Man, this is difficult stuff. I know this is a free website, but a small explanation would be appreciated by a lot of people i guess.
Agreed. This is idiomatic material, and the phrases as a whole are impossible to translate from the meanings of the individual words alone. And given the lack of context (each sentence is separate and not part of a larger scenario), it comes down to a frustrating exercise in guessing.
I've been with Duolingo long enough to recognize the frustrations of many of its users for what it lacks. The interesting thing to me is that, after all such postings, no one has suggested a better learning site. So, until that happens, I have learned to take Duolingo with a grain of salt. So I lose a heart - big deal - I start over. And sometimes I stick to translations I know are better English because I can be that stubborn! Duolingo remains good practice, however, and is great if you have someone to bounce questions off of - a native speaker or another source. Meanwhile, getting a response from "Monica" when suggesting a better translation shows someone is out there listening to our complaints and maybe we're slowly making a difference.
You're right in that there is no better place online for this kind of practice. Actually I'd say that it's a tremendous resource, and that it's doing a great service to many people -- my comments are made in the spirit of improving the site rather than bashing it.
I think the idiomatic issue could be resolved simply by separating out idiomatic expressions, either by putting them in a separate exercise or as bonus questions at the end of exercises, or by introducing them in a larger block of text that demonstrates their meaning. Simply sticking them in along with non-idiomatic phrases with no explanation or context, however, is frustrating and maybe counterproductive.
So, if you are a native American English speaker, what did you think the first time you heard,"I have a frog in my throat"? I'll bet it wasn't that the speaker was hoarse! It's exactly the same with dl. Or conversly, not a native speaker, you would be having the same difficulty with English. I have known a number of esl (english as a second language) people and to a man, they ALL have difficulty with English idiums. Why would it be different with Italian as a second language person?
Because the first time I heard "I have a frog in my throat", nobody marked my answer wrong and made me repeat a set of 20 questions that I had already answered in order to proceed to the next level.
Obviously idiomatic expressions can be confusing. The point is that it is frustrating to have to repeat sections over and over because of questions on expressions that have not been presented yet.
I have found this section from clitics is a fairly decent resource from Duolingo(although I am sure most have found it already): https://www.duolingo.com/skill/it/Clitic-Pronouns-1/tips-and-notes
Certo! I wonder if there is a way to get this thought to Duolingo: it's really broader than the specific responses they solicit at the end of each example....
There was a user who was posting the translations showing very useful breakdowns on some of these. At first I thought it was a DL admin doing it, and thought "Wow, this is VERY helpful." I think something like that for this section would be great. It's not a large section--there are only a few modules in it. Even if it wasn't posted to all of the sentences, just enough to give prime examples of some of the grammar patterns to these. Some of them are just three words or so, and I can figure them out. By adding explanations to one or two sentences that fit that pattern, the odds of a user encountering that explanation would at least exist, and once they find one, they could apply it to the other sentences that carry that same structure. There has to be a pattern for a brain to recognize it in different constructs. They just need to make those patterns more clear. How does a native Italian speaker's brain recognize these meanings when sentences are constructed this way? What is it their brain is identifying? Because it's a different way of thinking about the words than in English. And that's fine, but it would help if I could understand that thought process better. I plan to do some googling today to see what sites are out there to explain "clitics" in Italian to see if any of them help make sense of these. I'll be sure and share out anything I find.
I'm one of those who has switched learning site which I like much better. Before You can switch You need a strong basic from which I got from DL, but this site has taken me further. The exercises are better and there are a lot of text you can listen to and read by your selves in order to improve your pronunciation, intonation, and modulation. I still have fun with DL occasionally but without frustration! Go to: https://onlineitalianclub.com
I'm sure that you all hotheads have heard of google. If you punch in Italian Pronouns in the happy little google box you get all the explanation your heart can desire. I see Duolingo as an excellent place for heaps of exercise. If I need additional explanation I use the entries on about.com. Also an Italian grammar book can be acquired at your local bookstore for roughly the costs of writing one slightly pissed off entry.
jochen1983: 3 years after your comment, I am glad to see I could Google "Italian Pronouns" - I will try it. Thanks. And to others here who mentioned Live Mocha, it is no longer in existence. It was bought by another language company and you have to pay for it. No surprise there!!
Sure, you're right. Thing is, Duo is the expert here, and is dedicated to making language learning free and readily available, to further communication between people around the world. That's a noble endeavor.
So it makes absolutely no sense for an expert who knows the issue to refuse to improve the product by listening to the suggestions and complaints by users over a period of years to help them make a better product which carries out the mission upon which the program is based.
If I knew Italian well, I'd volunteer to be a moderator so I could make changes like this. But i don't, so I can't.
I find it utterly unfathomable that Duo wouldn't want to make these improvements. It's a question of pedagogical integrity.
People have an incredibly earnest desire to learn the language, and I know from this thread and others that they feel thwarted by Duo's presentation of almost-arcane subject matter without any explanation, when just a little explanation would go a long way towards getting the job done well.
And maybe this is the best site for learning language on-line. That doesn't make it the best possible site, because that's definitely not true. I just don't get it. It's not like everyone is asking for a full-fledged discourse on the topics - they just want enough information to have extremely confusing and confounding materials gain some real clarity, so they can at least understand what's going on in the exercise.
The lack of such basic explanation is pathetic.
Yes i agree, DL is just a platform to learn a language, you must use initiative and go to other sites and sources for further learning
I know what you mean, I use this site only to practice, but I 've learn all grammar in livemocha site , for grammar and voice exercices is great.
Hi, I'd never heard of livemocha so I went to investigate it (very excited about a new site), but can't seem to access it. It says "Windows support coming soon"... what am I missing here? I have Windows 8 (and according to their FAQ, it should be fine). Thanks for replying. And sorry Duo for highjacking this to ask about another site... I still practise with you, though. ;)
what browser do you use? if you use ie could be that, here with internet explorer this site does not work, only with chrome.
Ah... I feared that might be the case. Yes I do use IE. I'll try and switch to chrome then, and try livemocha again. Thanks for your reply!
Just to say, as soon as I had switched to chrome, it did indeed work for me. So don't know about you, mary... :(
Thanks for mentioning livemocha. I've just started learning it and it looks like it will be really good for actually learning grammar.
We could just say "Ce lo beviamo." The "ce" is ourselves. The "lo" is it. Adding "noi" just eliminates the ambiguity because "ce" can also mean "there". We drink it there would also be "Ce lo beviamo."
Thank you, Greg! You helped me understand just a little more about clitics with this response....."eliminates the ambiguity..."♡
Ah! I replied "we drink it there" - and lost a heart. No great sweat - if i have to repeat i learn that much better. But what's this talk of idioms - this sentence isn't idiomatic, just tricky grammar. There's no way though that you should rely on DL alone to learn Italian. You need a book, a teacher or another website. DL is great for practice though.
People on Duolingo don't (in general) know what an idiom is, and they tend to use it to refer to any point of grammar they haven't learned yet. "If I have to learn a rule, then that's an idiom." Real idioms are very rare on Duo.
Haha, yes. And as a result, I've started putting "ci" and "ce" in most of my sentences...
Or it could be "we drink it there", with ce = there.
I don't see any ambiguity. The noi seems more like an emphatic than a disambiguiator (new word?).
Is it just me or "Ce" seems to be a repetition of the "Lo" part, I've seen places online explaining that..
"Ce l'hai" - Ce doesn't mean "us", yet it's included..
I don't think "Ce" is ourselves here, "Lo beviamo noi" seems enough to say "we drink it", but for some reason we need to add this "Ce" creature.
It is! Ce is used in front of certain pronouns like lo, la, ne... when two object pronouns come together, here is what happens:
- Ce la facciamo? Can we do it?
- Ce ne sono troppi. There are too many of them.
- Vedi quanti ce ne sono? Do you see how many of them there are?
- Non ce lo aspettiamo da te. We do not expect it of you.
Here are more examples of double object pronouns: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/266107
It would be nice to get an explanation before we start the lessons, with a complicated section like this. Just a link to something basic that we could choose to read or not, rather than guessing our way through.
thank you, but I have a question. I have read about the double object pronouns. This explains "we do not expect it of you": direct object (DO) is "it" IO is "of you". But I don't see how it explains your first example "Can we do it?": DO = "it"; IO=??
Hi Mukkapazza - thanks to you and the other mods for your great work. I must admit I didn't understand what you meant until I followed that other link you kindly gave - I was thinking: "which two object pronouns does "ce" barge into to help - there was only one until it arrived". If I understand you correctly you mean that "ce" is the replacement for the object pronoun "ci" in such cases?
You have it correct. Check out Jx's link below .. that pretty much completed my understanding of Mukkapazza's helpful comments. :-)
link to chart for double pron. http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare168a.htm
Thanks! Nice to see someone not just say "google it"--but actually share a link for community assistance. Greatly appreciated.
I did the clitic exercises about a month ago and finally got through them. It took me almost two weeks and MANY mistakes and lost hearts. To all those who are frustrated, hang in there. I am now reviewing them again and it is much easier this time. I guess the information just needed to "marinate". As for Livemocha, it is a good alternate site. I have been a member for almost five years, however there have been some changes that are a little disappointing and have made me look for an alternate site. Yes, you need to log into Livemocha using Chrome. At this time it is not compatible with Internet Explorer.
Could anybody explain the general use of "ce", and also how it becomes "ourselves" in this sentence?
I don't know about anyone else but this clitic module is a major obstacle. I can't get by it and the practice is even much more difficult now that i have gotten into it. For me at least this needs more explanation than Duolingo is providing.
I have spent more time with this section than any other in the tree, even though there are only 3 lessons! But someone said that if you just keep at it, that it will eventually become clearer, and as I continue to practice, read suggestions and links, and discussions, I can see the light!
I think a bit flaw with this section is that all the different categories (direct and indirect pronouns, stressed and unstressed as well as ones used in reflexive verbs) are all jumbled together with no explanation. This has turned out alright for me at first just to get me used to seeing them used in sentences but to advance any further I really needed to use a grammar book or several different sites.
A lot of the problems could really be solved by having more of those little hints that popped up early on that explained the grammar but seem to have disappeared as I have progressed through the tree.
Good assessment and a really good suggestion to bring back these grammar hints that you speak of (before my time).
I think they still exist. They're the things that pop up when you click on explain when looking at a particular word. I've only seen ones for conjugation and changing the endings of nouns and adjectives.
Is Ce necessary to understand what the sentence says? If I left it out, would it still be understood?
Or perhaps, if you're teaching basic pronoun objects to beginners, just Noi lo beviamo.
What's with all the fancy, difficult-to-understand grammatical fireworks?
Ridiculous. This isn't a graduate-level course, it's Italian 101. Duo should treat it as such.
A wonderfully helpful grammar text is English Grammar for Students of Italian. In side by side pages it explains the English use and the Italian equivalent pointing out the differences and the similarities. Very helpful.
You guys do know there is also a discussion forum as part of the program, right? In fact, you're using it right now. You can find answers to just about any question in there. Not to mention the other resources mentioned. Almost every exercise within a lesson has an eloquent, informative, post explaining the obvious question, for which everyone is probably searching. Usually written by our fine native counterparts who spend their valuable personal time explaining the finer points of their language, all free of charge! To them, I am eternally grateful. Of course, it's been years since many of these complaints have been posted, giving time for these useful posts to accumulate. And DL itself has improved leaps and bounds. BTW, they have added unit primers available only from the web version. (Why it's not accessible from the app, who knows? Perhaps, in the next version.
How does the addition of "ce" to "lo beviamo" make the meaning "we drink it o u r s e l v e s"?
I wonder whether "We'll drink it, we will!" would be a good translation - giving an English equivalent of the impact of the word "ce"
("Ourselves" does not seem to work quite the way that "Ce" does - or am I mistaken?)
Yes, except for future tense. Your sentence is an idiom. The correct English would be: We will have ourselves a drink of that.
It is the indirect object of us.... ourselves. It would be 'ci' if there were only one pronoun, but since there are two, it changes to 'ce'.
Am I right in thinking the literal word-for-word translation of this is: "We it we drink we"?
literal word-for-word translation is: Ce lo beviamo noi = to ourselves/ it /drink/ we.
Good question. Not in this case. Because there is no such thing as we drink ourselves. You would always be drinking something else....
30 Oct. 2017 I put we drink to us and it was wrong. The correct answer given was: We drink to it . That is clearly wrong. Do any humanoids capable of reading work at DL?
The above translation is not the one given in the test!! Also, I think an acceptable translation might be: We drink (it) to us. Essentially, we toast ourselves.
Speaking of grammar books, can anyone recommend a good one to buy that would pair well with duolingo?
"Ce lo" is the double object pronoun formed by "ci" (to us) and "lo" (it, indicating a masculine substantive), isn't it?
Also, with idiomatic expressions, someone is available to explain its meaning with some context