Woot! Finished my first tree!
Just had to tell someone about finishing my first tree, German. Next, I think I'll do the French from German course to reinforce what I already know while learning a new language. I've already noticed the German helping me at work. I'm an electrical engineer and work directly with our Swiss sister company; many of their technical documents they share with me are in German. But that brings up this question: other than doing the immersion/translation activities on Duolingo, what about more specialized terminology, like medical or technical subjects? It would be nice to maybe have bonus lessons with engineering terminology. Until then, I suppose I'll just teach myself with the translation activities.
I don't think there are that many people in the German team qualified to do various "field-specific" lessons for technical stuff, medical vocabulary, law, literature, history, maths and so on. But there definitely do exist textbooks specialised in these field.
Think of any "Course of German (for the students of physical and mathematical faculties )". I know that in Russian there are many of these for English and other major languages. See, reading technical and scientific texts is not only about vocabulary, but also about typical verbs ("converge", "as follows") and sentence patterns that are characteristic of scientific style. This also involves learning how to produce all that stuff: not every native speaker of English is proficient enough to write a paper that does not look laughable (stylistically speaking) — but as a professional in their field, a learner of English probably wants to do this, to some extent, if their goal is to work and write/understand articles in English.
I think at the point that you mentioned (technical), it's probably better to go on pons or a similar dictionary and just look up all the words and put them into Anki or similar.
It'd be cool, but I'm not certain if duo is going to be adding sections for things like, 'Differential Equation,' 'Function,' 'Binomial Theorem,' 'Dirac Subspace,' 'Tensor Analysis,' etc.
But hey, it's a growing program!
I don't think they would add those things either. But what I'm hoping for is an Incubator-type crowd-sourced tool to add new lessons or topics. Maybe even with less of a stringent requirement to contribute. And there would be some sort of rating and review system before it gets widely released. That way, instead of putting words and phrases into Anki, I could start a Duolingo lesson for "high voltage engineering" topics, and with enough up votes and review, it could get released as an optional add-on lesson. Well I can dream, anyway.
I feel that it is not going to work for all learners this way: knowing language means undestanding, not translating; and to understand such topics in German, you should probably first understand them in general.
Also, anyone making such a sub-set of a course must know the field well in both languages: the sciences tend to have set names for certain things and specific ways to talk about them: Taylor series is always "series", not array, sum, row, sequence. And series is an infinite sum of a certain sequence, not succession, — which consists of members, elements or terms, but never particles or samples. Iam making a reverse course? and, well, coming up with good, various and nuturally-sounding sample sentences is sometimes tricky. Much trickier if you are not sure you are writing valid sentences about trasformers or gauge fields.
Yet it would be awesome to have that ^_^. Only with a warning, like "Abandon all hope, you who enter here". One really shouldn't be learning vocabulary for the area of knowledge they haven't got a slightest idea about.
Yeah that's true. It could get really complicated. But the idea is that with enough people in the "crowd" and the right review/rating process and smarts in the algorithm, it won't get released unless it's pretty good. And with enough people, it could happen pretty quickly.
well, for a given area of knowledge (better take a bit broader category, like "physics and electricity") I would first takes some texts (probably wikipedia articles, some papers and university textbooks) and analyze the most frequent words you have to teach.
With these nailed down, I'd look it up in the articles or books to get an idea what sample sentences might look like, and maybe there are some very typical expressions where the word is used.
Probably, 500 most frequent words are going to make reading such texts A LOT easier, and then the users will get by with the help of a dictionary. At least, I do not remember specifically studying anything in-depths in our university's English course — however, I generally feel comfortable reading Wikipedia articles on new topics in at least somewhat familiar areas. And if not — a few more pages on certain concepts usually give enough information about the meaning of any terms I am not sure about. Yet if I open a page for something completely unfamiliar ("Lagrange resolvents")... that is going to take a bit more than a few other pages to read :) The hypothetical specialized course won't include these, but should include enough words and structures for a learner to gradually be able to undestand all of this.
This is pretty much what I've been doing. I have a few engineering textbooks in my field written in German. The idea being that they'd help me with technical knowledge in my job's field at the same time as I learn technical German. Easier said than done, though. It's like giving a third grader a college level textbook. I'll keep at it though.
Get a technical German- English and English-German dictionary. It sure helped me.
I'm doing the French from German course as well. It'll really solidify your German, in my experience.
Maybe you could try this course: http://www.memrise.com/course/69711/german-mathematics-anlysis/ It's not duo, but I find memrise to be a useful learning tool
in my class lots of people are doing german and I am too I think its pretty easy