https://www.duolingo.com/MickeytheGreat

Buzzfeed video about Duolingo??

MickeytheGreat
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So I watched this video awhile ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E78dSjXziE8

It's about a bunch of people who try to learn French using Duolingo over the course of a few months I think. At the end, they have a dinner party with French speakers and pretty much conclude that Duolingo teaches you nothing and the only way to learn a language is by speaking with real people.

I don't know, this just made me kind of mad because the people in the video put literally zero effort into learning the language. I think one of them said she did like one lesson a week... How did they expect to just magically learn the language?

I don't know, I just feel defensive when it comes to Duolingo :) I spend a lot of time on here, maybe half an hour a day on weekdays, an hour or more on weekends. Thanks for listening to my rant, I just love Duolingo!

2 years ago

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Carolyn250

Certainly, they have a point. Speaking with a French person is going to rapidly improve your ability. But not all of us have that opportunity. I agree with you wholeheartedly that very few, if any, of these young people took the lessons seriously, so they did not learn as much as they could have. (I, too, love Duolingo).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ForgedbyHistoria

Buzzfeed, like many other media outlets is well known for putting out nonsense. These usually come with some sort of agenda, so any "facts" coming from these sorts of sources shouldn't be taken too seriously. The people in the video contradict themselves by the end of the video and approached the French language with a defeatist attitude. I don't think any of these actors were serious about learning French. It came off as an experiment with a predetermined conclusion.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chuggy370
Chuggy370
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Nice streak.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoanShark1

I thought I was the only one with a less than really huge streak

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chuggy370
Chuggy370
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Mine was like 170 or something, went camping and lost it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoanShark1

:( aww thats to bad

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
CosmoKaiza
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I've seen this video a while ago and the girl said that she was practicing twice a week. How can you expect results after 60days if you only practice twice a week ? Yes, I agree that you should speak the language if you want to learn it, but I disagree when she said that if you want to learn French, you can only do it with a teacher.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eikoopmit

To add to this, I'd like to share a bit of my own experiences about language learning with a teacher. For several years, between the ages of three and ten, my mother forced me to take Mandarin lessons, and I learned literally nothing aside from a few phrases, some of which aren't even very useful (I can still remember how to say "I like eating dogs"). DuoLingo lessons on Irish, on the other hand, over the course of four months and four days, has taught me how to type basic sentences, albeit with quite a bit of effort. I understand that this is in no way definitive, due to the five and a half years between me quitting Mandarin and me starting Duo and the fact that it's two different languages, but this is just my own personal experiences with professional language teachers as compared to DuoLingo.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LangAddict
LangAddict
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I've seen it too and yes, lazing around won't make you fluent, but then again DL doesn't make you fluent (alone). So combining Duolingo with other resources is essential.

The point they are trying to make is that nothing beats the good old "forced immersion" when you go to France and have to speak French 24/7 but that doesn't mean Duolingo isn't helpful. It's more like those people are kinda stupid...I mean, someone even said : what's the difference between "tu" and "vous" ;after like 2 weeks of practice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xefjord

Using Duolingo by itself is not the best resource, HOWEVER. I have seen people who make the most use of Duolingo as they possibly can. A friend of mine was studying Swedish every day for 2 hours? And he would do a Swedish Lesson numerous times, take all the vocabulary and phrases from it and write it down on flashcards, then he would make new sentences using the vocabulary in a jumble with the grammar he knew. Then he would attempt to use what he learned as often as possible in real life. This is a very effective way of using Duolingo if it is your ONLY resource. But you can make things wayyy easier on yourself by including other resources.

I feel like it is unfair to Duolingo to compare its effectiveness with having to do spontaneous natural speech when that isn't what it teaches. And to use students who don't seem to be studying every day. An effective test would be to have the students read some graded reader. And if they studied really hard, you would definitely see the results. (Assuming they ONLY used Duolingo) If you would have had them do Duolingo, some decks on Memrise, study a podcast every day, and talk with native speakers on Italki/Hellotalk every day while reading graded readers of french literature and studying videos in French? Their French could have been conversational within those 60 days. Especially if all they needed to talk about was dinner party related stuff. If they would have focused all their efforts in to being able to communicate at a dinner party. Now this is a lot of work and not everyone has a lot of time (Or they don't think they have a lot of time) but if you really want to learn something and study hard towards it every day. You will be successful. Duolingo is an amazing assistance resource for language learning.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/staparry
staparry
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For entertaining purposes, this video serves its mission--Buzzfeed is known for this mindlessness. But I must also say that I am defensive when it comes to Duolingo as well. I have seen my ability in Swedish dramatically increase over the past few months, and my knowledge of German is more solid than it was when I studied it in college. It would have been nice if the actors on the video actually kept to the deal: duolingo 20 minutes, everyday for 60 days. This is a substantial amount of time that they could have easily developed a small working vocabulary to carry a conversation. I would love to take a 60 day challenge in a new language and be given the opportunities they had to test out the language.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sibhreach

Bonjour! D'accord - those guinea pigs were actually not really using the DL app as much as they could have. That one woman with her "I practised twice a week" nonsense?! morte de rire Give me a break - I practised more when I was forced to in high school (and I mean forced) and that was ridiculous too (didn't learn anything really)!!!

I was happy that I understood what Annabel was saying (without reading the subtitles!) but I would still do simple sentences at my current level now (after 6 mois), but who cares? I'm learning a language I never thought I'd understand with this amount of success. Yay me. :)

Although remember, this is Buzzfeed. Take these "life changing videos" with a huge grain of salt. Anyone who is truly interested in learning any language (or anything to the point of confident proficiency) takes time. These folks were "learning" a language for a video project. For Buzzfeed. LOL

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amaratea
amaratea
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Learning a language requires motivation. Doing it for a cool video is definitely not one. besides... I was also able to understand most of what Annabelle is saying and i am not even studying French. It's just general knowledge, one part of it being basic lexicon which you naturally pick up from books, movies and whatnot and another part coming from the context. But you need to think about something else except camera and upvotes for that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ezkertia
Ezkertia
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Interesting video. I personally think that if you want to get the most out of your language learning experience, you need to supplement Duolingo with some other stuff. I also think that if you took a college student in a French 101 class to a French-speaking meal after 60 days of class, they'd find it a bit overwhelming too; it would be nice if the Buzzfeed video showed that.

I've mostly used Duolingo with languages I've previously studied. For people who come to Duolingo starting from scratch, I'd love to hear about your experiences interacting with native speakers of the languages you're learning.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Atcovi

I have two friends on skype that speak Dutch and they say my Dutch isn't "that bad" (pffft)... and I as well edit the Dutch Wikibooks https://nl.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hoofdpagina

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew-Macdonald

Duolingo, nor any other online language-learning program will make you completely fluent in a language, especially in a language that's challenging to understand and pronounce, like French. So in that sense they did have a point. However, the people in that video definetely underestimated what Duolingo can actually do, and Duolingo helps a lot, and they were being really lazy and not trying in that video. But you really shouldn't let other peoples opinions about languages and Duolingo get you down, especially if they're monolingual English-speakers like in that video. I just hope that one day the international language will be switched from English to something else so English speakers will actually learn a language to know a language for communication or interest (or know part of a language for communication or interest) rather than studying it to pass an exam or get into a college, and I personally think that is disrespectful towards that language itself. I would like to see French or Portuguese become the international languages since they are such global languages, both are spoken in Europe, Africa, and South America while French can be found in North America and Portuguese can be found in Asia.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/broca23

I want a Duolingo dinner party. Where are my fellow Russian learners in the Eastern PA area???? :P

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AJSVENSSON
AJSVENSSON
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"We challenged four Americans to learn a new language..." - No need to watch any further. :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElliOtter

The video is totally anecdotal, and I feel like duolingo gets this kind of crap way too much. There is a point, though, that I think is buried somewhere underneath here - that a language is a commitment. You can't just install duolingo and expect language learning to be a breeze. It's a tool, not a life-changer. It can't do the work for you, no app can. And I think that's the biggest criticism duolingo gets, is that people just install it and then never use it to its full potential.

Anyways, I get way more out of duolingo and other game-like apps than I would on my own. Plus, through duo, you can learn an L3 through your L2, translate text, and grasp basic grammar. It exposes you to memorable phrases, and provides you with word banks so you can keep track of the vocabulary. I wish it was a bit more conversational, but it's a pretty freaking good setup for the low price of free.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lorel90
Lorel90
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Buzzfeed and similar websites pay almost nothing to their writers, they work long hours writing tons of articles a day and they get pay if the articles become popular. Therefore they do not do much research, they steal content from people like me and other Bloggers and write mostly crap. But that is what people like to read, they are very popular.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flint72
flint72
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I am the only person who was annoyed by the choice of Handel's Water Music as backing music when the narrator introduces the French woman?! Handel was German, and the Water Music is very much associated with Britain, since it was first played for the British King George I in London in 1717.

As other's have said, the makers of this video are clearly uncultured and obviously put no effort into any of it!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ButtonLang

You're right. Actually, I originally joined Duolingo as a response to this video. It seemed like a great language learning resource and I wanted to prove that if you put effort into it, unlike these people, it could help your language skills. While Duolingo doesn't really teach you much that you need at a dinner party ('je ne suis pas une araignée' etc) it does give you a very strong foundation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NiceProfilePic

I speak my languages very well, when I watch videos, the people in their videos are going well with their languages so I never watched a video which can discorage me to learn languages, so I'll not watch that video. sorry

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nenebuuu4

The persons using duolingo was not even trying very hard or doing their best, it was like they just did it because they told them too. It wasn't like they were going over what they learned as if all the information would just stick in their heads. To me, duolingo helps you learn new languages if you put the effort to learn it .

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoanShark1

you have a point.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pure.Angel

If you think about it they have a point about the speak with real people get off your computers thing... but your right about the whole put more effort into it! and don't feel bad about being defensive about Duo it's super fun I think right now I've been on for like 2 hours... that's bad... WHATEVER! :)

<pre> ~Pure. Angel = ' . ' = </pre>
2 years ago
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