Some features suggestion
I have some suggestions for Duolingo:
One of them would be a feature that would recommend people for you to chat so that you could gain conversational abilities. So like: I know portuguese and I'm learning german. Duolingo would recommend me to talk to a german person who is learning portuguese :) Or even someone else who is learning german. These chats were always interesting to ask questions to native people and to make us find ways to express ourselves with the resources we have learned.
I would suggest adding videos to the lectures. I believe videos are more natural than the voices we hear in the lectures because we see native people speaking. And then my suggestions about the translation part would be that we could make subtitles for the videos on youtube, for example, in other languages :)
Those toefl/cambridge exams exercises are really helpful. Specially those in which you have a text and you have to put it in order so that it makes sense. Or the ones that you have a text with blank spaces and you have to fill in the blanks with words that make sense.
I am a person who didn't learn english at language schools, but trying my best to talk to natives even though i only knew the basics at that time. (I was 12) Since then I have made serveral friends around the world who would speak to me in english and we would all learn together. :) And I believe videos + conversation were the crucial points of my learning.
As a NLC CS Student, I am a forever fan of Duoling project and I hope it can grow and be the biggest language learning/translation portal ever. :)
Hi Marina! Appreciate the detailed feedback. I agree that finding a way for community members to communicate better amongst each other is an important aspect of the language learning process. We're still thinking about the best way to do that. Keep all this feedback coming :) Great for us to hear.