Why do I keep seeing sentences like "we eat salt" or "I eat the sugar" in the Turkish lessons?
Are these sentences actually commonly said in Turkish? I'm just curious..
LOL! :) Well I have never heard them used in Turkish! Of course it is possible to say them and of course Turkish speaking people could possibly use them and they are actually correct but I have never heard them used by anyone I know......... There are many legendary sentences used like this in Duolingo, in all the different languages. I think there are even posts about the various weird examples students have come across! :)
Thank you for sharing that knowledge, it does make for amusing reading !
It is all about learning.
And believe it or not ... it has been found that also fun/weird sentences stick in our minds more.
And this is just one reason.
Many mind memory 'tricks' use this principle. And if you are interested I can point out examples.
It is also about initially when learning a language, there are a couple of things you work on.
One is , yes - the number of words you are acquiring. More importantly though, is working through learning how the grammar works.
And learning the grammar - is harder and more complex, than just learning a string of words.
It is about learning the rules that make the language work.
And the words are just the ... words - that you combine in different ways to be able to be understood. The words are the cards that you work with.
What is harder to learn - is how to arrange the cards in a logical way to be understood in that language.
I will write more on this if you are interested. It is a fascinating subject.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Lindakanga. My guess (with no scientific evidence) is actually that learning to say 'I eat the sugar' in theory does not necessarily make it easier to learn the grammar than learning to say 'I eat the orange'. True that the latter is more boring than the former, but I think if the learner makes an effort to remember a sentence in a hope to use it in a related context, it can stick to the head more easily. Also, adding those weird sentences can cause a bit of confusion in some cases. For example, people do say things like 'consuming sugar' but less about 'eating sugar' and when you're leaning a new language (with an open mind) you don't know if the latter could actually mean the former. I'd be happy to be surprised, though - there are many fascinating theories about learning and I'm not familiar with a lot of them.
I tend to agree with you duplexa. I prefer to spur my students on with 'correct/real' examples but I am a great believer in making use of popular culture as I have noticed music, films, serials etc can be a huge help in encouraging learners and getting new words/phrases to stick in their heads. Whole lessons can be based an episode from Game of Thrones, a song or even some silly soap! :) It's good to have fun when learning, especially a foreign language. You obviously were on the right track when you taught your brother to write! :) All the best ! :)
Thanks for sharing the link, Lindakanga. I didn't notice there were those hidden gems! I will pay more attention as I learn more sentences. This may be a bit irrelevant but I noticed that baykuş (owl) is easy to remember because it contains kuş (bird). I guess we're learning the word owl because the mascot of Duo happens to be an owl (which is also an interesting choice itself), but it works nicely for Turkish in particular.
Life , well - it is not perfect.
Just like being a parent is not about being a perfect parent.
It is about being the best parent you can be - in relation to the needs of your child, in the dynamics of your whole family (including other children), and your wider family and responsibilities and your community.
And yet on that journey - to continue to strive to be the best you can be. ;D
And so - in many fundamental and relevant ways - it is the striving that makes you a perfect parent, and not the achieving of the ideal - though you keep striving to achieve this ideal that you will never be able to reach for all the parties and other influences considered. ( I do apologize for going philosophical on you. )
did I ever tell you the story about a man and his son on the way to the market with the family donkey ... ?
Is that the story in which they get criticized no matter what they do with the donkey?
Thank you for sharing it, Izmirsunflower. Sorry, I somehow thought this post was from lindakanga as well. Popular cultures definitely help. I learn a lot by watching movies and sitcoms and even political debates!
It is lovely to have this discussion.
Also a point to remember is that the words at the commencement of a course, are as you indicate - very important. And I do assure you a lot of thought is gone into by the development teams on this issue. As with so many things, it is a complex set of factors that lead to the decision of the design of the course. Which also means there is no real wrong or right answer, and it is a complex weighing up of these multiple factors that leads to the choice being made.
Another factor often considered is that the first words being introduced may also have greater similarity between the source and target language.
As well as show also being able to show of the regular spelling rules, as well as grammar rules, or show of a notable and highly used exception.
For there are several aspects to being able to grasp another language.
Of course first there is learning the words and their meanings. I have often heard it said, that you need to learn about 1,000 high use words to be able to have a simple conversation.
Related to that, there is the spelling rules related to those words. Some which follow rules, and some that are exceptions to those rules.
Then there is learning the real steps and dance to the language - the grammar. Both the most common way to say things, and that gives you a basic structure you can reliable work with that should allow you to be understood, and hopefully to understand, in many situations.
Then there is expert dance - of how to bend the rules, and to know all the exceptions to this basic backbone structure.
Sorry I have not yet come back with the references yet on many recommendations I know about of how one great way to remember things is to tell yourself weird stories, and that the more weird they are - the more they engage lots of your senses, (such as smell, music, soundscape, color, movement, your own memories, feelings, touch, temperature, etc, and that the more notable the story - as in being bizarre - the better will be the recall of your list, or topic.
Of course mnemonics is also a great way to remember things - as it - like the story - provides you a 'ladder' to hang the things you want to remember off.
Putting things to music, or to poetry is also a reinforcement learning strategy.
At duolingo we encourage these sorts of discussions, and all our courses are constantly being reviewed and tweaked in many ways.
Please though note - this is my impression and my experience with Duolingo, and I am not speaking on behalf of Duolingo.
( i.e. this is all only my opinion. )
So thank you for your participation and input.
Thank you so much Lindakanga for sharing the experience in designing a course at Duolingo. This is really great that I get to peep into how things work behind the scene. I have to let you know that I love the way Duolingo works (you should see how enthusiastically I've been using it since I joined). I can see that a lot of thoughts have been put into making a learning experience efficient and fun. In a sense, I agree that the salt/sugar examples also contributed in making it more interesting. Your response also reminded me how I taught my younger brother how to write by choosing weird words as examples (~25 yrs ago). I didn't mean to be nitpicky and critical. Just wanted to share some thoughts from a naive person's perspective. Again I am as far as it could get from being a language education expert. I really enjoy using DuoLingo. Thanks a lot for putting these courses together.