Czech, fun but not that easy. (A short story)
About a year-and-a-half ago, we moved to Czechia. Everything is nice and beautiful, but the language, is a BIG problem.
Since I got here, I loved the sound of Czech, but speaking it and hiding the foreing accent isn't easy.
Now, I do manage to quite hide my accent and many people can't tell i'm a foreigner (apart from my appearance) and Duolingo is helping me a lot with the grammar part and I really appreciate it.
There are native speakers actually, and millions of speakers in total. There is an international Esperanto community and tons of music, literature, videos, movies, etc. etc. etc. There are many living languages that are poorer than Esperanto in terms of culture and usefulness.
...aaaand it's a very fun language that allows you to be very creative with how you put words together and express yourself. Should give it a go ;)
Duolingo did not make the Czech course, so they did neither a great nor a not so great job on it. We volunteers made it for them and for you. I wonder how you would have us teach you the gender of each noun.
I see one of the languages you are learning is Spanish. For that course, Duolingo offers the exercise type in which the user needs to select the correct definite article. That exercise type is not available for Czech. The options available to us in its absence are image exercises where we can make the English hint include the definite article, so that the main Czech answer would include the gendered demonstrative pronoun. (The answer without the demo pronoun would also be accepted. We are never quite sure whether in that case Duo would display the main alternative as "another correct translation".) But images are not available for many nouns.
Or we could make short sentences or fragments in the nominative singular case, like the "malý strom" early on in the present course. The fragments have been criticized rather recently for being too boring for users.
Finally, we could use some of the precious Tips and Notes space to list all new nouns in each skill along with their gender. But most users do not know the Tips and Notes exist or cannot be bothered to read them anyway.
As you can tell, we did such a not great job on the Czech course not for lack of trying but rather for lack of clearly applicable infrastructure to do better the first time through.
Should you or anyone else have anything constructive to offer for version 2, please do. Thanks!
Thanks for the long explanation. It's an honor to have one of the contributors in my dicussion! It's a shame that the Czech course doesn't help you practice articles but I'm sure you guys can solve that problem. I just wished I could directly contribute to the course... :(
Hello @nueby, thanks for putting the course together! So far it has been more useful for me than the various attempts with private teachers or Krok za kroky (a learner's book).
I wonder how you would have us teach you the gender of each noun.
How about adding a gender annotation in the tooltips?
That leaves the problem of how to decline, but having the gender, it is a lot quicker and easier to look it up on a declension table.
You may have already read the reply therein. The feature you requested is not supported for Czech. Duolingo does not offer uniform course infrastructure across its language combinations. (If it had been that easy, we would not have this particular problem.)
Did you try the tips for the three gender skills on the second row? The rules of thumb are a bit wobbly, but they beat the pants off pure guessing.
ETA: Also read this discussion for an example of how this course absolutely positively cannot satisfy all users.
Hi! It's a pity that the option to annotate gender in the tooltips is not supported by the backend. Perhaps that could be made the subject of an improvement request?
Did you try the tips for the three gender skills on the second row?
Yes I did and I'm slowly getting used to applying them, although in practise this often involves having first to find the nominative singular form of the word.
And honestly, there are so many exceptions that my hit rate is about the same as when speaking (in which case I usually just pick a gender at random and see if I get corrected). Slowly one does get to learn them though, and so far this course has taken me farther than anything else in that respect, so no complaints. ☺
Yes, I believe analytical.. no, synthetic! languages (i.e. with lots of inflexions, declinations, conjugations) are difficult for an online study. Say, in English you learn cat, and cats - that's it, whereas in Czech you have kočka with its cases and numbers kočky, kočkou, kočce, kočku, kočkami, kočkách, kočkám, next comes kočička with its cases and numbers, next kocour, kotĕ, kot'átko etc... It is impossible even mention once all the variants during the whole course!