Introducing Duolingo Stories (Beta)
We’re excited to announce a fun new way for learners to immerse themselves in their target language — Duolingo Stories!
People often practice languages by listening to podcasts, or watching films and TV shows. This is a great idea, since you can be entertained and improve your comprehension skills at the same time. The catch is that most media for native speakers is difficult to understand, which takes the pleasure out of it. It's good practice, but can be hard work rather than entertaining.
Enter Duolingo Stories! We present you with bite-sized interactive stories to practice your listening and reading comprehension, especially useful for those of you who are nearing the end of the Duolingo course. Each story has spoken audio and a synchronized transcript, gives you fun exercises to keep you engaged, and will leave you with a smile on your face.
If you're looking for another way to practice, give Stories a try and let us know what you think!
This is an experimental project for Duolingo Labs, and as such, it is only available on the web, could have a few bugs, and may be removed at any time. It is available in only Spanish and Portuguese. If you are an intermediate or advanced learner of those languages we would love your feedback! Speaking of Duolingo Labs, you can learn more about Labs here.
UPDATE July 19 2017: Duolingo Stories Update
I gave it a try and I must say that it's very well done. It reminds me a bit of Readlang, but does few things better than that:
audio + text, synced correctly
correct text segmentation and correct translations – Readlang feeds single words into Google Translate, which is disastrous
extra mini exercises to keep the user focused
There's still room for some bells and whistles, but the core idea looks implemented very well. I hope that the experiment succeeds and we'll see more stories in the future.
Do you know BliuBliu.com?
Wow would you compare Duo Labs/Stories to it (have not tested stories yet)?
The problem about the BliuBliu word hover over translations are, like you pointed already out for ReadLang, that only single words are correctly interpreted, no phrases or combined words.
They wrote that they have plans to further change / improve that at a later time (last time I logged on and tested it).
ReadLang allows up to 8 words to be selected for translation at once. I've found that if a translated word is a bit wonky, highlighting extra words improves the translation. Also, I've had really good luck with ReadLang translations for Spanish. I've read almost an entire novel with it, as well as several BBC News articles and fanfiction stories. :)
Copying the answer I gave in another post:
No French yet (or other languages) because this is an experimental Duolingo Labs feature, meaning we are testing a project on a small scale to see how it does before investing time and money into expanding into all the languages/platforms, etc. That is how Duolingo Labs will work, as karint mentioned in her Labs announcement post. We want to invite the community to help us try out new ideas and give you a glimpse of little projects we are working on—even if the idea is not yet fully fleshed out or available in your favorite language. :) We hope you all enjoy the early peek of these fun prototypes anyway!
Wow! Just finished my first story and I'm thrilled! :-)
I wouldn't call myself advanced/experienced in Portuguese at all, but I got 10 right out of 12 and 3 stars. So I'm curious about all the other stories!
It's really great to be able to listen/read at the same time and that the voices are REAL native speakers! It's really easy to listen to it and follow it, although I had problems to understand everything... I know the words, know their meaning, but I'm still not able to understand everything at once, it still needs time to translate.
But THAT's the best way to learn. This way I got most of my English knowledge (through watching movies/tv series with subtitles which displayed what was really said) and now I can even read English books (topics I'm interested in, novels I still have to try out).
It would be sooo great, if that were possible some day with Portuguese also! <3
I think the concept of stories is a good one but would question the grading of intermediate / advanced as I speak only very basic Spanish but when I tried out the new feature I was able to both understand the text and answer the questions without too much difficulty and although, inevitably, I did not get everything correct I did get most of the answers right.
I would suggest a grading system for the stories running from A1 to a minimum of B2 to widen the range of users and provide more challenging material for advanced users.
It goes without saying that more languages would not only be essential but the sooner the better, as at the moment your evaluation group is only a fraction of the overall number of users on Duo.
Is there any chance of using public domain texts in serial form as well as original stories? That would increase the available material substantially.
All in all, the idea shows both merit and scope for further improvement/expansion, I just hope that it is adopted fully.
I understood it the same way ifpgigenia did and was disappointed. The stories themselves were quite predictable but otherwise ok, it's just that they are not really useful to someone who has completed the tree and started reading books, not that I was expecting these stories to be 100 años de soledad or anything like that. The audio was also much easier to understand than any real life Spanish I've heard so far, which is to be expected and not a bad thing. The only thing that bothered me about it was the pronunciation of puedo as po. I don't know if that's common in Latin America but I haven't heard it in European Spanish.
YES! Finally something for the language I have been learning for 8 months: Portuguese :-)
Web: Finally a plattform I can actually make use of (Web, besides Android emulator for PC), instead of IOS smartphones (bots & co.).
It may be a little bit too early for my current level I have gained in the Portuguese language, but I will gladly take a look if I can succeed.
Some months ago I got told by BliuBliu in a popup message that they do not have real beginner (easy) content for Portuguese (texts, recorded native audio voice) and my introduction test and self-rating did not perform in the intermediate/advanced category.
I really hope that I made some progress on Duo and Memrise since then to understand a little bit of you stories.
If not, your beta project may be the real booster for me, to give my current Duo tree (especially open grammar lessons) and un-finished Memrise PT5-7 courses some extensive learning performance dedication.
Thanks for offering this in Portuguese and Spanish.
I just finished the first two Portuguese stories ("Belas artes" and "Cuidando de um pássaro").
The second one was very funny, by the way. I like this project very much.
Don't be afraid, the level required is (in my opinion) upper-beginner or lower-intermediate at most (A2/B1 would be more than enough).
Try them! I bet you'll like it!
However it is nice that there is already some distinction about different content types on the BliuBliu portal (for selected languages).
BliuBliu separate easy content story (text + audio) is only announced for some selected languages (probably English).
I very much like the previous user suggestions that for DuoLingo stories different difficulty content type shall be specified in the future, according to the current (self-)rating of your developed language skills (e.g half-way through the tree, beginner/easy content, finished Duo tree, external e.g Memrise finished 1-3 (A1), 4-5 (A2) or 6-7 (B1) courses and further external intermediate/advanced Memrise/Anki vocabulary courses, etc.).
Either to strengthen already learned vocabulary in the tree or to learn a newer vocabulary with the stronger focus on:
Real stories, real text, longer sentences, combined sentences, phrases, real context.
I really need to see learned vocabulary in action where it belongs:
In real context used in real life or conversations between 2-3 or more people (not strange sentences where vocabulary is thrown together by a bot in strengthen or learning excercises).
This is a great innovation for Duolingo and I hope it expands to more stories and other languages (like Italian).
I have a couple questions: If this turns out to be a great success could the stories move out of the labs section and be a regular feature on Duolingo?
Are other projects going to be coming soon?
I saw the stories, and they look neat! Although in one story in Spanish, I wasn't paying much attention to the audio and had to guess on the blank. I guess that makes me look silly as a native(-ish) Spanish speaker, haha.
It would be neat to earn XP from doing these stories, and have them for more languages. :) Maybe this can be achieved by letting users make and share their own stories. Perhaps Incubator contributors?
I have been critical of Duolingo's choices before, but I love this idea! I was hardly around when they did the immersion thing, but this seems like a great idea! It's easier than trying to find something to read online or get a book in Spanish. I tried it out and it seems to work very well. It reminds me of what we did in reading class in elementary school.
Very engaging way of learning for sure. I truly hope Duolingo Stories is here to stay. And that other languages get some love as well, such as Esperanto, the one I'm currently learning. In the mean time, I will engage with the spanish stories. Thank you Duolingo for making this experience possible.
I don't have any concrete expectations, of course, but this would be an awesome thing to expand!
I saw this, and I wet myself, because all I could think of was the: "Now in 2015 ____ will have stories" but then I realised what it was, not a cheap copied fad from snapchat, but a really innovative idea which shows us why Duolingo is one of the best language learning apps! Grazie Mila, Multaj dankoj, muchas gracias, Arigatō gozimasu
I spent about an hour generally going through each of the new stories for both Spanish and Portuguese, and I have to say, I am very impressed! There is just one thing I would like to add to make this idea even better: introducing unique stories for each language. I noticed that the Spanish stories are almost the exact same stories as the Portguese ones, with just some minor variations. In my opinion, I believe the next story releases should be different from each other so that there would be an even greater incentive to learn each different language (if one is so inclined).
Steve! Glad to see you on Duo! :D I'm really excited to try out Labs and Stories. My internet connection is dropping frequently. So, my usage will probably produce pretty bizarre feature interactive data. :P Fortunately, I doubt one person's usage will skew the metrics. (Speaking of spotty internet, I'll remember to copy this before posting. Dropped connection has eaten my comment twice now :'P)
Edit: Just tried out the first story (in Spanish). This is really fun! Is Luis voicing the Genie in "Tres Deseos"?
I love it! I like the different voices, the interesting (and sometime disturbing ;) ) stories, and the fact this is a feature to teach X language to everyone, not just to speakers of Y language. I have one question, when you open this feature for not in-house languages, will contributors have to translate the already existing stories or each language will have to create its own stories? Hopefully this will reach every language sooner rather than later, I'm willing to translate stories to Esperanto.
For the sake of keeping track of suggestions, here are a couple of minor ones I previously mentioned in the Labs discussion:
- add more words to fill in the blanks (uncommon words are a bonus, since we'll feel we achieved more by getting them right only by their pronunciation);
- add punctuation and words with and without accents to the exercise where we select individual words to form a phrase (a bonus as well: since we rarely practice punctuation, this would allow us, for example, to distinguish similar words with different meanings or questions from exclamations!).
And for the sake of feedback:
we can actually hear a fluent dialogue taking place while taking time to evaluate our understanding of what's going on when we answer the questions. The fact that there is a continuity and connection provided by the story makes it indeed compelling to go through all of it at once!
Thank you for this extraordinary learning resource.
Sorry about that. It's probably because by default Chromium doesn't support mp3 playback which is currently required by Stories. The mp3 patents expired recently which hopefully means that open source projects like Chromium will start supporting mp3s out of the box. In the meantime it seems there's a way for you to add the mp3 codecs yourself: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25805961/chromium-not-playing-mp3 - if you try this please let me know if it works or not!
This is an experimental project for Duolingo Labs, and as such, it is only available on the web, could have a few bugs, and may be removed at any time.
So, until they have data for how Stories performs with Spanish and Portuguese, they probably won't be putting together timelines for any other language, in case they remove Stories.
I just completed my first story and found it very enjoyable. It's not as detailed as Immersion was, but it's a fairly simple read that allows one to demonstrate knowledge and understanding without having to look up a lot of words. I'm really looking forward to reading more of the stories. Thanks for adding this.
I've done four stories and they are very effective for developing reading and listening skills. I really hope this becomes a permanent feature of Duolingo.
A couple suggestions for improvement: there should be XP for completing a story, perhaps the amount of XP earned should be based on the number of stars won.
Second, different levels of difficulty would be immensely useful. Some posters I've talked with have complained the stories are too easy, one has said they were too difficult. So stories could divided into perhaps 3 sections: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
I really enjoyed trying this out! Whereas I enjoyed immersion, I found I could only engage with it in languages which I had already studied at school, whereas I think these stories will be accessible to me in languages which I've only studied on Duolingo. :D So I can't wait to see them for Italian and Russian and Polish etc... :D Exciting development.
Hi, I am loving the stories on Duolingo. I'm learning Spanish and struggle to hear more than a sentence or two at a time without taking time to process. I would love if, after having completed a story (that comes in one or two sentence segments), there could be the option of listening to the entire story without gaps. If this could become an option, great! Thanks :)
I'm liking this. The only thing I'd suggest is to maybe give some XP for completing these? Not even a lot, just a few. I'm mostly suggesting this because for many of us, we only have a certain amount of time we can give Duolingo every day and if one particular exercise doesn't count towards the daily total, it's likely to be skipped no matter how good it is.
Even if there won't be any XP for it, I'm hoping the experiment is a success and there will be more of these for more languages.
And what about the Portuguese version? I really liked the Duo Stories, I have tried Spanish and I have enjoyed this, but I miss English Stories. I know that is in test, but I think Brazilians will enjoy this too. c:
(Is anything wrong? Tell me, please. My English is not so good)
Your English is terrific! I offer a small correction because you requested assistance: "capacity to communicate" "To communicate" is the infinitive; "communication" is a noun.
I wish my Spanish were as good as your English. I have been studying mostly through computer programs for about three years, but I rarely have an opportunity to speak Spanish to people.
si-si. "awesomely", http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/awesomely (Oxford dictnr for learners) and 22M+ results in googlesearch. As for the ear-screeching "awsomely", it works for Scots (http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/awsomely) and from experience it's also present in Ireland; never saw it anywhere else. Only 104K results in googlesearch.
It's in limited release beta for ios and Android as an app. So, if you have either of those, you can download the Duolingo app and sign up to help test the Japanese course. As it is in beta, there are still many errors in the course. Everyone who signs up for the limited release are basically beta testers. :)
I agree. I go for XP. Which is why I did not make enough use of the words flashcards, even though I liked them - and now they've disappeared. I could not care less about lingots, as there's nothing in the store I want to buy (after the flirting and the proverbs). Maybe make the lab stories available for purchase, later on down the line?
I agree. Any new features that Duolingo creates to test our language skills should add on to our XP and fluency percentages. It gives users a multitude of ways to increase their points without having to use always rely on the standard lessons (which are great by the way but folks love variety).
I used Google Chrome's Inspect feature and figured out why I can't get any of the stories to load: Various vital parts of the stories (such as the audio file) are hosted by sites that are blocked by my location's firewall. And alas, since I don't have access to computers nor the internet when I'm not here, I shall ne'er experience the stories.
This is so cool!
I had signed up for DL after the site had taken away Immersion. As I worked my way through my French tree, I had felt that I needed more practice. When I saw this today, I had to try it.
I love it! (I took Spanish in high school, so I was able to read the stories.)
My only suggestions are the same as most people have already said. First, could you please make this available in French? Second, I would like to see the level of difficulty increase as you progress. I would also love to see it included as an exercise. Other than that, I love this feature, and I would love to see it !
Spanish is my native language and I'm learning Portuguese so the stories are helpful for now. I understand that it is a test for now, however, I find the stories more helpful than the bots. I'm sure that if they were to become a permanent fixture with other languages they could be a great addition.
how do you feel about using stories as a way to spread cultural stories and help distinguish accents, regional expressions, and dialects? it would be cool, for example, to be able to look at a map of the world and select a country and learn stories from that country, narrated by native speakers, or to be tested on where a person is from based on their vocabulary or accent.
okay I'm a beginner in spanish. I started a long time ago but I found that I like german and french more so I dropped it completely. But I just used Duolingo stories for 2 minutes and I absolutely love it. It has more involvement in it and it looks awesome. Personally I would do it even if I'm not getting any XPs. Also please make it available for the other major languages. PLEASE. And I have a suggestion to make......it would be wonderful if you guys can add famous movie dialogues from one of the cult classics or something. eg :- "how do you like them apples".
I remember suggesting something along the lines of this a few years ago when I became frustrated with the fact that Duolingo sentences are random when they could add up to some kind of story.
Duolingo Stories was just as fun as I had always dreamed it would be. (I've been thinking about the idea of learning languages through fun and funny stories for years.)
I really enjoyed the worst date episode in Spanish. Definitely a five star feature.
My opinion, for what it's worth, is that this is an amazing opportunity to hear conversation and read conversation. What we learn in our lessons on Duo do not always make sense without context (not a complaint just my opinion.) The conversations with provide that context and make it easier to guide us further along in our studies.
I am kinda jealous, I can't use it yet. Wish I was further along in my Portuguese than German now... lol! Oh well.
Please don't remove these. I think they will be very helpful in the long run to those that make it to the intermediate and or advanced levels. Thanks for more fantastic ideas and learning opportunities on this wonderful (FREE!!!) site.
I loved all! Very good to train comprehesion about a language in a fun way. I would like to suggest that this (and also the tiny cards), to be integrate in the same site, because it would be easier to remember to practice them. I looking foward to see the expansion to other languages, such as English, German and French.
Congratulations again to the Duolingo Team!
For a first "test", I have to say, the stories are rather professional. There are a lot of things to cover in order to brush them up, but I greatly enjoyed them.
// I suggest to "open" a story by lingots // How about a short story that is really interactual (taking 1 decision in the story) // science article // Bible story // short traveller story // famous situation from a book (in easier language of course)
I, personally, disagree with the use of lingots to use stories. However benefical they may be in the future for an "insentive" I personally would use these to take a break from lessons.
Furthermore, I think that things like bible stories would not be a good idea, purely because it reflects on one religion. However, this problem could be rectified with other passage from other religious books. On the other hand, these could put people off from using this feature due to the fact their religious beliefs are not shown in this feature, or purely they do not belive in religion, and would prefer to be reading something else.
Finally, the interative story would be very difficult to do, due to the fact that there would have to be a plethora of choices in that language, and furthermore it would have to be suitable for all ages and ability groups, which is why they have such "simple" stories.
This is great. I have just come back to Duo after a few months away to go through the Spanish tree to have another go with Spanish. I loved doing the tree the first time, but then I had plateaued and stopped making progress. The stories are great, just what I need. I have tried so many other online resources such as Blui Blui, but they are always just a bit too difficult. Please make this a keeper, I think it will be a winner. I am keen to support DL financially, but the DL Plus is just a bit too expensive now I have finished the tree, but if stories were available I would would definitely think about paying for it.
The stories will be rolled out for other languages right? I recently stopped using DuoLingo because I was losing the time for it, but if you guys make the stories in French, it would be a great way to immerse myself. I would be really exited to use this. I think DuoLingo is finally taking a step in the right direction.
sorry, if this is considered Spam: but great job to all who work on the stories! I do them in Spanish & French and absolutely enjoy every single one! Well, it might still be (partly) excitemrent of the novelty, but I literally muttered "Ohno!", when I realised there was...well, on doing the birdsitting story (no spoiling it, now). Great work, folks! Thanks a lot!
I am in total agreement. They have expanded the number of stories since your post, and points are now offered, so it appears to be a "keeper". A nice feature is the opportunity to comment on each story and offer ideas for improvement. What I have suggested, and am hoping for some day in the future, is that they incorporate some features of "immersion" into the story function. One idea is expanding beyond short stories into longer stories (lots of classics available no longer subject to copyright laws), actual articles, and once again offering translation opportunity and the chance to learn from each other through mutual collaboration. They could avoid some of the admin problems of the original "immersion" by controlling the material (maybe have a group of volunteers to screen and censor if necessary) and having stricter qualifications for changing the translations of others (proficiency demonstration.) Something to hope for. Like many others, I think it was a real shame to lose immersion. The DL site also lost some amazing partidipants due to closing down that wonderful opportunity for increasing fluency while learning more about the world.
OMG, I just tried out the first one in Spanish, and I really enjoyed it! And I really, really like the fact that Duolingo is open (here in your post and on the Stories page) about this being experimental and subject to change.
I've been very critical of (and even cynical towards) Duolingo at times, but this project looks really promising!! I'll be going through the Spanish ones tomorrow, and am looking forward to any future Russian (and Finnish ;-) ) ones.
Well, I just had to try this with Spanish to see how it is. I got 2/3 so the story wasn't that difficult (I don't really know much Spanish) and it got easier after I realised I could get hints for the words. Apparently I'm still not studying Spanish (it's not listed in my languages), but it would be nice to have the two systems integrated (the old and the new). I suppose that'll happen if the stories become an official part of the site one day (I do hope that happens). I could very well just skip the sentences and start learning with these stories. So I have Russian and Hungarian on my wish list for Duo Stories.
I've never learned Spanish at all and I was able to get 3 out of 3 right away :) There are hints there and Spanish and English are pretty close to each other to understand the sentences only using hints. The story is simple but uses diverse vocabulary and grammar. I liked it.
They were launched on iOS with support for French, German and Spanish.
They have been testing English and Portuguese for a while now.
Some claim that Italian is the next language, though I haven't seen anything official. It would make sense as these are all the original in-house language courses (pre-incubator).
I have not seen plans for the future, but I would think some cross-trees would be low-hanging fruit. For example: Spanish for German speakers.
Courses beyond that? No idea.
I find myself getting frustrated when it won't let me enter what I want. Like it didn't know what a banana was, even though it knew what a monkey was. A lot of times I find myself regurgitating the Bot's question as a response - suitable altered - since I know that is what it will definitely accept.
Please read my reply to pollyperki. Glad you like Stories! As any Labs project, it is experimental, so we are not even sure we are keeping this feature yet.
Labs features are there for us all to test concepts and new ideas, and may evolve into an actual supported feature, or be removed completely at any time. Since we are launching the prototype today, it is too early to know any dates. =]
You have to keep this project! Even just as an experiment it is the best thing I have seen come out of this site. Speaking as someone who was put on the path to learning foreign languages by Asterix comics, I am so happy you guys have chosen to do this.
People learn so much better when they are entertained, and as mentioned before, easily digestible material aimed at foreign learners is rare as unicorn poop. If you look at books like 'the cat in the hat' and 'green eggs and ham' for inspiration, you will have a goldmine on your hands.
No, Laurie Chilvers says that you are not allowed to discontinue this project. This is THE project.
Hi Dave, Bonjour,for people using Duolingo on their phone, they can simply open another browser window and go on the web version of Duolingo. If you are looking for a French conversation club, our club code is F8V5RK.
This is a great idea! I have really been looking for something like this since before the incubator was discontinued. I think the obvious points are that there should be more languages and more stories.
I also think that you should provide some measure of points for them, they're clearly going to do as much to help the learning process similar to a lesson, even if the benefit isn't quantified yet. You could start at 10-20xp per story and remove points for missed answers.
As there are so few stories, restricting access to all of them at once could be beneficial in the short term (maybe as A/B testing), because it seems to me people will be likely to binge on the short stories and quickly become bored. Allowing 1 story a day with a required vocab lesson in between might really be beneficial to the success of this project by keeping people engaged over a longer term. And again as A/B testing the opportunity for pre and post vocabulary and grammar lessons could be a great way to increase comprehension by priming and increase retention with repetition.
As more stories are included you should start serialized stories with new short chapters coming out once a day/week etc. again, to improve on returning students.
Don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel either, I think it would be great if cultural references like fairy tales, mythology, or fables (as appropriate) were shrunk to this bite sized form and provided for both vocab and cultural learning.
Hoping to see more of this very soon!
Not to be negative, but I thought the stories were for intermediate/advanced users, or at least that's what it says in the Labs tab. If they only allow one lesson a day with a required vocab lesson in between, what would be the incentive for advanced users to come back? So far, I did three in one go, three stars for each, didn't feel the need to reach for a dictionary :)
Granted, they are sort of enjoyable, if you want to kill time, but nowhere near as interesting as Immersion was. With Immersion you got to choose the topics you were interested in, here you get to "choose" from ten stories, which are quite amusing, I admit, but I don't feel I learned much.
I don't mind there are no points attached to them, I do mind that doing them does not count toward the streak, even though they are supposed to be "lessons".
Serialized stories on the other hand sounds like a great idea, I hope Duo will take it on board.
Actually, I have to politely disagree. I'm very glad that they allowed us to hover over some words/phrases to understand what was going on better. I get that this is supposed to be for intermediate learners, but I have finished the course as well and still needed to use the translation feature. Especially for phrases and uncommon course words such as ¡Qué avirio! (I dunno if I even wrote that correctly). Also, it's true, I got 3 stars for every story, so yeah, it wasn't exactly hard, but it did teach me a lot regardless with vocab and phrases not introduced in the course.
I think it's also very fair that these don't give XP yet because these are a part of the Labs and it's still in Beta, I mean, okay I guess if we are testing these things, we should get XP from it, but, I dunno, I see both sides I guess.
As I progressed through the stories though, I did forget a lot of the vocabulary and would have loved to see a feature where we could see all the new vocab words that I hadn't known before. I don't ever like the though of restricting the stories, so I can agree on that, but yeah, binging isn't a great tactic. Maybe if we had a storage of words and it restricts stories according to the amount of new words learned/added to the storage that day.
I love the idea of culture stories and more levels in Stories itself would probably be a good idea too. I put another comment on here (it's long though if you're interested in reading it), and I think that this feature alone has a lot of potential to even be it's own kind of app or website even, possibly like TinyCards. Perhaps they could even make TinyCards and Stories collaborate for those of us learning new words and phrases in the story. It would be cool if there were levels to stories. I feel like this feature could even potentially teach people really well, so to have stories for beginners and stories for experts, that would be so cool and beneficial. It would be a whole new way of learning for/with Duolingo.
I dunno, this is all just my opinion. But I am someone who has finished the Spanish course and studied some Spanish outside of Duolingo, but that's it. Maybe you're much more skilled and have studied way more than I have, and that makes sense why you didn't feel like it helped you, but as someone who has never had a Spanish class nor intensively studied Spanish, but inly studied for fun and with fun, this feature helped me a lot. Thank you for reading all of this if you do. I hope you see my side of the story. :)
Edit: I read your other comment, I'm glad you see their side now but I hope you still take time to read mine and maybe help supoort me and others in our concerns or possible additions to this feature. :)
I never said my opinion is foolproof, so it's ok to disagree with it :) Like you, I used my own experience. I never took Spanish either, other than on Duolingo, but I speak two other Romance language, so that makes it easier to learn.
I never said that Stories are not useful, nor that they should get rid of them, like they got rid of Immersion - though it's quite possible, if the "metrics don't add up", for them to ditch this feature in a couple of months, or maybe a year. I only said that access shouldn't be restricted, because in that case there would be no incentive for advanced users to come back.
And this is where I have to disagree with you :) Why should they restrict access to a number of words learned per day? How will they know how many new words you learn? Suppose you're learning on other sites, too, and you know words that you haven't learned here, on Duolingo.. Suppose you have a story that's full with "new" words (from Duolingo's perspective), but you know all of them, because you learned them someplace else. Should you then be denied access to a new lesson, because you reached your "new word" quota for the day?
Or suppose that you're the one deciding what a "new word" is, as you list it someplace. If you know you'll be restricted, can't you just not add words on that list, in order to still have access to the next story? (Mind you, I think this is really counter-productive). Isn't it easier for the user to decide for themselves whether they want to hear another story or stop for the day?
As for binging, as I said, to each their own (or cada loco con su tema). I've always learned by binging, never seen a downside to it and it served me well until now, so I'm definitely not gonna fix something that's not broken..
To sum up, Stories seem like a useful addition to Duo (not as useful as Immersion in my opinion, but I know I sound like a broken record and Immersion is gone for good) and I hope they will develop this feature further, with no restrictions :)
Yeah, I did mean the option where you only choose the new words yourself. I guess because I've felt bad results myself and seen it in others I'm quite skeptical in binging methods for others, but it's very true in that "cada loco con su tema" mindset. I personally never got to use Immersion (although I always wished I could, however, I didn't know where/how to use it. I personally think a lot of the new Health and Gems things are also BS tbh. I just think they're approaching the idea very wrongly, and I guess for people like you, it would only push you so far away from Duolingo. And me as well because I like to binge, even though it doesn't help me. Restrictions are the last thing I want and I'm sure any language learner wants. :) I'm glad we can agree with most of this lol.
No dictionary needed here either, I guess what I was saying without the needed background thought process would be stories with new vocab in them. Something that could be comparable to lessons in usefulness to a course.
I also hope they'll expand the subject matter. Maybe they could include mock interviews with athletes, politicians, scientists, and the like to introduce more varied ideas.
And I think serialized is probably the best idea of my post. Maybe I should edit it to reflect that =O
Oh, sorry, now I get it - stories with new vocab would be ideal. Maybe even stories that are just spoken, not written, to challenge you even more. To be forced to give answers on a microphone instead of a keyboard - though I imagine that requires a lot more resources.
Mock interviews would be great too, just like letting users choose their own difficulty level and pace, as someone else suggested in a different post. Some people like to binge on lessons (I plead guilty of that), but that doesn't make them learn less. Others need to repeat the same lesson until they feel they know it by heart. Different styles, different personalities, it shouldn't matter if the end result is the same. Me, if they limited the number of lessons I could do a day, I would search for a different site :D
But I do agree, serialized is the best idea I heard on Duo in some time, because it would give an incentive to come back. Right now, there are not many incentives for advanced users, unfortunately ;) Unless, of course, they decide to study another language and be novices again.
Yeah, if there could be either XP or counting towards the streak, or both, that would be awesome. Hell, even if it is only 5 points, it adds more variety to Duolingo. Language is very much about variety. One thing I liked about Immersion is that when I got too bored of the lessons, I could turn to Immersion to get those last few points to level up. Plus, it just makes sense because we can actually improve a little by doing these exercises. I think XP would be best, but even rewarding with lingots would be better than nothing at all. Like if an advanced learner tested out of most of the tree, it could be a way to get lingots.
There were also copyright legal issues because people kept misusing it to upload copyright material and also people from the EU kept using it after the EU changed some laws. So, it took a lot of work to try to remove such content. Without that work, a legal battle could have sunk Duolingo. So, it was too big of a risk to keep up.
I did all the stories in Spanish in one take, so I don't know exactly what you mean about by only "one lesson a day." - It's true that I got 10/10 over most of them on the first try, with one or two points lost in total due to distraction (typos.) Could that be the reason why Duo let me proceed, but would have slowed me down if it wanted me to work a little harder to master all the nuances and details?
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
Thank you for this update. It will be very good for improving our learning experience.
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
Edit: I know this is just experimental, but I think this is a great feature and I hope it's added. This feature and the whole idea of Labs are probably the best things Duolingo has done in the history of Duolingo, maybe ever.
I completed 2 in Spanish and 1 in Portuguese so far. The stories were super-entertaining and the interaction throughout the dialog kept the listener focused. It's an much-needed intermediate step for practicing learned vocabulary in a controlled environment before taking on a bigger step like watching a movie or TV program in the language being learned. I loved the concept and sincerely hope that it will be further developed and offered for all the languages.
The same stories are presented in Spanish and in Portuguese, but their titles are positioned differently on the wall, so you might not notice that at first glance. For my first experiment I read different stories in each language. I hope the Duo staff will translate the same stories into other languages for us. It is such a great learning tool.
I like stories, it will definitely be a good addition to the main site. Also, allowing general access to cutting-edge features in the Labs section is an excellent idea.
My suggestions: please add different difficulty levels to the stories. For example, you can maybe have "very easy" stories containing only vocabulary up to the 1st "shortcut" checkpoint in the main course. And the "very hard" ones should go beyond the main course and/or have specialized vocabulary that some learners want to go into. For example, a conversation between two economists discussing value-added tax, invoices, bank accounts, etc. Or two lawyers discussing legal terms. Yes, I know how boring it sounds, but if you mark those as 'optional' and allow people to pick and choose what they want to learn, it could be a very powerful learning tool for people who seek employment in another country.
This is a truly excellent idea! In my opinion, it doesn't sound boring at all, it sounds like a great option for advanced learners to improve their vocabulary. That would surely get my attention. Well, maybe not the VAT stories :) Seriously, though, I do hope Duo's developers take your idea into account.
It would be really cool if we had the equivalent of an Incubator for Stories. I have no idea, but I'd guess that if Duolingo implements this feature, they will probably only release it after Stories is released from Beta and no longer part of Labs.
But again, this is just my guess based on previous behavior of Duolingo and the announcement. Maybe they'll add it now.
This new feature is so fun and cool and interactive. Of course there is always room for improvement, I have sat through and played with about 4 stories in Spanish already, and it's really great. I've already given back lots of opinions back in the little feedback boxes after the stories.
I don't know if you guys want me to share my concerns/tips/etc., but I will anyway. :))
I know that this is a Beta version and understandably has many features not present yet, but what can you expect from obsessed linguists such as myself. I get that there is no XP, but would love to have that when it's no longer in beta (which I'm hoping this survives the Labs because this feature is amazing and so beneficial).
• I think one thing Duolingo should realize is how great of a feature this could be. In fact, I'm sure that even without the courses, if translation was present/easily accessible (which it already is), many people could learn a lot about a language from this feature alone.
• The stories are hilarious, I'm excited to see new stories, features, etc. It would be so cool if someday in the future, high-leveled people could make their own, monitored (like pre-approved) stories.
• I wish the questions/tasks didn't interfere with the translator, I got a few questions wrong because I was just trying to see what one word/phrase meant, but it was part of the overall "choose a phrase" task.
• I would have loved to see more speaking exercises, maybe it's already a feature, I didn't have it though. But also, with the whole comprehension thing, it was very cool, however, I stumbled across one saying "puedes sentarte" and I wrote "entarte" because that's what I could hear, and didn't even get a "Close Enough!" Just a simple incorrect! Which is fine, I understand why it's incorrect, but ahhh, that was so unfair, puedeS Sentarte, ugghhh lmao.
• I would have loved to have a back button for questions so that I could see the translations of words I didn't know in previous questions (regardless if they weren't the correct answers). But before that, I wish it let us translate the question's words as well, sometimes I had to search up the word in the question (not in the answers and the story, which is great, but how could I progress if I didn't understand the question itself?)
• I ALSO WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A FEATURE WHERE WE CAN CHOOSE PHRASES TO KEEP IN A LITTLE STORAGE AREA. THERE WERE SO MANY NEW WORDS AND PHRASES THAT WOULD JUST BE SO HELPFUL FOR ME, BUT I KNOW I FORGET QUICKLY AND IT WOULD BE AMAZING TO HAVE A PLACE TO KEEP THESE PHRASES AND STUFF. :)) EDIT: MAYBE YOU CAN MAKE TINYCARDS ACCOMPANY THIS FEATURE, OR MAYBE WE CAN MAKE THIS STORAGE OURSELVES ON TINYCARDS I GUESS, I REALIZED THIS AS I WAS RESPONDING TO OTHERS ON THIS DISCUSSION.
Of course, I'm sure there is more on my mind, but that's all I personally have for now. It's a really cool feature already. I think it's so useful and smart and maybe in the future, you can even have an option where you cannot read but only watch/look at the pictures.
I think that's it for now. Thank you for this cool, new feature! I hope you guys include French, Japanese, etc. soon because that'd be so amazing. AHH I'M JUST SO HYPED ABOUT THIS, IT WAS VERY FUN AND COOL TO ME!
EDIT: more on things we could do after talking to people on here and reading; I love the idea of levels in stories, for those who are beginners or for experts, or categorizing these stories, XP being added, storage places for new phrases, etc. etc.
It was very cool, loved it, hope to see it approved, always room for improvement.
Features that would be cool if added: Stories being its own app or site like TinyCards; being in collaboration with TinyCards for new phrases/words; more speaking/listening exercises; possibly add story levels; less interference between questions, answers, and translations; etc.
Sorry that I always leave wildly long comments on these discussions, I just enjoy sharing my full opinion and thoughts, and even then these comments aren't everything. Hopefully you guys appreciate it more than shame it. LOL, Thank you!
I would have loved to have a back button for questions so that I could see the translations of words I didn't know in previous questions (regardless if they weren't the correct answers).
On my computer, I can just scroll up or use the scrollbar on the right side of the center box. You can still click on words to see their meaning?
Or was that not what you meant?
I don't think that's what I meant. I use Labs on my mobile phone through Desktop Version Loophole. Also, I don't know if that bar applies to the questions. I can totally go back in the story and stuff, but the questions would disappear after I answered and got back into the story, unless it wasn't a multiple-choice question. ?¿?¿? I dunno if that makes sense to you but yeah, I would have appreciated going back through the questions to observe, not the story. :))
The stories are great, the best thing I've ever seen on duolingo together with the removal of the hearts system. I didn't get the feedback popup the second time, so here are some ideas for possible improvements:
Longer stories. For me they could be longer, maybe stories of different length? A longer story could have more text and less questions. If this is realized, the stories should show the expected completion time (e.g. 5 minutes, 10 minutes), so that the learner knows what to expect.
An option to read and listen to the story as a whole and continuously, without the questions. This would be great to practice and increase the immersion effect, and to train listening comprehension.
Edit: did anyone notice that the audio is not split properly? At the end of each sentence you can hear the first word/syllable of the next one, and it's missing there.
I was really excited when I read that it's available in Portuguese. I wasn't sure if I was advanced enough, but lately I had little to no motivation to practise and now I'm so excited to learn more! This is an excellent addition to the tree and the first story is so funny!
I really enjoyed these stories. I'm about 1/2 through the spanish tree and am watching Spanish TV shows and Novelas to help with my hearing comprehension. THis really helps. I've done 2 stories and have gotten 2 / 3 stars. This is just what I needed and I did far better than I expected. I hope this stays, since the wikipedia thing went away. I'd love to see it become a permanent part of duolingo and expand to more languages. THANK YOU.
These stories are what I really need to practice because I'm good at figuring out Spanish words when seeing them in practice and lessons, but I/m not good at practicing practical grammar. The documents that we're able to translate are a bit too complex since they mix all sorts of advanced tenses and though I can get the gist, I think stories are better for intermediate learners. It's much closer to how we're taught to write and take comprehension tests in language classes, which are the reason I use Duolingo in the first place: To keep my fluency and comprehension skills from degrading when I'm out of school. (Or even during school in a very poorly taught Spanish class.)
I'm looking forward for more, and it would be awesome to see variation in the difficulty of stories so we could eventually be taught to read on a casual/more advanced level, like how the translation documents tend to be. Then I think Duolingo would be a very practical app since it's difficult to learn to read and speak on here unless you use the app alongside a class.
I LOVE IT! Please keep it! I posted about it myself already raving about it :) it's super helpful, fun, and gives me new vocabulary and especially conversational vocab that doesn't always translate right. I hope it stays!
P.S. I really miss the flashcards option, where did that go?
I love the stories and I've only done 3, 2 in Spanish and 1 in Portuguese. I realize my Portuguese is not strong enough yet to do more than that. Stories vs bots, They do different functions. I find the stories giving me more feedback on how much I really understand what is being said, and bots give me a chance to see if how I am responding to what is being said is a correct way to answer. Like them both for different reasons.
I recently finished the Spanish tree and posted my disappointment that a new level had not opened up when I finished and POOF here are Stories. Did you do this especially for me? :) I like DL Stories a lot. There is a lot of new vocabulary to get out of the dialogues besides the answers to the questions so I will be going through the stories more than once. Please don't take them away! Unless you are integrating them further in the main flow of DL! I'd pay lingots for them... Thanks!!
The stories are great. Maybe DL will consider doing longer or more advanced stories in the future--maybe even a whole book in serial form. However, I really hope they are open to bringing back immersion some day. One of the reasons Immersion was hard to maintain was because of the complaints of misuse, especially by juveniles scamming the system to earn points simply by changing spelling or punctuation. This could be easily solved by charging for access. If DL would offer a year's pass to immersion for $25, my guess is half a million dollars would show up as income within a couple months time. It would be interesting to see how many of our fellow users would pay that pittance for the privilege.
Though evidently only a small percentage of the total DL population used it, my guess is that total exceeded several thousand. I followed and worked with nearly 100 who were active in Spanish immersion, and there were countless others using it that I didn't follow. I just did a count, and 49 of those had absolutely no points earned for the entire month of June, which leads me to believe they have abandoned the site altogether ( as I have for the most part, until Korean comes on line in August)
it was a learning experience for all. In addition to improving my ability to understand and write in Spanish, Immersion was a window on the world. We translated literature from great authors (Cervantes, Jack London, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), children's stories, sports articles, pop culture, political happenings, at least one article to do with outer space, and any of a number of other topics. Many of the group members were native speakers from Spain or South America, who were all to willing to help those less adept at Spanish, and we were sometimes able to return the favor with English. In fact, immersion gave me a better idea of the obstacles foreign speakers meet in learning my native English. Luis has done wonders with this site--a gift to us all, but I hope he will keep open the possibility of reviving Immersion.
Nice feature, but definitely not for 'intermediate or advanced learners'. Without using the hints, and purely based on my knowledge of Spanish and Galician, I've been able to get 3 stars easily on every Portuguese lesson. The Spanish ones are also a little annoying for me because it's European Spanish and they speak really slow too. Regardless, I hope that this is a feature that they expand
Well, if it is the Gaby in the Amiga imaginaria story, that girl's accent is not a peninsular accent at all. She is clearly reading but her prosody is not from anywhere in Spain. For example, the "ch" sound in "sé muchas cosas" is not from any place in Spain but especially not from Andalucía or the Canary Islands. Anyway, it's the prosody which gives it away.
I agree the stories are more adequate for intermediate than advanced students. However, since you appear to be proficient at Galician, I'm not sure even advanced texts would be difficult for you, and your performance would probably not be a good indicator of the stories' difficulty level. Your Galician lessons look amazing, by the way! Thank you for all your work on them. I have saved them in my favorites, and I will be sure to study them in depth in the future. I'm very interested in Iberian history and culture.
I have never studied Portuguese or Galician and might be able to come up and correctly translate 5 words of Portuguese. I have finished the Spanish tree ages ago, read a couple of books with the help of a dictionary and I did the Spanish stories when they had just been released. With that background, I was able to understand most of the first Portuguese story and scored 10/15, only getting 2,5 type what you hear questions wrong. Whether that puts the stories in the not-an-absolute-beginner or intermediate category, I don't know.
In general I like the stories, would rate them 9/10. Very pleasant.
But some are absolute gems, with humor and absurd situations. I didn't expect to like the stories as much as I do. They're not as dry / boring as the typical chats you'll find elsewhere.
My favorites are (Portuguese) "cuidande de um pássaro", "um péssimo encontro" and "precisamos conversar". They're hilarious and bizarre, absolutely perfect! I absolutely love it.
It might be nice to bring a bit more voice acting into the stories as they get more advanced so people can learn to deal with ordinary conversational patterns. Maybe add some diegetic sounds for fun? I think if the people recording these had a little sound editor and a sound library where they could drag-and-drop sound clips, they could make these even more fun to listen to.
I just wanted to say that I love the Duolingo Stories. It's a really great feature because I can - see and learn things in context - see if I understand what's going on - learn new words (which I haven't seen in the Duolingo tree)
I find the stories I've read so far quite enjoyable (though sometimes they could be a bit longer).
I'd be really happy if more stories were added. Both for the existing languages as well as for other languages.
It's brilliant, i lost my interest for Duolingo a little bit. I think it's too easy and there are not enough levels. These witty stories however allow me to learn at my own pace, see real sentences and enjoy myself. The link with tinycards is great, but i would like to create my own flash cards from the story.
This is a nice feature! Please add it for more languages. Is this meant to replace Immersion? > This is an experimental project for Duolingo Labs, and as such, it is only available on the web, could have a few bugs, and may be removed at any time.
If tests are only available on the website, then why wasn't Japanese released on the website first?
See this comment from vivisaurus, who stated that they're testing the project on a small scale right now to see how effective it is before they expand it onto other platforms and languages. This is how the Labs section will work; users are given the privilege to get a glimpse of some of the projects that the staff is working on currently.
well, to begin with, it's an experimental feature, so I am sure if there are enough people who speak the plethora of languages like you, who want these stories, I'm sure they will. I've also put in the comments that I'd happily help if there were Esperanto stories, and looking at your level, you'd be more capable if they need a hand.
There are many ways to expand your french language learning, for example, you can change your phone language and you can change the subtitles and audio language on your TV shows (if you have netflix or anything similar) and check amazon for the wide range of books in french. TinTin is a great book to read to expand your learning in any language
Even though I am a beginner, I found these stories very helpful. Both in learning how sentences are constructed, and in finding an additional practice that is at the "right" speed. Please keep them coming. I have filled in comments in the feedback boxes. The Belle Artes story froze and would not let me continue. I backed out 2x and returned 2x, but it froze at the same point (right after the "be quiet Sofia" line). It never gave a chance to fill in a feedback box.
Hi. I am at 42% fluency, (in Spanish), so I looked at the stories, but there were too many words I have not yet learned. Do you have any plans to offer similar stories for beginners? I would really appreciate such a new avenue for learning a language. To me, it would be similar to primary level readers that children use in school. I would not mind that they were simple. It would be an excellent way for me to become more accustomed to the grammar and use of more vocabulary. Thanks Duolingo!
Duolingo is a wonderful site, and the stories are a fantastic addition, but to truly gain proficiency it is necessary to use other sources as well. There are many wonderful Youtube videos directed at children, which are enjoyable even for those of us "long of tooth"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djpaIxYzf80&t=43s The Whispering Palms (very slow and distinct, but of course you will need to look up any unknown words)
and then you can also find some of the old classics like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, etc.
Hi Steve I asked about a problem accessing the Stories. You asked me what browser I used - I use Safari but also have Google Chrome which I could try but I'm told it is an old version and may not have all the latest features.
After I put a comment on this discussion board I found all the other comments appearing in my ordinary email. Some are interesting but there is just too much to take in. I'd rather see them only when I choose to got to Duolingo Labs. Can you help, please? Many thanks
Thanks for the info about your browser. It would be far more likely to work if you could install the latest version of either Chrome or Safari.
If you look at one of these notification emails you should see an "Unfollow Discussion" link - click that to stop getting more of these.
Duolingo Stories is an amazing idea.
After I finished my Spanish tree last year, I found that my learning progress started to stagnate. I tried to move on to more "advanced" learning activities, like reading actual newspapers in Spanish or having conversations with native speakers. However, I found that without the motivational features of Duolingo, I couldn't keep myself interested. This is precisely why I think stories and more features like it are an incredible idea.
With stories, I'm getting a guided approach to more advanced learning. The stories are reminiscent of something I can see myself using Spanish for, like reading a book or newspaper. The best part is, I still get all the wonderful features of Duolingo. The stories are interactive, I can hover over words to get definitions, and the gamification elements make me feel motivated to keep learning.
As others suggested, getting XP rewards for stories would be great. Overall though, Duolingo Stories is a real step up for Duolingo. This has gotten me excited to give Spanish another shot, and I hope that Duolingo continues to implement more features like this one.
I really like the Stories! I have done 3 of them so far, and did very well on them. Since I'm not super far along in Spanish, I had to use a lot of context clues to figure sentences out. I loved it though, because I was successfully reading it! I hope you continue to make them!
Not bad and I´d like to see more content and maybe some more challenging. Sometimes your questions are more a question of opinion than of fact, which is a problem (For example...ah, SPOILER alert...) that should be avoided. The reason I stopped doing the translations was that I didn't get enough feedback for the work, and people would make small changes to ... well, I am not going to make conjectures about intentions, but it demotivated me from doing the translating. By the way, no pop-up came after I finished the stories. Is that because I finished them all at one sitting?
I have tried a couple of stories and think this is a very good idea. I think it would be great if you could have stories that are linked to the levels in the courses like you have for TinyCards. So, when you finish a level, you can go to the stories and practice comprehension based upon that level.
I've tried 2 stories so far and really like the story approach. Some words I don't know but pickup from the context (repeated exposure). I like the way some of the words appear on the screen as they are being said.
One small improvement would be to allow the multiple choice questions to be selected using the number keys. (I'm using the desktop version not the app version)
Otherwise it seems very well done, especially for a beta.
Good morning! Am using Mac OS-X, version 10.7.5 with Safari version 6.1.6. Ha ha - I think they are both out of date.
No, I do not have any trouble receiving sounds or anything else on Duolingo. I would LOVE to get into your stories, though. Thank you for doing that for us.
Wow, this is really great! I just read one of the stories and I can really say I enjoyed it, it wasn't boring and it was engaging to say the least. I tried a story in Spanish and I could clearly see the effort that was put into it, I'm fluent in both English and Spanish and I can tell you guys didn't skimp on the work you guys put into ths project. Keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to the Italian version - which is the language I'm currently learning - and even Japanese. (Hopefully when it's finally released.) I don't mean to rush by the way. Also, I agree with adding XP for completing the stories, it would be nice even if its just a few points.
I love this so far! However, I have done 2 stories. La carta perdido, with 7 out of 8. and Cuidando un pajaro, with a perfect score. It said I got 3 stars for both, but looking at the story page all the stars are blank. Just thought I would report it. Let me know if a screen shot or more info would help.
I am native Spanish, so of course for me wasn't difficult, but I find it to be an excellent idea. I love the idea of listening and be able to read in case you don't catch it all.. and really have to put attention because there will be some questions about it. Please do it in dutch :P btw, as maclomhair said, I would also suggest to get some XP, or at least not losing the streak, it is true you may not have soo much time every day to make your daily goal if you already went through one os this exercises
I just completed the first Spanish story (I'm a fluent speaker of Spanish, so not studying it on Duolingo). Very good exercise; it helps with listening/comprehension, which is sometimes better done in a longer conversation format than the short phrases in the normal Duolingo lessons. I'd love to see this for Swedish and German! I would echo one of the suggestions below that experience points be offered for these; it would be that much more incentive to do them (apart from the fact that they're fun!).
Whomever wrote "Cuidando un pájaro" with it's rapidly escalating disasters MUST have been a really big Ernie and Bert devotee. Was very reminiscent of Ernie's account of his scraped finger following getting chased by a dog running away from elephants on the loose after the bus crashed into their cages because the bus driver was blinded with bright lights from the flying saucer. Loads of fun!
I suggested something similar to this a few months ago. Good to see that it's finally coming to fruition. Only problem is that it's rather limited at the moment being only Spanish and Portuguese. Perhaps give users the opportunity to write these stories to be approved since it would be a huge task to cover lots of languages otherwise.
It would probably depend on the learner's background, but, in general, if you are halfway through the tree, I think you could already try them. However, they would probably be more adequate after the tree is finished, as it would be easier then to determine afterwards what has to be reviewed. Either way, I think having more opportunities to practice always tends to be good.
I tried it out and really liked it, especially since both Spanish and Portuguese are languages that I'm doing here on Duolingo. The only thing I would say is to give some XP, and for the stars/score earned to be saved. But I really liked it, especially for Portuguese. I'm doing Spanish on Duolingo mostly to practice with the ñ and such, because I'm already fluent, but with Portuguese, it is really helpful to me. I don't know anyone else who speaks or is learning Portuguese, and watching TV in Portuguese is still a bit difficult for me if they are speaking too quickly. The story is read at a nice pace, with the option to listen to parts again, and makes sure the person truly understood what is going on.
Thanks for this! Turning to TV shows and comic strips in a foreign language and novels with my native and learning languages side-by-side has been my best next step after clearing a Duolingo tree.
It will be nice to have something similar built in to Duolingo itself.
So far, I've only started the first story, "La carta perdida", and although I'm not advanced enough yet to have gotten many of the questions right, I could still follow along and could understand the ending.
The length was just about right.
I would love to have the multiple choice answers correspond to the number keys on a keyboard, as in the usual Practice modes; it was annoying having to pick up the mouse to click on them.
The audio is okay, but probably still needs a little bit better voice acting before this goes out of the Labs.
There were a handful of words that I never saw in the Duolingo tree in these stories, and that seemed unfortunate, especially when the very first question in this first story quizzed me on a phrase I'd never learned or ever heard ("garage sale"). For the most part, this is probably still okay. It just immediately made me feel like I might be out of my depth.
Part of what makes comic strips a great learning tool (I even remember learning new bits of English from comic strips when I was little) is that everything is illustrated, giving immediate context, and the stories are often humorous, giving something like a new sense of freedom in how to use the words you know. I think these Stories are likely to have both of these things! :)
TV shows also give visual context, but are paced much quicker. As an Intermediate learner, I actually prefer the Stories because of the slower pace, but it would be neat to see some video stories later on. (My current Spanish videos include the old "Destinos" Spanish learning show from the 80s and "Metastasis", the Spanish adaptation of "Breaking Bad" -- since I already know what's going on in the show from watching the English version, it's much easier to follow).
Lastly, novels provide interesting and more cultured (or even antiquated) uses of the language. I'm slowly making my way through a Spanish translation of a Sherlock Holmes novel. There are many new words in that versus what I've learned on the Duo tree. If the Stories are a successful Labs experiment, it would be amazing to have classic novels translated and made officially available on Duolingo as well.
Also, one more suggestion: a little Happy/Sad, Comedy/Tragedy greek-style mask icon on each story, if there are any that aren't Comedies (in the classic sense).
Thanks again for these Stories! Hopefully the feedback helps a bit and doesn't repeat what others have already said (I haven't read any other replies yet) -- I did not get a feedback pop-up on finishing the first story.
Yo but like this is awesome. I tried it in Spanish, which is my first language, and I have to say it's wonderfully done very similar to actual conversation in Spanish. I'd definitely consider expanding it to other languages and making it permanent. I also agree that XP or lingots should be given when the activity is successfully completed. Also, maybe divide them by mastery level and the further along you are, the longer the stories get.
I think that simple stories designed for people who are trying out a new language is a great idea! I've always wondered how I could combine all the words I've learned into a lesson, so this is a solution. The problem is, though, I'm focusing on French and I have no time to do any other language. So please can you add French stories soon? Thanks, anyways. Good luck!
I did all the Portuguese stories even though I am not studying the language (it is sort of easy for me though because my mother tongue is Spanish, a closely related language) and now I am aching and longing for more... :)
It certainly would be great to have equivalents in the rest of languages available in Duolingo. Both versions of those ones and others made ad hoc for each language...
Really enjoying these! I watch a lot of Spanish TV and listen to a lot of Spanish music and have always wished I could replay a line without some of the background noise.
I do wish that you could select when to slow the audio or when to play it at a normal (or even increased) speed. When I want to replay a certain bit, it slows down after the third play, but then it remains this slowed-down version.
Looking forward to more!
I hope this "experiment" is deemed a success. It is far more effective to learn with context than with isolated words and phrases. Perhaps there could be a "story tree." as a supplement to the current tree. A story like "Cuidando un Pájaro (and each of the others as well) could be used as the basis for a whole unit with many lessons, including instruction in both vocabulary and grammar. The audio is wonderful, the story entertaining, and the student gets a taste of what the language really sounds like.
Cuidando un Pájaro
MARCO ¿Cuándo regresas: mañana o el martes?
CAMILA Mañana. Gracias por cuidar mi casa y a mi perico.
¿Dónde podría estar Camila? • En el supermercado. • De vacaciones fuera de la ciudad. • En su casa. • En el cine.
MARCO ¡Con gusto!
CAMILA ¿Todo está bien en la casa?
MARCO Bueno, te tengo malas noticias. Tu perico se escapó.
CAMILA ¿Cómo así que se escapó?
¿Qué palabra puede reemplazar "se escapó"? • se salió • se quitó • se devolvió • se cayó
MARCO La puerta de la jaula se abrió.
CAMILA ¿Se abrió sola?
MARCO Bueno, no se abrió sola. ¡Qué idea tan tonta, Camila! Se abrió cuando la jaula se cayó.
MARCO Bueno, la bañera cayó desde el segundo piso y golpeó la jaula.
CAMILA ¡¿La bañera cayó al primer piso?!
MARCO Sí, eso y tu cama también.
CAMILA ¿Cómo ocurrió todo eso?
MARCO Bueno, el piso se puso débil con toda el agua que salió de los rociadores contra incendios.
CAMILA ¿Y por qué se activaron los rociadores?
MARCO Bueno, Camila, ¿es que acaso no sabes que se activan… cada vez que hay fuego?
MARCO Pero solo en el segundo piso.
¿Qué ocurrió primero? • El perico salió volando. • La jaula se cayó. • La bañera cayó desde el segundo piso. • Hubo fuego en el segundo piso.
CAMILA ¡¿Pero qué hiciste?!
MARCO El bombero cree que boté mis velas de meditación. Ya me acordé…hay algo que quiero contarte.
¿Qué hace un bombero? • Vende velas de meditación • Apaga fuegos • Enseña a meditar • Arregla casas
CAMILA ¿Más todavía?
MARCO Comencé a hacer meditación. Es bueno para relajarse. Escucha, congusto cuido tu casa el próximo mes también. • Selecciona la palabra que significa "reducir el estrés".
MARCO ¿Aló? ¿Camila, estás ahí?
¿Por qué crees que Camila colgó el teléfono? • Porque ella estaba meditando. • Porque ella perdió su teléfono. • Porque ella no quiere que Marco cuide su casa de nuevo. • Porque ella tenía que hacer algo importante
The stories in Spanish are fun. However, I couldn't complete them all because two of them are getting stuck in the middle (they won't respond to clicks, after #7 or #8): "¿Puedes ablar?" and "Cuidando un pájaro." -- as you're in the Beta stage I would hope you could address the issue easily. // I'm a native Portuguese speaker so I haven't tried the Stories in Portuguese, so nothing to report there, but I will be looking forward to stories in German, the language I'm studying. Will you make an announcement as you add more languages? I learned of the new feature by chance... PS: Later I was able to complete the two lessons that had glitches with no issues.
Three days later... So, I ended up listening to one of the stories in Portuguese (Brazilian Portuguese) and I was surprised by how regional the accents and certain expression were ("Vixe??!!!") I would think that it would be preferable for the students of the language to learn expressions and accents that are more neutral or universal, i.e., the ones one hears on the radio or television, but there again, Brazil is such a big country and certainly radio and television will also vary a lot. A challenge, indeed! I encourage Duo to continue with the Labs and stories in as many languages (and accents!) as possible. Great addition!
Very nice. I'm Brazilian and used to take Spanish at Cervantes, so was able to try a bit of both. I hope you expand this to include other languages. I am studying Swedish here on Duolingo and I feel like midway through the course I can already understand a surpsing amount of the language in its written form, but I still need to improve on my listening skills. These types of exercises would help a great deal with that!
The stories are great! An easy way to learn some additional vocabulary. And that would be my one suggestion: add some more words that are not part of the Duolingo course. Another suggestion is that you may add some links to simple texts that you find on the internet such as simple news stories and the like. Maybe we need to use a dictionary but it could be good further practice for those who want. No XPs needed for these to be sure!
I'm looking forward to trying the stories! I looked at one when I finished my practice this afternoon. I do need to find out how many levels there are in the original course, and how many trees are there? I've read that some comment on having reached multiple trees, but I only see the one I completed months ago. Have kept on practicing to keep the lines full. Would appreciate info. EstelleLappen0
I absolutely love practicing Portuguese through stories!! Interactive storytelling...it's a great way to get the learner involved in real life communicative context through computer-assisted language learning. Understanding and interpreting stories are essential for TL growth! I hope to see this as a finished product.
Eu adorei destas histórias!! Espero que vocês continuem com este serviço. Acho que é impressionante.
Regarding browser compatibility, I was not able to get Duolingo Stories to function properly in the following browsers on Windows 7 Pro: Chrome, PaleMoon (a fork of Firefox), Safari 5.1.7, and Epic 40. Possibly one or more extensions on Chrome and PaleMoon may be interfering with the operation of Duolingo Stories.
It does work well in IE 11, Opera 46, Vivaldi 1.10, and Brave 0.17. and Firefox 54.
Except for IE which I usually don't use for security reasons, most browsers I use frequently (mostly Chrome) are fairly well locked down with various privacy extensions, ad blockers, referrers, and canvas fingerprinting blockers. I generally disable the ad blocker for Duolingo since the ads are not programmatic ads and are relatively tasteful.
I really like Duolingo Stories as the dialog is natural unlike many of the questions in the Duolino tree. This is one of the best Spanish learning options I've come across in nearly 3 years of using various sites. I hope you keep it.
This is very useful. You are right, the best way of lerning is listening to conversations and those easy stories make it very fun to learn Spanish and Portuguese. I hope this feature will progress and it will be avaliable in every language very soon. Thanks for it! :D
OMG... That was SO MUCH FUN!! I am not completely through my tree - but I am still an intermediate learner. It is fun to have a side activity to engage in. It is kind of a challenge to go and collect the stars on each story, kind of like a sticker book. Yes, getting XP would be nice - but this is just kind of like a "side quest" for my tree. I would really enjoy some more activities like this. Maybe some vocabulary matching games, based upon progress through the tree? Maybe you could tailor the stories to the vocabulary / topics that the student has used in the tree - you could make them "unlockable" material, as they work their way through the tree. Give them a kind of "sticker book" to "collect" rewards or badges / shinnies as they work their way through the stories.
I love the labs!! I am pretty much a full on speaker in Portuguese now but I am still requiring a little time to be able to listen without seeing words and understand what is being said. These labs allow me to hear the dictation and enunciation properly! I hope they stay!!
I am just wondering...do they give lingots for doing the labs? Does it count towards proficiency and stuff?
It is very good, I think that it will be a great feature to learn but in the Spanish version you would try to use a more neutral Spanish language, there are some expressions and words too much 'latinoamericanas'. for example '¿Qué pasó?' Is not used in many Spanish speakers countries and it sounds very unnatural. Maybe you would to show if is a Latinoamericano Spanish, European Spanish or Neutral Spanish to avoid confusion.
I love the stories (in Spanish) in the Labs - even though I am only part way through the program (I am not close to being near the end of the lessens yet), I really enjoyed them and felt they helped me with honing my language skills. It took me several attempts in some of them to get all 3 stars, but I eventually got them all. I'm eagerly looking forward to more stories! Excellent Work - please keep them coming.
i really like this website, so i'm not trying to be a troll or a complainer, i just care about wanting it to be even better. so this is what my initial impression is about the stories:
why don't we get experience points for doing the stories? how does it influence our stats? i've only done one story, and while i can tell that they will be fairly entertaining, and are really well made, i don't like that it doesn't seem to influence anything in my learning progression. there are some really good suggestions here for how to make the stories themselves better, but i feel like they are completely separate from the main learning portion as i don't know if you can get lingots, or maintain your daily streak/increase xp, or improve vocabulary, or improve my "fluency" percentage. ultimately, i understand that it's more important to just understand the stories, but i still feel that there should be more tangible rewards for going through them, especially for advanced speakers. and if i'm wrong about this, and they are connected, i am sure there are a decent amount of other people who are also under the same impression as i am, and would benefit from your response.
thank you :)
if this hasn't already been thought about:
i also think it would be great to create simplified versions of traditional stories from cultures of the language being learned, with native speakers from the regions the stories come from, with the distinguishing features of the region's accent/ dialect. and the information should be given at the start of the story. just focusing on regional accents/dialects would be really good. if there's anything i have to contribute with this comment, it would be some manifestation of this idea.
I enjoyed the story that I completed :) I found it very helpful and amusing but I didn't know how to save my progress at the end because I didn't know how to exit properly. I am excited to try another story though and am definitely looking forward to the day when Duolingo Stories makes it to the android app :)
I did a Spanish story (though I hadn't studied a word of Spanish by then) and really enjoyed it. I know a lot of people want Duolingo stories to come in other languages as well, and I know you're busy and working hard, but I'll add my vote for more Stories anyway. I'm praying hard that it will be available in German soon. In the meantime, I'm practicing my writing skills by writing very short stories in German in Google translate (so I see if my story translated into English makes sense) and then I swap the languages to check for corrections in my German text. I understand Google translate may not be completely accurate and the best for this exercise, but it's still useful. (Though, Duolingo Stories would be way better at making sure I learn correct stuff!)
Keyboard shortcuts please.. It kind of hampers "fluency" to reach for my mouse every time to proceed. Maybe spacebar to continue? Thanks for the German stories - I was going to suggest that tooltips could be added to preexisting German comics but this is much better - now I can take the next step..
There is a problem in EL CAZADOR no connection starting from the second part between the text and the voice . I terminated all your stories and wish to continue but because EL CAZADOR it seems that I have not finishes.
also why since a few months there is no development in the basic duolingo I mean that it seems repeating itself without progress thanks for your reply ALEGRA CONCERTANTE
This feature is still under test, as ar as we know, and in particular only available under the English interface of Duolingo (which is the interface when you follow a course for English speakers). Since there is no course of English for English speakers on Duolingo, there is consequently no Stories in English (under the English interface, which is the only one to have stories currently).
Hi, I think the stories are an excellent way to understand another language. I am surprised you have not offered them in English for non-native English speakers as I think this would have the highest demand/value. I have been looking for something similar for a friend who is an advanced English learner but struggling with pronunciation and flow. Keep up the great work and maybe English stories can be added soon?
Duo lingo stories is great. Much better than just going through tedious and repetitive lessons. I just wish I could start a story then exit it to do something else and return to where I left off later instead of having to start the story all over again. Also can anyone tell me how I can look at what I posted without having to scroll through 400 other posts
Hi Bob - If you mean that you want to search this discussion for your own post, try using CONTROL + F (hold down the CTRL button and then press the F key). This works in most browsers (and word processing or spreadsheet programmes) to allow you to search for specific words, phrases, numbers, etc. that you want to find within a limited area.
A little window will appear (at the top right in Chrome, I think it is on the bottom toolbar in Firefox) and there is a box to enter your search term, then some arrow keys to go up and down. Good luck.
Since the last update is from nearly two years ago now: Are there plans to expand the stories to other languages? I found it very hard to find adequite ressources for japanese reading material, so far. Duolingo has a really high quality for language correctness, from what I can tell (I am a German native speaker and was really impressed by how flexible the alswers for the inital test are recognised). That's why I'd LOVE to have reading material in more languages.
I absolutely LOVE the stories!! I am learning German and just finished another story. For practice I went to study it again and the words were grayed out/not visible - which allowed/required me to concentrate on the spoken audio. I am still having trouble separating some of the spoken words so the option to click on and read the text is phenomenal. I also find it extremely helpful that the audio slows down after several repeats! Please don't take the stories away !!!!!