https://www.duolingo.com/Fyreburst379

There should be more English to (language wanted to learn) translation questions.

So I have been doing Italian for about a week and I think that there should be more phrases in English then we have to translate to Italian or the language being wanted to learn, because I have noticed that it is extremely hard for me to speak phrases I already know in Italian, such as, "I cut the bread" into, "Io taglia il pano". I think that it could be fixed by having more questions in the form of English to the language you want to learn. Does anyone else agree with me?

October 17, 2015

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson

Consider doing the reverse tree (English for Italian speakers) with the speaker set to off in configuration settings.

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Fyreburst379

Oh great idea thanks!

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elleasar

I tried the reverse tree, but the major disadvantage for me is the still existing heart system in English for Italian speakers. That's why I put it on halt for the time being.

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jimnicholson

I think the hearts only appear if you are testing out. If you do the individual lessons, you can still avoid them - if you want.

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gringorjones

The main disadvantage for me is that it assumes I'm using an Italian keyboard, so I can access the accented letter keys. But I have a keyboard from Hong Kong and can't get it to do that at all!!

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MABBY

I have been able to get around the accents by using an apostrophe after the letter.
Unlike French, accents only ever appear at the ends of words and not in the middle, so it isn't too bad.

So using e' instead of è or é is accepted, without question; likewise I can spell piu' instead of più, and so on.
The only time you really have to think about it is c'e' ( c'è ), when it looks funny. But I know what it means.

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jallenkv

Buona idea Mabby. Problema risolta!

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nunes.da.Silva
  1. Move the mouse pointer to the upper-right corner of the screen to access the Charm Bar, then move the pointer down and click Search;

  2. In the search box enter "language", then select Region and Language Settings from the search results;

  3. Click Add a language;

  4. Choose the language that you want to add.

October 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

This should help you out.

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gringorjones

Thanks so much. I tried all the suggestions offered by the lovely people here and yours was the one that worked. A variation of one of the things in that link worked!

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Otto_Didactyl

On Windows based systems you can key in special characters using 'Alt Codes'. For instance è is Alt+0232 (hold down the Alt Key and type 0232 on the 10-key pad - the initial 0 is required). Google "alt codes" for more info. I have treated the codes as additional vocabulary to learn.

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

This is the table that I use for simple characters that are present in the original extended 8-bit ASCII character table. But some aren't there and you'll have to use unicode as you propose (4 digits or more, which you can also find on the previously linked site). For example, in the simpler ASCII table, 'è' is (left) Alt+138.

Here's the extended table (taken from the site linked above) :

Extended ASCII table

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gringorjones

Thanks for your help. Much appreciated!

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gringorjones

Thanks for your help. Much appreciated!

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nunes.da.Silva

The answer comes from Duolingo CEO:

The issue is that every time we try to give more recall exercises (where you translate from the language you know to the new language), people use the website less!"

Duolingo Ceo Luis von Ahn

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AntoniMysl

For me it's opposite, often the exercises seems so dumb (especially in mobile, where half is "select correct translation" - with wrong options being so obviously wrong that it's just trivial, select correct word, tap pairs, translate to English (where what is difficult is which Italian grammar form to use, not to understand what it means) that I often have a feeling of wasting my time and loose interest..

I really wish they would either give some settings for this or at least adjust proportions automagically

I don't see a point of using Duonlingo if I'm not really learning too much

October 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nunes.da.Silva

Haha. I totally agree. There should be the option to adjust the quantity of recall exercises according to our wish. (I would choose almost 100%)

October 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AntoniMysl

I'd love to have 80% of recall and 20% of Italian->English (some practice in understanding is also useful), and ditch all those other types of exercises altogether (I don't see any value in "tap pairs", especially that I can't even do this wrong even if I wanted). Another thing I hate is that they keep repeating the same exercise over and over in the same session, even if I answer it perfectly the first time (especially in "Strengthen skills").

I wish they have allowed more individual approach, instead of insisting on "one size fits all", especially that their only metrics is "user retention", not any kind of learning efficiency.

They have created very good system, I like the basic idea of Duolingo, but for me ruined with their experiments and arbitrary decisions :(

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/amala-la

I agree, that would be a great idea!

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/thenoblesunfish

Benvenuti! This is a very common question, and the consensus is yes, that would be nice, and you can do the reverse tree to practice that more (and you should). However, as mentioned in another comment, the main thing that Duolingo is designed to do is to keep you coming back, and the data shows that having to translate into the target language too much drives people away, on average. Even if the course is not perfect (and it isn't - you will not learn to speak the language well from this course alone, etc. etc.), if you come back every day and do it, you have a much higher chance of eventually learning the language. You will gain exposure and , as importantly, you will associate fun and progress with the language. Once you are hooked, you can fill in the gaps in the course.

October 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I wonder if it would be as bad if it was progressive : a lot of target -> base language translation in the beginning of the tree (no matter what), about half and half in the middle, provided you've done much practice in the last few days, and much more base -> target language translation at the end of the tree, unless you haven't practiced much.

The practice level could be calculated in various ways : number of words/skills that need restrengthening, time since last practice, average number of XP gained in the last week or so... I think this would be the best of both worlds : easier for casuals and beginners, more appropriate level for advanced/hardcore users.

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/thenoblesunfish

I agree that's a good kind of idea and given the way Duolingo seems to operate, I would assume they have A/B tested it. For gamification purposes, you could even make this sort of thing part of the fun - for example, once you complete the tree you unlock "hard mode" with much more base-->target translation, and you can check off all the skills again if you want.

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

I believe this hard mode is already in full effect, but automatic. See this comment.

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/purler

I agree. I think a nice compromise would be if when you first do a lesson it is all Italian to English, then every time you repeat the lesson it gradually switches over to all English to Italian. This way it is equally challenging for both new and experienced learners.

Duolingo still rocks :D

October 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/il-deca

I agree with you. Right now there are too many translation exercises from foreign language to mine, and reversing the tree (from ita4eng to eng4ita, for example) would cause total loss of spelling.

Either automatically or manually, gradually switching from "foreign2mine" to "mine2foreign" exercises would be a fantastic upgrade to Duolingo!

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bella649022

I've been studying Italian on Duo Lingo for 212 days and I think it is brilliant. I do agree that there are not enough opportunities to translate from English into Italian, but I write many sentences in a jotter as I go along - Italian one half of the page and the English on the other. When a page has been filled in this manner, I cover the Italian side and see if I can translate correctly. Too lazy to write? I find this an excellent method of committing words to memory. I learned German this way (many years ago, before Duo Lingo) and I can guarantee success. However, one reaches the stage where one need's a proper teacher or a course. I went to Rome for a week in September and I have now found an excellent Italian teacher here. Both the teacher in Rome and the teacher here were impressed by how much I had learned. So thank you Duo Lingo.

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TheShadowBroker

I don't think I understand what your problem with it is

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Fyreburst379

When learning new words, most of the questions are to translate from Italian to English, which is making it harder to translate from English to Italian, in my case anyways.

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TheShadowBroker

I guess it's just your own thing. I don't really have any trouble with it. (But then again I started Duo after I already knew a lot of Italian)

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/necronudist85

taglio il pane

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Fyreburst379

It was a typo

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CharlesHum1

I study Italian to English and English to Italian concurrently. I will do it with the rest as well.

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/nicku33

Do you need to create a second account for it ?

October 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MABBY

You do not need a second account, but you do have to go into your personal settings and change the "learning language" if you wish to switch between them.
One bonus is that you still keep all of your point and streak numbers, even if you switch languages. Another one is that there is extra vocabulary there-- I've learned a dozen new Italian verbs and probably 20 or 30 new words, as well.

My main recommendation is that you turn off the microphone on the "English for Italian Speakers" course, because otherwise you end up "learning" how to say English sentences.
By my estimate, you get at least half of the sentences in English and are expected to type them in Italian, so it works really well.

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII

you do have to go into your personal settings and change the "learning language"...

Actually, the fastest way is to click the flag icon at the top left of the skill tree in the "home" section, it'll take you to the language switching page directly (the one from the settings).

October 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CharlesHum1

I am now actively working on English to l'Italiano, l'Italiano to English, English to Español, Español to l'Italiano, and Español to English. I have to go change my language settings each time I change my source language to see all three. It also changes my mobile phone app. It does not show ALL my trees at once.

My target language is l'Italiano, and my native language is English. I am somewhat a novice to Español, but Triangles are one of the most stable structures in the known universe. This is my Language Triangle. It gives me a positive, relative, and superlative understanding of my native tongue in relation to my target language to study it with another. It also means I get to cross-practice basics in TWO new languages, and not be bored or lazy or overconfident with half of every lesson being in my native language. Learning a language in a language you are learning is a entertaining feat of mental gymnatics and linguistic flexibility. Just be prepared to go a bit slower on that leg of the triangle.

Eventually, I will integrate my German and my French in there, which are totally out of practice.

October 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Otto_Didactyl

You do need to switch your native language when you want to work on Native2Learning language. I don't do this very often so I always have to figure it out. On your settings page select 'Learning Languages' then 'See All Language Courses' then change the 'I Speak' to Italian. You can then choose to start the course English for Italian speakers. To get back to the Italian for English speakers you have to change the 'I Speak' again.

October 20, 2015
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