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"Stimmt so" vs. "Insekten haben keine Schultern" - can we see more practical phrases?

I spent months working on learning German in Duolingo, but found that many phrases I learned are of limited usefulness when traveling. I couldn't find anyone who cared whether insects have shoulders, or six legs, or whatever. I had to learn useful travel phrases (like "stimmt so") from other sources. It might be a bit more motivating to know we are learning practical stuff here! Thoughts, anyone?

June 14, 2017



Duolingo isn't a comprehensive language curriculum, and it isn't a travel guide. It's actually somewhere inbetween, to satisfy a majority of people. For example, I'm learning Japanese on Duo right now, but I don't plan on going to Japan anytime soon, so I always get slightly annoyed by these phrases obviously tailored to tourists, like "Where is the train station". I'm mostly interested in the language per se, I don't need to learn the word for train station right away!


I think the idea of the program is just to start you out on your learning, and show you have the language works. You may not use the sentences you are learning, but they may teach you how to conjugate and structure sentences.


Learning a language isn't about learning phrases, it's about learning how the parts work so you can build your own sentences.

But if you want to focus on the most common sentences, you might wanna try https://lingvist.com/


I read somewhere that Duo uses these phrases on purpose to transport the construction of the language. It seems to be easier to memorise strange sentences and then remember them when you need to construct your own phrases with the words you need. It is not so far from "Insekten haben keine Schultern" to "Die Erdbeeren haben keinen Geschmack"


Genauso! There are many words I learned from Einstürzende Neubauten lyrics that really stuck in my head because they were odd, e.g., "Mein Leben ist ein Minenfeld", "Der Tod ist ein Dandy", and "Draußen ist feindlich".


I like the strange sentences. They make me laugh when I'm studying. Like paralars1, I don't like the language courses that seem like a travel phrasebook. They really bore me.

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