[UPDATE] Official Norwegian 2.0 Feedback and Suggestion Thread!
30 November 2015 UPDATE:
The course now has over 3,100 words and over 100 skills. If it were released today, the new course would be the longest course in Duolingo's history. More details to follow.
Hei, alle sammen!
We have exciting news!
We do now have access to start building a revised Norwegian tree, and we would like to begin collecting feedback regarding how we could improve the course!
Here are some questions to get you started. Feel free to provide feedback on anything in the course.
- What do you like about the way Duolingo teaches Norwegian?
- What could be improved about the way Duolingo teaches Norwegian?
- What grammar or vocabulary topics do you think deserve more attention?
- Which topics are introduced too early or too late in the tree?
- What skill topic does not yet exist but should?
Things We Cannot Change:
- We cannot introduce some skills so early that they lack the vocabulary in order to effectively use the grammar.
- We cannot change the audio. We can only disable listening/remove specific words entirely. See: avis.
- We cannot change the overall distribution/proportion of (N<->E) translation or speaking exercises.
- We cannot add the Words functionality. That's on Pittsburgh's end.
Please help us out with your feedback!
Med vennlig hilsen,
~ Det norske laget
I struggle the most with prepositions, but the skills that specifically deal with those are quite short. I'd like that to be expanded, also with more grammar notes - it would probably be most effective later on in the tree though, once we're able to make more complex sentences. Like a Prepositions 2 or something.
Past tense is definitely introduced way too late.
Grammar skills in general could be made longer (more lessons), but in particular the later ones. Also, the length of each lesson in the final portion of the tree (10-15 sentences if one gets all of them correct) is I think the optimal number. Some lessons I've seen go up to 25 or 30 - that's a bit too much, split it up.
I found the Norwegian tree very enjoyable! A big thank you to the whole team!
What I would love though: bonus skills like some of the other trees have (Idioms / Proverbs, Flirting, Christmas). Maybe also some bonus skills introducing some Nynorsk - implement as bonus skills so people who just want to focus on Bokmål can leave them out and still progress through the whole tree.
First of all, I like the goofy sentences. The rationale is that if it doesn't actually make sense, but you understand it correctly, it means that you understood the words and are not relying on the context.
Second, I would recommend that some important phrases (like: where is the bathroom?) be included earlier.
Most difficulties I'm having are with Duolingo itself (i.e. the parts that the team cannot change, such as better audio). The course is great! Keep up the good work! Tusen takk!
Personally, I'd like more notes on etymologies (e.g. edderkopp = poison-cup) and on English cognates (e.g. bord ~ board (which also used to mean "table" in archaic English)). I can't speak for others, but for me, learning about this stuff helps a lot in acquiring the words. Also, I'd like if we always could use archaic or unusual English words in the translations, when they're closer to Norwegian ("hound", "dale", "haven", "dame"). The rationale is that my primary goal is reading Norwegian, not translating to English fluently; so the closer I stick to Norwegian, the sooner I'll think in Norwegian, without the English intermediary.
I'll also add another vote to keep the goofy sentences (add more of them!). They only have advantages:
They reduce guesswork and ensure we're paying attention, which improves acquisition (cf. Schmidt's Noticing Hypothesis).
They're both more memorable and less boring, and thus doubly more effective. (Cf. the literature on mnemonic effects, and Krashen on the importance of positive affect).
A language course shouldn't teach only "useful" sentences, like how to go to the post office or whatever. It should teach ~the language~, which can be used for <sub>anything</sub>: for fantasy literature, black metal lyrics, indie movies, neopagan liturgies, absurdist comedy sketches… Language can do anything because it's made from words and grammar patterns, not ready-made sentences. Therefore, a language course must do whatever it can to teach us the words and the patterns, not canned phrases. Memorable, creative sentences like "mauren liker edderkoppen" are better at making words and patterns stick. Also they're weird/fun, which improves learning.
Because of the fact that Norwegian has three grammatical genders, it would be nice to see what gender a noun is when you click on a word (such as in, say, the French course). This would definitely be helpful since feminine nouns often times first appear as masculine nouns. For a while I though bok was masculine because it was taught as "en bok" and "boken". Wasn't until much later that I learned it was feminine when I saw "boka".