https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xKolendo

Why are language courses with gendered grammar teaching nouns without their articles?

I'm so sick of trying to learn German through DuoLingo. When learning a new noun more than half the time I'm presented a word without its article, making memorization far more complicated than it needs to be. You should NEVER teach a noun without its article in a gendered language!!!

To make things worse, I don't even know where to submit suggestions to DuoLingo. Anyone know how I can get this changed?

June 27, 2017

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sargionete

I would recomend you to download a most comum phrase in German to learn the basic, I think It's more efficient

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sargionete

You can pick up the deck in Anki forum

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Anyone know how I can get this changed?

In short: you can't.

Longer:
By having staff revamping deeply Duo's system (=how courses are constructed in the incubator), so unlikely to happen IMO.
For the gendered languages among the 6 first languages that were on Duo (as those are on a slightly different system), the revamp would be less "deep" since it'd be on "how incubator's informations" are used by the website (not on "how courses are constructed"). But such "teach nouns with articles" feature having been asked almost since Duo's Day 1 and stil not being here, I wouldn't hope too much about it (and, for sure, wouldn't hope that it'll change because we ask: staff perfectly knows about it and if it'll change, it'll only be because they decide, not because we asked again).

June 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

I just took a look at the Greek, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian from French, and Catalan courses. The only one where the article wasn't present to teach new nouns was Catalan. All the rest introduced it explicitly and then demanded the correct article in a radio box when it came time to recall it.

You must be talking about something beyond this? Clearly the system allows for this functionality, in both the original six and other languages, if the contributors elect to make use of it.

I have to assume this is the crux of the OP's point because the vast majority of the time the article will show up in a complete sentence, and if it's a translation into the target language, the right article will show up as the first entry when hovering over the English article. Sure there are times when an article is required in a target language where it's not in English, but that's a bit of a different issue.

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xKolendo

That's great that they're showing the noun with its article upon the first introduction, but for a language like German where there are no patterns available to discern gender without an article, it's incredibly frustrating seeing these nouns pop up shortly after without the article. Who can memorise the noun and article forever upon first sight? Not me, that's for sure. Maybe this is a problem in the app more than the DuoLingo website? But I'm just so fed up because I'm starting to only remember the nouns without the articles, which is BAD.

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

Do you mean there are one-word "sentences" that only have the bare noun? I'm not familiar with German, but I would have thought that in a normal sentence an article would usually be there by default.

June 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Do you mean exercise where you have to type "article + nouns" or the ones where you select(°) the article then type the noun?

I was referring about the later ones which, I believe, are only present in courses teaching one of the gendered languages among the 6 first languages that were on Duo. But I could be wrong.
Those exercises aren't controlled by the contribs in the sense they don't "create the exercise". They just add the noun --- with the indication of its gender --- to the course. then the system use that information to create an exercise.

For the former type, it's indeed that the contribs created a "sentence" which consists only of "article + noun" (so not really a sentence) and those can indeed be created in any course.

(°) Yes, you can type it too, but it's just to describe the two different kind of exercises.

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

I'm not positive. Are you referring to questions where a single word with or without accompanying articles appears like any other "sentence" to translate, or are you including cases where there's the picture and it's just a single word with or without article?

Here are some screenshots:

From Dutch: There are three others in the lesson where it appears, so one for every two words introduced with pictures in that lesson.

From Greek:

From French from Russian:

It seems I may have erred in my statement that the Dutch and Greek courses introduced the articles explicitly and then demanded it my means of a radio box for the recall questions (or something might have changed in the intervening months). But they do demand the article. And via the French from Russian case we see at least that the base language of the course being one of the original six does not seem to be a requirement for the "select the article" questions. (On second reading I'm not sure if that's what you meant by "among the 6 first languages," but I think that's the criterion for a course having a Words tab, so it's what came to mind.) I actually find the radio boxes annoying because on the app I don't think they can be filled in via typing like they can on the web, which makes them easier to miss completing.

I think Catalan is the only language I'm doing with gendered article considerations where the article is not included in the exercises where new nouns are introduced with an image, but given the cases of Dutch and Greek, I assume that was merely a choice of the contributors, perhaps a reasonable one given that a very large fraction of the time the words in Spanish and Catalan are quite similar and rarely differ in gender.

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

The two first ones are a third type of exercises (when added in the incubator): image exercises.
The third one is what I'm referring to (image + list of possible articles) when saying "the ones where you select the article then type the noun".

But they do demand the article.

AFAIK, it's not with "radio boxes" but just a "standard" translate exercises = the team created an exercise "translate the mother" (the first type I mentioned in my previous post).

And via the French from Russian case we see at least that the base language of the course being one of the original six does not seem to be a requirement

No, it's not. Only the target language matters.

I think Catalan is the only language I'm doing with gendered article considerations where the article is not included in the exercises where new nouns are introduced with an image

AFAIK:

  • you'll not have exercises with radio box for the article (because the target language is not "one of the 6")
  • if you have exercises with images where you have to put the article, it's because the team wrote the answer with article (hence generally the question too).
  • if you have exercises with no images, just "translate", where you have to put the article in addition to the noun (and nothing else), it's because the team created a "sentence" for the course with only article + noun.
October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

I think I assumed the OP's main point was about image exercises. I have rarely seen cases where the item to translate was a single noun (with or without article) and it wasn't an image exercise, although I have seen these a few times, including doing the lessons I did to get the above screenshots.

If my assumption about the main point was correct, then it would seem the takeaway is that contributors for languages with gendered articles should reflect that in the image exercises: either with the article radio button (this is a correct technical term upon a bit of further checking; I don't immediately come across the right way to reference a set of radio buttons other than as "a set of radio buttons") or just via setting up the image exercise to have the article. So, to directly address the question of how to have gender indication in the German from English tree, the answer is just to encourage the German from English contributors to make the necessary changes in the next tree version — a much more likely occurrence than to have to have Duolingo's programming staff do anything.

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

So, to directly address the question of how to have gender indication in the German from English tree, the answer is just to encourage the German from English contributors to make the necessary changes in the next tree version

I agree. ;)

should reflect that in the image exercises: either with the article radio button ([...] or just via setting up the image exercise to have the article.

So it's the second they should be encouraged to do as they don't control the first ones: Duo's algorithm does.

October 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

So it's the second they should be encouraged to do as they don't control the first ones: Duo's algorithm does.

I guess my idea was that in the courses where the algorithm will generate ratio button questions, the contributors can attain the OP's objective just by leaving the introduction of new nouns with pictures up to the algorithm since the questions it will generate will have the articles.

October 9, 2017
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