A fairly good explanation is given in the Tips & Notes. If you have not been reading the Tips & Notes, I would like to ask that you review those so we don’t have to continuously repeat the information that we have explained there. If you have read them and still have a question, please be specific in your question so we can figure out where the confusion is.
If you are doing the course on iOS or Android, you cannot currently access the Tips & Notes through the app. To access the Tips & Notes, you will have to access the course using a web browser at https://www.duolingo.com/, either from your mobile device or from a computer.
When you click on a Skill, it will expand to reveal a Start button and a Tips button. If you click on the Tips button it will reveal the Tips & Notes and give you a detailed explanation of the grammar that is introduced in that Skill. If you have questions after reading the Tips & Notes for the previous and current Skills, then please return to the forum to ask your question, explaining what you didn’t understand or what seems contradictory to you.
Why aren't the tips and notes available in the app, though? Would it really be that difficult to add them to a sidebar or something in the course/ lesson page? (Legitimately asking-- I don't know enough about coding for computer, let alone mobile, to figure out the answer for myself. )
We, the volunteers who work on the Klingon lessons, have nothing to do with developing the website or the app.
I don't know why the tips and notes aren't available; I think they're doing their users a great disservice by not making them available.
Possibly it's got to do with the fact that they think mobile users are more likely to be casual learners who don't want to get scared away by "grammar language", or they don't think the tips and notes are suitably formatted for viewing on small screens (since they might contain tables and the like), or some other reason.
However, there have been promising steps recently; tips and notes are formatted in two columns on the website now, meaning that course contributors already have to figure out how to present their content in a narrower space.
Also, I've heard rumours that some (randomly selected) mobile users do have access to tips and notes, as part of an A/B test to see whether that access improves Duolingo's metrics. (I don't know whether that A/B test is still running, though.)
So perhaps tips and notes will eventually be brought to all app users.
On the other hand, tips and notes have been made less visible to website users -- instead of being displayed after clicking on a unit, underneath the list of lessons inside the unit, you now have to know to click on an unlabelled button with a lightbulb.
So perhaps tips and notes are going to go away for everyone.
I'm going to respond to the initial comment, since it's the source of many replies. I'm multilingual (Klingon makes 14 languages), and have taught English, French and Russian. My earliest language training was solo German, back in the day when the best resources were a few LP (long play) vinyl discs and a book. Language teaching / learning has evolved a long way since then, and there are several different "styles".
Because we learners also have our own unique learning styles, some methods suit us better than others. However, I'm convinced that being aware of what's going on can help us succeed with methods we may not have tried before. Also, we can supplement a language course by adding something from another method, outside the course itself, to customize our learning for ourselves. The web has given us a world of resources!
1) Grammar / translation:
This is the method most people think of for language learning. It's based on textbooks (using the learner's home language to explain the target language), dictionary, and some audio or audio-visual aids. We study the rules and the vocabulary, then practise implementing them in speech. It's been a method since Roman Empire times. Grammar/translation is most suited to adult learners who want a "fast track" to the language, with a strong analytical focus. Textbooks are usually the result of some years of research, editing and/or collaboration, so they tend to be good resources. Disadvantages include a low success rate if you want fluency and functionality in spoken language, and a lower long-term retention rate than other methods.
In fairness to the grammar/translation method, it's the one method that fully shows the amount of work involved in learning a language. Other methods are designed to make you think the task is easier than it really is, and can lead to disappointment when brief, "fun" stuff doesn't make you fluent in one year of 5 minutes a day on DUO.
2) Direct method: With this method, all language learning takes place in the target language. The learner's home language is never used. Props such as audiovisual aids are common. Advantages include emphasis on actual spoken communication skills, and guiding the learner to think in the target language, rather than mentally translating back and forth between home and target language. Disadvantages include (especially) feelings of anxiety, difficulty keeping discourse entirely in the target language, and dependence on the skill of the teacher. Most of my French was initially learned by Grammar/Translation, but by the 1970's, our university language lab had adopted the Voix et Images direct method. I have taught English, French & Russian by direct method (with good success).
3) Immersion learning: The learner is dropped into the cultural environment of the target language -- effectively, immersion learning is the direct method on steroids. This is not "study abroad" with a handy bilingual textbook and a teacher who explains things in your home language, followed by a pleasant field trip. True immersion learning is entirely in the target language. If possible, learning takes place on location in that cultural environment; alternatively, great effort must be made to re-create a believable substitute for that environment ("summer school"). Advantages include a condensed learning timeframe, exposure to and emphasis on fully colloquial discourse in the target language, and (importantly) the cultural context of the language. Disadvantages include (especially for beginners) a feeling of being overwhelmed, disoriented and just plain "lost", along with misperceptions that can lead to later confusion. It's very hard to structure immersion learning in carefully graduated steps, leading to a "sink or swim" feeling if the pedagogy is slack. I've done immersion studies in French, and found the experience hugely beneficial, but I was moving my existing French to the next level, not starting from zero.
4) Deductive (discovery) method:
This is a more recent method that relies on our innate human curiosity, pattern-recognition capabilities, and puzzle-solving skills. It contrasts with grammar/translation because there is a deliberate choice not to present formal rules of grammar. Instead, borrowing from the direct method, the target language is presented in carefully graduated steps that allow the learner to build from the simplest concepts (eg. how to name the letters of the alphabet) to more complex grammatical stuff (like word order in sentences). Audiovisual aids are essential, especially at the earliest stages. The learner fully engages with discovering each new concept for themselves. This results in better long-term retention, and encourages the learner to think in the target language. In contrast with immersion learning, deductive/discovery learning can use the learner's home language (eg. translation exercises). This helps to create a more open, less defensive response, and reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed which can come with immersion learning.
The catch: Success entirely depends on how carefully the "lessons" are structured. Deductive/discovery learning depends on the principle of "i + 1": you can only successfully present new material that is just one step ahead of the information the learner already has. Trying to leap tall linguistic hurdles in a single bound will leave the learner really, really frustrated.
As an example, the DUO Esperanto course used to have a single pop-up of a particular "his/her" pronoun in a very early lesson -- except that the concept wasn't actually introduced until some ten lessons later. The comments in "Dscuss" were all versions of "What the **** is this?" Because it was "i + 5" (or more), for all of us learners it was like running into a brick wall. We had no foundation for figuring it out.
Ideally, deductive/discovery learners engage their curiosity, pattern-recognition and puzzle-solving skills in a way that truly makes language acquisition "their own." In reality, it usually takes a lot of refining to get a course to that smoothly-functioning level -- which is why DUO has courses in Beta, and why courses are constantly being refined bit by bit.
Summary Find your own optimum learning style, remember that DUO relies on the deductive/discovery method, and customize your learning by adding bits from other methods as needed -- there's an internet full of resources out there. Qapla'
Thanks for your patience in reading all this -- I do tend to run on. I hope some of this helps you enjoy whatever language you choose to learn, however you choose to learn it.
Yes; the mobile apps do not show the grammar tips and notes we have provided for each lesson, unfortunately. They are available on the website www.duolingo.com by clicking on the little lightbulb next to the Start button after selecting a lesson unit.
As for audio, we would have loved to provide audio, but that is unfortunately not possible at the moment as this requires technical cooperation from Duolingo staff to integrate an audio source. It may be added in the future, but probably not the near future.
If you can, I would recommend not using the mobile app (except perhaps for revision of material you have already learned after reading the tips and notes) and instead using the website.
Jump in with both feet! Fight through the enemy like a true Klingon. Do not be afraid to get it wrong, for it is through defeat that we become stronger and return to battle wiser and more prepared for the next fight! After a short time you will begin to understand the patterns and it will begin to make sense.
The audio currently available on this exercise is a female and it does sound like there is a loud click on this audio file. Klingon sounds do often produce quite a bit of spit when pronounced correctly, but this particular sentence shouldn't be producing much. I'll see if she can get an improved sound file up.