Tips & Notes feedback
Do you have any feedback concerning the Tips & Notes sections?
Is something unclear or insufficiently explained?
Please help us build a better course and post your feedback in this thread.
Cześć!! Please, please, PLEASE add a tips/notes section under the "adjectives" or "plurals" lessons that breaks down when to use which form of an adjective, ESPECIALLY the masculine-personal form. This would be very unclear to anyone who has not had prior exposure to Polish and suddenly encounters mali, duzi vs. małe, duże and has to infer the very irregular rule governing which form to use, from trial and error...
I had not studied polish in over seven years and forgot the rule and realised how hard that would be to figure out if it were my first encounter with Polish! Tips & Notes sections are life savers vs. having to figure things out on one's own. :)
Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the amazing course!! :D
A clear table in the pronunciation section showing which letters/letter combinations are palatal and which are retroflex would be helpful.
I am referring to this a lot: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_Polish , but it would be nice if you could add IPA transcriptions to the tips and notes.
Perhaps you could try to explain the differences between sounds (like dź and dż) a little better, then. If you look at the tips and notes in the first lesson of the Russian course, for example, I think they've done a good job at explaining which sounds are retroflex or palatal without recourse to the IPA or technical terminology. As Polish has quite a few sounds which many English speakers won't naturally hear the difference between, not explaining these could end up confusing a lot of people.
Hello! It's been a couple months since this was last updated, and I remember seeing that you guys were going to add more Tips & Notes late February. I understand that you are probably very busy, but I was wondering whether we will see any new Tips & Notes soon? Those are really helpful for learners, and we'd love to see them. Thank you!
For Polish pronunciation, you may copy and paste a phase to the window on page
https://www.ivona.com/pl/ https://nextup.com/ivona/ or http://www.ttsforaccessibility.com/ and press Play - it will be quite accurate. To get some accent, you need to form a phrase (i.e. starting with a capital and ending with a dot.)
This page also may be helful for the learners of Polish http://mowicpopolsku.com/
"Present 2" needs an explanation of the differences between iść and chodzić. Most users will either have no linguistic background, or only have prior exposure to Spanish or French, but there is not an equivalent idea in French, Spanish, or English that distinguishes any such similar verbs, therefore it warrants explanation that cannot be inferred by the Duo lessons alone.
Providing examples or even general rules of thumb (e.g. "chodzić means 'to go,' iść means 'to be going'.") would be VERY helpful (and necessary!) to a new learner.
I would also like to recommend specifying which case follows specific verbs in the Tips & Notes, for example it seems to confuse some Beta users that potrzebować takes the genitive case. Pointing that out with a quick reminder to pay attention to which case a verb uses is a good practice for new learners. :)
I absolutely agree. It is necessary to explain, that the verbs in Polish have aspects which needs to be kept in mind, and that the aspect is a property of the verb, not a form applied to a verb. That a verb can have either durative aspect (like "mówić", "pisać", "uczyć", "iść") or perfective aspect (like "powiedzieć", "zapisać", "nauczyć", "pójść"), or both at once (like "aresztować", "mianować", "potrafić", including cases where a verb has different meaning in each of aspects, like "cisnać"). And that besides of the 2 official aspects there is a group of verbs that have something that could be called frequentive or iterative aspect (if it was recognized by linguists - but it is not, they are considered to have the durative aspect without equivalent verb having perfective) - like "chodzić", and even more, there are verbs whose meaning includes that an activity takes place "from time to time" - like "chadzać", "pisywać", "widywać", "bywać" (see also Aspekt niedokonany i dokonany ; Encyklopedia PWN )
It's been a while since the last update.
I was wondering if we were going to be seeing any more tips and notes soon? Are they all coming out at once? Is there a holdup on Duolingo's side?
Some help with the concepts introduced in Plurals, Possession, Pronouns 1, and Present 2 would be great!
Formatting note: in Food 1, the heading is
Vocabulary: obiad and *kolacja*
Probably meant to get rid of the stars around "kolacja" (I'm guessing that's some stray markdown formatting).
Also on the topic of objad and kolacja, according to the native Polish speakers I've communicated "nie było 'lunch'" in Poland. People give me strange glares when I tell them what I've had for obiad; they have told me that obiad is the main meal of the day, and can also be translated as dinner. Also, kolacja is had only some days — a snack before bed. Perhaps the translation to "lunch" is too simplistic? Or perhaps I just know very particular Polish speakers!
Well, the problem is not just with Polish – lunch and dinner tend to mean different things to English speakers in various areas. For some, “dinner” is eaten in the afternoon, for others, it is the evening meal.
I am not surprised that Polish speakers tell you that – I remember that my English teachers always told me that “obiad” is “dinner”. But unfortunately, this is not always so straightforward. The course is skewed towards American English (just like any other “for English” Duolingo course), so we try to use variants that are more popular there.
Anyway, we always accept both translations in ambiguous cases. And I think both of them appear in hints.
Dinner is usually meant to describe the largest meal of the day, and depending on the country it could be the midday or the evening meal, or anytime in between. (In the US, it's often the evening meal.) So "obiad" would seem to be the correct term for this meal.
Supper, however, is always used to describe a meal taken in the evening, and it may not necessarily be the largest of the day.
Hope this helps.
Don't know if it is already mentioned, but it would be really great if there was some kind of overview of all the Tips & Notes lessons somewhere that you can review when you want to know a particular thing without having to search all the lessons to find it. Or if this already exists and I missed it, where could I find it?
Another thing I feel like I am missing: I have a Polish girlfriend and we will visit her parents next week. So far I feel like I've learned quite some useful words (especially about food) but I am unable to form my own sentences due to lack of important words in normal conversations. For instance I will probably never just say "he is drinking water". What I would say is: "I want to drink water". Or I would say "I have to do .." but I can't, because we haven't been taught these verbs. But meanwhile I already know how to say 'horse' or 'elephant', something that I will less likely use in my general conversations.
I'm sure these verbs will be introduced later in the course, but I feel natural conversations would help and motivate a lot in the learning process, and right now that is still not possible. Perhaps these type of regularly used verbs (wanting, having to, going, needing) etc. could be introduced earlier in the course so people can quickly start creating their own little sentences.
Aside from that, the course is great and I am sure I will be able to hold small conversations with my in-laws next week! Dziękuję!
An overview of concepts introduced in the T & N seems like a good idea, I will think about it once more Tips & Notes sections are completed. Thank you!
About the “missing” words: unfortunately, this is not so simple. Things that are the most useful are not always the easiest.
For example, to say “I want to drink water”, you first need to know how Polish modal verbs work in general (a concept introduced much later in the tree), then you have to know the correct ending for the modal (which is similar to general Polish conjugation - introduced in the Present 1 and Present 2 skills), and finally, you need to know the infinitive form that follows the modal (which is introduced together with modals).
Sure, we could introduce some constructions that would not be explained and just use them as “fixed phrases”. But we tried to do it with much, much simpler things, and people were still confused – being taught something without understanding how it works can be really frustrating. We wouldn't want to make our course a phrasebook – this is not what Duolingo was created for.
Sorry if this seems disappointing to you, I really understand your concerns. After taking a few Duolingo courses I can say “A green dog drinks pink coffee” in several languages, but that doesn't really help me communicate in real life situations... Rough, I know.
I would rather treat the course as a starting point that helps you understand the structures of the language and allows you to build upon that. This way, you may not immediately be able to ask for coffee, but give it some time (and practice!) and you will surely be able to express much more sophisticated thoughts.
I agree, a phrasebook is not the way to go and I definitely would not want to just learn the phrases. I like the approach that is being used here, where we are being taught building blocks with which we can form sentences ourselves. Apparently forming these type of sentences requires a relatively high level so it makes sense that you are not introducing it early on. Thanks for the clarification :)
Dzien dobry! As others have mentioned, kindly add the tips and notes for other skills as well. Which ever T & N you guies have added are very good and quite clear! Continue the good work.. Btw, are the speech exercises not added? Because I never came across any in any of the lessons (till Present 1). Also, I noticed that Polish to English translations are more than the vice versa. Is it intentional, looking at the difficulty of this language?
Thanks a lot!
Thanks! We're working on the Tips & Notes. I'm currently kinda busy, so the pace may be slow, but I will probably be able to write more during the holidays :)
To be honest, we do not know if and when the speech exercises will be enabled in the course. It's up to the Duolingo team.
The thing with Polish to English translations is intentional. It is especially noticeable in the initial skills, but the ratio becomes more balanced in the later, more advanced lessons.
As I said on the course thread (before seeing this thread, oops!), a better explanation of cases and when to use them would be great. For example, an explanation of the genitive in the Negation skill would be very helpful! Also, plurals (especially masculine personal adjectives -- I think that's what they're called) could use some tips.
I've written some explanations about the aspect of Polish verbs https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12724322
Maybe you'd like to use some parts of it in Tips & Notes for verbs ( actually if any of my explanations to particular phrases would seem to be useful, you may use them in whole or in part without asking me)
I'm a little bit confused about the articles. Or rather, the unarticles, the articles that they don't have. I know it clearly states,
"Polish does not have any articles. When translating from Polish, you have to remember to form correct English sentences – it is not acceptable to skip articles if it results in the English sentence being ungrammatical."
What does that mean, exactly?
I believe it means that even though Polish does not use any articles, you still need to add a sufficient article when translating into English. For example, in Polish, on jest chlopcem literally translates into English as 'he is boy', but in English that would not be a grammatically correct sentence. So you would say, 'he is a boy', adding the article 'a' when translating, even though in Polish this article does not exist.
ObsessedWithCats, generally speaking, you are right, the context makes it all clear. But the example you gave isn't good and wouldn't work in real life. In the sentence "On jest chłopcem." the most stressed information is that he is a BOY. He's not a girl, he's not a man, he's not a bird, he's a boy. So if the police showed me the picture of a boy and I recognised him I would say "On jest tym chłopcem" or "To jest ten chłopiec" - which is literally "He's this boy" and "This is this boy". And no, I didn't make a mistake; in this context we would use "this", not "that".
Additional information: Polish doesn't have gender neutral names. And even if it was a foreign name, most of Polish sentences are built in a way that leaves no room for doubt if you're speaking about a male or a female.
Aaaand the word "chłopiec" suggests it's a little boy. "Chłopczyk" is a boy that's even smaller. "Chłopak" is a "normal" boy. It is also used in the sense of "boyfriend".
In reality it should come naturally - for example if a boy has stolen your bag and the police show you a picture of a boy they suspect, 'on jest clopcem' would mean he is -the- boy, whereas if you speak of a friend with a gender neutral name and someone asks if this friend is a boy or a girl 'on jest clopcem' would mean he is -a- boy.
Someone with more language experience might explain this better.
Polsh does not have words that correspond to "the" and "an/a" When you trnaslate a sentence from Polish you will need to add one of these as required to make the correct English sentence. Example: Dom jest duży. Even though it is not there, to be considered correct the English answer is "The house is big."
It means there is no 'the' or 'a(n)', but when translating you need to add the/a/an (at random apparently XD) so it works nicely in English.
Though I then encountered a question where 'Ten' seemed to be acting as 'the'? This could be better explained with examples.
Wydaje się, że głosy z firmy Ivona mają czasami problemy z pojedyńczymi wyrazami. Maja faktycznie gubi końcówkę w "chleb", ale "Chleb a nie bułka" czyta już dobrze. Ewa to samo. Z Agnieszką jest ok. Maja ma też problem z kotem. Sam wyraz czyta jak "kod", a w zdaniu już ok.
I also have a question concerning articles. If Polish has no articles how come you have to translate it with a specific article? For example I translated something 'The woman has the apple.' But that was marked incorrect with the correct answer being 'The woman has an apple.' When do you and don't you use definite articles?
Quick suggestion/question. Could you possibly put in a basic alphabet table (like the Esperanto course did) in the Basics 1 Tips and Notes section? This would help so much, as I am already confused about the pronunciation of the different letters, special characters, and letter combinations.
If not, could somebody link me to a good website explaining all of these?
I think, that the voice "Maja" has phrasal accent not really well programmed. I have noticed that several times, making the "placement test", for example in phrase "Odwiedzamy Muzeum Narodowe." While spoken by Maja, it sounds like a question, while it is a statement. Better could be Jacek and Ewa . Is there a possibility to add to the course more versions of phrases, or replace some of them with another voice?
A couple of notes on translations:
"Masz zupę" is translated as "you have soup". I think the translation "you have a soup" should also be accepted.
"Zła/złe" (e.g. tamto dziecko jest złe) can also be translated as "angry", but the word "angry" is not accepted as a correct translation. Also, "wrong" is provided as a translation for "złe", but "that child is wrong" is not accepted for "tamto dziecko jest złe". Although correct, the reason for this isn't explained and might be confusing for non-Polish speakers.
Finally, what is your preferred way for receiving feedback? If I have comments about content in the future, is posting it in this thread the best way for you to consider the feedback?
Some more corrections:
The translation for "on pokazuje dywan" is provided as "he shows a rug" and "he is showing the carpet". "He is showing a rug" and "he is showing a carpet" should also be accepted.
The translation for "potrzebujemy pudełka" is incorrectly given as "we need a box". It should be "we need boxes". "We need a box" is "potrzebujemy pudełko".
The translation for "to lodówka moich rodziców" is incorrectly given as "this is my parent's fridge" (and, alternatively and correctly, as "this is my parents' refrigerator"). As the fridge belong to both parents, the apostrophe should be placed after the "s", i.e. "this is my parents' fridge".
Just because someone has said it before doesn't make it right. I really don't mean this to sound rude I just can't think of better words to use. (I sat here for a while trying to reword it)
Another reason might be where you are from. I've noticed in Britain they say things that would not be "proper" in American English.
That's true, but I think this is more than just "someone's said it before". People speak bad English all the time. But this one I think would be accurate here, anyway.
Yes, this might be a regional difference as well. Americans say plenty of things that wouldn't be "proper" English here, too. :-)
There's a small error in the Tips & Notes for Common Phrases. They say " Some of them are pronounced exactly as in English, while in case of the others the difference is rather minor", which sounds rather odd. You might do better with "while in others the difference is rather minor".
We intended for “dziewczyna” (girl) to be accepted everywhere. If there is a place where it is not accepted, it's a mistake – please use the report function.
As for the TTS – unfortunately, this is not how it works. The sentences are generated automatically and there is no way for us to “create a file”. However, we have disabled most of (if not all) the sentences where “kot“, “chleb” and “psa” were pronounced in a very weird way, so it shouldn't be a problem anymore.
I think I may have noticed a typo in these new notes: Above the last table that gives the forms for 'that' (tamten, etc...), it reads "Here are the Nominative and Accusative forms of the pronoun ten (this):". Did you mean "Here are the Nominative and Accusative forms of the pronoun tamten (that):" (or something along those lines)? Otherwise, the new Tips & Notes section is great and well appreciated! Dziękuję!
Hi! On Tips Notes of Demonstrative pronouns I belive there is copy-paste editing missing at the end by the title of the cases containing the info on ten/tamten.
Probably the feature is technically not available, but would it be possible to have audio for the new words within Tips Notes? Sometimes is very hard to imagine how the words are pronounced, and therfore, also harder to learn and remember in the long term.
Thanks for offering this course, it has been lots of fun so far!
On the demonstratives section it has the same heading for both charts:
"Here are the Nominative and Accusative forms of the pronoun ten (this):"
Over "Tamten" I believe it should read "tamten (that)" instead of "ten (this)" again? I think it was just missed while writing the chart :)
The cell spacing also makes "feminine" and "neuter" crowded and the words are smashed but that's not so much confusing. :)
Just wanted to mention a little typo I found in the skill Food 1. Under the heading exceptions it says 'They are some exceptions to this rule' instead of 'There are some exceptions to this rule'. Overall though, I am finding the tips and notes to be very good and informative without being too confusing.
On the T&N for the Defining skill, there is a typo in the first sentence under the heading, "Defining: to + Nominative." The first word should be 'another' instead of 'anoter.'
I'm really enjoying the course. Thanks for the hard work, and please keep the tips and notes coming. What's been posted so far has been very helpful.
Something I just noticed while looking at the Tips Notes of the Foods skill: Under the section Vocabulary: Obiad and Kolacja: "Obiad is the main meal of the day, usually eaten around midday (12AM to 4PM)." What I'd like to point out is that 12AM is associated with midnight, not midday, which is 12PM.
Ok. . . . well I'm not an absolute beginner with Polish and have been working through the course. I'm at stage 11 in 3 -4 days. It's curious because some sections are very easy and some are difficult. It does not help that I am dyslexic in english - so writing Polish is a problem.
However, one of the biggest problems, is not the Polish, but the English. I use British English and its noticeable that the syntax and word arrangement is far more complex than British English. This is a recognised feature of American English (see Gowers 'The Complete Plain Words) but it is quite strange having to add redundant words to a sentence to make it work in American English.
That's a huge mission. . . . . I think I could add a 'British response' to every 3rd question. To give you an example. I will rephrase your reply in British English.
"As I said, the system prefers American English. If you find any British equivalent being rejected by the system, please report it"
The essential difference is that we both know the 'shared context' so qualifiers that refer to that context are omitted.
'grammatically correct' 'should definitely be accepted' 'a correct version not being accepted'
American English is like German in that everything is stated explicity. British English speakers don't do that. It's not about 'grammatical correctness' but about how people structure their thoughts.
It's perfectly possible to be unnecessarily long-winded in British English. Have you never read Dickens?
If a sentence in a target language uses a phrase meaning 'grammatically correct', for example, then you cannot simply leave it out and expect the software to know that you understood it and are relying on implied context: it wants to determine whether you know the corresponding words to 'grammatically' and 'correct'.
Dickens is not long winded. He uses a lot of description, but most 19th century writers wrote in the same style. The public did not have access to the shared visual context we have today. Everything had to be described. Nowadays we have generally seen it on TV or the internet so it does not need to be explained to us through description.
The problem with explict grammatical constructions is that in normal everyday British English you are unlikely to hear them. This is a problem for many learners when they have to do English in 'the real world'. You have to guess the grammatical intention from the context, it is rarely explicit.
It's a particular problem with the Slavic languages, with the perfect and imperfect. If you give an instruction to a Polish worker he does not understand whether an action is to be completed or not. It's never stated in English (but a native speaker knows from context). It can cause significant misundersandings.