Even With All My Concerns, I Really Appreciate The Chinese Course!!! Thank you!
I know I am frequently raising concerns about things relating to the Chinese course, but I want people to know that in spite of all my frustrations, I still really appreciate the course and I appreciate all the effort that people have put into making it happen.
Even with all the shortcomings, I think I'm getting a lot out of it, which I think is impressive given how little time it has been out!
Thank you to all the people who have made this course happen! And please, when you read my comments expressing frustration about this bug or that, or suggesting a long list of ways that I think the course could be improved, don't think that this means I don't feel grateful for the existence of the course! I do very much!
Mandarin and languages that don't use an alphabet in general are still very new to Duolingo, so there are bound to be a few issues for now. The actual format of the course depends on Duolingo, but we are working hard to fill in the missing alternative translations and making sure that the existing sentences aren't too difficult to translate. We've already changed or rewrote quite a few sentences when a lot of people were having trouble with it or it just wasn't clear enough. I also browse through the forums and try to answer questions when they pop up, but i don't have time to get to all of them unfortunately.
And as always thanks for the feedback, some of the bigger ideas mentioned in the forum (like showing pinyin in the hints) we've already been discussing, but that's all stuff we need to bring up with Duolingo themselves. Feedback both good and bad helps (so long as it keeps a more or less respectful tone), so don't worry! Though we obviously hope you and everyone else really enjoys our course as we've done our best to put together the best course possible ;)
It's a great course ! I've improved my Chinese so much in such a short time. The difficulty level was just perfect for me after having studied Chinese in my country for 1 year once/week and having lived 3 months in Chengdu.
I think it would have been too overwhelming for me if I had started it one year ago.
I am completely new to it and while I am finding it very difficult I am still enjoying it immensely. I take a lot of notes and practice writing the characters which is helping me memorize them. I also am using a memrise course created by someone in this forum that is very helpful. I think it just comes down to your level of commitment. Buckle down and study and you cand do it with patience and hard work.
Well, I don't think that is what he means though. He thought of himself as if he wouldn't be able to work things out a year ago.
I am sure that some new learners can handle the language!
I love the new Chinese course, but it needs some bug fixes. I just spent five lingots on a timed practice to see how much Chinese I knew already ( I am Chinese). But the practice wouldn't open and my lingots were not refunded :(.
As a bilingual English and Chinese speaker, I recommend taking a completely different approach in learning Chinese.
This is especially so if you are coming from a native European language as this is a very contextual language. Beyond the difficulty of differentiating tones, there are words with similar tones/pronunciations that are written completely differently, as well as single word pairings/groupings creating completely new meanings.
It is something I believe that could be oblivious to native Chinese speakers.
In this regard, it is my recommendation (especially if you speak multiple languages) to not use a conventional approach in learning languages.
With every new and unfamiliar word you encounter in Chinese, think of it as meeting a person for the first time. Let's call this person John. Over time, you will start to know John better as you expand interactions with him and meet his friends and eventually you may know another John in the process.
You don't ever confuse both Johns, despite them having the same name.
Approach learning Chinese in this manner, and it will help you learn and perceive it in a whole new way that is far more understandable.
To add to what you said in the 2nd para there are also words with different tones/pronunciations for the same word or 多音多义字, with their different word pairings/groupings. And Chinese loves its 俗语、谚语、成语、歇后语 and such.
I agree. I would like to encourage knowledgeable user to focus their comments more on Chinese grammar and vocabulary. So far, many users seem to be too preoccupied with nuances of English (How to say something on the American East Coast etc.) I am learning both Swedish and Chinese with Duolingo. I notice that the comments in the Swedish course are almost exclusively about Swedish. In the Chinese course commentators speak predominantly about English.
The course is great even at this raw stage! Some people tell about the "superiority" of "hellochinese", but after completion of this app's skill tree, and a part of "chineseskill" tree I am feeling that while delving through duolingo chinese tree I really acquire some linguistic comprehension. Maybe partly that is because of considerable inconvenience in using smartphone apps and some motoric-visual-cortical connections involved in browser version using, I don't know)) Still most frustrating are limited acceptable translation variants, some of mine were accepted, but occasionaly I sometimes offer wrong ones in a hurry, sorry guys ))
Awww, this is such a nice comment! It's a complex language and for sure, some of it is still very hit/miss or too vague/broad, etc. but I think it's a great start for Duolingo. Hopefully it'll be improved to fully capture the more complex nuances of the Chinese language.
(I'm a Chinese who grew up overseas so was hoping to maintain some basics through this. I get triggered every time I get something wrong when there are multiple possibilities but the correct answer is some awkwardly formal phrasing that people don't even use LOL.)
They're also improving quickly! More and more answers are being accepted, and the sentences may be getting more open and natural!
Thanks to all who have contributed!