New tree development - Update on the Progress!
It’s been a whole year since we started working on the new tree. It’s taking a bit longer than expected, but since we decided to put time into revamping the first tree, we thought it would be best to almost start from scratch, to achieve the necessary level of quality in course content.
Here are some of your own suggestions (you can check out the original posts here https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/21439026) , and how we incorporated them into the new tree:
More Vocabulary. While the first tree wasn’t lacking vocabulary, a lot of you suggested that you’d like to see more from the course. Therefore, several new skills were added, like Weather, Shopping, additional Adjective skills (divided into categories, like Physical Appearance and Character), Feelings, Greece (to get to know it a bit better :D), and Mythology.
More Grammar. As most of you may know, the first tree was indeed lacking some Grammar, as well as some guidance in order to understand it. So we thought a few new skills like Active & Passive Participles, Indefinite Pronouns, a few extra tense skills and Countries and Nationalities (for those learners that might have had a hard time with adjectives of origin and nouns of nationality) would make everyone’s lives much easier.
What’s going on with Subjunctive? Probably one of the biggest issues we had to deal with. It’s a mood that has been occasionally hinted at, but never properly introduced. There are now two Subjunctive skills, and detailed tips and notes to go with them! (psst. That’s also right here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24471413.)
New Introductory skill! Yay! After a lot of testing and thought, plus considering all the bugs, reports and audio issues of the ABC skill, we decided to make a two-part Introductory skill that is word-based, for the learners to get a bit more familiar with the Greek letters. Therefore, the name “ABCs” has also been dropped.
More than a few edits. Although several skills from the first tree remained on the second tree, no skill was left completely intact. Some of them were edited or renamed, a few others deleted, as they did not fit the linguistic and or cultural aims of the course. Words were added or removed. All those edits were made to improve what was already there.
While we are very excited to share the changes we’ve made with you, sentences still need to be added. Your patience and feedback will be greatly appreciated, as this is quite a time-consuming process (in combination with forum moderating). Especially now, with the new crown system rolling out, even more sentences need to be added, in order for you to have an easier time going through repetitions. We might have another update posted in between, to keep you tuned in!
Would you like a bit of help? While most of the tips and notes are now more detailed, a lot of them won’t be available until the new skills are released. If you’d like us to post about a certain grammar or vocabulary subject, feel free to leave a comment, and we’ll try to make it happen as soon as possible.
Did we miss anything? Tell us what you think! ^.^ It’s not too late for further improvement.
-The Greek Team
41 Comments This discussion is locked.
Thank you very much for the fantastic work of creating the Tree for Greek - and now improving it :-) .
- I would suggest to expand the learning of new verbs.
You can practice a lot of Greek without ever meeting a "cupboard", a "fork" , a "sheet" or a "tiger" - but not "I agree", "I recognize", "I believe", "I dare", "I regret", etc... which are used in more general contexts.
In parallel with Duolingo I read short novels (Greek+translation) and I always get stopped by verbs I do not know - so the only list of vocabulary that I write for myself is composed only of verbs. Then all the chapters with verbs in Duolingo are extremely easy...
- Are there plans of "Duolingo stories/Labs" for Greek?
Thank you for taking the course and for your kind words!
I can assure you that the new tree teaches many more verbs, with many new skills teaching verbs (there is also a feelings one that has many verbs on that topic!).
I believe that Stories/Labs are only available for the main Duolingo courses (Spanish,Postugese,French,German etc) and not Greek, unfortunately. :/ We sincerely hope that the staff will expand these features (and many others, such as speech to text programs) in other languages so that we can use them too.
The Greek team is one of the most active ones I assure you! The first tree had been the 1st edition, there were problems, some acoustics are not good and there were glitches that were faced by extended commentary, where there were always a member answering. Even though the initial team changed in the way, this team is very active! Indeed it is a full time job to monitor all comments and try to correct, to add glitches or deficits. This team is not composed by linguists, I guess, but the work done is very professional! Imagine that the Greek language has many ambiguities in Grammar that are discussed in Forums and Congresses of specialists. I also want to say that Greek language is not so difficult for people who want to learn it but it is not a so easy language, as Grammar is the main obstacle that a learner has to face, that is Greek is 90% Grammar and 10% Vocabulary. Maybe it is exaggerated but I think this is the "secret" to learn Greek. Considering this, an emphasis to the grammatical phenomena, but not from a linguistic point of view, but a practical one is a must.
Example: There was a real confusion about Gerund. My point of view is that there's no Gerund in Greek. It is so simple to say no! Instead we can use the participle, active and passive.
Another point of controversy is subjunctive. Subjective in Greek replaces the lack of Infinitive in Modern Greek. The use of Subjunctive is less difficult than in Spanish and Italian, as much as I know. Notice that the linguists consider as Infinitive in Modern Greek the verbal form that in English is passive participle, example: (έχω) γράψει, (Ι have) written, so it is something quite different. The reason for this confusion is that this γράψει cannot described with another term, and passive participle in Greek is γραμμένος.
Well, a Greek tree should not be so long as a German tree, the longest tree I think. Greek is a less spoken language so nobody can try to finish it unless he is highly motivated!
I am sure that the Greek team is more experienced now, as they know some technical glitches that Duolingo has in TTS recordings. It would be nice to have completee control of the means that make a tree, but Duolingo keeps it for herself.
I wish the tree to be launched soon. If it is a good and attractive tree, it can boost greekophony (a word of my own :) ), that is ελληνοφωνία!
To feel proud you are learning Greek!
"Ου παντός πλείν ες Κόρινθον". Ancient quote, " Not everyone can sail to Corinth", because Corinth was a very rich city, so it wasn't for everyone :)
Thank you very much for the extremely interesting explanations.
I am very interested to update my tree with the future version when it will be ready. How will we be informed - will we get an email? or will the update be automatic on the mobile phone ? or should we follow the news on this forum? Thanks a lot.
After the tree is complete, it will go through an automated check. If it passes that final check, the new tree will probably be available in an update, and I don't think you'll get notified. However, we will post an update in this discussion or a future one, to let you all know. ^.^
Thank you for your patience ^.^
The skills that were deleted are: Infinitive and Gerund (there is not infinitive in Greek the same way there is in English and there is no gerund at all; those skills were replaced by subjunctive skills), Parts of Speech (which will be added as a bonus skills if we ever get that feature; bonus skills are only available for the core Duolingo languages), and religion which was merged with Spiritual (we no longer teach religions' names, but a more wide vocabulary).
Yes, they will be explained, as there are skills for Subjunctive and Participles.
We deleted religions' names from Religion mostly because they were very specific, and could be easily searched by someone, if they were interested in learning them. We thought it would probably be best for us to replace those words with others that were either basic and missing from the tree, or new ones that are just as useful. ^.^
It seems that it is possible to have spoken responses in some languages, not just the original four. Will we be able to speak to the new tree? I know that people have various goals, and some don't want to get past the alphabet and keyboard. I don't know whether it's possible to use the option for picking out words for translations to Greek, but it occurs to me that folks who don't care about learning spelling and are irritated when spelling errors are called to their attention might be better served if they had the option of choosing Greek words that were already spelled out for them.
Indeed, anything that's technical is most of the times out of our control. It's staff that decides when these kinds of feautures will get released for other languages, because they are the ones developing them. If we get notified about changes like this one, we will notify you as well. ^.^
ευχαριστώ παρά πολύ!!! Wow! You guys are the best. I am plugging away on the new crown system but what I really am looking forward to is the new system. And your update seems to indicate that you have incorporated the most important things we all asked for in the past. I have two questions:
1) How will the new tree effect my current tree? In the past, on other duolingo languages, the new tree fit over my old tree, lowering my status on some topics where it thought there was something new I should go back over, and having the entirely new topics, of course, start at zero. I am hoping this new release will provide similar guidance on what to redo in it.
2) It's great hearing the Greek, but also very important to speak it. In some languages duolingo has us answer some questions orally. (I assume using speech-to-text technology.) I would very much like to see this feature in a new release. This feature generated most of the complaints and was sometimes very frustrating, but it is so important that it is worth the frustration. Even if I always fail in using it, just trying to speak is worth a lot.
Whatever the features, most important to me is to thank you and the entire team for all the effort you have done here.
Also if it is possible to add the "Tips" to the site and to the iOS app for the Greek, to help explain some of the things that are not intuitive to a native English speaker. For example: gendering of "things" is always challenging to native English, but Greek has not just masculine & feminine forms, but also neutral form as well. Also to explain voice or mode of verbs... I get things wrong but often don't really know WHY the answer is different in one case but not another that seems the same (to me, because English works differently). So those tips are so helpful to help make progress, think about the language in new ways, and keep from getting frustrated. (I know the team has a lot else going on to just get the new Tree out, but I hope someday) :)
Thanks for all the work you do moderating the forums and maintaining the tree.
How will the new tree affect achievement in the current tree? Will it be effectively starting from a blank slate? Will we be choosing whether to stick with the current tree or change the the new one?
No, you're not going to start the tree from scratch, but a bit chunk of it will indeed be blank, mostly because of the edits and the new additions. I'm afraid you can't choose. If it gets released, it gets released for everyone. For the time being, only Tree 1 is available.
Thank you for your comment. ^.^
I hope the team reconsiders dropping the religion names from the new tree. Yes, they are easily looked up online or in a dictionary, but being able to use them in all the differing ways as we can through exercises is tremendously useful. I believe a better understanding will be attained keeping the words and exercises then simply looking up a translation for Hinduism, Orthodoxy, Judaism, Muslim, etc....
This effort must be a tremendous amount of work, and I am so thankful to everyone who is making it happen!
I am almost up to the Parts of Speech (POS) lesson and I kind of hope it's gone from my tree before I get there (ha ha). Ok I realize that is not likely but I am glad to know I can press on and circle back as needed, if I can just get past the basics on that one.
I also hope that someday soon there will be the ability to add speaking exercises, to help us learn to get our tongues around the language a bit. (I try to practice at home when I can, by repeating what I hear when that is possible.)
I am sure it's another team entirely that adds a Tinycards lesson but I would love one of these (there are many user-created ones which I do use but they lack the ability to hear the words spoken, which helps me so much as I suspect when I visit Greece I will HEAR words much more often than READ them so being able to review hearing them is likely to be helpful to me there) :)
And finally I really enjoy the Stories in Spanish and French and hope one day that other languages, including Greek, will have them!
Thank you all again! <3
Hey everyone! In case any of you missed it, I just dropped by to let you know that the new update has been posted! https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33309669$from_email%3Dcomment&comment_id%3D33356102
"Especially now, with the new crown system rolling out"
Thank you guys for deleting all the posts complaining about the crown system, very good censorship from you.
"Therefore, several new skills were added"
You could have keep the old skills with the alternative answers perfected along the years and implemented new skills with new vocabulary to be properly faceted.
"Some of them were edited or renamed, a few others deleted"
Because of it we make mistakes in the entire new tree, the new system considers the alternative answers.
"(in combination with forum ̶m̶o̶d̶e̶r̶a̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ censoring)"
Moderating is not about censorship, but mostly about keeping the discussions clean of spam, and inappropriate content, so that the forums are user-friendly. It's also a way for us to reply to your questions as soon as we possibly can. If you are not that fond of the idea of moderating, well...everyone has their own opinion.
The crown system is not something we have a word on rolling out. It's released for all learners, in all languages, by the developers. If you have any complaints regarding the system, please make sure you're complaining to the right people, like Michael has proposed earlier. There is no point in unnecessary drama. ^.^