The vocabulary is all over the place (plus general problems/ideas)

Having just about completed the first 3 sections, I'm wondering why such a divergence from the other courses?

I do kinda feel that your adherence to the welsh for adults courses has sort of spoiled the ability of Duolingo to mix and match sentences, having started the last leg of the Swedish tree I feel much more comfortable with saying an lots of things in Swedish than I do in Welsh. Since you've not done sets of vocabulary to build upon like the other courses. It does feel as if a little something is missing in terms of the variety of questions that can be asked/answered. (if that doesn't make sense I can clarify it with examples).

The vocabulary is all over the place and sometimes doesn't feel like it makes much sense, for example nos da, wedi blino, Draig in the greetings section and train and grass in the colour section etc. It also feels pretty sparse, it only took me 4 hours to get this far and my Welsh wasn't that great before I started.

There is also lots of repetition within lessons as well learning the same words in later lessons. Like Prynhawn Da, it's repeated in both greeting sections. In my mind the greetings could both be merged. Also, learning "Iawn, heddiw." That has no context, who just uses the words "Iawn, heddiw." I don't even think you've put in how to ask how someone is? Pwy is in the greetings, but where is pwy yt ti? It's the same with sut. If you'd have gone with phrase or question section it would be obvious.

Also things such as, he. she, they, we etc. Did you choose not to teach these, like the other courses, because of mutations by any chance? It's a shame there is so much focus on dw i and rydych chi'. The first 20 lessons feel like all I'd repeated was Dw i'n hoffi/eisiau or rydych chi'n something and nothing else.

What is with the obsession with all the Welsh place name? I can imagine it putting off your more general learner. I mean the first tranche of them was bad. But then they turned up in the simple future as well.

Wouldn't the 'the' section be a great place to put loads of vocabulary? Since it only has one section with 3 words.

It would be nice to have more multiple choice in the dialect section where it is possible to choose two answers of different dialects. For the contract.

How about having a lesson that explains the difference between all the versions of yes and no in Welsh?

Dewi Lingo, the way he is introduced as 'Mr Dewi Lingo', then you have no female equivalent...

Does coffi need to be so prevalent? I know it's a bit of a joke in Wales.. hoffi coffi etc, but really?

In the animal section there was something about bikes.. Why is the word leaves randomly in the month section?

The second section part of 'wanting' is missing! The 3rd one is there.

Thanks for all your hard work by the way!

January 27, 2016


Hi! I'm glad to see that you're enjoying the course and making excellent progress - remember to keep those bars filled :D The course is based on Welsh for Adults at varying levels, but it starts with Mynediad and CiT, then to Sylfaen, and finally Canolradd; there is more vocab. in the middle of the course to get your teeth stuck into and I think you'll enjoy the ending units where you'll be well on your way :)

The repition is what has made Duolingo courses a success and is the key to successful language acquisition and learning. Pwy wyt ti? is asking for someone's name and come in Greetings2 :) Sut wyt ti? also comes in Greetings2. Some of the sentences are a little strange to begin with, and we like to keep you on your toes - who knows when those little, odd sentences will come in handy :D

Some of the pronouns are introduced in Wanting3, and all are introduced :) We love our Welsh place names and thought it an excellent idea to expose learners to the fact that Wales has two official translations of place names, some of which are not literal translations of the other; keep at it and they'll become second nature.

The yes and no in Welsh is a tricky one, as they are based on the verb and the pronoun, which is why some sentences look like Byddwn, byddwn i'n hoffi mynd meaning Yes, I'd like to go, but to the untrained eye, it looks as if it's been repeated - you'll get the hang of it.

Mr Lingo is Dewi Lingo's father (I like to think!), and other members of the Lingo family and friends are introduced in the Greetings - they're a lovely bunch, really :) As you've noticed, we like our coffi and te, and not including them would have just felt wrong.

To better build your memory, we chose to include some (albeit) random vocab. from previous lessons in with other units, again just to keep you on your toes and thinking :)

Sorry about the "Wanting" and "Wanting 3" - Wanting 2 was originally there but it got fused with another unit if I remember rightly and it was overlooked to rename Wanting3. I'll see if Duolingo can do anything about it.

Thanks for all your comments and hopefully mine above have helped to shed some light :) Keep at it a pob lwc!

January 27, 2016

I found the Welsh course's approach to be better than the other courses I have tried regarding layout etc. Perhaps it is down to personal preference. I do think there are some improvememts that could be made, but nothing major as far as I'm aware. I do think plurals could be taught at the same time as the singular forms though, perticularly on one-word questions.

January 29, 2016

I must confess that after doing some other trees, the Welsh tree made me think that the course would teach me just the basics. It's reassuring to read the comments of the creators here and know that it picks up the pace after a while.

Although I miss longer units with more vocab, I do understand the concept and it indeed keeps things flowing and easier, with that "just one more" feel, and I kind of like that (as long as that doesn't require cutting content, of course). I also don't mind the random vocabulary, but there is one thing that bothered me. Considering that the grammar of the first parts is so light, I think it would be nice to have richer sentences. I mean, when you get to the Animals unit in most courses, we have many questions mixing the vocabulary from previous lessons. I understand that the student still hasn't learned third person, so phrases like "the sheep eats a sandwich" are out of the question (unfortunately, I love those). Nevertheless, it can get a bit dry to deal mostly with phrases like "a snake and a whale", " a lion and a spider"...

Also, I miss the Dragon! It appeared right from the start and from the comments you can see that everyone liked it, then it just never shows up again. More Dragon, please! :-)

February 17, 2016
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Diolch for the very constructive suggestions. Once we've eliminated the majority of errors from the course we'll have time to add some more quirky sentences and yes, we definitely need some more dragon. Please remind us again in a few weeks and we'll add the dragon in more units.

February 17, 2016

Diolch for taking your time to read it and answering to quickly! I'll do my best to remind you in a couple of weeks =)

February 17, 2016

Hey, thanks for your reply.

I've just gone through greetings 2 and neither of them come up. I did it several times earlier, perhaps something is wrong on your end?

I'm all up for repetition, but not when they are introduced as the same concept i.e as a single word. Especially when you can introduce new vocabulary. There are only so many times I need to repeat the words cinema and office. Wouldn't it be better if they were part of longer sentences without having to repeat them singular usually with a picture)? That's how the other courses do it.. I think office and cinema have come up 3 times likes this. It should be a given that you know it after the first time and it should be in the context of a sentence after that.

It's one thing to have train and grass in a section. It's another to have 'the green train' - the rest of the repetition is built into Duolingo. I mean the word floor comes up in the perfect tense. It's not relevant to or tied into anything, it's just a random word that hasn't come up again.

By the time you get to colours (lesson 20) in Welsh. The sentences are still incredibly simple. Especially in the context of the Swedish colour lesson (lesson 12): e.g do you want/like the blue car etc vs my cat is black, the man has white clothes, he eats white sugar, my trousers are pink, the woman wears a white dress, my turtle is green etc. I really hope that does improve vastly towards the end!

January 27, 2016
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It's sad when people choose to just complain rather than appreciate the approx 1000 hours of work done by volunteers for nothing to give you an opportunity to learn a language. But here is the simple answer to your complaints, Welsh mutations are very hard to grasp so we designed the course so that learners could gain confidence before they tried exercises with mutations.

January 28, 2016

I'm pretty sure reporting problems (which there have been many) and giving you feedback is also completely voluntary on my behalf. Also, you seem to have missed the bit where I posted: "Thanks for all your hard work by the way!" Any way this is the point of a beta stage, to iron out the kinks and the bugs, right? To get feedback towards this. So no, it's not sad, and perhaps you should be more open to any critique since we're the ones that are using it.

The fact is I do find it odd that you've chosen to include biro, cake and kerry lingo (especially when Eleri Lingo already exists) when you've missed out on words like cousin, uncle and aunt in the family lesson and that you seem to have missed putting Pwy wyt ti and Sut wyt ti into the greeting 2 lesson. Or that for the 4th or 5th time and 40 lessons later I'm still getting picture questions for "parti".

January 28, 2016
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Feedback is good, pointing out mistakes is very useful, whinging about the content and that it's not as good as such and such a course is irritating.

There is a very simple and excellent reason why we didn't introduce pwy wyt ti, sut wyt ti. To use the informal 'you' you have three different forms of the 'are' in 'you are', 'you are not' and 'are you' :- 'rwyt' ti', 'dwyt ti' and 'wyt ti', whereas dych chi and dw i are the same in the statement, question and negative.

I'm sure you'd agree that for English speakers the concept of a VSO sentence structure is hard enough without then, in the initial lessons, throwing in the additional complication of variable spelling for the same translated word.

January 28, 2016

The world list for both family units is:

your, your, my, you, you, know, we, their, biro, cake, father, wife, husband, grandmother, grandmother, grandfather, grandfather his mother, sister, my, your, name, i, is kerry lingo, with, brother, brother, father, dad, granddaughter, grandson, our relatives, stepmother, Alys, hefin, stepson, stepdaughter, marriage, marry groom, father in-law, mother-in-law, wedding dress,

Are you honestly saying the words: biro, cake and kerry lingo are essential when you've missed out on words like cousin, uncle and aunt?

January 28, 2016

I see your point with the repition, but some people will need it repeated many more times, and we need to give these a fighting chance, too. As the course goes on, the sentences get longer and trickier. Many of the individual words and those with pictures allows users who aren't as confident as yourself with language learning the time to get comfortable with how the new word looks, how it sounds, and how it works in relation to other words; everyone can learn at their own pace, yourself being a dab-hand :D

Hopefully those random words keep you on your toes - I know they would me ;)

I think it's a matter of opinion on the difficulty of sentences - "do you want", I'd argue, is grammatically more complex (as I am seeing many answers as "Dych chi'n eisiau" eventhough the notes and course doesn't teach 'n/yn with wedi) compared to "my ... is ...". But that is just my opinion. Saying someone has something, for example, can be quite complex in Cymraeg, which is why some units will seem easy to start and build up in complexity; I can think of four different patterns for "Do you have a car?" in Cymraeg (Oes car gyda ti?/Oes gyda ti gar?/Oes gen ti gar?/Oes car gen ti?) - each language, as you know, will pose its own challenges :)

I accept your point and it is something I will raise with the team and the member who added those units for the next tree, but remember that Duolingo isn't an end unto itself, but just the beginning - you'll naturally pick up other pieces of language when talking to people, reading, listening to music, and watching TV in Cymraeg :)


January 28, 2016

My Welsh isn't good enough to comment on a lot of this, but i will say i found the place name level (haven't gotten to the second one yet) really frustrating. I haven't bothered reviewing it after finishing it like i have with the other levels since those words don't mean anything to me the way the other nouns do. It's an interesting idea, but for me it just meant i spent a lot of time getting answers wrong for places i'd never heard of before. Learning the names of some of the larger cities, eg. Cardiff, would be interesting, but i just found that lesson overwhelming.

The dialect section was also interesting, but i was getting tested on words before both variants had been presented. Many of the words were never formally presented, they appeared in multiple choice questions and i had to guess that there were two correct answers. Still, i found this lesson really interesting.

In Wanting3 all the pronouns were introduced, i'm almost positive i don't have them down, but i have a feeling these will be worked on slowly as the course moves along. Looking at the dialects lesson, i'm not sure if these words vary slightly from one dialect to the other.

Overall i've really enjoyed the course, Welsh is the first new language i'm interested in that i haven't really studied before, and i have a feeling it will be my first completed tree. Ah, another thing i like about the course is the size of the lessons. 3-4 parts per lesson is perfect, in my opinion. I just made it to past the second checkpoint :)

January 29, 2016
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Hi thanks for the positive comments and the constructive criticism. Thanks for the feedback about the place names. The rationale for this unit is that all road signs in Wales are bilingual, after many years of language campaigning.

Many visitors to Wales who are not aware that Wales is a bilingual country get very confused about this and wonder why for instance there is a place called 'Caerdydd' the same distance away as their destination 'Cardiff'. This sort of unit is also interesting for two of the target audiences of the course, ie Adult learners and secondary school children in Wales.

However I take your point about it being a lot of overwhelmingly strange words at once and probably it would be an idea to split the names into smaller lessons dotted around the course,

On the dialect section you raise an important point that is a great frustration to course writers, there is no easy way of ensuring the simpler words and phrases are presented first, Duolingo just seems to choose everything totally at random.

But thanks for pointing the problems out we'll have to check that unit to see if we can add some more clarity.


January 29, 2016

Thanks for the response, someone also mentioned possibly having place names as a bonus lesson, which if you decide to add more place names in the future sounds like a nice idea to me. Putting a city name here/there is another good option.

I also didn't realize you had no control over which words got presented in which order, but some words were being tested on before they were ever presented. For example, for me licio, hogan, and one other word that i can't remember now showed up in multiple choice questions (as answers) without ever being presented as a word/in a sentence first.

January 29, 2016

Are you reading the notes sections before attempting the lessons? I found, for dialects, that the regional differences between many of the words (for milk, boy, girl, cup and others) were explained in the notes before they were presented in the lessons. If you're using the app, you CAN'T see the notes, so it's worth bearing that in mind, and it's definitely worth using a computer browser (or a proper mobile browser) to read through the notes when you're able.

November 8, 2017
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