Subjects from the net....
Please could we pick something else on the net besides movie stars, make up and fashion??/ How about science, nature, books....? Something INTERESTING? It would make it more fun on my part anyway! Thank you!!! Hugs to you all out there...
I totally agree. Maybe add an option for a user to edit in his profile which subject interest him, and give him sentences to translate based on that?
Yes, if we could choose subject headings, that would be great...or at least shuffle through a bunch and pick the most interesting that would not be so bad....I am so enjoying this but I am bored to tears with the subject matter...it would be a shame to loose people because of uninteresting subjects....I also enjoyed the burro one....You can learn something in that kind of subject...has some substance.... not all fluff...
I stand behind this. The few articles on animals (el burro), software and stuff from Wikipedia have been the only interesting ones encountered so far, amidst the sea of useless trivia and pop culture
jazzbella, on the point of students not knowing what topics and modules to learn from, I must respectfully disagree. Language is for expressing and communicating ideas and information of interest and importance to us, the speakers. Most of us know exactly where our interests lie and what we want to talk about or read about. We come here to improve our ability to be able to do just that in a new language, to reach new people and access sources inaccessible to us before. Simple and repetitive texts that exemplify a given language construct are easy to come by in any subject, but if it is a subject of interest to the student, the activity is all that more enjoybale (and hence effective for meeting our goal of reading and understanding interesting stuff).
"Ciencias naturales, ciencias de la naturaleza, ciencias físico-naturales o ciencias experimentales son aquellas ciencias que tienen por objeto el estudio de la naturaleza siguiendo la modalidad del método científico conocida como método experimental."
And that's Wikipedia. Generic science articles are not as hard as people can think them to be and demonstrate the concepts from Levels 6-10 just as well (el, la, de la, del, o, como)
At this point, we're all just starting and our translations leave something to be desired. We're not sure whether to translate the text in to fluent modern English or to maintain closely to the original text. They can't possibly be thinking our translations will be worth paying for. Let us pick what is interesting.
I suspect they thought fashion would be a useful choice for teaching clothing. We ought to have the option of just working through the lessons on clothing if we find fashion boring, or in some cases, incongruous with our religious beliefs. Or let us translate texts on costume design in film or clothing from various historical/geographical locations. That would be less obnoxiously brainless.
I agree and disagree. Definitely the food section has been my favourite, but the others have been equally instructive, if occasionally less fun. In fact the structure of the fashion section was brilliant from a teaching perspective, as it has inherent repetition (as I would expect to be true of sports and celebrity for example).
I don't know how far along they are in the development of the business back-end of this concept, but the basic idea is that our lessons are being paid for by translation, or at least will be ultimately.
Plus, as a former teacher, I dispute the ability of student (who by their nature do not know the topic thoroughly) to determine the most effective modules to learn from. Yes, you can learn lots of things from anything...but you can't learn everything if you dictate the origins.
And again, since this is a new service, even if it were possible to learn the language effectively while ignoring topics that are the most abundant in our culture, they likely haven't had the time to develop enough modules to make that a possibility.
I think this whole thing is awesome.
My thoughts: This probably has to do with two things. 1 - the newness of the service, and 2 - the complexity of language. While scientific articles would be more interesting, the language in them is going to be a lot more complex and challenging. The "fluff" articles have simpler language, making them more useful to beginning language students. Maybe/hopefully as we get to higher and higher levels there will be more variety of subject matter to translate.
I agree that science and mathematics articles may be more difficult to translate. What might be neat though if Duolingo asks us how well we liked translating the subject matter on that page, and if we rate it highly, it would be more likely to throw us things related to that topic, while still throwing us stuff from different fields.
I like getting webpages from very different things because it helps me expand my vocabulary.
I've found it useful to "follow" people who seem to have similar interests and to work off what they've chosen to translate. But I agree that it would be nice for the system to adapt to our interests as well.
Agreed, the poor quality of the reading material is one of the more serious problems with this program.
Agree. On the whole the site is a positive experience, but too many of the articles we get to translate are boring sports, celebrity and fashion articles. But taste varies so it would be nice if the site learned what kind of material each of us likes (which is what I thought the document rating was for), as well as offering more then just two articles at a time. The site could also simply ask what kind of material we would like to translate and balance that with material that contains words that fit with the current lessons. The fashion articles I got, although excruciatingly boring and irrelevant pablum, did contain words about clothes, and clothes were the subject of my lessons at the time, so there may be "method to the madness":-).
I realize that your question is more than a year old, but since nobody has given you the real answer, I'll chime in. Duolingo is funded by its users (you and me and others here) translating those articles. Which articles we're given to translate is a product of what clients the translation sales team at Duolingo is able to land. As we are more and more effective at translating, other content owners will come to trust Duolingo as a cost-effective and accurate way of having their content translated (and read!), and you'll see a greater variety of content.
Keep at those translations. It's how we support the site, and it's an excellent way to learn.
Note: I have no financial interest in Duolingo nor any information beyond what I've read in articles about them, and surmised from my own knowledge. I just really like Duolingo and think they have a great business model, and I hope they can remain successful so that we can get more languages added!