More recordings or TTS needed!
I am trying to learn Greek with Duolingo and I have to say I'm really disappointed with the first lessons. I had to go to You Tube to learn the alphabet. Then in the lessons only some of the phrases have the pronunciation. I have found that sometimes you can open the discussion button and find them there, but it's a hassle and some don't even have the discussion button. At this point I need to see over and over again that v is pronounced n and p is pronounced r... if they would only say the sentences out loud so I could read and repeat it would really help. I guess they don't have TTS for Greek and so everything has to be recorded, but couldn't you PLEASE find someone willing to do it for every single sentence in the first skills at least? This would be far more helpful than learning the word "throne" in Basics 1, when I am still unsure of how to pronounce the words for "I" or "you."
The Greek lesson actually has a TTS program and every sentence is pronounced (it may sound a bit robotic but it is there). Maybe there is some problem with your application/web browser?
Just thought I'd try checking Basics 1. The first sentence I got was, This is a newspaper. 1 Αυτή είναι μια μια. 2 Αυτή είναι μία εφημερίδα. 3 Αυτή είναι μια έχουμε. No way to scroll over the English words to get the Greek. So I try discarding possibility 1 for the repeated word, and try to pronounce εφημερίδα and έχουμε, listening for clues. None. I guess #3 and got it wrong. There is no TTS and no discussion button to hear the sentences. Next sentence: The women and the men. This one has possible words in boxes like the app. You can also scroll over the English for the translation. I do it and get it correct. Still no pronunciation of the Greek... and it all looks Greek to me. The third sentence has the pronunciation, both of the sentence and of the individual words, when scrolled over. The fourth sentence (The boys read a newspaper) has nothing. I don't want to go through the whole lesson now, but let's just use these first four as a sampling -- only one has the recording, three do not.
Thanks for checking in. No, the ones that have nothing do not have the blue speech icon on them. I just did a lesson in ABC to check. The first three were silent, then there were two with recordings, then a silent one, then a recorded one. The word for 'torch.' Real useful. I suppose it's just for helping us transliterate but because that's what I did, I got it wrong the first time. They wanted me to write the English word torch.
I've had the same problem in other trees I'm studying in Duolingo. This is specially annoying in the Hebrew course, since this language, as many other Semitic ones, usually don't write most of the vowels. So, first you get three or four consonants translating one Hebrew word to English, and you still need to wait the moment when this word will show up again, together with its pronunciation (and the vowels at last!). I definitely hope they improve this feature and they get more close to the ideal scenario of 100% sentences accompanied by their pronunciation.
Yes, I've done some work in the Hebrew course and I rate it the worst I have tried of all. Understandably it is a challenging language to make a Duolingo course for. I hope they work on improving it.
And yeah.... the first lessons of the Modern Greek tree in Duolingo are not good examples of how to introduce a new alphabet for a novice of the language, in my opinion. Neither the first Hebrew lessons, by the way. I guess it would have been much more difficult to learn these first steps if I hadn’t studied a little of Ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew before and was already familiar with both alphabets. So, you’re totally right when you look for other sources to fill this gap in the course. If you allow me one or two suggestions, I believe that spending some time TRANSLITERATING Greek sentences you don’t know the meaning yet is highly effective for improving your learning later. You need to make recognizing Greek letters (or any other new alphabet) second nature to you, and you do that, at first, by learning how to recognize fast every letter in a word; then you will start recognizing some syllables faster and faster, until you can transliterate complete words and sentences. Note that this transliteration practice is different from a simple pronunciation exercise, which also could be done without understanding what you’re reading and only applying the phonetic rules you might know about the studied language. On the other hand, I have been using Google translator to double-check pronunciation in Duolingo’s German and French courses, when I become a little suspicious that some words are not well pronounced. So, this might be of some help, even though I must add that I don’t know how good the Modern Greek in Google translator is and that I do understand, from first hand experience, how unpractical it is having to write sentences in another app, while studying Duolingo.
I successfully studied Greek with Assimil. The textbook has a phonetic transcription for each sentence and CDs for listening practice. Might be what you are looking for.
I don't see Greek offered by Assimil. Maybe you were thinking of Hebrew? Then isn't it designed for native speakers of French? I can get by in French, but I'd rather have the course based in English, Italian or Spanish...
You did well to go to YouTube to learn the alphabet. The first skill has a lot of issues. This was one of the first courses to teach a language using an alphabet other than the Latin one and the contributors at that time tried their best but now we see the many issues and I can say that's the number one reason we are creating a new tree...not that there aren't a lot of other improvements we are adding.
I think that things will go more smoothly in the following lessons and hope you hang in there to do them. Keep up you reviews they help us so much and ask any questions you may have. We have several links in on the discussion with helpful information.
Hope we can fulfill your expectations.
Thanks for your comment Jaye! It's exciting to know that you guys are working on a new tree. I hope you can pop new skills and lessons into the present tree as they come ready, or is it necessary to wait for the whole tree to be complete?
By the way, another thing duolingo needs in general is to have the notifications icon light up when someone comments on a user's discussion or comment! I just happened to remember to check this one. Otherwise I would never have seen your response.
Okay, (sorta?) new to Duolingo. Been on here for about a year. I think that if I can read it, I'll be able to learn how to pronounce it later (?) I don't know. Think this is a good idea? Most likely not. All well, I'll figure it out! Good point you raised though, jairapetyan! -Fox