Just a reminder -- we are beta-testing.
I am not involved in course development in any way, just an enthusiastic Hungarian-language student.
I just want to remind people that this course has only been out for a week, and we are all beta-testing it right now. There are going to be bugs. The course developers are correcting things every day, so something that was wrong yesterday, might already be fixed today.
Additionally, keep in mind that this was an especially hard course to make, because the Hungarian language did not naturally "fit" the Duolingo course development framework. I don't know exactly what they had to do to make it work, but I do know that it was much harder than a "typical" Indo-European language.
Very important point .
I would like to say that most people is aware of this and I hope that very few, or none, would be "intolerant" about any issue with the development of Duolingo Hungarian.
The nice thing about it is that by participating now we are in fact:
Helping in its development towards a better language learning tool for everyone
so all i can say is köszönöm szépen Duolingo :)
I have learnt more using this course than dozens of others. Fantastic job. The use of 'daft' sentences, from a teaching point of view, is actually a very good idea as it forces you to translate what is there, not make a guess...
Many thanks all the developers
Nagyon köszönöm szépen!
Dan (a very experienced teacher...)
I understand the concept of beta-testing, and have made several (dozen) comments about the machine's "threshold of acceptability" for responses, and have often given some grammatical reasons to back up my suggestions. One large flaw to be corrected is to allow answers in English that fit both the present indicative and present progressive. The machine attempts to restrict such common usage in US English. A second flaw in the program that needs re-conceptualizing is the over-reliance on some rather nonsensical sentences. (By this, I mean something on the order of "The dog washes the laundry." I know, you didn't write that--I just made that up.) Sentences should be meaningful and even personally appropriate when possible. I could suggest several pedagogical articles on this and related topics.... One is by Wong and VanPatten, in Foreign Language Annals Volume 36, Issue 3, pages 403–423, October 2003.
Your use of "machine" and "program" implies that you think that there is a big algorithm that accepts or rejects sentences.
It's all done by hand, as far as I know. Volunteers enter a Hungarian sentence and then type in a list of acceptable English translations, and vice versa. Repeat over and over several thousand times until you have enough for a course.
There is a bit of shorthand available to make this addition of alternatives slightly less tedious where multiple alternatives share portions, e.g. "The lamp is [over/above] the table" would create two alternatives at once, "The lamp is over the table" and "The lamp is above the table":
But there is no automatic accepting or rejecting of things such as present simple versus present continuous -- such things have to be dealt with one by one for each single sentence. If someone reports that "A fiú sétál" should be not only "The boy walks" but also "The boy is walking", then that does not change the accepted alternatives for "A lány sétál", and volunteers would have to find such sentences and manually expand the list of alternatives for those as well.
It's unfortunately a fairly tedious process to roll out a change to many sentences simultaneously. (There is some kind of bulk editor but I'm not sure how reliable or usable that is.)
Great to have the Hungarian for English speakers course finally see light of day! Thanks, Everyone. Good reminder also of the limitations of Beta; it is a work in progress, and we can all help out with our comments following each item. I look forward to the mobile version. Incidentally, I like the warm voice of the woman speaker. She sounds like a real person - unlike the robotic, computer-generated voices others seem to use. Cheers, Max