About ready to quit this language on DL
Do all languages go through this period in DL where obviously correct answers (to me, a native speaker of English) have to suffer one question after another where I am marked wrong incorrectly? It is incredibly frustrating to be trying to learn this language, but end up with 10 wrong answers because the designers of the course did not appear to know English? Or the hints that give an answer, is then not accepted by the question?
My patience is wearing thin.
Addendum: I will return when the course has had more time to bake in the oven. For the now, it is annoying to have to remember a wrong answer just so I can complete a lesson; it impedes the learning process and expectations created by the many other high quality courses offered on DL.
That's the point of a course coming out on Beta. It's a trade-off: you get to access the course early. in exchange, you have to deal with the uncorrected mistakes and report them so they can work on it.
Sure it could be annoying if it takes an unreasonably long time to fix but remember that this isn't their full time job but a side project done in a volunteer capacity, and also that sometimes on Duolingo the tech / programming side delays changes from being made in a timely manner.
I didn't like some of the kinds of mistakes on the course and that there was no audio yet, so I decided to just wait a while and go back to it. But not to complain about the people who are working hard to make this a reality or to say that it's wasting my time when these volunteers are so generously giving so much of their time for us.
Dear native speaker of English, if your "patience is wearing thing", then quit. No one is forcing you to stay. And no one will stop you to come back later if you like when this course is in phase 3 thanks to the great efforts of the volunteer contributors and the reports and constructive comments of beta users. Just don't be a hater :-)
Yes, I am reporting them. It is just that some of the errors seem like they should have gotten caught during design. For example "How is your home, sister?" will get marked wrong, even though it is a suggestion, and how an English speaker would say it. It remains unfixed weeks after I first encountered it.
Presumably it's because they are working both on the audio and other projects related to the Peace Corps. Not sure about that last part, but if the audio is done (which they have estimated to happen either at the end of this month (i.e. today) or next month, things might speed up a bit.
I think there are now only two contributors working on this. One is a Tanzanian Peace Corps employee, and one is a polyglot US Peace Corps volunteer. AFAIK, Rehema is no longer involved. One issue is that, although English is an official language in Tanzania, the English language usage in Tanzania may not correspond with "standard" or colloquial English used in the UK, USA, Australia, etc. In other words, English is a second language for one contributor, and Swahili is a second language for another. All that being said, the errors in the English are pretty annoying, to the point where you get really frustrated. I have requested corrections on more than half the English sentences and "correct" answers in some lessons. IMO, Peace Corps or Duolingo needs to step up to help the situation. This course could be extremely helpful to incoming Peace Corps volunteers in East Africa. Volunteers could start the course ahead of time, and have much more language facility by the time they arrive in-country. Other volunteer organizations may want to help also such as: VSO in the UK, EU Aid volunteers, FK Norway, etc.
I know that with the Welsh course they did not put the course on the main page of Duolingo until they had pretty much completed the beta development stage in the incubator. Perhaps they've misjudged releasing the course this early?
That being said, ngarrang, from reading your statements, I think you should quit the course for now. When it gets to the point where you're 'suffering' and your 'patience is wearing thin', then it's clearly not doing anything for you. Unfortunatly, it looks like there's only two contributors working on the course at the moment, and they're not able to dedicate much time to it either. The course is not going to be improved at a pace that you'd like.
May I suggest you try french or Portugese instead? These are other languages used in Africa.
Some language learning sites that may be better: http://cecelialanguages.tumblr.com/Language%20Learning%20Websites
This is a really useful resource. And it is intensely frustrating also. I don't think anything has been corrected on the system in a long time - I keep going back over old lessons and all the same mistakes are there, things I know I reported ages ago. It may be that this is all being worked on behind the scenes. It would be good to have an update on plans for the course. I have checked the incubator but no updates in a while.
First of all, let's say thanks for the Swahili team for their work.
It's true, on the other hand, that the English translations are full of minor and, in some cases, major mistakes. Like confusing perfect infinitive with passive perfect infinitive. Some of them I have already posted, some I have not.
But there's one thing that could enormously enhance the "end user satisfaction" and it is to eliminate the confusion coming up with definite and indefinite articles. Swahili does not have them at all, it's clear and over. Hence, why to privilege any of them when evaluating and scoring (i.e. accepting) the translated solution? For example:
Hutasoma gazeti. The 'correct' solution says "We will not read a newspaper."
Grammatically it's correct, no doubt, however sounds a bit "googlish." I'm quite sure, vast majority of English speaking folks would prefer writing "We will not read the newspaper."
Or next, 'Treni ipo stesheni.' Accepted version is: A train is at the station. But 'The train is at the station' is marked as bad. I asked some native Swahili speaking buddies about it, even they accepted both solutions as correct ones.
So, the question is: Would it be possible to exclude the article matching from the assessment procedure?