Korean beta testing.
Check your emails if you signed up. I just got mine, and feel like a kid on Christmas. SOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED. It's 7:13 am here in Sydney, and I am ready!
Okay, the alphabet skills = my brain is smushed. Worked beautifully for me in Japanese, but I spent almost three skills' worth of Korean just going whaaaaat? WHAAAAAAAAT??!?
On the plus side, I'm on to actual real (albeit simple) Korean now, so I am hoping I will start getting the hang of things, and I haven't stumbled across any bugs or (as far as a complete clueless beginner could tell) any errors. Kudos, Team Korean! Onwards!
What did you feel was the issue?
P.S. Honestly, yes, I was evil and tried to stump all of you guys to be fair :p
All this comes with the disclaimer that I am truly a near-total newbie to Korean. I have some notion of how hangul works, but have never got around to actually studying it, I've occasionally heard Korean on TV or in k-pop, I once learned a children's song in Korean but have now forgotten everything but the tune. I don't think I even ever learned hello/goodbye/please/thank you, which is something I've learned in lots of languages I've never studied, so it's one of the few languages I've tried here where I have next to no background in it - and the background I do have is slight and old.
(OTOH, I'm a reasonably experienced language learner and I am a nerd when it comes to writing systems, so in theory I was really looking forwards to this in particular.)
So, disclaimer firmly in place: I found many of the exercises matching given sounds to transliterations and vice versa absolutely baffling, because to my ear (and like I say, total newbie numpty here, don't get me wrong, I'm 100% prepared to believe it's me!) the Korean sounds and the Latin transliterations didn't seem to match up very well. I found it (possibly weirdly!) much easier to start making sense of things once I got to borrowed words and Korean words than the matching exercises. Ones I particularly remember finding the transliteration bore almost no relation to the sound I was hearing was with initial bs (which sound more like ps to me), initial gs (sound more like ks or ts) and initial ds (sound like ts). There were also some vowel sounds and ending sounds that didn't make sense between my eye and my ear. The worst ones were when more than one of these was in a given syllable, so I was seeing gal and hearing something that sounded more like tai or maybe tie... It's late and my brain is a little fried, so I'm short on examples right now 8-o
I don't know how much is me, how much is the interaction of Duolingo's new script learning system and Korean, how much is the TTS, etc, so like I say, it's entirely possible this is my problem, not DL Korean's problem. All I know for sure is that until I got to real words and was no longer trying to match Latin letters with sounds that didn't seem to match them, I felt like I'd picked up almost nothing, which was dispiriting.
I've been told it's very logical. I'm actually trying - since I never learned it before - to learn it from the course, since that seems most helpful for the developers, so I'm resisting the temptation to find videos, charts, Memrise courses, etc.
The big issue for me was that I was being given a Korean syllable and being told to pick from several transliterations, and none of them seemed to match, OR being shown a transliteration and given four sounds to pick from as to which it was, and none of them, to my ear, did.
Like I say, I got on much better once I was on to actual words. The borrowed words were mostly easy; I looked at few if any hints. Then I got to "Looking at a Korean word, checking the translation, recognising it when it comes up later in the lesson" and I have no issues with that, either, it seems. (Obviously, it helps somewhat that I don't have to type anything yet!)
But the whole matching of transliterations to sounds? Baffling. A lot of the transliterations didn't, to my ear (and I totally acknowledge I'm a clueless numpty when it comes to Korean, don't get me wrong) bear more than the vaguest relation to the sounds.
I'm not saying hiragana are easier to learn than hangul, at all, I'm saying that I learned more from the Japanese alphabet lessons here than I did from the Korean ones, which is a different thing.
(Since I've been given early access to the course on the basis that I will test it and offer feedback, I figure it's pretty much my side of the bargain to give feedback on the course, not on how good I am at finding other resources to learn the alphabet ;))
It takes a bit of training but the sounds are distinguishable. Trust me when I say that it was hard for me just to distinguish the vowel sounds at first. I still think that 에 and 애 sound exactly alike sometimes even though I'm told the first one is deeper. I think most of the logic stuff everyone likes has to do with the way it's written though because it's not like any other writing system known to us.
Usually the transliterations in Korean match what is written and not the sound, unlike most Japanese romanji. So even though 시 is transliterated as "si", it will always sound like "shi" just because that's what happens when you combine the "s" and "i" sounds (sort of like in Welsh. Actually, exactly like Welsh "si", just different lettters).
I also kind of noticed that the Korean course became a little more vague teaching the consonants after a while. They were there but they were thrown in with vowels and positions that mess with the vowels and used the bat-chim rules.... See, this is one reason a TipsNotes in the app would probably come in handy.
>Usually the transliterations in Korean match what is written and not the sound, unlike most Japanese romanji. So even though 시 is transliterated as "si", it will always sound like "shi" just because that's what happens when you combine the "s" and "i" sounds (sort of like in Welsh. Actually, exactly like Welsh "si", just different lettters).
That... would honestly explain a lot, tbh. I mean, I think it helps with the romaji that I have had some exposure to Japanese before, but hangul are supposed to be more logical, so it was dispiriting to feel sooooo at sea. I think the only Japanese romaji which I have to mentally semi-ignore is for fu ふ but I know how to make that sound, so it's not an issue. And where ん gets nasalised or sounds more like m, at least it's fairly relatable to n. With the Korean, by contrast, I had to just kind of treat it as a shape matching exercise for some of the letters and combinations, which made me feel like I wasn't really learning how the letters sounded, I was just learning that X shape in Korean went with Z shape in Latin letters. Some of the mismatches made some kind of sense - I mean, clearly p and b are related sounds in general - but some of them stymied me completely.
Tips and notes in the app would be so great. Like I said, I'm trying to test the Korean course as is, so I'm kind of avoiding other resources right now, but I definitely feel like I'm gonna need outside help at some point.
Saving to read later! I'm trying to (as best I can) "test" the course as given - I figured it was a fair exchange for being given early access.
I didn't want to potentially mess up my other course progress which they said was possible, so I created a different profile, but that means I now have flag envy LOL
Hahaha. I've actually learn the alphabet on youtube, and this chart I found. It made it a bit easier to hear somebody break that down, so thankfully i'm not super confused about that.
Hangul is one of those things I've been meaning to learn forever, but since I hadn't learned it already I thought well, it makes sense to try and learn it through the course and therefore be able to be honest about whether I could learn it this way or not. But ugh, I just was so confused. Being given options for what it sounds like and none of them remotely matching up with what I was hearing = me wanting to cry!
Honestly, the first two skills (the borrowed words were actually easier, IMO) I got through out of sheer stubbornness. I can more or less read hiragana, I know three versions of Cyrillic, I have got to grips with Hebrew, so I wasn't about to let Hangul. which is supposed to be so logical and accessible, beat me. But oh. my. goodness. was that baffling and bewildering. I didn't feel like I'd actually grasped any of it; if this was back in the era of hearts, I don't know that I would've made it through the alphabet tonight. I honestly don't remember the last time I was so utterly fazed by a writing system.
As soon as the course is in beta and it won't feel like cheating, imma go find some youtube vids and such, because I do not feel like I properly learned anything. I mean... no, that's not true, I learned for a few letters that this shape matches that transliteration, even if it didn't sound like the transliteration to me, and once I was in the land of borrowed words, then I definitely saw some patterns and started to recognise that "Oh, that is an S sound because it comes at both ends of Starbucks" for example. But the two pure alphabet skills made almost no sense to me 8-o
I feel like the alphabet is one of those things where notes and tips section would help. I find it easier to look at the all together, and hear the sound. I also always have to make my own chart because the way I hear the sounds are always a little off, i'll compare it to my notes and give feedback on the course.
I think tomorrow I will be sitting down and attempting to make some sense of it in some kind of structured way; I feel like I'm going to have more hope of doing so from things like the borrowed words and actual Korean than from the matching to transliteration, though!!
I absolutely agree about tips and notes. I mean I know, intellectually, that hangul was designed to be relatively easy and simple and user-friendly, and honestly, I'm 100% willing to accept that it is, I'm just not finding it so purely from these skills. I got to the end of the alphabet skills and breathed a sigh of relief, and it wasn't "Hey, I think I got a good overview of the alphabet," it was "Okay, that was a wildly confusing experience, but maybe now I get to meet the real language and things will start to make sense," which was kind of dispiriting. I think even more so because I LOVE writing systems and alphabets, and hangul is this system that people specifically mention as being so elegant and user-friendly, so the alphabet skills making me feel like a total dimwit = disappointing to my not-that-well-hidden inner nerd.
I learned hangeul completely from scratch in 90 minutes. ^^
↑ I spent the first 60 minutes on the hangeul learning game on that site, learning purely through trial-and-error. Of this, I spent the first 15 minutes with it set to "vowels", the next 15 minutes with it set to "basic set", and the final 30 minutes with it set to "full set". By the end of those 60 minutes I'd clicked 900 answers, which equals an average of a reasonably slow 4 seconds per click.
↑ Then, for the remaining 30 minutes, I read about all of hangeul's rules and other important stuff on its very good Wikipedia page.
After those 90 minutes, I did no more practice at all. Three days later I saw some Korean sentences in some random Youtube comments and I could still remember virtually the whole thing! I was able to read whole sentences written in hangeul (albeit extremely slowly). However I hadn't started learning Korean at all, so I still had absolutely no idea what any of the words meant! :D
Just saying hangeul can be learnt pretty quick if you find a method that works well for you. Most people would probably frown on my learning approach of sheer trial-and-error + speed, but it seemed to work out okay for me. ^_^
Yes, I know there are other methods to learn it, but like I've said several times now in this thread, since I've been given early access to the course in exchange for feedback on it as it exists, I'm doing my best to learn from the course, so I can give feedback on the course, rather than on my ability to find other resources. I've successfully learned hiragana, several versions of Cyrillic, Hebrew... I know how to learn a script. This is feedback on the Korean course and how well (or not) it teaches this script, rather than on whether I can learn a script, which is an entirely different thing.
Ah, okay. I did notice you've already done quite a few languages which use different scripts, so I was a little confused why you would be saying that about hangeul when I started writing my comment. Thanks, I understand where you're coming from now. ^^
I think I wish I'd done the same as you and waited to learn the writing system on 듀오링고 instead.
As I've only used this site for Japanese reverse and normal trees so far, this is my my first time doing a tree where I'd not been learning the language elsewhere beforehand. I'm finding it an eye-opening experience to see what learning a language from the ground up on Duolingo is really like for people.
I think I'd have liked to experience what it's like learning hangeul solely through Duolingo too. I have a fairly critical opinion towards the idea of writing systems being taught on here (particularly if it means a course has to be delayed on web for months past the app release date with no communication of any progress towards a release on web). But now I've ended up spoiling my chance to get a first hand experience, to find out for myself whether it really can work well or not. Now I won't have the chance to be able to give feedback on it from personal experience.
So I kind of envy your choice to stick to learning the Korean writing system on Duolingo, whether it may or may not take a lot longer to learn it this way. ^^
Korean beta testing.
Is it yet BETA testing (on iOS and/or Android)?
I thought it was just ALPHA testing.
- ALPHA testing: only a small set of selected users test it.
- BETA testing:the course is released (on one platform at least) and all users can take the course (on said platform(s)).
Some people get mixed up because of the "testing" I think. Not all beta tests across applications are open, and many alpha tests are done during development (especially in video games). Duolingo does it a little differently compared to other applications.
But yes they meant Alpha testing. The tests are more open now but only to a select amount of people, which in Duolingo's book is still an alpha test.
Yeah, I logged out of my account on the app, then downloaded test flight, entered my redeem code, and then had to update my duo app to the test version of duo.
You should have an email from duo and TestFlight. I actually didn't use my code, but opened the email in my mobile from test flight, it has a picture of the duo owl and it says open in test flight.
For when the course will be ready for people who aren't alpha testing? I believe the date for that will be September 7, or early September.
The email has a link you can use, or a redeem code to alpha test. I don't think you'll be able to alpha test without access to the email.