Impressions after a week
It has been a week since I started the English from Hindi course. The creators have done a stupendous job in creating this course. The huge amount of effort that must have gone into the creation of the course is evident from the numerous translations possible for a single sentence. After pushing myself through tests after tests (I only have time for tests right now), I can safely say that this course will be a great help for everyone who wants to learn english. However the course is not without some hiccups. Here some observations that I have made during the past week -
1- Gender ambiguous words are translated by default as feminine. I feel that it is being corrected but I still come across sentences that accept a single translation(Sometimes it is male only as well).
2- Image assisted words do not accept an article but non image assisted words require an article. For example if the word is नाव with an image of the boat, accepted translation will be "boat". However if the image is not present, accepted translation will be "the boat". I feel that this should be homogenized with either or both the translations being accepted.
3- In some sentences, this object or the object is translated as "मेरी वस्तु ". The object can be anything. I am sure this will be corrected as more translations get added.
I am sure these are teething troubles and will slowly go away as the course is refined.The effort on this course has been great. I am sure all of the beta testers can contribute their bit towards pushing this course out of Beta. Thanks again to the creators of the course in bringing one more language closer to the learners.
Snorcack, five lingots/मणि to you for providing your detailed impression. Your dedicated testing has been quite invaluable to our team and btw, thanks for the kind words. Yes, this task has been more grueling than what I previously had anticipated but it has also been very pleasurable!
Your points are very valid. Issues such as #1 and #3 are being addressed based on user suggested translations and also as part of our internal review and QA. I will see what can be done about #2. The issue there is that Duolingo prefers only "One" translation to be provided for image words, so we have not provided the several alternate ones that we have provided for the sentences.
And I would also like to bring this up. We have received many great applications for becoming a contributor and we will start the process on that this week in order to expand our current team of three. Please stay tuned and for those who have not applied yet, please do so at http://incubator.duolingo.com/
Few things to remember:
One must be at least 13 years old. There is no upper age limit :)
One must be bilingual in Hindi English and the application must be written in both English and in Hindi (Devanagari).
Just having interest is not enough, one must also be prepared to spend up to 5-7 hours ideally, each week. As I said, the work is demanding and also very rewarding.
Ideal candidate would have been an active user of Duolingo for at least several weeks (any language) and also participated in quality discussions and/or immersion.
LeMaitre - how do you input Hindi? I ask because I think the way you are inputting the vowel ऑ is the cause of your problems.
I type using the Hindi Keyboard (keys arranged like this) and so for me to type डॉक्टर I type in exactly: [ kd'j
Specifically, I use the key | in the bottom left of the keyboard to get ऑ (Although confusingly in the picture I linked above this key "|" is in the top left). So with डॉ it is two characters, two key presses - if you copy my डॉ and paste it somewhere and then press backspace once it deletes it up to ड.
It appears you are typing instead [e" which gives डाॅ. Now this looks the same but it is created differently - with three characters, three key presses - and so to a computer it would look to be a different word! Copy your डाॅ and press backspace this time and you're left with डा. You're putting the half moon shape thing on top of डा, whereas I'm putting the entire vowel marker onto ड.
I've never had any problems with the word डॉक्टर being accepted so this seems like it could be the root of the issue. I'm not sure whether your way of typing it is consider correct or not (as in in life in general not on Duo) but given that it looks identical I can't see any reason why it wouldn't be. Perhaps this is what needs to be added into the Duo system - (paging Jitengore!)
The issue seem to be how Apple is constructing the Unicode. For testing this on my iPAD, I had to take a lesson (where I expected डॉक्टर) five times to try entering it myself in two ways: ड then आ followed by ॅ and also ड then ॅ followed by आ for the sake of it. Both were not accepted. I will share this with the dev team to see if they have any insights. Google Hindi input on other platforms seems to be doing it correctly.