Since an earlier post of "the management" basically ruled out the possibility of any meaningful changes to the Turkish program, all I can do is express my profound disappointment in the poor quality, from both a technical and a pedagogical point of view, of this program. From the technical point of view, many of the spoken Turkish words and phrases are virtually incomprehensible, even at the slowest speed. According to a Turkish-speaking anthropological informant of mine, the pronunciation seems rather like that of a rural dialect than of educated speech from Ankara or Istanbul, not a good choice for an introductory teaching tool. From a pedagogical perspective, the order in which new words and concepts are first introduced makes little sense: important points of grammar are slipped in willy-nilly and then never followed up, translations of Turkish phrases to English and vice-versa are often just wrong, leading to student confusion.
I will say that the Tips at the end of some lessons are invariably helpful, as they were in the other language programs of yours that I have used, namely French and Esperanto. Both technically and pedagogically, however, those two programs are superior to the Turkish one by orders of magnitude. Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the French and Esperanto programs, considering that Duolingo is free. By the same token, it might have been better not to have issued the Turkish program at all unless it could have been brought to the standards of those languages.
First, let me say that I understand it may be a bit frustrating to feel like you have no control over the course or that it feels static in some way! I apologize if it has I or anyone on the Turkish team has ever come off that way. I also agree that some things could be improved on, but some is out of the Turkish team's control as well.
In terms of the audio, there really is very little we can do. There are simply not any better Text-to-Speech software available that we were able to find (if you find one, please let me know by posting on my stream). Even if one is found, it has to be within budget, so there are multiple layers here that are out of both of our playing fields.
In terms of the pedagogical approach, you have to remember that this was created by volunteers coming from a more limited pool than bilingual French speakers (of which there are a large number) and Esperanto speakers (of which, the majority speak English to a fairly high degree and are hobby language learners/teachers). I am by no means management and have never gotten a single penny as compensation for what I do here here, just like the rest of the moderators and course contributors. Both a lot of people I now call my friends and myself have put a lot of time into creating this course and to bettering it.
In the future, we will be developing a 2.0 version of the course that will hopefully be a bit more designed to the specific problems areas of Turkish. You also have to remember that a tool like Duolingo has infrastructure more geared to French and Esperanto (both quite a bit like English in terms of grammar comparatively) than Turkish.
If you find an incorrect translation, report it. I look through the reports myself on my free time. There really are relatively few, especially at this point in the game now that it has been out for two years.
This being said, we are open to suggestions and encourage it. There may be some issues that we will not fix in this particular tree because it isn't worth taking the energy from producing better trees for the Turkish --> English course and the English --> Turkish course. If you have any input about things you would like to see in the 2.0 course, please write it here or even on my stream: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8297908
Thank you for taking the time and effort to respond to my critical comments. I think I now have a much clearer understanding of how the site works and a much greater appreciation its quality, given its free status. Tes,ekku"rerim/Thanaks!
First off, I would like to thank you on and all the volunteers behalf of us users from Duolingo for the amazing and hard work you all have put into the course. We know that you spend your time and effort for no financial benefit and we really appreciate it!
I personally haven't tried any other Duolingo course yet, so I cannot compare their quality to the Turkish tree. But I have tried numerous other Turkish books and courses and I have to say that this is one of the best for beginners! The biggest complaint I have read for people that have finished the Turkish Tree is that they cannot find a resource as strong as Duolingo for continuing their education.
Also, since I am still a beginner in Turkish I could be wrong. But from what I have seen is that the moderators do an excellent job of fixing up any mistakes or errors in the sentences. While I have been going through the tree I personally haven't found a single mistake that hasn't already been addressed. The most helpful thing about Duolingo is checking the comments attached to a particular phrase and seeing the different ways the phrase can be said, what it directly means in English, how natives interpret it, the origin of the words etc...
While I do say that, I am not saying the course is perfect. There are a couple of issues that I have with it: 1. Sometimes opposites and homonyms are taught at the same time. So when you try to remember the word in the future, you mix up:
Like the opposites hot and cold (sıcak vs soğuk) and the homonyms for architect and civil servant (mımar vs memur).
And as mentioned on fluent forever, a scenario like this pops up when you are talking.
What did you think about the movie? Why, it was (excellent/terrible). It was definitely one of the (worst/best) movies I’ve ever seen. The lead actress was so (beautiful/ugly), and she played her part really (well/badly).
It is not geared towards a "go outside and speak today course". There are too many of what I call kindergarten words. When you are learning your native language in KG they spend a lot of time teaching you the different shades of colours, the different species of animals, the different names of food etc... As a A1/A2 learner of Turkish I don't feel I need these words at the moment. I would much prefer having words to help me haggle in shops, discuss my opinion etc.. Although I have to say that the references to TMNT and GOT really help spice up the course and make it interesting!
As mentioned several times, the audio is lacking. Can the Forvo library be incorporated into Duolingo (or is their legal issues), many times when I have needed a pronunciation of a Turkish word I can find it there. I am sure that an automatic code could be set up such that at least 70% of the words be taken from Forvo and have whoever is going through the course point out any mistakes if they do exist. Also, the speed is too slow as compared to how actual Turks speak. I would really like it if a "super speed" could be added to the other two.
Overall, from talking to people that have completed the course I believe the course is meant to have you hit a B1/B2 level of Turkish. Thus while you are learning it, you will have a harder time speaking and understanding but by the time you complete it you will have a really well rounded base to build on. Unlike other courses, in which they help you speak from Day 1, but in completing it you cannot build up on it easily.
Once again, I would like to thank the enormous effort put in by the volunteers!!!