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Why do native Romanian take this course?

Hi there,

Going through the reports I noticed quite a few detailed explanations about why a sentence should be modified...in a perfect Romanian. These users display a knowledge of Romanian that only a native or someone at C2 level can have.

My question is: why would a Romanian (or someone so fluent in Romanian) would choose to take this course?

I am very curious to find this out :-)

Best regards,


December 17, 2016



Brushing up on a language they once knew? It is a common thing that happens among immigrants and their children. The generational gap. I had plenty of friends who could speak a good amount of "insert language here" from listening to their parents but couldn't write it and had to be prompted for the language to come back because of the focus of assimilation. Edit: I like the other reasons mentioned here :)


Hello Dan,

Here are my reasons (not necessarily in a priority order):

  1. Duolingo promoter: since I started to learn German from English, Duo is one of my hobbies;

  2. passion for languages: being native in Romanian and Hungarian, I'm learning easily foreign languages, until now: English, German, Italian, French and Portuguese;

  3. desire to teach - even if I'm an engineer, I think I have some teaching skills:

  4. being very good in grammar, in the primary school my Romanian teacher asked me to substitute her and keep the grammar lesson one day,
  5. during the high school I succeeded to teach Hungarian to a good classmate and we were having great fun in Budapest at some concerts (Guns N' Roses, Soundgarden, Faith No More, ...),
  6. at my work place I'm assigned to be mentor/coach for students/colleagues;
  7. currently I'm teaching my family members and friends also with the help of my virtual classrooms created on Duolingo;

  8. volunteering: I've already subscribed for being a course contributor (Romanian for English speakers) in 16.11.2016, but unfortunately I have no feedback until now (maybe you can help me with this).

Happy holidays! Otto

  • 1312

I didn't know one could volunteer as a course contributor. Would you mind sharing how that works? What are the prerequisites and responsibilities? Thanks.


Kein Problem. Here is the link: https://incubator.duolingo.com/. I write them last November and still got no response. Maybe you'll be luckier. ;)


I'm pretty sure it's because they want to see if there are any mistakes in the sentences (there usually are), or to answer any questions anyone might have.

Either that, or they're after XP ;)


Mistakes are plenty, no worries. It might be about the XP as you mentioned :-)


Good question! I eagerly await responses to this makes a cup of tea and waits


I was trying to check the quality of the course and see if it's good enough so I can recommend it to my friends (some of them want to learn romanian). Also, if there's any way that we can contribute or help ... I'd like to sign up. (native speaker)


Ir will be good enough after graduating from Beta. Until then you can recommend it but only as a teaser.

[deactivated user]

    I am very sure if there were a course teaching my native language then I would take it too :)


    Make one! Or make one to learn (insert your favorite language here) from your native one. I was trying for ages to start a German from Romanian course (native Romanian speaker) but without success, because my German is lousy, and they won't accept me. I was counting on the fact that once I start (and could do a lot of work before things getting over my level/head) some other people will jump on the boat (possible native German speakers, even only to comment, if not to fully contribute). The attitude is important, the knowledge come with the team work. Here at job, we are a team, and not all of us are programmers, or (medical) doctors, or biologists, or mathematicians, or electronic engineers, but we all together can make wonderful electronic devices that will save lots of lives in the hospitals where they will be installed.


    Eu o fac atunci când sunt calm si vreau sa ma enervez vazand ce limba romaneasca stiu tehnocratii care au voluntariat aici.


    Good one! Have a lingot!


    Why not? I'm sure there are a lot of natives doing this course. I'm a native Hungarian, and I started the Hungarian course, when it came out.

    1. It is interesting to look at your native language from the perspective of an English speaker.

    2. It works as a reverse tree, helps you learn English

    3. You can spot the mistakes and report them.

    4. Help the learners in the sentence discussions.

    5. Yeah, lots of "free" XP and Lingots too :P


    Most likely a combination of having a lot of time on their hands, eagerness to help and chasing the ever elusive and useless XP and lingots :-)

    Nice, you have 724 days streak. Not too bad either :-)

    [deactivated user]


      I am a Romanian and I took this course out of curiosity. I was interested in how my language was being taught over the internet. Also, seeing it had many errors, I reported the ones I had found. It's the least one can do to help, right?

      The assumptions that Romanians are after XP when taking this course or that they have too much spare time - I find them rather insulting. Seeing the others as being driven by rather petty goals is surely an error of judgement.

      If Romanians take this course it's because it's meaningful to them, the same as it is to you.


      My sister's good friend is Romanian, and she can sing Jesus Loves Me in Romanian. It sounded so good, I decided to learn the language myself. It is very interesting!


      That is OK, you are not the target of the question then because you do not know it :-)


      Personally, I do it mostly to try and help other learners.

      First of all, I'm interested in others' motivation of learning Romanian. Growing up, I didn't get much of a feeling of relevance from it, so I'm fascinated by the fact that so many people from all over the world would want to learn it. Also, I believe it's a difficult language, so I hope that I can manage to encourage and help those who take an interest in it.

      It's also a boost to my self-esteem to know that my knowledge is helpful, especially since I didn't even do much to acquire it :P I guess it's comparable to the feeling parents have when their children are amazed by even the most mundane things they do.

      • 1312

      That's so cute ^_^


      I would imagine that if they were Romanian teachers - teaching Romanian to non-natives - then taking this course will help them to be better teachers. English is my native language. If I wanted to become an English tutor (something I have considered), I would take the English from another language I knew. That being said, I once tried to test out of some of the English from French course and couldn't get anything right, lol. This despite the fact that I've been semi-fluent in French for at least like 9 years.


      We would love to imagine that this course might teach teachers how to teach Romanian but I guess this would be wishful thinking, although we did our best :-)

      One side effect of crowd sourcing is that people can work on their favorite subjects without actually being proper "specialists" in that particular field.

      • 1312

      I can relate to that. I am a native Romanian speaker and I teach English as a foreign language. My level is very advanced in both languages, but when I tried the Duolingo English for Romanian lessons I couldn't get past the first question on the test, simply because I knew too many synonyms. I think Duolingo is very good for beginners who want to learn basic vocabulary and some grammar, but advanced (or maybe even average-level) students would probably need other resources.


      Dan, I feel that the course was developed too much behind closed doors. It feels unjust that a handful of people get to decide in the name of tens of millions how to represent the language to foreign learners.

      So helping here and there a posteriori compensates for the lack of involvement during the incubation and irons out the rougher edges, making life easier for newcomers.


      That is a very good reason. Thank you.


      Dan, pe măsură ce răspund la întrebări, constat anumite nelămuriri care se repetă, de obicei legate de gramatică. Poate ar fi mai bine ca aceste aspecte să fie clarificate în "tips & notes" la începutul lecţiilor corespunzătoare.

      Exista un loc unde se poate discuta cursul în sine (structura cursului, spre deosebire de fiecare propoziţie în parte)?


      Cel mai bine vb cu Sebastian despre gramatica. Avem deja note la lectii, despre ce tip de nelamuriri este vorba?


      Este posibil să avem un buton de report or comments la tips and tricks page? (ori e unul și nu l-am văzut eu?). Am semnalat în repetate rânduri greșeli (de obicei typos, ”smelling mistakes” cum ar zice un prieten, exmen in loc de examen, etc., dar și greseli de gramatică sau traducere, crayons tradus ca creioane când de fapt e crete, traducerea la creioane fiind pencils, etc), de obicei semnalez aceste greșeli în comentariile de la prima propozitie din skill-ul respectiv, dar comentariile alea nu le citeste nimeni... (sunt convins! hehe). Posibilitatea de a semnala typos, etc ar îmbunătăți cu siguranță breviarele alea gramaticale, și cursul per total.

      De ce trec eu prin curs? Ca să mă dau mare...

      [deactivated user]

        Good source for expats trying to remember how to talk in Romanian, I guess...? Also, it's a super easy way to gain lingots. Apropo, ma bucur ca a aparut cursul in romana, il voi recomanda tuturor prietenilor mei polonezi :)


        expats are not at C2 level very often, being able to explain grammar topics in detail :-)

        do that and recommend this to your friends, just let them know it is still beta at the moment


        you, underestimating people, again... :P


        I would take it just to test out and see errors and report them and also to see how great or not those who participated at it did. I am sure many natives in other languages take the courses as well for similar reasons.


        To see if it's correct or just by curiousity :)


        This happens on pretty much all the courses, and there are lots of reasons. The main ones seem to be:

        1) To practise a language that has not yet been released in their preferred language combination yet. For example, I took the English for Russian speakers course before Russian for English speakers came out, and I have dabbled in the English for Czech speakers course among others. I know of people who've used the courses for Japanese and Chinese speakers the same way. There are even userscripts to optimise the experience for people learning this way. Obviously, this doesn't currently apply to Romanian, but it's a common reason for doing reverse trees.

        2) To get some (usually more difficult) practice in their target language. If the course assumes you are native in the base language, in this case English, then the sentences in that language are likely to be more challenging more quickly, especially since any grammar explanations are for one's native tongue and given in one's target language. For Romanian speakers, this tree provides English practice. English speakers do this all the time with the English courses here, to the point where it's fairly unremarkable/often recommended to people who've just finished their first "for English speakers" tree. There's no reason why the same shouldn't be true the other way around, for Romanian speakers who want further English practice.

        3) To help improve the course by beta-testing it and to help people learning their own language. In particular, native speakers tend to get to the bottom of the tree far more quickly, and that is a help to learners for whom more translations will have been added, bumps will have been ironed out. Native speakers with proficiency in English are also much more likely to spot errors on the Romanian side of things, which anglophone learners of Romanian are highly unlikely to even notice, never mind be able to correct. This is analogous to me, as an English speaker, noticing unnatural or incorrect English when I did the English for Russian speakers course.

        • 1312

        I'm a native Romanian and I considered taking the course in order to help improve it, but so far I haven't because I don't really have the time and I would find it very boring (my level of English is also around C2 so it wouldn't help me learn English either).

        As a former part time English language teacher (still volunteering as such at an NGO) I think it would be interesting to see if it might be a useful tool for students. Particularly so for teachers of Romanian as a foreign language.


        I am a native Hungarian, and from my birth I live in Romania. I understand everything, and I can talk, but I can't think in Romanian, as I can in English, though, I can't speak very well. I haven't started yet the Romanian course, but I want to start it, especially for improving my writing in Romanain.


        Good. You do that. Then you will learn to spell Romania and Romanian right, with proper cases, and without ”u”.


        (edit: and Hungarian too, sorry I miss it)


        Thank you, I edited it.


        Nice! Not many people would waste the time to return to correct former posts. This proves you are serious about learning languages. Have a lingot!


        I wonder, if there are people who can create a German - Romanian course. For both speakers


        Das wäre toll, ja.


        Es wäre auch gut ein Deutsch - Niederländisch, Deutsch - Schwedisch und Deutsch Russisch Kurs. Der deutsche Zweig zu entwickeln.


        I have got to share this with you. This is a comment received on a sentence. It is this kind of comments that inspired this thread.

        It is really precious, enjoy :-)

        "Niciun dicționar online sau offline în limba engleză nu are o definiție/explicație pentru "heavy knees" (eventual "weak knees"). La fel și în cazul "genunchilor grei". Nu vei găsi nicio explicatie pentru așa ceva, decât în poemele lui Marin Moscu. Senzația de "picioare grele" (un termen mult mai des întâlnit decât obscurul genunchi greu, în special în articolele de specialitate sau pe site-uri de medicină sportivă) e foarte bine cunoscută."


        Here is another very good one :-))

        "Înţeleg militantismul pentru formele feminine ale unor funcţii de genul "director", "preşedinte" etc, dar "ghid" nu am auzit niciodata să fie feminin şi nu sună bine."


        he/she is right, it is incorrect, and it sounds bad too... :P


        This is the pride of the British Empire speaking: "It was called a railway station in England before America had trains"


        They might have just wanted to see how Duolingo teaches their mother tongue.

        Learn Romanian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.