https://www.duolingo.com/bryanlouiselle

Unexpected, incongruous, improbable words and phrases.

I ran into this one out of the blue (in Italian) today: "The bear has a short tail." I missed it on the first pass, but once I saw it, I thought "Oh yeah. Of course. The bear has a short tail."

Such phrases come up occasionally on DuoLingo and I think they are helpful. If your brain is expecting a certain combination of nouns and verbs, your ears get lazy. The worst movie-dialogue cliché is "expect the unexpected", but it is a useful mantra for language-learning.

You might never need these expressions in real life, but you never know what words someone is going to throw your way.

The best one I ran into was in Pimsleur Italian Level 5: "My grandmother was a champion skier and a famous opera singer. She is going to meet the ambassador at the border."

Keep your ears and your mind open!

June 6, 2018

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/gamekkeut

Such phrases come up occasionally on DuoLingo and I think they are helpful. If your brain is expecting a certain combination of nouns and verbs, your ears get lazy. The worst movie-dialogue cliché is "expect the unexpected", but it is a useful mantra for language-learning.

Certainly! I think that's another reason why learning through school means many people tend to lose their knowledge when they cease speaking. Were they really learning, or was it memorizing vocabulary lists and grammar points for exams temporarily? The more novel the mode of learning is, or the practice of it, the better we retain this information later on.

When I was learning my times tables many years ago, I learned them all in order, and told my father excitedly. He promptly told me that I did it all wrong, and asked me them out of order. Naturally, I got every single one wrong, because I was waiting to use my 'sequence' to remember the results.

Expect the unexpected is true. The unexpected will become expected if you have no expectations as well. :-]

June 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/xMira_

This is a good explanation of why Duo does it. I've never understood before, but i like this theory/explanation! :D

June 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Camilla-danesa

yes, these sentences are memorable! Similarly, learning nursery rhymes and learning songs are also great for language-strengthening.

June 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Roman_Huczok

As long as it's done in moderation. The Vietnamese course is seemingly 50% cats doing idiotic things. This is funny at first, but quickly gets annoying. When I showed my Vietnamese friend some of the sentences on the course, she shook her head at the ridiculousness of it. These courses are supposed to teach languages, not just try to be funny with endless sentences about cats. When you're asked to translate 'the dog tells me to love it more than the cat' for the fifth time in a single lesson (few sentences in the first place, so they decided to make basically all of them moronic), you start to take a dim view of silly sentences.

June 8, 2018
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.