https://www.duolingo.com/NealBertelsen

Car Mode

NealBertelsen
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Who else thinks it would just be cool if there was a hands-off "Car Mode" that you could turn on while commuting? Perhaps not for learning NEW sections, but at least for reviewing and restrengthening learned words and phrases.

It seems like it would be fairly simple to program. Just use the already-built-in language recognition. Then, do all of the different combinations of repeating/translating a phrase from the native to foreign, or foreign to native language. This would be way better than those cd's you buy and listen to in the car. Plus, IT'S DUOLINGO!

I guess I just find myself wanting to practice in the car. I really think this kind of a feature would add A LOT of value to this app. I would even pay for this "additional feature", though I love the fact that Duolingo is FREE.

Please respond and make this thread popular. I would love to see this integrated as a practice mode.

4 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/NealBertelsen
NealBertelsen
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I'm wishing I hadn't titled this "Car Mode". Maybe I should have called it "Conversation Mode"? It would have been less controversial. I still think there is a lot of value to be had in the voice recognition that Duolingo employs. Forget the car. What if Duolingo could say a phrase in the foreign language, and then wait for an appropriate response? It might be nice to just have a whole string of lessons that are hands free. It would develop the conversational aspects of language learning. Also, I suppose my suggestion comes from a guy that lives in a town with very little traffic/good drivers. When I imagine my idea implemented on the busy streets of Los Angeles or New York, let alone in a foreign country like Brazil or Mexico...HAH! I would have declared it a HORRIBLE idea just as some of you have. Anyway, I still think that some sort of hands-free mode would be not only cool but beneficial to the learning process. Don't get me wrong, I love how well-rounded Duolingo's approach is, and how it forces you to learn and test your knowledge in so many diverse manners.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NealBertelsen
NealBertelsen
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Wow, okay. Sorry guys. So you're not proponents of the cd's and audiobooks that have you repeat phrases? I've tried those in the past, and the thing I don't like about them is they can't tell you if you're saying it right, or translating it correctly. But Duolingo can. I get the danger thing, that's fine. I don't know if I really think it would be as dangerous as you think. People do a lot of thinking/listening to music/talking to themselves/singing at the top of their lungs in cars while they drive, and this really wouldn't be too much more involved than that. At any rate, I still think a hands-off mode would be useful in other circumstances like while doing chores around the house, while cooking, I don't know, while shoveling snow? There are plenty of times when I'd like to be practicing a language while doing something else. And yes, I know I could buy an audiobook. I said that in the original post. But that would defeat the purpose of Duolingo being the place where I meet all my language learning needs. Even if it was just to practice pronunciation. Come on now, do you really think that would be so dangerous? If it was TOTALLY hands free, no button pushing to advance to the next word or phrase? I don't know, if everyone hates the idea, then so be it. I suppose Duolingo has to err on the side of safety...but I just don't know if it would be any less safe than the audiobooks that are already out there which encourage you to practice in the car...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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I'm a cyclist, so not only do I hate the idea for drivers, I also think it would be a great idea for me :o)

Sarcasm aside, have you tried pimsleur cd's? They give you enough time to not only predict the next line, but listen to it, and repeat it afterwards. You can judge for yourself if you got it right or not, you're not going to do any worse than Duolingo's speech recognition, which is - forgive me - awful. It's good to have it there, don't get me wrong, but it has marked me correct for saying the english before, for mumbling, breathing, saying 'ethethethethethehtthth!'. It's fundamentally a good idea, but the tech just isn't reliable enough yet, if you've ever swore down the phone to a voice activated menu, you'll know why.

You're also completely missing a big trick. You don't actually have to use dedicated language materials to study a language. Just listening to some music or talk radio in another language is training your listening skills. As long as you don't let your thoughts tune out, and make an effort to focus on what you are hearing, even that is studying. You don't get a gold star and a test score for doing it, but it will make a serious difference to your ability in the long term.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NealBertelsen
NealBertelsen
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These are all good comments. I want you all to know that I know you are all correct when you suggest other learning methods. I've done Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone. I've done Busuu, Live Mocha, and others similar to DuoLingo. I've done textbooks in College, and I've listened to music, watched TV, etc. The best way to learn a REAL language is to live in the country for a while, I did that for a couple years in Brazil and became fluent in Portuguese. Really, when I did that, I found that no manner of book learning or even online learning REALLY had taught me the language. Plus, a real foreign language depends on where you're traveling to or living. Not just whether you're in Spain or Mexico, but WHERE you're located within the foreign country itself can make a big difference in pronunciation and even how people say what they want to say. And I also know that learning how to fluently converse in another language does NOT mean you know how to read it, or write it. I'm not trying to do away with all of these good methods. I merely wanted to suggest a way that I thought would make DuoLingo better. As if it isn't innovative enough. :) And I've also studied in college how teaching through gaming and reward systems such as DuoLingo employs are really effective in the human brain. Our brain likes to feel rewarded for its effort. It reinforces more strongly the things we learn when there is emotion involved -- the kind of emotion you get when you see you just earned 10+ coins for strengthening 11 words, and since you did it without missing any hearts, you've earned some other prize called a lingot which you can save up to buy even more cool stuff! This new hybrid of language pedagogy and the videogame achievement system is an AMAZING way to teach ANYTHING. Organizations like the Khan Academy are embracing it with wild success. Anyway, thanks for your suggestions. I just want you to know that I don't discredit such things simply because I'm suggesting a hands-off mode for DuoLingo. And yes, voice recognition should get better, as it has, and it will. But it's a great future for language learning. Especially since DuoLingo has now made it interactive and totally free.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CNDragn

I thought it was a good idea lol But then, I am often on long car rides, and having a few hours to just myself, I usually end up lost in my thoughts about stuff, usually things Id rather not think about but Im stuck in a car with nothing else to do...would actually be nice to have Duolingo to practice instead, that would be more productive. Also, I like Red Rat's ideas, about while in a gym, or maybe like when Im doing needlework or who knows...lots of possibilities.

I will say though, that in lieu of that, it does kind of "force" you to find other ways to study. From what I understand, Duolingo teaches a limited vocabulary so you cant depend on it to teach you everything, and its a good idea not to use only this to learn a language, but to also incorporate other things to help build vocabulary. So some hand free options can be to have a podcast, or listen to music in your target language...something to get your mind used to hearing the language, and actively finding words you know or can recognize while learning new ones.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dnovinc
dnovinc
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This reminded me of this article http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hands-free-texting-is-no-safer-to-use-while-driving

In my opinion If we are talking about driving a car, hands-off mode is equally dangerous as hands-on because it's not holding the phone that causes accidents—it's mental distraction. Same thing applies to audiobooks while driving.

But that doesn't mean Duolingo shouldn't make a hands-off mode in the future.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Red_Rat_Writer

This would be a good idea if you were in a traffic jam, or exercising (in a gym) where you can´t be hands-on, but you don´t really have to focus on what you´re doing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogduo
rogduo
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Agree, hands off mode would have been maybe a better title. Personally, I choose not to do lessons, be they from Pimsleur or a possible future DL mobile mode or anything else, because of the distraction, but I used a TON of Pims (all 100 lesson) driving while droning down the highway at moderate speeds, and at the gym. Neither of these are super high concentration activities,and could benefit from use of customized vocab training and review that an app and knowledge base such Duolingo could provide. I would love to see this. The name, Car Mode, for many reasons, should be avoided. Hands off mode would be great though. Actually, now that I´ve just completed 2 years of Spanish college classes, and will be going back to self study, and hopefully the gym more again, it´s just what I´m looking for.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JodyJohnsen

Wow everyone's a critic. I found this thread because I need to practice the words I know and more importantly, hear them pronounced correctly to support my real lessons on the computer. I have cds but I really want to practice these specific words rather than try to learn some new ones at the same time.

So, thanks for the car mode subject Neal.

If Duolingo is listening, I would like; 1. repetition of words we know in our given levels along with the meanings. 2. the ability to load this into my smartphone for practice in the car, airplane, at the gym or where ever I deem safe.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NealBertelsen
NealBertelsen
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Okay, new topic for those interested in contributing to what they would like to see in a hands-off or "Conversation Mode" http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1233047

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/centime
centime
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You are supposed to practice pronunciation with Pimsleur while driving.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JeisonVargas098

jajaja

8 months ago
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