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everyday dialogues in immersion

It is nice to be able to understand a wikipedia article, but I heard from many people that when they were in a foreign country, it was the day-to-day situations where they were too scared to use their language skills.

So today at the bakery I got the idea of a new immersion tab, where native speakers could post transcribed everyday dialogues (like at the supermarket checkout or the post office), for learners to translate. It may give them an idea what to say in such a situation and what they may be asked, and so feel better prepared to just talk in such a situation.

What do you think?

March 27, 2014



real day conversations

wonderful idea


I would prefer chat rather than transcripted discussion, oral and written, but I think Duolingo is about to make this feature.


I hope for a chat too, but that is for people who already have some level of fluency and can think and type fast enough. Beginners might need too long to come up with a sentence to feel able to participate in a chat. For those, working slowly through an existing conversation might help them create their own sentences.


Brilliant idea. It would be a great help and give confidence to learners


Sitesurf just created a blog for the sole purpose of having a spot in which she can write up short, everyday conversations (in French), then upload them to immersion. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/2385884


That's a good idea, you always get nervous when you walk into a shop - "What if they start asking me stuff I don't understand?!" This feature would help a lot, as it would help people to know what they are listening for when someone asks them something


When I first went into a store in Brazil alone I had maybe been learning the language for a month. I knew enough to ask for "Três pães de queijo, por favor" and I knew my numbers so I could understand the price when she said it. What I didn't expect was her asking me whether she should warm them up. Here's my biggest tip for when it comes to going to a different country:

The sentences "How do you say ___?", "Could you speak slower, please?" and "Could you repeat that, please?" are the most important ones you can learn. Maybe add "I'm not from here" to that list.


Yep I really used those question beeing in Switzerland. I was looking a Basel TV and took me 2 days to realize THAT was German LOL . Sakashiru's idea is brilliant because we can come in contact with native language without the beeing scared by the burden of having to replay.


Fully agree! It is the conversational skills that I (and I think most other language learners) fear. Conversations can take varying forms (different levels of formality, slang, dropping words, etc.) which can confuse a language learner who has not been exposed to these things.


If there were a way to get people to transcribe recorded dialogues, that would be great. I think that when a person writes up a vocabulary list or a grammar list or whatever, it's very easy to forget all the little context-dependent phrases that make a native speaker sound natural. Even when you study sentences, it's not the same as studying conversations, and which phrases are used to respond to certain types of sentences. Because of that, the 2nd-language learners end up knowing a lot of common words more or less, but far less the actual collocations and phrases in which they're usually used. You can end up feeling like an idiot because you keep using the slightly wrong words for that kind of sentence, even at a fairly advanced level.


All you need is an open-source textbook for learning that language. Then add the dialogues to Immersion. Textbooks often have such dialogues. The only trick will be finding one that is open source.

Alternatively, because transcription usually takes time and money, you could accomplish this goal if DL had immersion for audio or video content.

In any case, good luck!


This is great idea and should not be confused, as stated below, with chat. Translating real world conversations would be a step leading up to chat. Creating a level of comfort and confidence to have a live conversation with someone.


Nice I think it would fun and it would help us with are learning!!! :D


This would be hugely awesome! Ich bin voll dafür :)


Great idea! I would love that feature, but....

Duolingo has the immersion tab because that is how they make money - capturing productivity that would otherwise be lost, by having people practice and translate at the same time, then selling the translations. So I'm not sure it would happen.


There are no words for how awesome this would be.


great idea! :D I really hope duolingo implements something like this.


very nice idea. it will help beginners like us a lot.


This is an amazing idea!


Perhaps users could post a paragraph or something, and offer a certain number of lingots for a translation, someting like that.


Great idea sakasiru, you might want to check out this book:

"Spanish All-in-One For Dummies[Team Nanban][TPB].pdf"

It has all these casual situations covered (shopping, phone call, emergency, asking for directions, basic level conversations...). You can find it online (the pirate bay). Good luck!

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