https://www.duolingo.com/joehhendrickson

Learn to think in the language instead of translating using a rebus

One difficulty I have is that instead of thinking the the language I am learning (Spanish), I translate into my native language (English). A way to help associate the new language with the concepts instead of associating to words in my native language would be to use pictures instead of words to prompt language. To the extent the tool uses the word "dog" to generate my response of "perro," I tend to learn to translate in my head between "dog" and "perro." But if the tool used a picture of a dog to generate a response of "perro" I would learn more to associate "perro" with the concept of dog rather than the English word. So, I would suggest an exercise that uses a rebus, with a series of pictures to generate a sentence that I would then have to write or say in Spanish. One nice thing, is that input rebus would be the same for every output language. Thank you. I realize that it is easier to suggest these things than it is to implement them, but I hope you will consider the idea.

4 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JamesB84
JamesB84
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I agree. The pictures seem to disappear after the first few lessons. More visual learning could be helpful.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PolyglottC

I partially agree. I think pictures work well with very basic objects and concepts. I tried an app which used this approach, but I didn't really like it, because I found that the pictures quickly became ambiguous. For example, there was a picture of a man standing in front of a car, and under the picture there was a word in the foreign language, with no translation provided. I thought that maybe it meant "man" or "car". Turned out it meant "to stand". I quickly became irritated by not understanding what they were trying to teach (and I had to look up a lot of the words in the dictionary anyway..), so I stopped using that method.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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I really like this idea, but it is also one that is easy on the surface, but quickly becomes extraordinarily complex. There is a living example of the result of trying to describe whole language using pictorial glyphs, it's called Chinese, and as soon as that ran out of ways to express ideas in pictures, it did in fact become extraordinarily complex. There are at least 2000 words to depict, and while some are easy like 'dog' and 'write' and 'chair' and such, how do you depict words like 'translate' or 'output' or 'consider' - how do you depict a word like 'rebus' ?

I'm not saying it couldn't be done, there are in fact things like this that exist for people unable to talk, and it should definitely be pursued because it would be incredibly interesting. But it is something like a 'quest for the holy grail'. It is like creating a whole language in itself.

At best, I think a compromise would be cool - use pictures for words that make sense to depict, and use written words for things that don't. It would be like a mixed input system, sort of like Japanese :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joehhendrickson

I was not expecting that an entire language could be done in rebus, just some useful exercises. And usually an rebus is not entirely pictures, but has some words for things that are difficult to express. It is they kind of thing that does not have to be complete or perfect to be useful.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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Well, I think it would be great to try and encode a whole language using rebuses.The reason I call it a holy grail, is if you could do it just right, you will have created something that examines very deeply where consciousness and language really meet.

I also like the idea of incorporating more symbolic glyphs into written language; there is only really one we use a lot, & , which is almost universally recognised even though it may be read in different ways in different language. You can also obviously write with mathematical symbols to a certain degree, +, <, >, = etc. It's a habit that is not really praised, but it is actually very interesting and could have a lot of potential, for example developing a shorthand that is simple enough to read, but also transcends language boundaries. You wouldn't be able to write delicate prose with it, but imagine some sort of app where you push a few buttons, and the computer can render your input into any language?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator
Dessamator
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I think a better analogy is pictograms from the ancient Egyptians. Maybe some Einstein will be able to illustrate everything with pictures in the future. But for now it is just a researcher's dream. In fact this would be perfect for software developers like myself. No need to localize the interface into any language. No need to explain the user interface.

Want to read manuals, what manuals, just watch a short movie (moving pictures) and you'll be ready to use the software in minutes.

That said, I like your compromise, everything that is an object could be illustrated, with google picture search this is certainly feasible, and it wouldn't take long to populate the whole duolingo Database, the only problem is space, and costs. Do they have enough space and resources to store all these pictures, that's the question.

Anyway, at least all of us software developers can pretty much understand ourselves, in the lovely language of ones and zeros. :)

It makes me wonder though, why the ancient language of the egyptians died out, was it because they were conquered, or because there was something bad about it that they gave up.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Aliena.84
Aliena.84
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Maybe I would not put in a whole rebus, but for sure more pictures would be nice and helpful for remembering as well.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MystyrNile
MystyrNile
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It may also help to every now and then form a sentence or two about your current environment, thoughts, or the object of your focus. Look up words if necessary.

Estoy escribiendo un mensaje acerca del aprendizaje de español.

Estoy encima de una sofá cama.

4 years ago
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