We need your feedback! [CLOSED]
~31. august 2016
Hello Duolingo Norwegian learners!
Some of you have followed the progress of the Norwegian course since the very beginning (our beta launch was May of 2015), while some of you have been learning Norwegian on Duolingo for only a little while. We'd like to ask, "what are your current impressions of the Norwegian course?"
The course is currently in its second edition. Although the next edition will be somewhat longer (we hope to make it manageable), we'd like to focus more on how we teach the language. Please send us your feedback below! Here are some questions that may help get you started:
- What changes would you like to see in a new version of the Norwegian course?
- Is the course, or are parts of the course, too challenging?
- What grammatical concepts does the course not adequately address?
- Would you prefer more skills in rows of 1, 2, or 3 skills?
- Should certain skills be taught earlier or later in the skill tree?
Please up-vote ideas that others share that you happen to agree with, so the best ideas can float to the top. We're a ways off from releasing a whole new tree because we want to give learners time to finish tree 2.0. We also don't want to get too ahead of the other courses, as Norwegian is currently the longest course on the website.
Tusen takk for hjelpen!
~Det norske laget
Thank you for all your kind words and insight! Much appreciated. :)
I'll address some of your suggestions here, rather than repeat myself in direct replies:
Compound words skill:
This was actually on my to do list for 2.0, but didn't happen because I was too busy proofreading the new skills we'd already added. I suppose it's about time I got to it.
Placement of grammar skills:
There have been a few suggestions regarding the ratio and placement of grammar skills. Without agreeing or disagreeing with them, I can tell you a little about why the grammar skills are placed as they are in 2.0.
The way Duolingo works, each new word needs to be introduced as a lexeme, with a minimum of three example sentences using that word. That means that the sentences early in the tree have to be very simplistic, because we only have a handful of nouns and verbs at our disposal. This limits which grammatical concepts we can add early in the tree, because we need to build a vocabulary first.
Another very important concern is of course our learners. For seasoned language learners (yes, that'd be all of you posting!), Norwegian might be a piece of cake, but for many of our learners the concept of gendered nouns is brand new - and quite nonsensical! Throw gendered pronouns and possessives into the mix, and they have quite enough to chew on for a while.
When it comes to the later parts of the tree, our philosophy is that words and grammar concepts which appear earlier in the tree should be repeated in the sentences later in the tree; so even if there are fewer grammar skills toward the end, the sentences will be more complex, utilising - and hopefully consolidating - the grammar you've already encountered.
Unfortunately, Duolingo's algorithm for choosing the sentences it presents to users has a strong preference for easier sentences, and will avoid those with higher failure rates like the plague. This makes it very difficult for us to reinforce some of the trickier grammar concepts, as Duolingo basically locks them in the basement and throws away the key. This is very frustrating to us course contributors, but we're not being heard on the subject.
References to Norwegian literature:
This always amuses me a bit, because the truth is that we have plenty of references to Norwegian books, poems and song lyrics; but people don't catch them, for obvious reasons. I try to add links in the sentence discussions when I can, but we do not have the ability to start a new sentence discussion from the Incubator, so we actually have to wait for someone else to comment before we can do the same.
Vocabulary relating to Norwegian culture:
This is a tricky one, because it's something we love to add, but it's actually not as well received as one might think. Some learners have very little interest in learning words they'll "never use", and these words also tend to get higher failure rates because learners are lacking a framework to relate them to. It never fails to amaze me how much controversy (and straight up whining) the word "lue" is able to generate, for instance.
In truth we're itching to add some more specialised skills on things like Norwegian history, Norse mythology and Sami culture, but we think they would work much better as bonus skills - whenever Duo decides fix those.
Everyday sentences, sayings and funny quotes:
You're preaching to the choir here; we're always looking to add more of those.
Specific types of exercises:
We cannot influence the amount of listening exercises, the types of exercises available, or the ratio of translations into one language or the other.
I'm actually not sure how we can teach these any better than we do, though I'm all ears if you have any ideas. We already use them extensively throughout the course, and explain the "rules" as best we can, but the truth is that there aren't logical rules for everything; some verbs just take preposition X, and that's it. If it doesn't match up with the English preposition you were expecting it to, then that's just how it is.
Yes, Deliciae, that's a lovely idea.
You can make a story in the new tree, and as the tree progresses, you learn about a city filled with cute cats:)
My kitten Puck volunteers to be a skill in the Norwegian tree.
Maybe a skill about famous Norwegian literature? the Danish tree has one along those lines. I would love a skill full of enjoyably depressing references to Norwegian literature ;)
Maybe you can ask Duolingo to allow the user to conscientiously "turn on" the harder sentences? When I don't understand a grammatical concept the last thing I need is to not practice it. The point of the algorithm being that way is probably so users don't end up frustrated and so they quit, which wouldn't be a reason to quit for some.
You are probably right, but this was the sense I was using it in. Even native speakers get stuff wrong all the time! http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conscientious
I'm just going to say this now: The tree 2.0 is already the best Duolingo tree, and you want to make it even better:P
I'll post my ideas here, as I come across them:
~ I think a balance of grammar heavy and vocabulary heavy skills is needed to balance the tree.
~ 1 skill in a row if the skill has 8/9/10 lesson, 2 skills in a row if the skills have 4/5/6/7, and 3 skills per row if the skill has 1/2/3 lessons. I do 1 row of skills per day in trees I'm working on, and I hate it when I have to do a skill that's 9 lessons and another one that's 10 lessons in the one day.
~ Skill recommendation: Norwegian traditions and typical things.
I'd love to help out with your tree, but I'm waiting to contribute to the Basque course. You guys are amazing! You work so quickly and the work you do is amazing!
After looking through the tree here are my thoughts:
-I think you should add more sentences with slik and sånn in them. I was kind of confused about when to use them. -Maybe you could add a fractions skill or lesson -A skill that specifically addresses the word order change with adverbial phrases -A gardening/yard skill (words like to plant, hose, lawn, ❤❤❤❤❤, shovel, etc.) -More on when to use det vs. hva (I'm still confused about this) - an Idioms/sayings/slang skill - A separate skill on telling time that includes more "complex times" (e.g. 2:23, 4:41)
That's about all I can think of right now. Thanks for working so hard on this fantastic course!
Edit: more suggestions ~When to use som (hvem som, hva som) relative clause stuff ~in the modal verbs lesson: more examples of when the main verb can be omitted (e.g. jeg skal hjem) ~Maybe a skill on inseparable and separable forms (e.g. høre til v. tilhøre)
The tree 2.0 is already the best Duolingo tree, and you want to make it even better
I TOTALLY agree. I'd like to take this chance to thank the Norwegian team for such an amazing course. I'm happy to say I’ve finally finished all the Norwegian lessons here on Duo, from start to finish, with no previous Norwegian experience whatsoever. I did it off and on for about 9 months, but I ran through the last 1/3 of the lessons in about 3 weeks. During my Oslo trip I was able to understand a lot of basic things when it's spoken. It was just fantastic. Couldn't produce any good sentences though :) I suspect somewhere between A1 and A2 now although I've never tested. I highly recommend the Norwegian course. In my opinion, it is just great. If you get all the way through the Norwegian tree, you’ll be able to communicate. If you practice repeatedly until you rarely make major mistakes, you’ll be able to talk with native speakers without much trouble. Well, basic things at least. Trust me, I tried :))) Stol på meg, jeg prøvde. Takk så mye Norske laget :) I've also measured the Norwegian tree here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/17200701
First of all, I would like to say tusen takk for the wonderful experiences you've provided us all with your Norwegian Bokmål course!
For the most part, its great! In fact, so great that I only have one complaint (yet sadly a very serious one): the pronunciation instruction is poor.
Having used Duolingo as my first and primary source for learning Norwegian, I didn't realize this problem until I took a trip to Norway this summer.
I had studied Norwegian almost exclusively through Duolingo for only 2 months before going to Norway, and let me tell you, I was amazed at how much it taught me! I felt very confident in my Norwegian abilities, and always searched for a way to use them.
Perhaps I was psyched up because during the months leading up to the trip, I texted my Norwegian friend almost non-stop and received a lot of sincere compliments on my Norwegian. (Took it especially well knowing that he is not the type of person to just say something because it is nice, and even if it is true, he will rarely go out of his way to compliment something that isn't exceptional.)
However, when I did speak Norwegian in Norway to real Norwegians, whether or not I was understood depended on the person with whom I was speaking. Some people could understand me perfectly fine, yet others would say in super fast Norwegian to their companions "Kan du forstå ham?!"
I didn't let that get to me though, as I thought it was only natural for them not to understand an American who has only studied their language for 2 months.
Anyway, I understood most everyone fine (even a Swede!) Until...
It was the last stop on our tour: Bergen, my friend's city. Let me tell you, I was nervous as heck to speak with my friend in Norwegian because I knew he'd expect darn near perfection from me after seeing my writing skills. (To which I must thank Duo!)
Now, even though my friend lives in Bergen, his family is from Ålesund, which has a pretty interesting dialect. He told me he was going to speak solely in his dialect and that would be my ultimate test.
Finally, the time came. As a met my friend face to face for the first time in 3 years, and the for the first time after studying any Norwegian. He shouted some sort of gibberish that was completely impossible for me to understand. I began my apology rather quickly. "Hæææææ??" He just said with the most confused look on his face.
After switching to English, he told me that my pronunciation was terrible: the worst he's ever heard. (Although I'm not sure how many Norwegian-learning foreigners he knows anyway.) So throughout the night, I berated him with an onslaught of questions on pronunciation. I quickly found out about some key pronunciation aspects such as the difference between O and U and SKJ, KJ, and RS, all of which I had no idea existed and could barely hear!
After returning home, I essentially had to overhaul my Norwegian. I found some helpful explanations for pronunciation on YouTube, and have slowly begun to naturalize them. Granted I should have been doing more than just Duolingo in the first place, but even after those videos I was still left wondering how in the world ski and ki are different.
In conclusion, I think that at least some sort of acknowledgement to the pronunciations we don't have in English (O,U, RS, KJ, etc) would greatly prevent more blunders like the ones I experienced in Norway and will overall improve the wonderfulness of this course.
I didn't mean to go on for so long with this, but let me conclude by emphasizing that THIS COURSE IS AMAZING OG TUSEN TAKK FOR ALT AT DERE GJØR FOR OSS!! But pronunciation is key in any language, so more focus on that would be very appreciated!
It is truly an amazing app and I thank whoever is behind it always. Yet I have come to see that there are four things in learning a language: Reading writing speaking listening. And they are different, and are harder in that order. I have taken a nice slow 2 years over it ..but now feel I must attack the last two subjects, or I will just forever be an expert penfriend. This is my this-year-project and it's going to be tougher, but I don't care....I'm in for the long haul :-) I think, in the end, the speaking will only ever be mastered by finding a friendly live teacher and paying the price on a one-to-one level. I consider it only a small cost... considering the rest has been utterly free so far ! Thanks for your insight .
Don't beat yourself too hard. I had to take English enunciation classes at work even after 12 years of instruction at school. If you managed to understand spoken Norwegian and to text chat with others that in itself is a big win, especially if Duolingo was your primary source of instruction.
Thanks Luis. It's not the whole thing, Duo', but its a darn sight easier having it around! I think I've done it OK so far... (quite a time of grammar, by myself, then Duolingo for a year)..but now is the hard part. Talking and speeding up. Someone told me the key is " To start" and "Don't stop" . That's advice that suits everyone. regards.
I just went past the first checkpoint and I am finding the course very helpful. In fact, today, I was chatting with my Norwegian exchange student in Norwegian and the structure of the course has helped with my communication skills. Interestingly, he did breakdown the definite article process to et hus, huset, flere hus and husene, just like the grammar from your course. It felt good that I had already been exposed to that by your course. Keep up the great work!
Great course and thanks for the hard work! How about a compound word skill? Also, there could be more on passive participles.
First of all, I want to extend my appreciation to the team the built the Norwegian course in Duolingo. As it has been already written, it is nowadays the longest tree in the site. I have not completed the course yet and it was helpful for me to understand the basics and order a cup of coffee when my wife decided to go to Oslo for her birthday. :)
Being that I am not a linguist or an educator, it is hard for me to come up with suggestions. However, based on what I have noted and read on the discussions, the following comes to mind.
Prepositions: Prepositions seems to be a common issue that is asked throughout the course, probably because they do not map 1 on 1 to English (being English the language used for instruction). I think that this warrants its own skill leaf with a bit more of explanation to get a sense on when they are used.
Course order: I was curious that the Computer skill was presented earlier than, I do not know, basic anatomy. I think that when you are a child, your mom teaches you about your nose, your eyes and your tummy before sitting down in front of a computer (I am old, I do not know how Millennials do it nowadays :) ) . I found it odd that you learn first about your web site before your tummy.
Grammar presentation vs. only Vocabulary: I expect that each skill set should introduce a grammatical construct early on. This is true for the most part, but I feel that there are too many skill leafs early on in the course in which they only present vocabulary. I would have expected that vocabulary only skills to be presented at later stages with exercises that reinforces grammatical constructs that are presented earlier. I think that the decision for the ordering was to keep the course interesting, which is a good reason, but something to keep that in mind for subsequent trees.
Do not reduce the number of words in subsequent trees: Please, don't. This is not a contest of who can finish the tree earlier. The goal is to teach the language in a way that is interesting and engaging, and the number of words should be enough to understand the language after completion. The course already meets this well, no need to prune the number of skill bubbles. I rather have more words added in the tree.
I still haven't finished the new tree completely but it's a great tree and I'm happy to read this here. I would wish to improve the level with more advanced topics towards reading C level literature.
Also there could be snippets of situations like buying food in the bakery, ordering in the restaurant and others you encounter staying in Norway. Cultural things.
Having now become increasingly aware that Duolingo is making it too easy for us ....I am finding it difficult to stay enthusiastic. I just refreshed "The House" and as far as I can remember there was not one translation INTO Norwegian ( apart from write "A sofa" in Norwegian ..umm en sofa?)
I chat on Facebook and must write Norwegian...and whilst I can understand the writing coming intto me .... my own writing Norwegian is tough. I really feel Duolingo isnt teaching this to me.
Reading "katten trenger å vaske fordi hun er skitten " ( and writing it in English), just isn't the same as being asked to, say, translate into Norwegian "I have got to go now and have a shower but we will talk later". I can read but not write! How about balancing up the proportions a little bit please.
Like others, I want to thank those who have made the tree as awesome as it is already.
To echo others, I think more compound words (considering how often words get smashed together in Norwegian) would be good, along with grammar. I'd also like to see listening exercises in English that I then have to translate into Norwegian in a textbox.
- more stuff specifically related to Norwegian culture; - there should also be more skills pertaining to everyday's life (for instance, you should teach "how do I get to X street" in Norwegian); - you should review users' most common mistakes and make more questions about those; - since the tree is already quite big, I would focus on making it more difficult (or challenging if you prefer) in its last branches; - of course, as others have mentioned, the essential kitten skills.
Thank you for all the feedback provided thus far! I hijacked my own kitten post up top, and used it to address some of your suggestions and concerns.
I seem to be in agreement with everyone else that the Norwegian tree is one of the best on here. I've only had experience with the Italian tree, but just comparing the two, I like that the Norwegian tree seems to have more specific lessons (like Destiny, Philosophy, Computers, etc.) and the references and humor throughout make it even more fun. I don't really have any constructive criticism at this point and I'm only a bit more than halfway through the tree, but I do have a question. When I'm using the mobile app, I never seem to get any speaking exercises even though the option is enabled. I wanted to post the question here since I figured I would be more likely to get a response and was wondering if it was something you had to disable for the app on your end for technical reasons or something or if it's a bug on my phone or a general Duolingo thing. Thank you and I look forward to an even better best tree.
I enjoy the sense of humor and the sentences that seem to have movie and book references.
Thanks for all your work with course! It's a bit overwhelming to think about completing the tree again, especially since my duolingo OCD compels me to have the tree completely gold before I finish it. But I know it's for the best!
My one small suggestion would be a skill (or skills) that focus on learning the nuances between easily confused words like jeg synes/ jeg tror, or å vite/å kjenne, things like that. And if you ever get the ability to create bonus skills, something on the basics of the main regional dialectal differences would be great!
The French tree has a section called words that is located on the top bar. If possible this would be a nice addition. I haven't finished the Norwegian tree yet but I am enjoying it especially the sense of humor.
I'd also like to thank the norwegian team. You guys did a great job so far, the tree seems already very good to me although I can't make comparisons with other trees because it's the only language I'm currently learning. Other people are saying that this is the best tree on duo and if this is true then I guess I was lucky and I'm happy I chose Norwegian. Some of you kindly answered to most of my questions on the various comment areas for questions, so thanks for the patience.
I have now completed the course for the second time (one on V1.0 and one on V2.0). My complaints are mostly about the platform than about the tree to be honest. There is room for improvement tho:
- More adverbs and more often please. Some of them appear rarely throughout the course (kun, Åpenbart, til og med, fremdeles and a lot of those on Adverbs 3). This is because if I don't remember a noun or a verb I can kind of circumvent it and tell what I need to tell in other words but I find it very hard to circumvent an adverb and replace it with something else.
- I agree with the guy who said that the body should be introduced earlier (and by earlier I mean a lot earlier).
- Passive should be introduced earlier
- More sentences that make use of clock-time
- More expressions please!
- As for the skills in a row I'm with @Alec737
I know that this does not depend on you but I would like to say this also: Norwegian would be a lot easier if Duolingo would implement language-specific features. Imagine I get introduced a new word that is not in its base form, how am I supposed to know the base form if it has never been introduced? i.e. "landet": et land or et lande? If Duolingo could automatically underline the base part (land) in a different color or tell me what that is when I mouseover the word (or in other ways) learning would be way easier. Now this is just a random example because I believe that "land" gets introduced first but there are others that aren't. The same applies to verbs whose first introduction is in past form (or any other form).
I'm only halfway through the course, so I apologise in advance if the stuff I mention comes up in later lessons. I'd also like to say how much I am enjoying the course. The content is fun, engaging and set at the right level. There are also really useful discussions in the comments which are really helpful. I am happy with what and when topics/grammar are taught and don't see any need to change that. Please don't remove any content!
One gripe is the front screen for the skills where it lists all the lessons. In each lesson box, there is a list of the words contained in the lesson. I use this for revision practise, but often the words aren't in their base form. It would be really helpful if these verbs could be listed in their infinitive form and other words in their clean form eg, å lese (the exception would be lessons teaching only new verb forms) and en katt. Or you could have a word list for each skill broken down into lessons that you could click into. I realise that this is probably a technical issue rather than one you yourselves can fix, but it would be good if you could pass it on to development or whatever.
I feel the pain about på etc and their myriad uses that don't map cleanly onto English, but I'm not sure I can see what can be done about it. One option is to have appendices with this stuff, but as this is what Duo wants to get away from that is a non starter. Maybe you could have a review skill 2/3rds of the way through the course where you tie all the nuances together? One lesson on uses of på, one on til etc.
I think the content is great and am struggling a bit to suggest topics. Maybe a skill on vocab that will allow you to talk about films, books etc to other people? Kind of a lit crit skill so you can talk about plot, narrative etc.
I think the music skill could be expanded. - there are lots of genres so there is plenty of stuff to add.
I'd LOVE bonus skills on mythology, monsters & culture. Would a bonus skill in Old Norse be possible? Could you teach enough vocab and grammar to allow us to translate a few lines of a saga - even if it has to be simplified? An idiom skill would be great, but they can be problematic. The Italian course has bonus idioms 4 skills into the course and this is far too early. At that point you don't have the grammar or the vocab so it's hard to get a grip on the sentences. I think they are great things to have, but only later on.
As a general point, I think a maximum of 6 lessons per skill is right and if there are any more then the skill should be split up. If a skill is too big, it gets a bit dense and I start feeling like I'm ploughing through it instead of learning.
Thanks for the great course!
I just want to say that the Norwegian course is amazing. I find the course stretching. At the end of each lesson I feel I have learned so much. I find the 'strengthen' facility stretching because it presents words in fresh phrases, not just repeating phrases I have learned earlier. This avoids the inclination to recognise a familiar phrase without really understanding it. I really want to thank the Norwegian team for presenting a course that encourages and rewards whilst, at the same time, stretching and preventing boredom. You have repetition at just the optimum level: enough to teach but not too much to create boredom or a feeling of stagnation. Thank you too for all your hard work; you really are quite amazing people. The course provides for all my needs.
Just started the course, so still not able to comment about possible improvements yet. Will do after finishing more lessons. So far, I would like to say tank you all for such an effort to create the lessons. So far they are very good. Takk
As almost everyone else has done, I'd like to first thank the Norwegian Team for the great course they've put together. I think it is a great learning tool. I personally think that the tree is great the way it is. I agree that a compound word skill and something more detailed about slik and sånn, I came across them often while reading news articles and felt like it took a longer time for them to "click" thank other words and concepts.
Another suggestion (which I'm aware may be beyond the scope of the teams capabilities) would be and official Norwegian Course flashcard deck on Tiny Cards. I know some of the other languages have these and I think it would be great if Norwegian had one as well.
I would like to second the request for the Norwegian course to be bridged to Tinycards. I know some users like Leigh Forbes are migrating some of the vocabulary across manually, but an official (and complete) solution would be wonderful. At the moment I am entering everything into anki using the UiO ordbok to check things, and it is extremely tedious. From the implementor's side, is this connected with the "words" tab that some trees have?
Thank you all for your hard work on the course. It is appreciated.
At the moment, I am using the memrise unofficial companion course: http://www.memrise.com/course/1138096/duolingo-norwegian-tree-20-with-audio/. This thing is super good for memorizing vocab if that is not your strong suit.
Wow, thanks for that tip! I already learned all Norwegian Tiny Card Sets by Leigh Forbes by heart but was now unsure how to continue the course without writing my own sets (which would have been tedious work...). Looks like i will switch to memrise thanks to your link to continue my vocabulary journey! Thanks so much! So good that i searched the forum for some advice on this ;-)
Hi Jess, That' s a question I would like to know... I work down the topics and seem about three quarters to the bottom but is there suddenly another list... and will the first list just go away?
Not sure if this was covered by the explanation, but I am wondering if you have any control over how many sentences are given per lesson? Some lessons have quite a few words, but they are hardly covered and, it seems in some cases, that some words aren't covered at all. They'll suddenly show up in a practice or later lesson and it totally throws me off. Having only seven sentences/words to translate per lesson just doesn't seem like enough. Just because I get them right (and usually due to checking the underlined hint thing) doesn't mean I know them well enough to see later on in a practice session. And, speaking of practices, they're nice and long but I will get the same sentence several times (in a row fairly often, too) and I rarely see new words that I have yet to get stuck in my brain! I had to stop learning new stuff to go back and go over one section constantly to try to get those words covered. (for some reason, I'm having a heck of a time with certain words and it's driving me nuts. No fault of those who created this section or even DuoLingo. My brain just doesn't seem to be cooperating to learn them.) It would be nice if the practices that cover a larger number of things to translate was a bit more diverse. I see lots on wolves, cats, dogs, and chickens, but I don't see much on using verbs and other various things. I sometimes feel like I'm learning the same three sentences over and over and over with a light smattering of newer stuff. I am enjoying my lessons, though, and I can't fathom the work that went into developing this, so a hearty Tusen Takk to the team for creating this unit. I am often amused by some of the sentences that we get to translate. Those little humorous sentences really make for fun surprises during a lesson or practice and keeps things light and keeps me interested.
The only real thing I could say that I would find very useful, try to make as much as variety with the words we know. I know early on it is not easy but as you progress try maybe to make more of a story or use some similar words in one sentence so people could start learning the differences.
I have a hard time learning the differences between "vil / skal" or "til / på / å" and I still confuse them alot. Maybe just more variety in the excercises would be great. The tree is amazing and im learning pretty fast paced. The only thing asides this that I have been missing is the pronounciation tests or something but I understand that would be hard to integrate. :)
I went crazy trying to somehow get to the speaking exercises on Android, only to see mentioned somewhere that they don't exist? So at this early stage in my courses, I would definitely suggest adding them! Tusen takk, venner mine!
Actually... i love the Norwegian course. The only thing that annoys me is that after a certain time I had to do 7 lessons alone to keep my skills at full strength... and then 7 more the next day. So I began progressing really slowly. I think I know every single possible sentence in 'places' by heart by now. Would it not be wonderful to have the opportunity to close skills FOR GOOD? I mean I went to norway for almost a month, took courses there and stuff and then came back to duolingo just to find that I had lost strength in BASICS and I had to learn how to say 'Jeg er sulten' again...
hhhh I agree Mr Kild. After two months of frantic topping up ... like herding cats, I gave up and just went to the end again and ignored the earlier stuff.. If I have to do erasers and staplers ever again I will .... jeg vil begå selvmord !
Just thought I'd check in to this thread. I have no specific technical suggestion. I am, however, a serial failure at learning Norwegian (in particular and other languages as well!). I live here. Have been to classes. Various books etc. All pretty desperate, but maybe an interesting test subject! However Duolingo is the best revision tool I've found to date. And I appreciate the humor of the course builders!
There are many worse Mr Sacks. Do not despair.. And Level 7 is not so bad .
How come the course still claims that "jeg" rhymes with guy? It demonstrably does not. Could you not just write it in IPA?
IPA for jeg is jæɪ̯, which to my mind sounds a lot like guy. Your mileage varies with your natural accent though, of course.
More skills per row is better. Having to get through dozens of words about computers and classrooms and offices is not useful for me, so if these could be balanced with more common vocabulary it would make it easier to advance. It is difficult to learn about computers and then talk to someone in the street using my new computer vocabulary. It just doesn't really come up in conversation. Ideally you could skip over themes that are not going to be part of a particular individual's language requirements, but i suppose that might not be possible.
For det første, jeg vil gjerne fortelle dere at det norske kurset er kjempebra... Virkelig !
Beforehand, my apologies about trip-ups that I can make here... I wrack my brains a bit by writing in English. But let's get it started!
I agree on the Deliciae's comment
... to add some more specialised skills on things like Norwegian history, Norse mythology and Sami culture, but we think they would work much better as bonus skills - whenever Duo decides fix those.
You guys can put stress on the differences between the words that could happen have the same "meaning" but with other "usages"
- Slik and Sånn
- Annerledes and Forskjellig
- Å bli and Å være
and so forth...
More sentences with the verbs
Å lage and Å fatte
Å gjøre has already numbers I guess
Blant annet - As soon as I remember something new, I edit here!
I have been doing the Norwegian duolingo course since the very first beta. And I can now read and write fairly well but my conversational skills are still very poor.
With this in mind, a duolingo chat bot for Norwegian would be the most significant advancement this course could make. I see it is already available for Spanish, French and German: http://bots.duolingo.com/
I have to say that the Norwegian tree is (by a fairly big margin) my favourite of the langages I'm learning. There is a definite sense of fun there, which I feel to be lacking in my other courses. I think I'm learning plenty from it too as I'm finding myself able to translate random bits of Norwegian I come across online.
I think the course is working well for me as it is, but there is one thing I would find helpful. On the French course when you hover over a verb hint there is an option to view the conjugations of the verb. If this could be changed for Norwegian to show the infinitive and maybe past tense I would find it massively helpful. I'm finding it particularly difficult when I'm working through the 'past' units wherre some of the verbs are quite different to the infinitive, and currently I keep google translate open in a separate tab so I can look up the infinitive form and link the two in my mind.
Also (and this may not be something you can change) I do find it frustrating that when I strengthen a skill I never know how long it is going to take. I could have 10 questions or 45+ and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it. It does make it difficult though to know whether I can complete the exercise if I only have a certain amount of time online. Sometimes I start an exercise and get to 20 or 30 correct answers and then have to rush through the rest without really taking it in just to get finished in time. Other times I leave a skill because I don't think I've got time, only to find later that a dozen correct answers would have re-gilded the skill. If I knew beforehand that I would need to get approximatley X questions correct it would be a lot less frustrating.
As a general comment I'd also like to say that I find the discussion threads for the sentences really valuable. I've probably learned as much from those as from the tree itself. They give so much background to the grammar, vocabulary, culture, etc, and are really helpful for clearing up confusion with the trickier points (especially prepositions!). Also that we're able to post questions along the lines of 'how would I say this similar but slightly different sentence' and we get speedy, helpful answers. Some of the other language discussions are a bit intimidating to me and seem only to want to discuss the linguistic technicalities of the specific sentence under discussion. I like the accessibility of the Norwegian discussions, which I guess is in a large part down to the course creators who take the time to answer our questions :)
Many thanks for the Norwegian course. At this time, I am at level 2 but as a serious learner, I would like to contribute here too.
I expect you to introduce paragraph translation in v3.0. I believe paragraph translation will boost writing proficiency of any learner.
First, I did not start the course at the first level! Anyway, I have two things to note. First, the introduction of new words can be "meshed more" and in different directions from the first time. The second thing is more general. I think the first goad should be to teach reading, then listening. Of course we read better if we know how to write, and we listen better if we speak. But still, for an introductory course, the cornerstone is understanding written text :-)
I would really like to work on multiple skills when I'm reviewing so I can work to integrate all the types of vocabulary. So far it's really good, but I wish we could have the Immersion section like the more popular languages do! (I'd love to learn by translating Norwegian fairy tales!)
Jeg elsker det! A dream of visiting and exploring my family roots in Norway is enhanced with each new phrase I learn. Just discovered your discussion post with links to YouTube Norwegian Learning Links!!!
I am finding the review of skills with a timer to be much more difficult in the Norwegian course vs. the Spanish course. The items to type in some cases are very long and have several special characters so it's very difficult to complete the task in the time allotted. Other than that I'm enjoying the course so far.
I'm not complaining about learning to write Norwegian. I'm sharing, at the request of Duolingo staff, that the phrases can be very long for the time allotted. I do not find this to be the case for Spanish, for example, where I can easily type the phrase before the time runs out.
I know this might be a long way off, but keep an eye out for the bots feature once Duolingo lets you guys implement it! ;D
I finished the Norwegian tree last week, and just started Spanish. I have to say that I found the Norwegian course to be an absolute pleasure. It goes at a nice pace, the grammar lessons are very clear in the tips and some of the references found in the sentences are great! Having listened to some NRK podcasts, I'm surprised how often 'akkurat' is used as it was seldom seen in the course and a section to do over some dialects and their differences would be appreciated.
Most of all though, it's the team on the Norwegian course that really stand out. They didn't just build this course out of their free time, they continue to interact with the users, discuss queries and really help to make this an interactive course. Every one of you is greatly appreciated and the speed that answers are provided to questions, with a full explanation, is what really sets this course apart.
I'm really happy with the course at the moment (and also it's the first time I am making progress in Norwegian - so thank you Duolingo-Team ! )
I am quiet happy how the course is structured - you have to practice but it is not too challenging. The only thing I would have liked to learn a bit earlier is the "past"-topic.
Also the quirky sentences really help and make the learning much more fun.
I hope it doesn't sound too lazy, but I wish beside the new words in every topic would also be listed the translation. I kind of miss a small vocabulary-list...
Also, other users mentioned this too, I would like to see more sentences related to the Norwegian culture (but it's a language course not a culture and history course ;) ) or more uses for the lingots, like maybe a mini- test (sometimes I just want to refresh some words or maybe want to set duolingo on silent .... for those time would be a mini-test without the spoken exercises nice .... or on the other hand more spoken exercises, or a mini picture quiz ...)
but I'm just nitpicking - I totally adore the Norwegian course! (and please ignore my grammar! I thing my English is today a bit wonky)
I'm newer here but it would be nice if there was more conversational/useful vocabulary in the beginning. I'm learning many useful things for sure, but also very random things like how to say "lemon" and "bread". I understand the importance of learning nouns, but I think more basic day to day conversational skills should come first. Learning sentences like, "How do you say..." or "what do you call..." or perhaps knowing how to ask someones name should come prior to learning to say tomato.
That aside, I sincerely appreciate this program. I'm moving to Norway in 4 months and this is helping significantly.
Tusen takk og god kveld!
Some pictures could be clearer, I find that I'm guessing it based on what I know of english and having en/ei/et before it. The ones that I still have screenshots for are: et valg, en drøm, tro, håpet, en høyde, en linje; and having et kontinent and et kart on the same select one of these four was difficult going by the image since they look the same but obviously kontinent/continent. These might be a bit hard to convey but the image (or what I got) is quite difficult.
My computer is about to die so this will be very short: I wish there were more opportunities to practice speaking. Maybe have a "strengthen skills" for speaking/listening? Also having a list of the vocab learned in each skill would be nice as well
My general impressions of the Norwegian course are that it is well thought out and constructed.
I think if topics can be grouped to assist with a skill would be helpful. For example, I'm sure many people struggle with the various uses of prepositions like 'på' and 'om'. It may be helpful if a block focused on one of these helping to highlight it's uses. Later blocks could focus on different prepositions and thus the learner can start to develop the ability to infer the correct choice.
As a native speaker of English I think the translation exercises tend to be too heavily aimed at Norwegian to English. On average I estimate I have 7-8 Norwegian-English translations to 1 English-Norwegian. As my goal is to learn Norwegian, I think the ratio should shift as a person progresses through the learning tree to a greater percentage of English-Norwegian translations. Otherwise, all that is being reinforced is my English and it impedes the development of thinking what I want to say (which would probably happen in English) and saying it in Norwegian.
Lastly, the algorithm could be tweaked a little to reemphasize problem sentences. Often when I'm working in a session I will get a sentence correct on the first attempt and forms of this sentence will appear several more times during the session, whereas a sentence that I get wrong or have some difficulty with may only be looked at once again and often not at all.