More relevant sentences/questions?
Am I the only one who is slightly tired of frankly ridiculous sentences to translate? For example; - I am a fish - Your children are writing a book - You are our wives I understand that, yes, it is to learn the language and not necessarily everything is 100% relevant to everyday life, but really? I would never say these things in English, let alone in French. It's confusing and I believe it's pointless. Do you think we could keep sentences a little more sensible please?
Sometimes it frustrates me too, but I think the point is to learn the language rather than memorizing phrases.
But memorizing phrases is a hugely important part of learning a language.
This is a fair point, I agree. I just don't understand, if people don't like them, why put them in?
I personally find the language learning experience of Duolingo crystal clear and very useful - way more efficient than learning via any other source that I've tried.
+1 to what Mavry said, complain when you finish the tree if you feel as if you're unable to form relevant sentences and questions.
But shouldn't it be clear from the start? If I get irrelevant sentences early on that will taint my learning throughout the entire tree. I agree that 99% of the time Duo is fantastic, but it's just these little things that let it down a little.
It depends how you define irrelevant.
I'm here to learn how to use a language. From the start, I'm learning new words and the grammar of the target language. When you learn the mechanics and definitions of words of a target language, you can structure your own sentences instead of repeating ones you were exposed to.
I personally find Duolingo to be a great tool at teaching the user how to understand and use the language instead of mimicking what they see and aiming for only one correct solution for a translation. Most language learning softwares are programmed to only accept one version of a sentence, whereas Duolingo accounts for the dynamics involved in translating messages which IMHO helps the user better understand the structure of the target language.
Even though I understand why it would be useful to start out with greetings and conversation starters in the beginning of learning a new language, I find that by the time I get to the stage of learning "how are you?" and "how I go to the ____", I understand the language well enough to break down the message instead of memorizing its replacement in English. By the time you've completed the tree and are well versed with it, you'll know how to form relevant sentences - so what's the rush?
Unfortunately, Duolingo cannot know the personal lives of every person who uses this app. There are contexts when each of these sentences are appropriate, even if you personally don't use them. For instance: ("I am a fish") anybody with young children is likely to identify themselves as an animal at some point in time when playing with the child. I have personally identified myself as a fish when swimming with children on numerous occasions. ("Your children are writing a book") Authors are people too, and people occasionally talk to their parents about them. Also, many school teachers assign students with a task of writing a short book as well, and I recall creating a book for school when I was in 6th grade. ("You are our wives") While this one is a little bit farther from my realm of personal experience, I an still think of situations where somebody might say that. For some, this could be an endearing way of saying "We love you."
It would be wonderful if Duolingo could create personalized sentences which are specifically relevant to every person that uses this app, but I frankly doubt that is even possible for a free online service.