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  5. Working through the purple. D…


Working through the purple. Don't sell it short.

Some have expressed frustration that the new [purple] lessons are frustrating - too repetitive, to simplistic, etc.

In addition to my daily review, I have been doing one new, advancing, purple lesson a day, and have found that, as I progress, DuoLingo, has gotten a little crafty, sticking grammar lessons in without telling.

They teach sentence structure the way children learn, by experiencing it.

I'll be learning, I think, about food vocabulary, say, and then find myself saying, "Aha! So that's how you would word that!"

The further I progress in the purple, the more of this I encounter.

Interesting. I wonder if this was intentional. It SEEMS so...

June 7, 2018



Yes, I also found something similar.

At first when I saw the 40+ new skills, I thought, they are all placed before the past tense skill. So everything will be in present tense.

But no. I came across past sense somewhere, the voy a future is often used, and the Request skill has imperative. They are teaching grammar without telling it.

Nevertheless, some Tips&Notes would be nice. I know these stuff, because I finished the tree before the update, but how about users who start from the beginning?


But isn't this because, once you complete a Lesson, say Preterite, the system then thinks you know this and will include it in earlier lessons? That's always been my understanding of how the system works.

This is why I've always advised people to not push on down the tree too quickly before having completed and understood the earlier lessons.


I don't think it is like that.

I can look into the incubator, beacuse I'm a contributor for Hungarian, and generally a skill has a group of words + at least 3 sentences for each word. So the set of sentences are fixed. Sentences with past tense don't magically appear if it wasn't originally in the skill.

And what you say would be harder to program...


That's what I was assuming: that everyone would have the same sentence pool for each skill/lesson, for "fairness" or consistent experience, and only which random sentences were grabbed from the pool would vary from person to person.


Do you know for sure that this is true? I'm not saying I don't believe you, just that I don't know how much is your guess vs. fact. I had the tree completed before the update, so I can't know if seeing more complex grammar in the early lessons is because it was built in to the update or if it's because I'm already above level 1 in every pre-update skill.


I don't know it for a certainty no.

I just remember that when I first started on the tree many years ago, that the further I pushed on down the tree, the more difficult the earlier lessons became because they started introducing concepts, grammar and words that I hadn't fully learnt.

That caused me to stop pushing down the tree and focused on completing the earlier lessons before I moved on.


Nevertheless, some Tips&Notes would be nice. I know these stuff, because I finished the tree before the update, but how about users who start from the beginning?

I counted about 13 skills with available "tips and notes" on the old EN-SP tree.
The new updated EN-SP tree has only 9 skills?!

There is not that much difference for teaching Spanish, if you compare it to Portuguese courses (EN-PT, PT-DE for German notes) or the French 3.0 A/B test tree with many available "tips and notes" for several skills.


I agree too. (or three?? ;-))

I was surprised to see that so many people complained about repetition of individual words that they already knew. Since I started doing the new purple skills, I've found that there are more interesting structures.

So I'm not annoyed by the occasional word (also because I love the Duolingo illustrations!; words presented with these illustrations can never be boring), but I'm intrigued by the structures.


Yes! I am happy to see I'm using more conjugation now - in all narratives. So by the end of it, I should understand I, you (all forms), he/she/it, we, they.

I was doing exercises today in French and realized that a lot of the verbs like drink I didn't know the 'nous' form for. In Spanish I already knew this (I had started DuoLingo from an intermediate level) but I absolutely need it for languages I haven't learned in a formal setting. I swear though, the first time I did the French tree (I restarted it since) I don't think I ever got the nous conjugations of some verbs, which meant at times I was lost for the rules without studying my books as well.

I also feel like more vocab has been introduced.

Yes, boring at times, but so far seems worth it. I may finally manage to get my French closer to my Spanish level, if nothing else.

I also went on the app recently and realized they added stuff which is great.


Different conjugations makes sense to me. What I'm curious about is if completing the lessons on preterit or future tenses will add these tenses to earlier lessons. So far my experience has been no.


Almost through the purple lessons and it did introduce the preterit in almost all of the last lessons. As the OP said, don't sell the purple lessons short. Next up is getting through all the blue lessons.


Thanks for your report! That makes me more willing to give the new purples a chance. In my limited experience with them, I concur with your comment

E.g., I was working on "Directions2" down in the tree, and decided I would give the new "Directions"[1] in the purple a chance. While there was some repetition, I also found that there were a lot exercises that got at the colloquial (for lack of a better word) way of wording/expressing things that a non-native speaker wouldn't necessarily figure out via literal translation, but needs to learn by imitation adding up to a gradual intuitive familiarity -- as a child would, like you say.

In short, I've found things in the new purples that seem to teach the conversational Spanish that native speakers take for granted, but that can be elusive for non-native speakers coming at the language academically/literally.


I believe the repetition is valuable. I challenge myself to translate before looking at the options or checking the hidden translations.


Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I have subconsciously noticed this subtle addition to the crown system and now that you have mentioned it, I think you might bring up a good point.

For example, I have leveled up my past tense verb skill to 3 and I have noticed that Duolingo sneaks past tense verbs into my sentences more often than it used to.


It isn't just tenses; it's sentence structure. I wasn't clever enough to nail the lesson, but I noticed, going through an exercise, that I was being lead into a new way of thinking about how to construct a certain type of sentence. Pretty cool. When I hit that lesson again, I'll flag it accurately.


I'm not sure I have these new purple lessons, but I was one of the Beta testers for the "new"' tree. So perhaps I already did them. Can someone give me the name of one of their purple skills?


"Family 3" is one of them.


I just posted this question elsewhere. As someone that wants practice with Preterit, Future, and the more difficult parts of the tree, should I be leveling those up before all the new purple ones? Those wouldn't be so brutal to go through if they included different tenses and challenged me grammatically. Eventually I do want the entire tree on level 5 though. :)


Here's my plan. I'm working through each skill, up to level 3, before moving on to the next one. Once I complete the tree, I'll go back to the beginning and work through levels 4 and 5. Fifteen or so skills left on the first go-round.


That is exactly how I am approaching this. It is my first time through though.


I was doing that. and then the update happened and I lost 27 crowns and now I have to pick out pictures of vocabulary words. what a waste of time.


I lost 23 crowns, too (last week), and I've regained them all, and 10 more.

These picture-selections are only part of the lessons, aren't they? In my experience, they are. :-)


Haven't experienced this at all. I wonder why you do and I don't. For me it's a been a very frustrating and boring experience so far and perhaps I'm too near the top of the tree to find it challenging. Since the change in the tree I was close to giving up on DL and have pressed on in hopes that the experience will improve.


I started my Spanish studies in late April and was going down the tree just fine. When the 'change' happened in July(?) a lot of my skills that had been at level 1, ended up in the middle of the tree with many above them. I went to do some Food 1 skill and found Past Tense in it with no warning, like I was supposed to know it? I keep notes, so I will know it next time, but it was a shock and I dread going into some of my mid tree skills without doing all the ones above now. Just venting !!


I have experienced the same thing! I just continue to do practices to keep my "health" loaded. I would like a way to ask for clarification, for why something is wrong, etc., but I think that overall this is a fantastic program with just enough "game" built in to keep me interested. Irregular past tense was a shock to me, but I'm getting there! My streak is 139 today! I did go back and work the new lessons that injected themselves with the change.

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