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https://www.duolingo.com/landsend

Comparing Duo to an intense attendance course (in German)

landsend
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A subsidiary of the German news magazine Der Spiegel compares Duo to a live weekend course. Note that this is not the "real" Der Spiegel news magazine but their youth brand Bento which means... a more light-hearted kind of journalism. The article describes the authors experiences with learning Spanish in a short time span (one month). Honestly, I don't think that Duo is the best choice for this. If you want a "conversation" course that leads to quick results at the cost of fundamental understanding then there are better choices. Duo builds a foundation for learning a language but it takes its time - and it is missing some basic phrases that are at the beginning of a typical conversation or holiday language course.

Without further ado here is the article.

Notable results:

  • The author criticizes that Latin American Spanish is taught (without explicit notice)
  • She notes the different depth of notes between DE->ESP and EN->ESP. In fact she states a complete lack of notes in DE->ESP.
  • She is not satisfied with the explanation of pronunciation.
  • Some rules are missing in the notes (negation).
  • She feels that she learned the rules (e.g. conjugation) better in the live course.
  • She criticizes the language recognition.
  • She likes that she can learn at any time and for shorter periods.
  • She mentions that Duo is free compared to the notable price of the weekend course.

In conclusion she is planning to use both. Which is a good idea.

In my opinion Duo is a very good supplementary tool but you always need other additional material, be it books, courses, or other web services.

2 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/-Katrina.-
-Katrina.-
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I agree. People always use just Duolingo, and then criticize it because they don't know a lot, which annoys me. Duolingo can't teach you everything; it just gives you basics to build on with other sources. And while Duolingo isn't perfect, yes, it is a great free resource.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuncanChauffe
DuncanChauffe
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I don't know how people can criticize duolingo...ITS FREE! its better than paying like $400 for a program that may or may not be a good learning program to some. They will need to realize that they will learn the language as long as they put devotion into it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-Katrina.-
-Katrina.-
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Agreed, Duolingo is amazing! People are just trying to take shortcuts with learning a language, which you can't do.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JosephScho3

Duolingo IS amazing, but by itself you will NOT learn a language with any real fluency. Duolingo gives the base for the language, but without supplementation you won't get very far.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuncanChauffe
DuncanChauffe
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I think it depends on how much they use duolingo. I've been using the article translation part a good bit and it has been very useful in learning Portuguese. But of course, duolingo is not the only thing I used to learn Portuguese: books, articles, speaking to native Portuguese speakers, and music has been helping me learn. But my main source for learning Portuguese i'd have to say is duolingo. Picking some challenging articles to read and translate has helped me a lot.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/.luisito

Duolingo shouldn't be used as the sole source of learning a language. It will get you to around an A2 level but one should go out and find more resources. That is how you properly learn a language.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ButtonLang

It should be noted that Spanish for German speakers is a relatively new course, while Spanish for English speakers was one of the original courses available on Duo. If I'm not mistaken, Spanish for German was only released into phase 3 a month ago.

So while it's completely fair to criticize things that the course lacks, I don't know if comparing it to the Spanish for English speakers course is necessary or useful.

More notes would definitely be great though, this goes for all the courses.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/landsend
landsend
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As a user it is just the result that counts, not the process or the effort.

For a German wanting to learn another language English is a good intermediate language, typically when you want to learn another language the proficiency of English is good enough to use it as course language. So a comparison of the two courses at current state is something to be expected - even necessary, I would say.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ButtonLang

Thank you for explaining, it makes a lot more sense now. I didn't consider English as an intermediate language for Germans. My original problem with it was because I thought the author was comparing only the notes in the courses to make a point, and not the courses themselves. If that's not the case, there's no issue here :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eligeert
Eligeert
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The succes of using Duolingo partly depends on your prefered learing stlyle. Some people favour learning theory first and then put it into practise, whereas others prefer learning the other way around. Duolingo is more geared towards the latter.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robinine
Robinine
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I always considered myself a theory first sort of person, but when it comes to learning languages, starting with the theory was one of my biggest road blocks. I love Duolingo for giving me enough practical experience that I can drive right over those all road blocks with barely a bump.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete
psionpete
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No doubt she also ignores the fact that Duo is entirely free while a months course of intensive attendance would leave a sizeable hole in your pocket.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/landsend
landsend
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No, she mentions this, I didn't in my abstract; I added that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ConorHoughton
ConorHoughton
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Isn't it odd that there are notes for EN->ESP but not DE->ESP when Duolingo itself has a method - immersion - for translating things! Even if immersion hasn't worked as a commercial activity, I don't understand why it isn't being used more in the creation of Duoling itself!

2 years ago