https://www.duolingo.com/Hamish88

Expanding vocabs of current languages

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Just wondering whether there's still plans to extend the vocab of current established languages (French, German, Spanish etc), and when this might happen. 3000-4000 words eventually would be great. Thanks

5 years ago

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lovedino

I agree. I've studied Spanish for years and have been using duolingo to brush up a little bit. I noticed that I've only "learned" around 1500 words here. I know that I know many more Spanish words than this an would like to practice them as well as learn words for more everyday objects that I know I'm lacking.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/curlyeric
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As much as it sounds good, I don't think a large expansion of the tree is warranted. It is much better to use the learning here as a springboard and learn the other words "in the wild". There is already so much "idiomatic use" that duo doesn't ( can't? ) capture in the words that are part of the tree. At a minimum I would rather see the depth of the current words and grammar topic improved before expanding the number of words.

People really need to step out of the comfort zone and immerse themselves in more advanced material if they want to expand their learning in the target language.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BellaLibellula

While I agree with you on the idiomatic use, there is certainly thousands of words that have nothing to do with idioms. I think this would be a great idea for those 'bonus' lessons you could buy. More foods, more job types, sports lingo... anything they incorporate into already existing sentances would be positive I feel. :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hamish88
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Ja, agreed, certainly from a point of view of spoken language; but I think for reading literature, an expansion of vocab would help

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/james232

Although I appreciate the ethos of the comment, as I frequently do face to face language exchanges to improve my skills in Spanish, read in Spanish, and listen to various things to improve my ear etc, I don’t totally agree. There are some more advanced improvements that the tree seems particularly well suited to instil in the learner. I am a native English speaker. Many people I know who have advanced English as a second language make persistent minor errors that they don’t seem to correct over time. I think this may partly be because their English is already quite advanced, and it can be disruptive to the flow of a fluent conversation to say, for example, “instead of continuing our conversation can we go back ten sentences and discuss a minor grammatical error that did not affect comprehension at all”. I think we all regularly experience this with advanced second language speakers of our own native tongues. There are even books that point out such mistake in the vein of ‘1000 common mistakes English speakers make when learning Spanish’ etc.. I believe that by isolating more subtle upper- intermediate and advanced points of confusion the correct-incorrect format of the tree is particularly suitable for straightening out these areas of confusion in the minds of language learners. This could perhaps also be achieved at the same time as adding additional vocabulary and more advanced grammatical constructions to make the additional learning levels more comprehensive in their scope.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/curlyeric
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I don't think our ideas are too different. The french tree has 1848 words and misses so much depth. I just think it's important that current, major, deficiencies are addressed in the Duo system before adding a large number of additional words. In French alone there is significant missing grammar hints, they treat impartfait and passé compose as the same when they are not.

To get the depth that these lessons need, I almost think they need to move to multi-sentance questions. Many things can only be understood in a larger context. This is one of the reasons the tenseless languages like Chinese is taking so long, so much is taken from context that it's hard to come to stable cross-transations of simple sentences. What might create dozens of translations in English-French will create hundred in Chinese once you add all the various tenses. Once the limitations are addressed it should be possible to use some data mining on the immersion data to pull in additional words.

The mistake I think a lot are making is believing that Duo is a tool for fluency. In my mind it's not, maybe I'm wrong. Don't get me wrong, it's a great tool, wonderful in fact, I sing it's praise to anyone who will listen. I've gone from 0 to intermediate level in 8 months thanks a lot to the base learning here. But it will never be a replacement for interacting in the language: reading, writing, listing, speaking, and culture.

From AJATT "You do not lean a language, you become accustom to it". I would welcome any change to Duo that help to improve that comfort with a language.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
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I'd agree. There are so many other places to learn vocabulary. The "Practice Makes Perfect" series has an entire workbook on vocabulary, with a couple of thousand words. Just learning word lists isn't too useful, they have to be words you are going to use. Vocabulary is the easiest part of a language to learn, we learn new words in our native language all the time I have a fairly good vocabulary relating to grammar terms, because I use it in my ELAA classes. I have a reasonable vocabulary relating to food, because there are grocery stores in the area serving the Latino population. Despite several classes and working through workbooks, I couldn't actually use that vocabulary effectively until I started Duolingo with their method of teaching.
I haven't gotten to the end of the Spanish tree yet, so I don't know where it is lacking, but certainly drilling deeper into the areas where grammar interfaces with semantics, which is where fluent non-native speakers tend to make their errors would be more useful than just adding words. (example in English, we can say Give me the book but not Explain me the book) I think vocabulary is learned better through the Immersion section here, through reading random articles and/or books, (starting with a familiar childhood favorite translated to your target language is a good idea) through movies and TV, and through actual conversations with real people. . .

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samy1979
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Yes I agree with use duolingo as a springboard and learn the rest "in the wild". There is also more context than just a sentence like in duolingo. Also if the tree would be expanded so much, many people would be discouraged even to start.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/delapouite
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Yes, these new words could be added in optional lessons, available through lingots purchases. Like Animals 2, Clothes 2 etc...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jkl
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Use the fsi tools to expand ur vocab while also getting more complex sentences

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frl.Katinka

To have just a simple vocab-trainer would be great. So one can buy after each mastered part of the tree a "bonus-vocab"-lesson (vocab-enrichment) where you can just learn the words, if you like to (after all, using them in sentences is easy after learning them). That way extending the amount of vocab would be very easy.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tariqnisarahmed

Definitely needed and would be appreciated. Duolingo's method of refreshing vocabulary removes guesswork and is much better than that of any other site I have seen.

I'm not even certain that the tree need be lengthened so much as expanded at the top. So after a certain level the tree would broaden considerably. And clicking on a topic at that level would access lessons. But instead of doing new lessons in order, at this advanced level users could choose lessons based on the sample words list, focusing on new words of interest.

The utility of this would be that Duolingo tracks what words you are learning and helps you keep them refreshed over time.

For users who will not be immersed in their learned languages, keeping fresh in Duolingo is invaluable!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/katrinamalone

that sounds like a plan x

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jenni-Li

personally i think it would be great if there was a way to manually add words to our vocab list, that we learn outside the site. i'm in a class an i'm learning from bilingual friends, but i use Duolingo to study and as an auditory learner, books and classes can only do so much for me. even if i go to class often, its not enough for me to remember many words. the class is most concerning concepts. While i can understand the importance of going outside and learning, some of us aren't there yet, but still have lots of other words not utilized in the lessons.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KaptianKaos8
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After I am fluent in a language I might expand the tree on said language. I am dissapointed that I have completed the French, Esperanto, and almost now German and Japanese skill tree and still listen to French radio and not understand a word. I guess many other people think the same as me, and so I wouldn't think it should take too long now. With Duolingo adding new features like the Spanish podcast and stories, we can assume they are trying innovative ways to fix such problem.

11 months ago
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