Comments & Suggestion for Russian course
Well, I've finished the first 13 skills, so I feel like I have a basic feeling for the Russian course, and wanted to offer my thoughts.
First of all, thanks to the creators. I bet it was a lot of work, but the course is there, it works, and it's quite good!
Russian is a lot easier than I would have imagined, and I think I'm learning more than I thought I would.
I like the choice of computer voice, it is as good as the other languages. (One of the reasons I never did much with Ukrainian or Irish is the lack of audio for many words and sentences due to their choice of a recorded human voice rather than a text to speech program. Others may well disagree, but I prefer the TTS to recordings.)
I really like that most skills are relatively short and most lessons are also relatively short. When I do a lesson that is 8-14 questions long, I feel good and want to do the next one. Also, when it comes time to review, I look forward to re-doing sections since I know they're relatively short.
In some parts of other languages I've come across lessons that get up to 30 or even 35 responses before I finish, and these feel like torture. I usually quit that language for a while, and have no desire to repeat such a long lesson.
(That's one reason it's taking so long to finish my Danish tree—I ran into a patch where each lesson takes 25 to 35 responses to finish, so I quit doing much Danish, and didn't look forward to it any more.)
Bottom line, I study and learn more when the lessons are in that magic range of 8-15 sentences.
I think there is some room for improvement on the tips/notes. Some of the entries need to be edited by a native English speaker for clarity. I find some of them helpful, others confusing and contradictory. This is just a small point, as there are plenty of easy-to-find references for Russian grammar online, but still, it is an area where improvements could be made if the course volunteers have the energy and desire.
Finally, I couldn't help but notice the lack of humor in the sentences so far. In Danish, Esperanto, Turkish, Dutch for example, there are many silly and weird sentences about animals getting jobs, reading books, etc. Also sentences with double entendres and others that make the reader say "What?!" ("The husband must die." Is one I remember from Italian, I believe.)
This is not a criticism, just an observation.
So far I haven't encountered a single funny sentence or a single reference to the mascot Duo or to owls.
Perhaps this is just a Russian cultural difference (less of a sense of whimsy or humor compared to Danish, etc?) I'm not sure.
Anyway, I'm very glad to have the Duo Russian course and am enjoying working my way along, and at this point I don't see any reason why I won't eventually finish the tree!
I have a question about the Russian lessons. How can I get the text for each sentence to show up using the Russian alphabet and not the English-type words that are there? This is frustrating because I am trying to learn the real words and their spellings. I have the Russian keyboard and can type my answers in Russian, but all of the questions are shown using the 26-letter English type alphabet. Thanks.
In the upper left corner from any lesson page is a slide switch to change from Aa to Яя (and vice versa). I find if I do other languages and come back to Russian, it will have defaulted back to the Latin option.
"Finally, I couldn't help but notice the lack of humor in the sentences so far. In Danish, Esperanto, Turkish, Dutch for example, there are many silly and weird sentences about animals getting jobs, reading books, etc. Also sentences with double entendres and others that make the reader say "What?!" "
I like when such sentences appear in the language courses. The language is the tool which can be used for very different purposes. And humor is one of these purposes (quite important one, I believe)