Anyone else received their "Start learning Russian!" email from Duolingo yesterday?
Hey, Duo, don't you think more than a month of daily study (ever since the day the course came out) and being just past the first checkpoint and on level 7 (where I was at when I received the email) counts as having started already? :-p
I can understand that Duolingo might want to wait for a few days when a course comes out in beta before they send the notification emails people have requested. But over a month, really? It kind of misses the point of the whole thing...
(I know the course contributors probably have nothing to do with this email being sent now, but this is not quite a technical problem either, so this felt like the most appropriate board to vent on.)
But there's also Welsh - because I only live about 30 miles from Wales and also Welsh dragon flag on my flair - and I'm thinking I should finish my German tree, because then I would actually have finished a tree in a language that isn't Slavic, and also was challenged to finish it, and then I'm intrigued to do more Norwegian because of that guy that claims English is a Scandinavian language. Oh, and then there's Hungarian, whenever that finally appears...
Turkish kind of filleted my brain. Unfortunately I think I need a better reason to try again besides "eh, Duolingo says so..." I'm still amazed by how many people flew through that tree, it's easily the language on here I've found the hardest. As is probably obvious, I'm finding it hard to summon the necessary enthusiasm... ;-)
I am pretty sure I've forgotten most of it, I should probably delete the tree, since I would be starting from so close to scratch as to make no difference.
Turkish is... different, but I found it a lot more regular from the point of view of morphology (plural and case endings).
When I looked at that overview of how Polish words change their shape when you add endings (vowels change, consonants change).... seems a lot harder to remember.
I guess it's one of those things where it depends on all kinds of factors, like what other languages you're familiar with and how your brain is wired in the first place. I mean, I get on much better with Slavic languages than with the supposedly simpler/closer to English Romance languages.
Turkish I found entirely bewildering; Polish I'm making lots of spelling errors still, and I'm absolutely confidence my progress is going to slow waaaay down further down the tree, but at the moment at least, it's just fun. It's not quite the walk in the park Ukrainian felt like, but it's masses easier than I found Turkish.
So do you come across any Welsh in daily life? Or would you be able to do so if you wanted to? I've never been to Wales (yet), so I don't know how much of it you see and hear there.
My self-confessed language geekiness comes to an abrupt end whenever we're talking anything other than Germanic, Finnic, or Romance languages, and it already makes a big dive at Slavic ones. I'll dip my toe into Hungarian when it comes, just to be able to compare it with it's northern cousins, but I'll need a lot more courage if I'm ever going to try Irish, Welsh, Turkish, Basque, etc...
I don't come across it daily, and in South Wales Welsh speakers are relatively rare, in my experience, but there are still people who'd speak enough of it to be happy you're making the effort, and it's all over the signposts and what have you. I suspect also that if I learn any significant amount, I'll be able to find people to talk to in it!
Of all the Celtic languages, the one I'd really like to learn is Scottish Gaelic.
I'll have a try at most languages, but there are definitely those I'm more interested in and those I'm just not fussed about. For me, Romance languages fall into the latter category. Germanic languages are my fallback, but Romance languages really don't interest me much. Probably the only real exceptions would be minority languages, like Catalan, and Romanian, because I like it best by sound out of the major Romance languages, and also it has a lot of Slavic and Balkan influence.
I think the only thing that might convince me to study some more French will be as a challenge when the Russian French tree comes out! I think I've done probably less than a dozen (maybe less than a half dozen) lessons since I tested out in English French.
I did test out of the other three Romance languages as far as I could purely for fun (based on French, musical Italian, and pure guesswork LOL), so I could have a nose at the bonus skills, but I actually just removed the courses today because I felt like my flair was pretty misleading ;-p and I'd rather just have the languages up there I'm actively learning, to some degree (Dutch being the most neglected), want to learn (possibly Catalan if they bring it out for english speakers at some point), or have a reasonable degree of knowledge that it's not insanity to have it on my flair (French).
I definitely want to poke my nose into the Finno-Ugric family. Estonian and Hungarian are the languages I'd most like to learn, but I'd definitely try Finnish.
Frankly, like I said, I'll have a go at most languages that are being taught from any language I'm remotely capable of learning from (and some I'm really not - getting to level 2 in Catalan was seriously headache inducing!), but there are fairly few I'll actually pursue actively, and fewer still I have ambitions to gain or regain actual competence in.
I love Germanic languages! They were the ones that made me think I was good at languages, since I only learned those during the first 20 years of my life or so (not counting a year of basic Italian at school or, you know, Finnish). Then I encountered Russian... And then French...and Estonian. Turns out that I'm good at Germanic languages and pretty average at others.
Romanian is interesting to me, too, but even my Romanian friends don't think it's a language worth learning. :-( It certainly seems to have a cool mix of different influences.
Catalan gave me a headache at first as well, but just going through those first skills repeatedly has made it clearer in my mind. But I must wean myself off it -- Russian needs all my attention right now. Up until Catalan came out, I had managed to stay out of courses that I either wasn't serious about or didn't need to do (German, Norwegian). But now it seems that a lot of courses are winking at me...
Originally I was planing on waiting a month after Russian was released in beta to start it, to give people with more knowledge a chance to report problems and add to discussions. I got impatient and gave it a little over a week instead =P
30 days, 8 levels, 12 skills, and 52 lessons in I'm glad I stalked the forum to see when this course was released and that I didn't rely on the email!