Reworking the Tips and Notes
We are currently checking and reworking the Tips and Notes. A lot of the old tips were hard to read, so we put an emphasis on short, easily readable explanations, and added examples.
If you find any errors or inconsistencies, or have suggestions on how to improve them, please add your voice to this thread :)
Note: Please limit yourself to the topic of Tips and Notes. I'll remove off-topic comments from this discussion. Not because I don't value them, but because this discussion gets unwieldy otherwise. If you have other suggestions/questions, please ask them in the forum, or in the respective sentence discussion.
[EDIT: Since this list got quite long, I'll make another post for each group of lessons between checkpoints]
With the increased usage of apps over the website (as far as I am aware), I hope these updates are seen by those who need them! From many comments on earlier sentence discussions, it seems as though the problem is not that the tips are unclear, but simply not seen by those using the app.
Some thoughts (will be updated as I look through the new tips pages):
[FIXED] On the "The" page, I would use a different verb in this sentence: "While they sometimes define a natural gender ("der Mann" is male) ... ". Perhaps "correspond to" or even "describe" would be clearer.
[FIXED] On the "The" page it mentions "here is the conjugation table" but then two tables follow. That should be a plural. Additionally, since the first table has the heading "trinken (to drink)", the second table should have the heading "sein (to be)".
[FIXED] On the "Basics 2" page, in the second paragraph "any more" should be one word.
[ADDED] "Basics 2" seems to be when ihr is introduced. As the concept of a "plural you" may be entirely foreign for many English native-speakers, perhaps the tips could be ordered in such a way as to highlight this with some explanation. The current tips page just sort of drops it into a conjugation table suddenly, and mentions it with some preexisting familiarity in the final paragraph.
[ACKNOWLEDGED] On the "Common Phrases" page the headings are a mix of styles. If style consistency is important, perhaps this should be unified across all tips pages. I'll only mention this here.
[FIXED] On the page "Accusative case", the colon in the second paragraph should be outside the quotation marks (this is an old error). In the third paragraph, I believe the comma should be a semicolon (or the word "but" added back in).
[FIXED] On the page "Accusative case" in the section on flexible word order it mentions "somebody" taking position 1 but then gives an example with an adverb in position 1. Perhaps this should be reworded (e.g. "something") or the example changed. Adding in adverbs at this point may be too much anyway...
[ACKNOWLEDGED] On the "Accusative case" page, just before the "Er is(s)t eine Banane" example, "Nominative" and "Accusative" are capitalised in the middle of a sentence. This is unnecessary in English.
[FIXED] On the page "Food 1" in the first paragraph it should read "As mentioned in the lesson "Accusative"" or some other rewording.
[CHANGED] On the page "Food 1" I like the explanation about "having" a condition. This is a bit of a mind-bender though! Would it also be useful to add the analogy of "having hunger/thirst/fear"?
[FIXED] On the page "Animals 1" the table at the bottom still has Sie in it. I noticed that this has been removed from other tables on the tips pages until it is introduced in a later lesson.
[ACKNOWLEDGED] Pet peeve: The new tables are m/n/f rather than m/f/n :D
[ACKNOWLEDGED] Pet peeve: The abbreviations "sg" and "pl" are often used without a period ("sg." and "pl.").
[ACKNOWLEDGED] General suggestion: The earlier lessons are also often full of comments about not being able to type the special characters. I've always been an advocate of dropping this link in the tips page that mentions umlauts: http://duolingo.wikia.com/wiki/Guide_to_keyboard_layouts_and_input_methods
Thank you :D Fixed the two. I'm sure there's a lot more…
Yes, the style is not set yet. I'll try to make it look more even once I've decided on how it should finally look like :)
Sentence order: I sneaked that in, because right now, there's no good way to teach it. I hope we can do a new version of the course soon, where we can teach this better.
Nominative/Accusative: Yeah, I'm aware English would write these lowercase… The German part of my brain says it's easier to read, but I'll find a better solution, once I've settled on a consistent way for the layout.
"Food 1" - "haben": I don't get it :)
m/n/f - The problem is that German has two gender systems that look like one; when natural gender dominates, "er/sie/(es)" makes more sense. But from a purely grammatical perspective, "m/n/f/pl" is much clearer, because it groups the similar m/n together, and likewise the similar f/pl. So there will probably be a mix of the two throughout the notes.
Would you prefer to have the period (sg.) or not (sg)? ;)
Typing guide: It was suggested to us not have URLs in the notes. I'll think of something.
Thanks for your time and notes, much appreciated :)
Be aware that it will take a while for the changes to become active (typically around half an hour).
Thanks for all your work :)
"Food 1" - "haben": What I mean is that "the condition of being hungry" is a bit foreign to me as an English speaker. You've explained it well, but it just seems a bit more abstract than the generally simple explanatory tone the tips pages seem to be striving for. The analogy I've usually heard for teaching the phrase Hunger haben is usually something like "In German, you say you "have hunger". Some other expressions are also in this format and you just have to learn them". I think this is a simpler concept, but that's just one opinion.
I would prefer the abbreviations "sg." and "pl." with periods. Convention seems to vary on this, but I think it's clearer.
"Cola" is a bad choice as an example of a fem. drink, because it can be "das Cola" and "die Cola", both are accepted in the dictionary and in some places like Austria, it's always "das Cola". There are only few words of ambiguous gender in the German language. Please don't pick one of them as an example for grammatical gender in the very first course! How about using "Limo(nade)" or "Brause" instead?
Umlauts: There's nothing wrong with this paragraph, although the literal translation does not seem important. However, there is something really important to say about Umlauts: if you don't have them available, you can replace them with the corresponding vowel +e! Duolingo knows that. Duolingo won't correct you, if you write "oe" instead of "ö". But Duolingo doesn't tell their users. How would someone find this out on their own? This could help people on a non-German keyboard greatly. Clicking on a single letter while typing is awful for the workflow and not everyone might want to change their keyboard layout.
"ß" can be replaced with "ss" in a similar fashion, but that letter isn't introduced in that course.
"There's no such thing as Ich bin trinke or Ich bin trinken!" Why add wrong examples for something that doesn't exist in the first place? (Also, you can very well say "Ich bin trinken" it just doesn't mean "I'm drinking").
Just a typo: "A good general rule is to use an article when you would use on in English." - the "on" should be "one".
Just a typo: "Regardless of grammatical gender, all plural nouns take the definite article die. (You will later learn how "cases" can modify this.)" should end with ")."
"You're welcome" also translates to just "Bitte".
"you can take long words apart, and recognize the meaning from its elements" should be changed into either "a long word" or "their elements".
If you're introducing a word (Gemüse) and take a closer look at it and make a separate paragraph about it, it's a good opportunity to clarify its gender somewhere in that paragraph. It could also help understanding the concept, if you added an example of a word that has the same property (you called it mass noun) in both English and German. Like for example wood or water. Water is already a known word at this point and it's not too far off from the topic of food.
Something seems to have gone wrong with the line formatting here.
The "rules" are dubious. What happens if there's a word that begins with "Ge-" AND ends with an "e"? Can't be fem., can't be n., can't be both - possibly it's male? "Der Geselle" - jau, passt! But what about "Gemeinde, Getreide, Gemälde, Gewinde, Gebirge...) - YOUR OWN EXAMPLE for a word that should be n. because it starts with "Ge-" ALSO FITS THE OTHER CATEGORY (non living noun ending with an "e" - must be fem. then!) and that's the most fishy thing about this paragraph.
Rules of thumb about grammatical genders in German very rarely work. I'd suggest deleting this paragraph at this point and later come back, when it's about endings like "-keit", "-heit", "-ung" that really come with very very few exceptions (Scheit, Dung).
Instead, since this chapter is about animals, there is something else one could replace that paragraph with, for example like this:
Like other nouns, the names of animals have different grammatical genders. These animal names with their genders, determining their pronouns and attribute endings can be used regardless of the natural gender of the particular specimen even if known. (Some example here, maybe a male cat and female dog). However, for many animals names there are also variations if you want to specify the natural gender (Kater, Hündin...)
Thanks, I added some of your suggestions. I've considered all, and some I liked :) I'm quite busy preparing the next iteration of the tree at the moment (don't hold your breath for it, it's going to be a long road), so let's leave it at that. If you have any suggestions for other parts, happy to hear about it!
The tip says "Nouns beginning with Ge- are often neuter". You are looking for laws of nature, while I am giving heuristic tools that help you to get a headstart to an often messy system.
"Scheit, Dung" aren't really exceptions, as these are not endings (Sc and D aren't words).
Hey, glad to hear some of my suggestions made it in!
Of course "Scheit" und "Dung" are odd examples and the "-heit" and "-ung" in them are not endings. But you wouldn't write that in the notes, you'd write "end with..." and then it technically applies. However, what I actually only meant to say is, those are a lot safer for a rule of thumb regarding their gender.
If I come across something noteworthy in the other courses, I'll make sure to add that. At the moment I don't feel motivated to revisit the English from German and German from English courses, to be honest I only went there to have a rough impression how much a duolingo course in general can teach me and of course for the tons of free lingots. My English (and my German as well!) are not perfect, but with a C1/C2 proficiency, you probably won't benefit much anymore.
But! Other languages! :)
Ah, that's actually nice.
Thanks for the effort... the more/better Tips and Notes, the better.
It would appear that they are working on it for some languages. I noticed recently that in the French module we now have access to tips on the application, and the notes are very well done and quite extensive with both visual and audio helps. I only hope something similar soon comes to the German module as that is my preferred language and the one I am currently focusing on.
I've always longed for a Tips & Notes section for separable/inseparable prefixes (in regards to verbs). Also, the Relative Pronouns section could really use some beefing up with more attention paid to the examples for how to choose the proper case (it took me a while to figure out how to nail down what the subject was in the sentences & determine the case; for the longest time I could not figure out why I was getting things wrong!).
Also, I sometimes feel like the Tips & Notes get bogged down by proper grammatical terms that a lot of people have a hard time understanding. Even things like "definite" vs "indefinite" articles might benefit from just a little "the" & "a(n)" in brackets.
And, of course, a million times YES to az_p's suggestion that the Tips & Notes get merged into the app!
We currently don't have a good way to explicitly teach prefixes. I have added a section in "Present 2" and "Perfect 1", but that's just a start. Sentence structure, and with it prefixes, are definitely topics where I want to improve the T&N.
Relative pronouns: Are you referring to the current version of the T&N, or to an earlier version?
Grammatical terms: Yes, you might have a point. We'll go over the T&N several more times in the future, this will be one point to keep in mind then.
Thanks for your input! :)
As for teaching prefixes, I think the best approach would be to have a separate skill introducing separable prefix verbs. It isn't really a matter of "teaching prefixes" since the prefixes by themselves don't mean anything specific. The tricky concept, not immediately obvious to an English speaker, is that they are part of the verb.
Feedback for the lessons after the first checkpoint
[FIXED] "Plurals": I guess this page will benefit from a formatting update later. In the "No change" section, the logic seems a bit mixed up. "Some family members will have an umlaut change" - this sentence should be the second-last, after the Gabel example and before the current last sentence. Maybe Mutter/Mütter would be a better example there than Mädchen. I guess it's also implied, but maybe a sentence acknowledging that "plural forms just need to be memorised" would help calm learners intimidated by the mess of rules/suggestions.
[FIXED] "Negative and positive statements": In the sentence ""nicht" appears before an an adverb or adverbial phrase:" the word "an" appears twice.
[FIXED] "Negative and positive statements": In the title ""nicht" negates adjective at the end of a sentence" there should be an article or plural form. Stylistically, it's also different from the previous titles ("nicht" vs. Nicht).
[MODIFIED...]"Negative and positive statements": In the section beginning "In German, the verb is split into two." I don't understand the point at all. None of the examples seem to show a verb splitting in two, and there is a positive sentence without a corresponding negative. Altogether confusing.
[FIXED] "Verbs: Present 1": In the second table, the word sieht is completely bold instead of just the vowels, as for the other highlighted words in that table.
[REMOVED] "Nature 1": You've removed the dative and genitive entries from the tables, but not from the text. I would recommend either cleaning up the text to remove those references too, or to make a note that these concepts will be introduced in later lessons.
[FIXED] "Nature 1": The example about der/die/das Band is interesting, but the plural for die Band is without the umlaut.
As always, thanks for checking these. I fixed all points you mentioned.
- "verb is split" - we don't have a good way of teaching this at the moment, and can't make structural changes to the course for the time being. Thanks a lot for insights like these; important to see whether other people can follow what's in one's own head :) I gave some more examples. It's still not good at this point, but I'll fix it later.
Ah, I'm starting to see what you meant there. I still think it's not super clear though, mostly because the final example sentence with nicht doesn't seem to be a 2-parter? Or are you kind of saying that it's almost like a separable prefix for 'nichttrinken', in a way? Hmm.
Also, in fixing the bit about family member plurals in the "Plurals" lesson, a couple of stray asterisks have been introduced.
Yes, "nicht trinken" is like "Deutsch lernen", grammatically. In "nicht einkaufen", the "nicht" appears before the "ein"; in "nicht trinken", it appears before the "nothing" ;) - that's why it's a bit hard to explain. I'll try to find a better way later.
The stray asterisks are bugs in the website code I think, I found a workaround.
This is helpful to know. I also love the honesty about “it might happen someday”. Good to know what changes may or may not happen. Now I’m using the browser some for notes, and I bought a kindle version of German for dummies for my iPad. So much awesome here. Such goodness. 頑張って!!
I have had this problem also. When you go to the web browser and ask for Duolingo. There will be more than one Duolingo that you can click on. Be sure to click on www.Duolingo.com. When you are on the web version, they will even have a Duolingo app tab that you can click on, but don’t if you are trying to access the web features. Somehow they cannot seem to believe that you might really want to use the web version instead of the app. I get frustrated sometimes when I accidentally click on something that takes me back to the app. If I wanted the app, I would not have bothered to use my browser! Now my favorite way to get here is to go to my email and click on one of these discussions that I am following and that never goes to the app.
@sarefo these are really good changes. Last time I looked the notes were kind of useless, but now, wow. I really needed this for German. So much so that I’m going to start using the browser on my iPad rather than the app. The grammar is hugely helpful for me. The more the better. I’m a big believer that grammar is the glue that holds thoughts together and makes one understandable when speaking. Great work. Thanks so much.
Feedback for the lessons after the second checkpoint
"Possessive Pronouns": An old error, but the commas and period should be outside the quotation marks in the first paragraph.
[ACKNOWLEDGED] "Possessive Pronouns": In the sentence "My kids? They/Those are in England.", the usage of "those" is not typical in English. I agree this is a difficult distinction to highlight as there's no equivalent in English.
[UPDATED] "Possessive Pronouns": In the sentence "That boy is reading a newspaper, that boy is reading a book." perhaps the meaning would be clearer with the first "that" replaced by "this".
So far, my only feed back is with the introductory basic lesson, there was a huge emphasis on the words 'bread' (Brot) and 'water' (Wasser). The lesson would basically go "Brot", "Wasser", "Brot und Wasser", "Wasser und Brot". Is it REALLY necessary to drill those words in that much? I just feel like other words could be emphasized.
I forget the exact specifics off the top of my head, but one of the first things I learned in German was "thank you, you're welcome" (danke, bitte). In the tips and notes section, "you're welcome" was listed as a completely different word that I was unfamiliar with. I'm not sure how right that is, or what I was initially taught.
We can't currently change the words in the course. However, the algorithm presenting the challenges changes from time to time. So you might have been exposed to a version of the algorithm that is too redundant. You have a good point, we might try to introduce some other simple words in the Basics skill, once we are able to do so.
"bitte" can be used for "you're welcome", as can "gern". It does not matter which one you use.
We can't currently change the words in the course.
Actually I could use some new vocabulary... then again I have 52.000+ xp's in German by now, so a lot of repetition is to be expected.
Either way, yesterday I was pleasantly surprised with a sentence containing the word "vogelspinne", which yes... combines two words we learn in the course, but it's nonetheless a new word. Wish there were more...
a version of the algorithm that is too redundant
Hear hear... once I was treated with a strengthen exercise that contained the words meldung, anmeldung, and anmeldungen some 15 times out of the 20 total questions.
Danke for your responses! In that case, I hope I don't run into that algorithm often. I don't mind some repetition, as it's how you learn, but what I was exposed to was excessive. I would definitely add some more words in the basics section if/when you are able. I think it would help generate that initial spark, and make people want to keep learning.
I definitely believe that. Oddly enough, I never learned 'gern' as a way of saying "you're welcome", only 'bitte'. It caught me by surprise, but the system still marks me as correct when I type 'bitte'.
One thing I haven't played around with yet, but may do so in the next day or so, is if the system will mark me wrong if I type out the umlauts and esset (eg, if I type 'ae' instead of ä, or 'ss' instead of ß).
The 'workflow' that I found best for my learning was to do new skills and lessons for the first time on a computer (full-size web version), and then to review previous lessons on the app in those 'spare moments' while waiting or travelling. Beyond the first couple of levels where it's purely memorisation, the experience of tackling more complex grammar is much better when you have the resources of a computer at your disposal - you can comfortably open multiple tabs with explanations, dictionaries, the tips page, your own notes, and more!
Well, you have to scroll down past the lessons. If there are a lot of lessons, you won’t see them until you scroll down, though lately I have seen the tips briefly on screen just before I see the lessons. Some people may wonder where they went. “Oh, there they are....no, where did they go?”
This is very small, I simply feel like in the tips and notes pages should include a little chart or even a section that goes over new terms in that section. I'm on Accusative Cases and as i was just beginning I didn't (and still don't completely) understand the new terms that were given to me. The lesson covers everything very well, I just feel that would make the lesson easier to begin.
I take notes on the Tips and Notes page, so i don't have to pull it up every time, and i add extra notes for myself, but i just feel like a little "New Words" section could be nice.
I hope that you can take this into consideration. I just feel like it would make it easier for beginners.
Thanks, good suggestion! We're planning to check the hints soon, to see if we can further avoid unnecessary technical terms, and make the ones we need clear where they appear. Sometimes, there's a space constraint, so we need to keep the text short. Sometimes, there's just too much going on in a single lesson. We can't fix that right now, but this is planned for a future version of the tree.
Small error in Business 2:
'Most verbs in German get their plural by attaching an ending. There might be an umlaut change:
der Hund, die Hunde das Haus, die Häuser
A few verbs (from Ancient Greek and Latin) will instead replace a singular ending with a different plural ending:
das Museum, die Museen (same for Zentrum, etc.)'
Should be 'nouns', of course, rather than 'verbs'.
Can we have a note about the N-deklination nouns somewhere in the Tips and Notes? I think that I checked every single note last night and they are not mentioned anywhere. Or if they are mentioned, can someone point me to the correct note?
The group is getting questions about that often and there are probably a lot of people that do not bother to ask. And it is not that minor - it changes the form of the word in a lot of cases and the list of nouns that are part of that group contains a lot of common words.
First of all, I would like to thank all those involved with Duolingo German for the time and effort they have put forth into creating this course. It has already taught me so much about the German language and I have enjoyed it thoroughly.
Secondly, I noticed recently that in the French module we now have access to tips on the application, and the notes are very well done and quite extensive with both visual and audio helps. It is the only module that I have seen offer "in app" tips so far. I sincerely hope something similar soon comes to the German module as that is my preferred language and the one I am currently focusing on.
I was curious to know if there are any plans on doing something similar to what the Mods/Developers of the French have done?
nit: Present 2, in between the two tables under heading Conjugation of wissen, it talks about the different vowels in singular and plural, but then says that the endings are the same in first and second person instead of first and third person: They also have a simpler (and the same) ending in the first and second person singular.
The notes on the Fantasy and Science Fiction skill mention n-declension nouns and suggest the user refers back to the Dative skill if they need to review the concept of n-declension. A couple of issues here: 1. There is no skill just called "Dative". 2. The "Dative Case"skill, which is assume is the one referred to, does not explain n-declension. It only mentions that plural nouns add an -n in the dative case. Nothing about the nouns that add an -n even if singular.
- There is no skill just called "Dative".
I've changed that to point to the skill "Dat. Case" now.
- The "Dative Case"skill, which is assume is the one referred to, does not explain n-declension.
https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Dative-Case/tips-and-notes has a section called "Even more -n" at the bottom; does that not show up for you?
Oh! I forgot to say that this was on the Android app. I had a look on the website just now and the tips section for Dative Case is totally different from what's in the app - and does have a discussion of n-declension.
Since I got past the point where the Android app doesn't have tips, I've been checking the tips on the mobile website before doing a new skill. Apparently I read the Fantasy tips on the website but then went back to Dative Case on the app?
Still, the Dative Case tips urgently need updating in the app, since they're SO different from what's on the website.
the tips section for Dative Case is totally different from what's in the app
Ah, then I'm guessing the app only shows the "new" tips and not the "old" tips and notes, and for those skills which do not have "new" tips simply shows nothing.
Unfortunately, I have no idea where the "new" tips come from or whom to contact to change them. I'm guessing they are from Duolingo staff somehow, rather than from us volunteer course contributors.
It's also a bit annoying and confusing when I used to point people at the tips and notes for a specific skill, saying that something was explained there, and now in the reorganised and re-written tips, that thing is not explained in that skill any more (or maybe at all).
I'm not even sure how to look at the "new" tips on the website -- I think they used to have both available by changing the URL, but I don't remember the URL format for the "new" tips.
Why are the tips on the app different to the tips on the website? I copy all the tips off the website into a document for me to print out and refer to to aid my learning. I've just got to 'Feelings' and on the website the only tips are about German Sounds and nothing whatsoever to do with 'feelings' ! The Tips on the app are exactly what is required. The tips should be identical on the app as on the web. I didn't even know about the web tips when I first started using Duolingo (before they were included in the app) until I happened upon them by chance! These are really important to get to grips and understand the grammar.
There are 2 clear errors in the example.
"den gesamten Familie" should be "der gesamten Familie"
In the English translation, "Wir schenken" should be "We give" - not "We gave."
Even though I mostly use the app I do check for tips and notes on the web when I start new lessons.
The tips and notes for Future 3 are duplicates on an earlier lesson, Abstract Objects 1. The notes talk about the difference between Drucken and Drücken so I think they belong to Abs Objects 1 and Future 3 is missing notes.
Thanks for working to make the course better. I appreciate it.
edit: hmm. Just started the Future 3 lesson and Drücken features so maybe the notes belong to this one after all..
Yes, there are some duplicates, on purpose. Easier to just copy it, than for people to have to search for the other Skill where it was already mentioned. Towards the end, some Skills don't have notes, as there's nothing new to say :)
If you notice anything else, let us know!
Section Qualifiers - strange word
I read the tips until the second stop and I am thrilled. Even natives can learn about their language. Great job!
In the section about qualifiers I found the word "am öftesten". Even if the word seems to be somewhat correct I've never heard it in fifty years. I usually use the word "am häufigsten" in these occasions.
Sarefo, the DL German 'Tips and Notes' are helping me out as I work along, and thank you for continuing to refine them. Could you give the following URL to the person/people working on German Tiny Cards for me, please? These points would help with some small modifications that are needed there. (I know I'm off topic here, but don't know where else to post.) Thanks. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/19007951/Observations-About-Tiny-Cards-German
have been using Duolingo for quite some time. I am an English speaker.
What I have noticed is that for the significant most part, Duolingo requires me to translate from German to English which gives me a lot of experience writing English sentences. Writing down lots of English sentences is something I really don't need. On the other hand, when Duolingo requires translation from English to German, a German word pick list is used. The pick list does not help me much for spelling and sentence stucture. Therefore I would suggest the more time be spent translating from English to German by writing answers out instead of choosing words from a pick list.
I can no longer see your level anymore in the discussion forum, so if you are beginning, don’t worry the pick list will change to a more difficult exercise form as you level up. On the web version, you can choose to type in as opposed to using the tiles. When you are really good at German, I recommend taking the reverse tree to learn English from German or ladder to learn a different language from German, then you will be translating more into German.
You will act like you are adding a language. Are you on iOS or Android or a computer? When you add a language you can chose a new one: English from German, or another language from German. When they ask which language do you speak, you will say German to see those courses. You can switch back and forth easily. You will only see the progress from the courses that are being taught from a particular base language, but you only need to switch back to see the progress from the courses that you are learning from English. From this web version, scroll up and click on the flag next to your profile symbol or picture for those who have them to see a drop down menu and choose add a new language. This is not an option on the language you are already learning. You will add this. Oddly to switch back you will again act like you are adding a language, only you will choose the language you were already learning. You can also click on the Home tab and then click on the flag on the top left of the page. On the app I think new languages are also accessed on the top left. https://www.duolingo.com/courses Here I provided you with the link as if you had already chosen that “I speak...German” https://www.duolingo.com/courses/de Here is the link for the English from German course: https://www.duolingo.com/courses/de Here is the link back to the German from English course: https://www.duolingo.com/courses/de
This is not so much a change to current tips and notes but a feature I would like to see added.
A comments section on the Tips and Notes page so that users can clarify questions right there about rules. This way maybe they don't have to struggle through the lesson and ask individual questions about each question they get wrong
We're currently working on a new German tree (from English), which will hopefully at some point replace the current one. But it's a very time-consuming process, so there's currently no timeline when it will be available. It will probably be updated in several stages. The speed on which we proceed is dependent on several factors, so don't expect it too soon :)
I'm so glad I read this thread. I'm a new user and was going crazy trying to find these "tips and notes" I've seen mentioned. Now I understand they aren't available on the android app only the web version, yes? Wheww. I feel much less crazy/technologically incompetent. Also, thank you for all the hard work.
I haven't found a mistake but I wanted to mention that I'm not able to see the tips of the current lessons I am doing. I can only see the tips and notes before starting the lesson (when the lesson is purple) and after I got all the crowns (when the lesson is yellow) is it supposed to be like this?
In the Tips and Notes for Modal:
The notes start with "You already learned some modal verbs" and goes on to list: wollen, mögen, können.
The notes go on to say "In this lesson, you will learn the remaining five modal verbs" and lists: müssen, dürfen, wollen, sollen, möchten.
The first issue is that wollen is listed twice.
Second (and I could be wrong about this), technically speaking, I think German only has 6 modal verbs in total: Dürfen, können, mögen, müssen, sollen, wollen. Möchten is a subjunctive form of mögen. If the goal is to enumerate the number of modal verbs in German, shouldn't the total number of verbs in both sections add up to 6, and shouldn't möchten be called out as a special form of mögen?
- There are 6 modal verbs in German.
- You already learned the following verbs: [list verbs here]
- Here are the remaining N: [list remaining verbs here, with the total count adding up to 6]
- This lesson also introduces möchten, which is a special form of mögen [go on to explain möchten as you already do]
It's true that wollen was introduced in an earlier lesson, but not as a modal verb. The point the tips are trying to make is that some of the vocabulary is already familiar, and we will now learn another way to use them.
It's also true that möchten is the subjunctive of mögen. Until that particular grammatical concept is introduced, möchten is taught under the white lie that it's a separate piece of vocabulary, for simplicity. This is a technique employed at various point in the tips already.
I'm hence inclined to leave things as they are for now.
It's true that wollen was introduced in an earlier lesson, but not as a modal verb.
I'm not sure what that has to do with the total number of modal verbs. My point is that it is counted as modal verb twice in the tips and notes. Regardless of when and in which order we learn them, there are 6 modal verbs in German and saying otherwise is wrong (read: Not a white lie. Wrong). How about just removing the words "remaining 5" so it's vague, but not wrong?
The point the tips are trying to make is that some of the vocabulary is already familiar, and we will now learn another way to use them.
Instead of trying to make a point, why don't you state your point? Why don't you write this directly in the tips and notes? I'm not sure it's a good strategy to hope users will come to the same conclusion as you without stating it clearly.
It's also true that möchten is the subjunctive of mögen. Until that particular grammatical concept is introduced, möchten is taught under the white lie that it's a separate piece of vocabulary, for simplicity. This is a technique employed at various point in the tips already.
Fair enough. I understand that tradeoffs like this exist in language learning. But in other cases where you teach a concept under a white lie, you mention it's a white lie and that we'll come back to it later. You aren't doing that here.
The "Proper names" section mentions names ending in S and Z but forgets to mention names ending in X (for example, Marx).
Adjectives: Predicative 3 - I think there may be a typo in the discussion about the suffix "-tion".
"When nouns ending in -tion are used in an adjective, the ending -a (or -ell) will be used."
Should "the ending -a" be changed to "the ending -al"?
A small thing. LOVE the Tips & Notes, and hope they end up being available on app for iPad, etc.
Sein does not have a direct object, but rather a predicate nominative. (My error earlier, of course “essen” takes a direct object. Thank you to Mizinamo for catching that.) http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-german-verb-sein.html