Weird obsession with certain words
Not sure why Duolingo is obsessed with words that one hardly encounters in Spanish speaking countries while other common vocab words are completely ignored. So much discussion about elephants, apples, penguins, lions, bears, and rabbits...but nothing on animals/fruits/insects that are common in Spanish speaking areas (esp. in Central America) like: ants, avocado, pineapple, beans, shrimp, garlic, pepper, coconut, palm tree (!)... Any thoughts on this?
Don't forget ducks. This is typical of Duolingo. There are elephants and turtles in most (all?) courses I've done, it is like a "brand". Well, in my country there are more apples, penguins and rabbits (and avocados) than shrimp, coconut and palm trees. But you're right, it is too general, it lacks specific vocabulary from Spanish speaking countries.
Because duolingo's purpose is to teach you the construction and grammar of the language, not to teach you an expanded vocabulary. Those animal and fruit names are there simply to vary the sentence structures, it would get very boring indeed if every other sentence had gato or manzana in it wouldn't it?
One you've learned the construction and grammar of the language, you can go off and expand your vocabulary to your hearts content and learn all the words you want.
"it would get very boring indeed if every other sentence had gato or manzana in it wouldn't it?"
LOL. That's what happens. I guess my argument is based on the assumption that people may learn a second language because they want to visit an area where that language is spoken (myself included). So, why not incorporate vocab words that are common in areas where the subject language is spoken? (And beat those to death...) It's pretty easy to use hormiga or camarón instead of león or pingüino. ;-)
I'm not sure why they do that either, other than just helping you become completely fluent, I mean you want to know as much as you can, right? But I get what you're saying about them not teaching any animals or foods or anything like that, that are native to the country you are learning about. It makes no sense to me.
Penguins in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador. Bears in Ecuador, Peru and maybe Colombia. Mountain lions ("león" in traditional Spanish) in most countries in the Americas. Are elephants, lions, bears or penguins in Italian, German or French speaking countries? At some point. In some English speaking countries there are elephhants but it doesn't matter, "elephant" is a concept well known in all major languages.