school" if you understand how the German/ Mexican/ American/ French... education system is organized. It should be separated from the translation lessons I think, because cultural differences are hard to translate anyway.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRealMaestro

The only problem I can imagine would come from the fact that many languages are pluricentric. When learning German, should it be German or Austrian culture? Should we be given Brazilian or Portuguese ways? For those learning English with Duolingo, would one be learning about America, Britain, Australia, or who? This is a great idea, but as a prerequisite different countries' dialects would need to be sorted out to avoid issues like these.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalocaris

There's no reason they can't all be included. :) Technically, Duolingo is already teaching Brazilian Portuguese and American English. Every French textbook I've ever had taught "Standard" French (which I think is based on the dialect spoken in/around Paris) but with cultural readings about Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Louisiana, Morocco... You can get a lot of cultural information in the Immersion tab, but I think including some in the lessons is a great idea!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheRealMaestro

Firstly, I consider it an honour that the king of the Earth 500 million years ago has graced me, a humble chordate, with his response.

I've noticed a similar thing to what you mention. I am taking French courses at my school in real life, and the textbook that I have has information about all of those places although they teach Standard/Parisian French. I still believe that, as I have argued elsewhere, there should be the option to select a certain dialect to learn (especially due to differences in the orthography, proper pronunciation for that country, lexical variation, even grammatical differences). Personally, I enjoy learning about France more than I do about her former colonies, but that's just me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anomalocaris

^_^

That might happen eventually, if people add different courses through the Incubator. It would be pretty neat, especially with dialects like Haitian Creole which are really more like different languages. I love France as well, so I'll probably stick with the Standard dialect, but it's always fun to have options.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Something along this line, perhaps small cultural notes, could be very important. For an example, my Japanese lessons came to mind.

I remember learning that a person can use きらい(kirai) to indicate dislike of something like "ringo ga kirai" (I don't like apples).

However, it is more polite, say, if someone asks you if you like apples, to use すきじゃない (sukijyanai), as such "ringo ga sukijyanai". Suki(すき) indicates a preference for, but the jyanai(じゃない) negates it.

Japanese is full of small but important nuances like this. I don't see that this would affect translations going from Japanese to English, however. And if the translators are working from English to Japanese, if they are native speakers, then they will already be aware of this.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smithc7
smithc7
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Also, I think it's usually softened further as あまり好きじゃない (amarisukijyanai), which is to say you 'don't like it very much' for those that don't know; at least I use it that way a lot, because it seems that the softer you can make a statement in Japanese whether negative or positive, especially as a female, the more polite it is. I think that the 'indirect' culture is very important to know when learning Japanese.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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^ +1

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NickM98
NickM98
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I'd like it. If the idea is approved, I'd love to help with an Argentinian and Uruguayan culture section in Spanish lessons ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThomRozendaal

Would be useful, but I think it should be optional or it could be added in the form of little ''did you know that...'' facts after you answer a related question

4 years ago