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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Aaaargh...please mention the Incubator application form word limit in the instructions!

I am interested in contributing to a future course, and have spent several evenings working on my application texts in the two languages. Tonight I was finally satisfied with them, but they do not fit into the form! I have not exactly rewritten War and Peace, my text is only about a third too long.

As I have understood that you want sufficiently long and detailed applications to be able to judge the language skills of the applicants, I think it should be made clear on the form how long is too long (in words or characters). It just feels really demotivating to go back and have to cut and delete bits now that I have already written what I thought was my best effort. Had the word limit been mentioned, I would of course have kept to that to start with.

I know Duolingo has received a gazillion (well, more than 20,000 at least) applications for the Incubator, so the frustrations of one more willing applicant may not be the most important thing on the agenda right now, but it would still be great to get this tiny but depressing problem fixed.

Thank you to anyone who bothered to read my little rant.

February 2, 2014

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karint

How long in characters is your essay? The current limit is 2000 characters for each essay, but it was really arbitrarily chosen and we didn't expect people to ever hit that limit. We can tweak it up a bit if your essay isn't too much longer;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

I just checked: The English is 3128 characters including spaces (2627 not including spaces), and the Finnish 3035 characters (2677).

So am I really the first one to have (or at least the first to report) this problem? I'm surprised (and feeling a bit like a swot...).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/karint

It's good to be passionate about your essays:) This is the first time I've heard of this problem - the applications we receive tend to be much shorter (around 1-3 paragraphs, 500-1000 characters). The character limit is there to ensure our staff and moderators don't become overwhelmed with long applications, especially since there are a lot of them! I actually think you may improve your chances if you could shorten your essay to 2000 characters, summarizing your qualifications in the first paragraph. Generally we can gauge someone's fluency and enthusiasm within the first few sentences. Also keep in mind we can view your Duolingo profile and activity, so there's not a huge need to write a lot about your activity on Duolingo - hopefully that can help you shorten your essay. We look forward to receiving it!:)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

OK! Thanks a lot for your prompt replies and your help. I shall be pruning those sections particularly hard...

(Maybe it would still be a good idea to add the character limit to the form, just in case another applicant, another couple of tens of thousands of applications later, faces the same problem?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MultiLinguAlex

I also had to cut down my application, so you are not alone ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Good to hear! :-) So there's at least two of us overly excited ones...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pleiadian_

You know Finnish??? What an awesome language to be fluent in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN5bUIkNZT4

It sounds beautiful!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Aaah...a hockey fan? :-) I think that dude isn't actually THE famous hockey commentator in our awesome language. The person you really want to youtube for this is Antero Mertaranta.

There are plenty of great clips of him going absolutely crazy at the microphone, and even a few dance remixes of his commentaries, such as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nxx_Njg8Uc, and this old goodie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5lkviS-SO0 (but this one is mostly funny because of his creative use of the language).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Woohooo! I finally got around to submitting my application. Thanks for all the mental support and practical advice given in this discussion! :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bnvdarklord

Huh. My application was like 5 sentences. I hope it was enough :P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Well, one of the moderators of the Turkish to English course, Selcen_Ozturk, course gave some excellent advice for would-be course contributors in a previous thread, and I guess I got a bit too excited... :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bnvdarklord

Haha, nothing wrong with that. It'll probably take some time before you get selected though. I submitted my application a month ago, and I'm waiting still. They probably get a lot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Yup, I'm not going to be holding my breath even when I do manage to apply. I can't imagine Finnish and English being one of the most sought-after language pairs here. But I saw a few requests for it, and thought I could contribute to this awesomeness.

Good luck with your own application!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bnvdarklord

Thanks, good luck to you too.

I applied for the Greek course, it seems there are some people interested which is nice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pont
  • 149

You can add one more to your list of customers for Finnish! I can still remember a few phrases from my last attempt many years ago, but it's difficult to work "maton alla tuntuu olevan jotain" into a conversation.

Also, after grappling with the horrors of German strong, weak, and mixed declension, it will be pure joy to study a language with no articles and no genders!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

Hahaha, thanks to you, my (non-Finnish-speaking) spouse just learned a new sentence! ("there seems to be something under the rug")

In the other Nordic countries, people generally know "ei saa peittää" ("may not be covered", ie. "do not cover"), since a lot of radiators across the Nordics carry a multilingual sticker with this message. So there, pont, now you have yet another useful sentence! :-)

Finnish is hard at first, but nicely well-organized once you start getting the hang of it. Just like we Finns are...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/856pm

I hope you like suffixes!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pont
  • 149

@856pm: Oh yes, I know exactly what awaits me... this: http://www.ling.helsinki.fi/~fkarlsso/genkau2.html

Somehow, though, my brain is better at processing that kind of thing than the German three-dimensional matrix of gender × case × determiner.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/856pm

I'd say that about Hungarian, but wadaya know... it's here. It's a bit difficult for me, though, reverse-coursing it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

And Hungarian is not just available, but has a huge number of users already!

I can't imagine reverse-coursing a language that I don't already know (either from the real world or at least from doing the non-reversed tree)... You must be a language masochist!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martineczech

I would so so much love to see a Duolingo course for Finnish!! I wish there was one :( I'm learning for some time and it's quite hard, this would make it so much easier to stay motivated ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

What resources are you using, if I may ask? I would like to be able to recommend some...

I have seen quite a few courses on memrise.com, notably a couple of "the most common 3000 words", but I have only glanced at them. And anyway it's hard to evaluate resources for a language you already know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martineczech

I can't response to your "deep" comment anymore, so here. I've bought the book Complete Finnish off Amazon. For phone learning, I transfer each chapter's vocabulary to the phone and use Anki (flashcards) to train vocabulary. Even with the help of OCR it is a bit tedious. I am just a stubborn fan of Finnish, so without much use for it in Central Europe, staying motivated is always a challenge. So I'd be happy about some cool phone app or phone-optimised website concentrating on teaching Finnish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annika_a

OK, thanks for your reply! There are plenty of books teaching Finnish, but I have yet to come across one that looked interesting... :-(

Have you had a look at Memrise? You can do it on your phone, on a computer, or both. I use Duolingo for learning French in general, and then Memrise to drill myself in verb forms and idiomatic expressions. It's perfect for doing 5 minutes of practice here and there, rather than focusing on a whole lesson at a time like you kind of have to with the Duolingo app.

I don't know what level your Finnish is, but you might also be interested in news in easy Finnish: http://yle.fi/selkouutiset/ . There's even a section in "really easy Finnish": http://yle.fi/selkouutiset/index.php?id=9917.

And do let me know if you have any questions about Finnish!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martineczech

Yes I know the yle news, I have them set as a podcast, only understand small pieces (some words) yet though. It goes so slow...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kg997

I know this is a very old post, but, do you happen to know the name of this thread with the advice?

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