No Reflexive Verbs
I'm level 15 in Spanish and have still not come across a reflexive verbs section yet. I am currently living in Spain and can tell you that they are VERY important to understand Spanish. Can someone from DL please explain to me why they are not introduced way earlier, if at all? Also, verbs like gustar are not even regular reflexive and English speakers mess them up ALL the time. (gustar, odiar, aburrir, interesar, etc.) are all very common verbs that should be introduced very early in the lessons.
I don't see a lesson in my tree for Reflexive verbs per se, but I remember being introduced to Gustar early on, and had to use learnspanish.com grammar lesson "Gustar And Verbs Like Gustar" to understand that they are conjugated differently. And of all places to introduce that, they introduced it during Object Pronouns 1 if i am not mistaken. Either way,Ay Dios mio, what a nightmare :(
Level 15 does not actually help us know how far you are in the course as it only reflects the amount of time you have spent doing Duolingo, (xp points). And, if you've been doing any immersion, your total xp points will be much greater than a person who does no immersion. So, in the future, it may be helpful to mention which skill section you've recently completed.
Object pronouns are in the third section of the tree. It is my understanding that Duolingo staff spend a lot of time figuring out the order of skills based on learners' progress. Object pronouns are notorious in Duolingo as being one of the more difficult sections. Though I think Duolingo may have pushed them to a later position and, honestly, and recently I haven't heard as many complaints. Regardless, Duolingo does work hard to figure out the best order to skill learning. You can't learn everything on day one, and some things have to be done later.
I think object pronouns was actually causing people to quit learning and that motivated a change in their position on the tree, but I'm speaking from my own experience.
After perusing Benjamin17's activity stream, it appears he is way past the object pronouns sections.
Ok, that changes my answer somewhat.
I believe Duolingo groups reflexive pronouns under object pronouns. This may seem different from how you originally learned Spanish.
I'm going to base my answer off http://spanish.about.com/od/pronouns/a/reflexive_pron.htm
- "Verbal reflexive pronouns are used in much the same way as direct-object and indirect-object pronouns; they typically precede the verb or are attached to the infinitive. In fact, reflexive pronouns are identical with the other object pronouns except in the third person and second-person formal." This quote from About Spanish is why I contend that object pronouns is where Duolingo introduces reflexive pronouns.
And I'm not the only person who thinks this is difficult.
- "Important note: Learning to use reflexive pronouns, especially se in Spanish, can be challenging, since they are used more frequently and for additional purposes in Spanish. This lesson, therefore, is an introduction only to those cases where reflexive pronouns are used similarly in the two languages. As you study Spanish, you will frequently come across sentences where reflexive pronouns are used but where they may not readily be translated to English reflexive pronouns." Also, from About Spanish.
If people are going to quit learning a language after one section, they weren't going to learn it anyway. There should be a section titled REFLEXIVE VERBS very early on in the tree. And then every so many there should be another and another with different verbs. Like I stated earlier, I am living in a Spanish speaking country and cannot stress the importance of reflexive verbs because the concept is very difficult for English speakers to grasp.
My take, after a year and a half on Duo: Duo has all sorts of ongoing studies where they balance how difficult the subject matter is with how many learners stay with the program. They have a good idea how difficult/confusing they can make things before learners begin to drop out. Completing the entire tree only gets one to a high beginner/low intermediate level of Spanish. Introducing reflexive verbs and 'gustar' type verbs earlier, or adding more questions about them, would likely cause more people to give up on Spanish, IMO. You simply cannot introduce everything at once, and must make choices among past/preterite, gustar-verbs, reflexives, subordinate clauses, the subjunctive, perfect tenses, imperatives, the conditional, verbal idioms, and on, and on. Some people here ask for more, but note that others are overwhelmed by irregular verbs in the present tense, or give up because they cannot handle genders. Are reflexive verbs important? Of course!! But Duo is about equal to a year of college Spanish, not a major. ;)
thanks rspreng. I notice you comment a lot and are very insightful. However, I have to disagree with you here on how its about keeping people going. DL is free anyway, so the concept should be to help those who NEED to learn the language. That means not giving it up regardless of how hard it is.