Just finished the Swedish Tree...and boy, are my arms tired from climbing!


After two months, I've just finished up the Swedish tree. My three other Golden Owls (Dutch, Danish and Spanish) are thrilled to have gotten a new friend!

I'd like to say thank you to the Swedish team for such a good course! The grammar was explained a lot better and in a much better tone than the 'tough cookies' attitude of the Dutch course, was blissfully free of strained attempts at humor that mars the otherwise good Danish course, and payed a lot more and better attention to what actually needs to be practiced in the language than the Spanish course does.

Well done! Good vocab, good grammar points, good and useful sentences, clearly structured and easy to find the point you want to review again (not so easy to do with how other courses name their skills).

Two points of critique, however....

A. Too many of the multiple choice tasks where there is a version with 'du' AND 'ni'. At the beginning, this is good so we can get used to both translations of 'you', but towards the end we should already know that well enough, and making us mess up on timed practice because... OH! you didn't see the 'ni'!!! ... is rather annoying. My suggestion: if you really want to make it painful, but much less annoying and didactically more valuable, why not make the differences conjugation differences? Läser hon svenska? or Läsar hon svenska? or 'Läsor hon svenska'. At least for me -- if I got that wrong, I'd feel I'd reviewed/ been reminded of something important... and not got caught on a useless 'trick' question.

B. Too rigid on English spelling. Having a long sentence counted wrong because your only mistake was that you wrote 'speak' and not 'speaks' is pretty harsh. (Especially on timed practice) That particular one may be aimed at Swedes doing the course, I can see that, but there are many other examples. I'm not good at spelling -- in any language -- so it's something I notice.

Those would be my only two criticisms. :-)

Tack ska ni ha! And lots of luck and enjoyment to those of you still climbing your trees!

December 15, 2016


First of all, congratulations!

I agree about the multiple choice tasks, sometimes it is difficult to notice such subtle things. Moreover, I think that the incorrect options are generated automatically and they are often nonsense, which isn't really didactically valuable. However, sometimes the incorrect options differ from the correct ones only by one word, which is often hard to spot, especially when the sentence is long.

As for the spelling, if you wrote "drycker" instead of "dricker", it was marked wrong because both words exist in Swedish ("drycker" is the plural from of "en dryck", "dricker" is the present tense of "att dricka"). "Skulla", on the other hand, doesn't exist in Swedish.

December 15, 2016

Tack så mycket. Och lycka till med dina andra språk!

December 15, 2016

Hey Zebra! Penguin here.

First off, huge congrats and kudos. Getting a golden owl isn't easy - it takes skill and dedication. I should know; I've only finished two for languages I didn't already speak, and I have been here for a pretty long time.

Also, thanks for the kind words and criticisms. I've only been on the Swedish team for like half a month, but I know everyone will appreciate them both.

Both of your points are, I'm afraid, completely due to how Duolingo was coded and can't really be affected by the Swedish team.

A: We have absolutely NO control over multiple-choice questions. We all agree that the current system has... room for improvement, shall we say. Some courses also have a huge problem where you can immediately spot the correct answer because it's the only one that starts with a capital letter. Being able to affect the system in at least some ways would be a huge benefit.

B: The way the system works, you're generally allowed one typo per word as long as that doesn't turn it into another word. Since drycker does have a meaning different than dricker, it's marked as incorrect. While this is technically possible to affect by us, it would mean having to enter each possible typo for every word manually. I'm sure you'll agree this is hardly feasible - and even so, it would mean people might not realise they got it wrong.

Best of luck with whatever tree you decide to tackle next! :) (Ich würde dir Deutsch vorschlagen, aber wahrscheinlich sprichst du das schon...)

December 15, 2016

Hej Pengvin! Thank you for the explanation. It seems that sometimes how Duo works is as frustrating for the team as for the learners. :-( So, I was writing another word and didn't know it....fair enough! You have my respect for doing Irish! I looked at that one....and then quickly looked away.....Stimmt, ich spreche schon fließend Deutsch!

December 15, 2016

Excellent job, Larry! Keep it up! What tree are you going to try to shoot down next, and do you intend to visit Sweden? =D

December 15, 2016

I'm sure I will eventually make it up there, but it's not on my travel plans as I've heard even setting foot in Sweden can bankrupt you. (Mega expensive) I learn languages mostly for the language itself (linguistics) and not out of any particular interest for the culture(s) that speak them, so I normally never go there. I'll probably finish the Spanish reverse tree next while making some headway in Italian and starting the Dutch reverse tree. Such a shame that there are no reverse trees for any of the Scandinavian languages!

December 15, 2016

May I ask what your thoughts are on the differences between Danish and Swedish? How much more difficult was Danish for you, or not at all? I'd really like to learn Danish because it's very pretty to me, but I'd also like to learn a few other languages and I'm trying to prioritize them haha. I need to finish my French tree, then I want to finish my Swedish tree, then I want to review my Dutch tree so I can learn Afrikaans... But I also want to learn Danish more, but I'm afraid it'll take me very long because it seems confusing to me!

Any thoughts you have about the two would be great! :)

December 16, 2016

Hi Doge.....ready for a discourse? Personally, I love the sound of Danish, too. (I guess you mean the sound?) But it can be VERY difficult to understand and pronounce at times. There are more silent letters than in SV (Swedish), and more alterations of the sounds of individual letters in certain letter combinations (think dörren but djur. What happened to the 'd'?) There is also the 'glottal stop'. I'm assuming you're a North American and it doesn't appear in NA English, but if you've ever heard Brits from around London say 'Got any butter? (Go't inni buh'uh?) then you've heard a glottal stop on the word 'butter' (buh-uh). This is feature of standard Danish. It isn't hard to learn per se -- just unusual. Much of the vocabulary of DK is the same or very similar to SV, just spelled a little differently.

Grammar-wise, there is very little difference between SV and DK, both are very streamlined especially in comparison to Dutch or French and contain more or less the same grammatical features. The tenses are formed in the same way and the past tense forms of the verbs are also very similar. However! DK forms its plurals in a much simpler fashion than SV. There are only 3 plural endings: -r, -e and no ending. (compare SV: -or,-ar, -er, -n, -no ending = 5 endings) That's the biggest difference in grammar I found.

Essentially, Danish is an ever-so-slightly easier Swedish, but with whacky pronunciation. Personally, I've always found French pronunciation difficult with all the smashing together of the words and the silent letters, but if you can handle that well, and Dutch pronunciation doesn't throw you, I don't think you'll have much of a problem with DK.

I'd love to try my hand at Afrikaans! I have a special interest in the Germanic languages and 'germanic' grammar and word formation interests me as a subject. If you are also interested in the Germanics, I'd recommend German, as it represents one end of the continuum of the Germanic languages. (Icelandic represents the other end). If you have any more questions, like how Spanish or Italian is compared to French, for example, feel free to write me a message on my wall! (I'm a INTJ-T btw)

December 16, 2016

Thanks for the reply!

Ich lerne seit 5 Jahren Deutsch und die Sprache ist der Grund weshalb ich Sprachen so liebe. 2014 konnte ich schon ziemlich gut Deutsch und ich wollte noch eine Sprache lernen, also hab ich Niederländisch ausprobiert und 54 Tage später war mein Niederländisch fast so gut wie mein Deutsch. Danach habe ich mit Schwedisch angefangen, wurde schnell entmutigt weil ich die Sprache nicht sofort verstanden habe, und gab nach einem Monat auf. Damals hörte ich gerne schwedische Musik und nach ein paar Monaten habe ich realisiert, dass ich verstehen könnte, was ich früher auf Duolingo gelernt habe. Zu dieser Zeit hatte ich keine Freizeit mehr und konnte nich weiterlernen. Jetzt muss ich Französisch lernen um arbeiten zu können weil ich im französischsprachigen Raum wohne. Die Sprache find ich nicht so leicht wie Deutsch weil ich keine Motivation habe. Ich kann alles auf Französisch gut aussprechen, doch ist Dänisch für mich eine andere Geschichte. I'm gonna try to finish this French course up by the end of January so I can learn a nice language. :P

Ich will auch Isländisch lernen... aber dafür habe ich leider keine Zeit. Diese Sprachen brauche ich nicht mal, ich finde sie nur cool. :P

(en ik moet je het ff laten weten... mijn profielbeschrijving is maar een grapje, ik heb echt geen idee wat INTJ betekent... ben ook geen uil haahaha)

December 16, 2016

Bra gjort! Vad roligt att du kan förstå vad jag säger :D Jag hoppas jag kan lyckas lika bra med Spanskan som du har gjort med Svenskan!

December 20, 2016
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