Korean Tree 2.0 Needs You!

Hello Korean-language learners!

In the year or so since our course was released we've crossed some important milestones. We made it out in time for people to learn Korean before Pyeongchang hosted the Olympics (although newscasters in the US decided purposefully to use an incorrect pronunciation closer to what English speakers are "comfortable" with). We successfully got the course out of Beta. We've also reached more than 3 million active users!

All of your comments and suggestions have been very useful, and we continue to process your reports, adding alternate translations while marking common incorrect translations with notes detailing the mistake. Some people may be concerned about not seeing responses from your reports. Rest assured, that we are still hard at work.

Our course still has tens of thousands of reports to be processed. As the number is so high, we can't possibly respond to all of them at once. We've taken care of some of the worst offenders, but there are still many more reports to tackle. The style that I've been using lately is to work a few skills down to zero reports and then keep an eye on them as new reports come in while progressing down the tree. Also, sometimes you won't receive an email even if your report was accepted. Was your response technically correct but awkward or unnatural? Did you make a valid suggestion, but have a typo? We might have incorporated your suggestion but chosen not to send the email. As a rule, though, we like sending the emails.

Duolingo has made a few changes in the last year. We'll now have an easier time with some of those trickier sentences, as Duolingo may let us add more than 3000 possible translations. We'll also be able to add labels to the words we're teaching, which you may not see as a learner, but will make constructing the course so much easier!

Now, this is where all of you come in. We're planning our new updated tree, with two clear goals: 1. improve what we currently teach and 2. add new content. We've already found a list of the top 2000 most commonly used Korean words to make sure we include them all. And we're consulting some existing Korean textbooks for English speakers for ideas. We're also going to check over our sentences, and hopefully reduce the number of nonsensical ones, although a few funny or weird sentences won't hurt.

So, what do we want from you? Well, what do you want from the updated course? We can't change the way Duolingo works or operates, so we're focusing more on the content, not the system. As many people have already started, or even finished, our current tree, we're planning to edit the one you're using now, rather than replacing it with a new one from scratch.

Here are a few questions, just to get the conversation started:

  1. Are there any grammar points that we missed? Or any grammar that would make more sense in a different order? (We know the first few skills are very grammar heavy, and are already going to be spacing those out better).

  2. Are there any general topics that we should add or focus more on?

  3. Do you have any words that you'd like to make sure we add? Korean or English suggestions both acceptable.

  4. Do you have any sentences you'd like to see? Again, Korean or English are both fine. BUT, please don't just copy and paste an entire drama dialogue or the full lyrics to a K-pop song. We're looking for a sentence, maybe two, that would fit the Duolingo system.

  5. Any other suggestions or comments?

tl;dr: What do you want to see in Korean Tree 2.0? We're collecting suggestions now!



October 22, 2018


I agree that there is the unnecessary forcings of K-Pop into practically every forum. But please don't let the (unfortunately large) amount of people who discuss K-pop/K-dramas etc. at inappropriate times and on the wrong forums define the entire fanbase for you. Also, don't let it deter you from exploring that aspect of Korean culture. The people that submit those ideas or only discuss these topics typically are either ignorant of the purpose of Duolingo (which is to learn languages, not just discuss one slice of the culture) or they are just focused on meeting others who like that K-pop/K-drama thing and they aren't really that dedicated to the language. Sometimes it's both.

This is far from the only thing, but the music and the artists that I was able to connect with is one of the main reasons I began learning Korean. I have other reasons, but I mention this because I can see the good intent that (some) of these people have that mention their fav group or drama. I am also saying this in defense of those who like k-pop d-dramas and do not shove that fact down people's throats, but get ridiculed anyway. Many people on here, just like me, came here to work hard, open their books, and learn Korean. I have full intent on studying and learning, teaching and bettering myself, just like many others of a fanbase do.

Just don't let one bad apple you see on a forum ruin the entire bunch of experiences and enjoyment you can receive from those aspects of Korean culture and the people who enjoy it.

October 24, 2018

In order to understand the nuances of a language, one should learn about its culture. People may go off topic and get into k-pop, but k-pop is part of Korea's current culture, just like mentioning Kimchi and Bulgogi. I knew bulgogi but i didn't know it was Korean until I took these lessons.

October 24, 2018

To be honest, K Pop is an extreme niche that I don't see the need to appeal to specifically as a course contributor (this is a general comment).

October 24, 2018

I agree with your statement that Korean Pop and Korean Drama references are not suitable for the purpose of the Korean course, but that was not what my comment was concerning. If you were already aware of this, my apologies.

What I hoped to convey with my comment:

Not every single fan of Korean music is ignorant and disrespectful when it comes to commenting on forums and lessons. Many of them are here just to work hard and teach themselves the language, and they just so happen to identify as fans. However, there is a prejudice regarding Korean music fans that fill many people with dread and disgust when they read or see something concerning them (the fans, or Korean music in general.) This prejudice not only unjustly disrespects the musical artists but hinders what should be acceptance and sharing of culture.

Most genuine fans of Korean music do not condone this behavior of obnoxiously posting about Korean music/drama either.

The posts and comments that you see like this are most likely from people who aren't as dedicated to learning the language as they are to trying to find fellow fans via Duo (which isn't even what the app is for, further demonstrating that those who do this have no respect for the app or for the reputation of the other fans who are here for the right reasons).

The true fans are quiet on the servers, using Duolingo to actually study and learn. They have respect for the Korean culture, for the artists they admire, and for the other fans. As a result, the number of inappropriate comments seems overwhelming because the superficial fans are the only type of fans commenting. So when other people view a comment that an ignorant or disrespectful fan made at an inappropriate time or place, the general public ends up with the specious perception that the entire fanbase as a whole is immature and ignorant. This further encourages the shameful stereotype and degrades the true and respectful fans by failing to acknowledge their presence here to learn.

Simply put: No matter the language, music is a pivotal aspect of culture. Whether it be Korean, English, French, Dutch, Japanese, Spanish, German, etc., music is music. Culture is culture.

No matter the language, a single, individual statement or opinion on any aspect of culture (including music), should not define any other persons’ or group’s character or quality.

October 24, 2018

A personal anecdote from experience. Unfortunately most K-pop/Drama fans tend to lean on the obnoxious scale due to their blind following of a fandom....No offense, as a Korean, I"m actually high key creeped out when I see these people

October 25, 2018

Moderator-nim, I'll first make a request. Can you or the other moderators please make a "Japanese from Korean" course? That course will surely be a hit among the native and non-native Koreans.

Today I have completed the entire Korean tree and so far it's satisfactory. I'm not going to complain because you can't get a 100% out of anything in this world! Everything has their own lackings. But there is this one single thing, which acts as a major setback for the new learners...... In the first lessons, the Korean alphabets were taught using the familiar English words like "Samsung", "Tokyo", etc. I wasn't a new learner when I started this course, but even so, I found those lessons harder than anything else. I don't know if you are aware or not, but it is hard to spell English words using the Korean alphabets. Can't you teach more simpler and natural Korean words like, milk, rice, house, student, etc instead of the English words? I had used the key to jump over those lessons, but even so, it was hard.

Last of all, thank you and all the others for your hard work. ^^ The Korean course was a much awaited course for me. And I'm happy that I was finally able to do it on Duolingo.

(Pardon my mistakes in English. I'm not a native English speaker)

October 22, 2018

I am excited about news of a Korean 2.0 tree. I have a few suggestions:

  1. I believe Alphabet 3 introduces loan words. It'd be nice to have more practical everyday words in that section like 아이스크림 and 라디오 than words like "United", "Bluewings", or "Baskin Robbins". Or add more common items to the already existing list so that the references are not so dominating.

  2. I am not too far in the Korean to English tree, but I feel I have been learning a lot more everyday phrases from it than the English to Korean at a slower and more comprehensible pace. Even in the clothes section alone, I learned I can 신다 신발, 입다 most clothes, and 쓰다 모자, which I did not remember learning in the English to Korean course, unfortunately. I sure there are other examples, but I cannot think of them at this time.

I do like the compact vocabulary in each lesson. It is difficult at first paired with new grammar, but by practicing Verbs and Adjectives, I learned a LOT more of applicable vocabulary than with other courses I take!

For Hanja in the notes, I would much rather the traditional Hanja be used, because I thought that was what Korea used, not the simplified. :(

  1. More chances to review old words/grammar within new lessons! Like how in the Spanish course, there are multiple skills for the same subjects which review old vocabulary and add new vocabulary. Maybe start the course at a slower pace as with the Japanese course but without eliminating vocabulary: just stretch them out so learners don't get burnt out on so many words AND new grammar! Start with smaller sentences (Subject, object, verb for a while, and then add things like time, place, from whom, to whom, etc.)

  2. I would like to see less silly/weird sentences. (Dragons hiding in bellybuttons is a little disturbing to see and translate, for me...)

I'm looking forward to the new tree, and thanks so much for listening to the learners and working diligently through the reports you receive!

October 22, 2018

i don't know if you are able to do anything about this but I wish there were stories in the lab section like in my french part on duo. And I found those stories very helpful and I wish that is was there for korean also

October 25, 2018

Can you put in some lessons that teach like Korean slang or such? Not like inappropriate ones of course, but more like words they use instead of traditional ones. Like idioms, or how here in the US we say 'sup instead of what's up. Things like that.

Maybe lessons that teach like sentences that can include native culture or maybe even add more speaking things in korean so people can get the accent correct.

Also as I've read through, I've noticed the things about kpop. I'm a huge kpop fan, stanning BTS, EXO, Twice, BlackPink, SNSD, (G)I-DLE, etc but maybe you can put like a statement out to not talk about kpop so much? I mean it's mostly my fellow ARMYs cause no offense- they are really loud and sometimes obnoxious and don't know when to stop talking about BTS (usually the younger fans). But like can you tell them to stop talking so much about kpop? Like cool it's related to Korea but when you have topics just about "Yo any armys/blinks/neverlands/stays/carats/exo-ls/sones/etc" and just talk about BTS it gets annoying.


November 1, 2018

it would be really cool if there was more support for british english - i just don't understand the english in some of the answers and it's annoying to see what is essentially a sentence meaning the same thing as the answer but mine is rejected

i'm more than happy to help out though if you need someone english to enter translations or whatever x

October 23, 2018
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One thing that has bothered my when I was finishing the tree and trying to be methodical about it (doing 1 new lesson a day) was that the amount of new vocabulary seemed to vary wildly between lessons in the last 3rd of the tree, going from about 6 to as much as 11 new words in a single lesson, if I recall correctly. Sometimes they are similar enough that it’s not much of a problem, but that’s not always the case.

If you then consider the fact that some words only show up inside their specific lessons, it makes the course a bit unbalanced. After completing my tree I’ve focused on working on my weakest skills based on Duolingo’s algorithm, and what I’ve noticed is that some skills (Feelings, Weather, Geography, Cooking, etc) demand way more of my attention than others, exactly because they have too much vocabulary that is also too exclusive to their lessons, so I can’t review them by practicing other skills.

So I think it would be good to divide those skills into 2 or 3, and also try to feature more of the learned vocabulary in other lessons, so you don’t learn and then immediately forget most words until you review that specific lesson later on.

Also, specifically in the “Non-Verbal Adjectives” skill, I’ve found it a bit too much having to deal with a new grammar point (대해/대해서/대한/대하여, 관해/관해서/관한/관하여), which is already confusing enough on its own, on top of learning a new suffix (적, 적이다, 적으로) and new vocabulary.

Despite these issues, it's been really great so far. I trust you guys are gonna do a great job with the new tree.

October 24, 2018

i agree. i don't know about you, but the middle feels like the hardest part of the course and towards the end it tails off a bit and feels more like just vocab learning.

October 24, 2018
  1. Let us use written answers in the app
  2. Keep adding flexibility to the answers (Duolingo has been improving in that regards)
  3. Maybe a common Hanja bonus lesson.
October 27, 2018

I would like to see speaking and writing practice. My reading and listening skills are improving, however not so much my speaking and writing.

November 22, 2018

I completely agree. There are club activities which let you make sentences in Korean, but it would be nice if it was included in the lesson plans as well. And as for speaking, a lot of words are pronounced differently than they are written. For example the ㅂ changes to an 'm' sound if it's before an ㄴ. This is well known because of the 입니다 ending. But this isn't the only letter that changes its sound. So speaking exercises would definitely be appreciated.

November 25, 2018

Please please please use IPA for learning Hangul

October 22, 2018

I agree, but I also believe more duolingo courses should try to gear some focus into phonetics. It's not only helpful for pronunciation, but for listening, spelling, and reading.

October 22, 2018

IPA is not supported by Duolingo yet I believe. To be honest IPA is kinda inaccessible to most people. I have my linguistics midterm tomorrow and I just can't seem to memorize it... (RIP my GPA).

Either way, IPA is hard for most people

October 24, 2018

I'd like to contribute some general comments I have on the tree. I'm currently almost past the final checkpoint, if that gives any sense of how far I am.

1) I have a big problem with the question order of lessons. As we all know, each lesson introduces new vocabulary. To learn this vocabulary, this tree introduces them through the use of hovering over the word to see the definition. This is fine, whatever. However, these questions should be at the beginning of the lesson! I don't know if the lessons of a particular topic are randomized or something, but it is unacceptable that I will get (relatively more) difficult sentences at question 1 or 2 or 3, but you get to question 18 or 19, and those are the questions where you get the hover-to-see-definitions. I don't understand this. They are basically useless because I have already hovered on them in the beginning difficult sentences. As an example, on Lesson 3 of the Occupations topic, question 3 was "저는 경력이 적어요." But question 20 was the question for learning the vocab "경력"! I just don't understand.

2) Multiple choice questions are not being utilized as effective as they could be. Firstly, there are only 3 choices to choose from, which makes it ridiculously easy. Secondly, 2 of the choices are almost always blatantly erroneous (wrong word order, random vocab that is irrelevant, incorrect conjugations, etc), making it easy to spot from a mile a way that they are wrong. There is practically very little challenge that these exercises present. I propose that these multiple choice questions be utilized better. Make them more similar, and make them more nuanced so that it is more difficult to discern at just a glance. For example, if you're teaching modifiers, and the sentence is something like "The apple is big", a good way to teach nuance could be:

a. 사과가 커요.

b. 큰 사과 (...있어요 or something)

c. 사과가 큰이에요.

d. (preferably a fourth option!)

Showing the difference between simply using the descriptive verb as a verb, or using it as a modifier. Not something ridiculously erroneous like "먹다 사과는 커다" or something.

3) There is still a lack of correct acceptable translations, and still issues with accepting 이/가/은/는 stuff, as well as wanting 나/저, formal vs standard 요 vs a different speech level. Things need to get sorted out. I wish Duolingo had a feature to mark what kind of formality level the question asks for. But I understand that this is out of your control.

3.5) Speaking of 이/가/은/는, they need to be taught more in depth. Even after teaching it and including it in the tips and notes, there are always still people in the discussion comments that STILL seem to not get them. This needs to be a full lesson in and of itself imo, if not multiple. Of course, you see these questions all the time on the Korean forums, which just emphasizes the fact that they are not being taught to people well enough so that they understand. (Also gotta emphasize that in a Duolingo environment of one-liner sentence exercises, it is difficult sometimes to discern whether subject or topic marker may fit better; but in a conversation or paragraph text, it would be easier to see the application.) Also, hammer home the idea that descriptive verbs do not act on objects, such as 있다 (since you don't say 사과를 있어요, but 사과가 있어요.). This is so crucial for people to understand.

4) 요 form needs to be taught before ㅂ니다 form. This means moving the ㅂ니다 form later down in the tree. Let users focus on just the 요 form and have that become solid. While I understand ㅂ니다 is easier to conjugate and easier for newer users to grasp, it is not as omnipresent in everyday speech (imo), and hence not as useful to learn early on. The 이만큼, 그만큼, 저만큼 lesson was taught early on but practically never utilized again later in the tree (plus most textbooks teach this later on). Needs more lessons on sentence connectors such as 서, 는데, 지만, 고, etc. These are also so commonly used but the tree doesn't go in depth enough on them. Explaining that where they come from would also be helpful: 서 from 그래서, 는데 from 그런데, etc. I didn't realize this until later on when I figured it out for myself, because I just learned these as separate concepts and didn't put the two together.

5) Teach sentence endings. Koreans seem to use things like 잖아, 죠, 나요?, 거든요, etc all the time yet Duolingo does not seem to teach this (although I could be wrong as I haven't finished the last leg of the tree yet). This needs to be introduced more early on, 100%.

6) Incorporate more of previous lessons materials in lessons to keep vocab fresh in memory. Too often vocab or a verb or grammar pattern will be introduced only to never be seen again in the tree until 4 months later. Gotta utilize what you teach!

7) Teach differences between things like 좋다 vs 좋아하다 better. (aka emphasize the subject vs object aspect more). Teach differences between, as stated by others already, 있다 vs 이다, 하다 vs 되다, and the multitudes of other similar yet different concepts. Of course, this can potentially be done well by the multiple choice improvement implementation I described earlier.

8) Wish list (I understand it is out of your control w/ regards to features, but still would like to voice my opinion): A test function to test ourselves on our progress. Sidebar for interactive tips and hints for a particular exercise (upgrade over just the hover feature). Getting a question wrong shouldn't just move the exact same question to the end, but a similar question (so people don't just memorize the answer to get done with it, but rather understand why they got something wrong.)

Phew, that was a lot. Hope these comments help!

October 22, 2018

Thanks for your ideas! We definitely want to include more of those sentence endings, since they are such a big part of Korean. Probably we will start to introduce them slowly spaced out over the tree.

Unfortunately your first few ideas are more systems issues, so we'll have less control, but we can pass those on to Duo in Pittsburgh.

October 23, 2018

Not sure how valuable my input is, since I put learning Korean on pause for the next few months until my schedule opens up, but the biggest thing I would change is the overload of vocab (especially verbs) at the front of the tree.

A structure that first teaches the grammatical building blocks before going into a giant glob of verbs would be much more welcoming to learners. I can't wait to get back into learning Korean when I have the chance, but I would definitely love to have a Korean tree that focuses on grammar basics more intensively first.

As for sentences and topics, anything about Korea would be great! It's the one interest that everyone taking the course should realistically be guaranteed to share. Things like "Jeju Island is south of the mainland", "Some Korean restaurants let you take as much kimchi as you want", and maybe even a few things about North Korea would make the course interesting.

Good luck on tree 2.0!

October 23, 2018

Whole heartedly agree! Where is the nearest grocery store? How soon can I come to visit, etc.

October 24, 2018

A better Text to Speech program. Nearly impossible to understand it most of the time.

October 23, 2018

I can't understand her, either. :( On turtle speed, I think it'd be nice if she'd break up the words like in the other languages instead of just slowing and slurring the fast sentence.

I was taught that each Korean syllable is definite and clear, but a lot of the lady's speech sounds slurred to me, especially when it comes to the 을/를 particles.

October 25, 2018

I know this is an old topic but I just started the Korean tree from scratch back in November, so I've made a bit of progress (I'm just halfway between the second and third checkpoint with 1-2 crowns on each skill). I had no prior knowledge of Korean other than knowing how to read Hangeul, and I haven't used any other outside sources.

1) For teaching Hangeul, I generally like the strategy of teaching first the basic syllables, then moving to loanwords. I feel like that gets a lot of flak in the comments of those exercises ("why are we learning random words", etc) but I think it makes the most sense- start with the familiar then move to the unfamiliar. However, I think there could be a better job of teaching the difference between the three series (ㅂ ㅍ and ㅃ for example), because they honestly all sound the same to me in the sound files.

2) However, I do feel like there are a lot of random words in the early lessons that don't need to be taught so early. Two of the ones that stuck out to me was learning "explode" in one of the early verb skills (I forget which one), and "magpie" (which I didn't even know in English and had to look up- is this a well-known bird in Korea?).

3) The course feels like it goes from 0 to 100 really fast. I felt pretty comfortable in the first few skills learning really basic words, but then all of a sudden it feels like I'm having to translate long sentences with grammar that was only just introduced. I think this course is trying to do too much too quickly.

3b) I don't know how much control you have over it, but I am getting a lot of translating from English to Korean in the 0 and 1 crown practices, and it's causing me to spend 20-30 minutes on one lesson because I have to go back over all the grammar and vocab words again each time. It feels really overwhelming sometimes. I've even had some instances where I had a multiple choice question translating from English to Korean with new words I had not learned yet, or had only come up once before! I can't rely on the hover hints in those kinds of questions because the Korean is in the multiple choice bubbles and don't have any hover hints.

4) Some of the grammar notes either need to be improved, or those grammar points need to be separated out into a few skills, because I find some of them confusing. For example, the difference between 는 and 가- I still get these confused and I'm not even sure if I really understand the difference between them. This was just lightly glossed over in the Verbs 1 skill, instead of having a skill devoted to it.

5) The dictionary hover hints need a LOT of work. I find that other than nouns, they aren't very helpful as they are right now because it often suggests wrong forms of the words (such as wrong tenses, adjectives as verbs instead of as adjectives, often not even including the Conjuct forms where it would be needed, etc) rather than the correct ones. Even with the nouns, sometimes it will suggest -가 ending but then I get the question wrong because it should have been -는, but I'll have no idea why it should've been one and not the other (see point 4).

6) Make the skills connect to and build on each other more! I just recently had to translate the sentence "if the boy is not there, the dog is sad" in the Verbs 2 skill. The "if ___" sentence structure was taught in Conjunct, but that sentence structure wasn't touched again until 1 sentence that was 6 skills later, so of course I completely forgot it and had to go back and look it up again (also doesn't help that the dictionary hints didn't suggest that verb form, see point #5). Right now, it feels like the skills are jumping around a lot as if they are completely isolated grammar points. If you can't figure out a way to incorporate one grammar point into translations in the subsequent few skills, then maybe those grammar points should be later in the tree.

7) I don't know how this is determined, but maybe consider stretching out skills into more individual lessons? There are a lot of skills teaching important grammar points that only have 2-3 lessons per skill (such as Conjunct, Continuous, etc). Even some of the bigger skills like Verbs 1 (7 lessons) have so much information being crammed in- -ㅂ니다 form, subjects/topics, and/with, to/from, negation, direct and indirect objects. Having more lessons but spreading out the same amount of content among all of those lessons would help the lessons be more digestible. There are 2 lessons at the 0 and 1 crown level for the Conjunct skill, and it's trying to teach the forms for "and", "and then", "if", "when", "but", "also", and "in order to" (7 total forms). That's barely enough practice for each of those if you cram them all into 2 lessons, but if you spread them out over 4-ish lessons that gives enough practice to be able to retain all of the new information.

December 26, 2018

Ok I just got to the Honorifics skill and honestly I think this skill should be WAAAAAY farther down on the tree. I'm already struggling a bit with some of the basic grammar points, and this skill is basically like "by the way, remember all those words you just learned? here are some completely different words meaning the same thing but you only use them in this one context". I had to write down the correct answer for every single English > Korean translation after getting all of them wrong about 3-4 times each.

December 26, 2018

Also, one other small suggestion that I'm again not sure how possible it is: for the exercises that play the Korean audio and you have to type out what you hear, there's a full-speed option and a slow-speed option. In some of the other trees I'm doing, the slow option slowly sounds out each word, with a pause in between each word. For the Korean tree, it sounds like they are just playing the full-speed clip at half speed. I think it would be helpful for beginners if the audio was able to be broken up by word, because oftentimes the words are kind of slurred together in the clips (which I'm aware is how actual speakers speak, but is not helpful for people with very little experience with the language)

January 8, 2019

i do find the order of the skill trees funny, and there is much grammar that isnt covered, and much that could be explained more in depth. when i first started i particularly found just basic concepts like "what is 있다? what is 없다 and how is it different from 않다? what is 이다 and 하다?" "what are particles?" frustrating. i think there should be a section dedicated to all the question words too. i think it would make sense to use an image entry for all the colours in the colour section, i wonder why there isnt an explanation of "차림" in the clothing section. i could go on listing thing like this for a long time, and would be happy to if you wanted me to, after ive composed myself.

i also often wonder what is so difficult about just fixing the basic formality conjugation issue with the course. if you gave me, or someone like me, the ability to fix them at will the grand majority of that problem could be solved in very short order. on a side note, at the risk of being downvoted into oblivion, me and others are finding the kpop crowd Quite disruptive in the forums.

how may i help you improve this project?

October 22, 2018

Agreed. I like k-pop as much as the next guy, but seriously it feels like the past 25 forum entries have been about BTS alone.

October 22, 2018

Thanks for your advice!

We're going to split up a lot of that early grammar, so each grammar point can be learned more in depth. Hopefully with a more gradual approach, those early confusing words will be easier to understand.

Our biggest issue with formality is that we can't label sentences so learners know which one to use. Hopefully some day...

For the kpop fans, theoretically if they're talking about the Korean language, it's fine. I think if a bigger crowd of learners starts posting about other issues and keeps the community engaged, the kpop heavy posts will stop seeming so dominating

October 23, 2018

ill try and highlight some of the key issues i had when i first started, and make some suggestions that would be helpful to english korean learners now.
1) the concept of particles in general. knowing how to use them is the first basic step to understanding grammar, and knowing ALL the ways to use them goes a very long way towards understanding korean.

2) a clear explanation on the simple-complex verbs and adjectives like 없다/있다, 이다/아니다, 안/않다, 하다/되다 나다/내다 and ALL of their usages will go far towards a solid foundation.

just these two things are absolutely crucial. i cannot even stress that enough.

after that the things i would immediately prioritize getting out of the way
1) past/ future/ present progressive tense conjugations. be sure to comprehensively explain 어/아 있다.
2) passive verbs
3) it is a huge step to learn how everything comes before the noun. this is why learning tense conjugations and "것" is important
4) conjunctions are a huge step towards making complex sentences. be sure comprehensively explain each and every one of them and provide as many different usages as possible

i could talk about specific grammar points for literally days, but that is a brief summary of what i think will make a solid foundation. be sure to present words in active/passive pairs. be sure to present words with antonyms, and potentially confusing synonyms. be sure to show multiple ways to say the same thing next to each other. make less short sentences with just a few words and basic particle usage and more long complex confusing sentences; this is one of the hardest languages and there is a lot of ground to cover, we need those complex usages far more desperately than we need the vocabulary.

thank you for taking the time to do this. if i can help in any other way, or there are things you would like to know about the experience of learning korean from english, please do not hesitate to ask.

October 23, 2018

Totally agree with you on the KPOP thing.

October 22, 2018

I would definitely request you to focus more on grammar rather than vocab or topics. Please add as many grammar points as you can.

Also, I feel the future tense lesson is way too far down the tree. It's such a pivotal, elementary grammar point to learn, so I'm not sure why it's taken me 5 months of Duolingo to finally reach it.

October 22, 2018

I'd like to thank you for the wonderful Korean course. Seriously guys, the Korean Tree is great. Before I found Duolingo I was convinced that Korean is very hard for me and I didn't believe that I'd ever be able to learn it. All this was made possible because of your work.
The things that I like in current tree: Superb Tips and Notes, are very easy to understand, are not overload with tons of information, in small steps through grammar, I love it. I like that you start mixing a lot of previous materials in "Clothing". Because that section made me to review all previous lessons, and finally things start to fall into place. The way you present Hangul made me to learn it within 3 days. I also love your weird sentences but couple of them really.... (I don't know what to say :).
Since I'm halfway I haven't much to say.
The things I had difficulties with: maybe it's just me but untill yesterday I hadn't known the difference between 이다 and 있다, I mean I know how they act in sentences how to conjugate them but. Maybe because the grammar is presented in a little bit hectic way in the Tree. I'm totally okay with the place of almost all sections in the Tree, but for me it would be more efficient to see adverbs, modifiers not so far one from each other. But it's just my opinion, suppose that everyone might have different perspective.
I would like to see more complicated sentences like: "I'm sorry I can't hear what you are saying because everybody is talking so loudly." or "Don't forget to take your umbrella. It is raining." and etc.
My overall opinion that the course is great. Thank you.

October 22, 2018

Thanks! I'm glad you like the Tips & Notes, since they took a good deal of work! When we finish the new tree version, we hope to make sure that every skill has at least a few notes :)

October 23, 2018

I'd like to point out the frustration with the diagnostic test. I was asked to translate something like 서연이랑 같이 여행하자! I put "Let's go on a trip with Seoyeon!" and got marked off because the correct answer is "let's go on a vacation with Seoyeon!" Clearly I'm not wrong, so I wish that, for those typing questions, there could be a bank of potential right answers since languages have similar enough and are both correct answers a lot of the time.

October 22, 2018

Even if you keep specialized branches like Numbers, Adjectives, and People-related things to later in the tree, I would like to at least know how to count to 10 before I get into Polite.

Try gradual transitions within a lesson...I eat cake. We eat cake. He only eats chocolate cake. She never eats chocolate.

Pictures.,,I am glad some lessons now have pictures of animals and other things.

I hate romanization. It's a stumbling block. I would prefer to hear more of the Korean alphabet as words. Maybe even introduce instructions like "Translate", "Write", "Write the English", "Write or select words that you hear."

Considering not everyone hears, I think even then it is less helpful. Maybe hearing or not Romanization is used in dictionaries or what else instead of Korean alphabet?

I watch Korean TV (MBC) and movies. Looking forward to (2019?) short podcasts.

Always encourage users to write down new words in the Korean alphabet, not romanization.

Once past the Alphabet sets, I avoid them like the plague. Once I stopped relying on romanization, I felt relief and less anxiety, less confusion in learning the sounds native to the Korean alphabet.

October 24, 2018

Thank you for all your hard work! As a native English speaker who practices linguistics as a pastime, I am really enjoying your course.

I've put together some grammar tables that I'll post that I think you and other learners will find useful. You are free to use them as you wish. I just need to type them out in Korean, so people don't have to read my handwriting.

Personally, I'm not big into focusing on grammar and stuff when I learn a language. I just like to listen over and over to spoken sentences. But since I've trained in linguistics, I enjoy the scientific study part of language learning too, and many people like these kinds of tools, so I will share with you my grammar tables.

For example, I have a table listing the postpositions, like subject, topic, object, location, origin, direction, destination, etc.

I've also put together a table showing the major forms of korean verbs, broken down by honorific forms. I am also working on a table of numbers and counters in Korean and Sino-Korean. You are free to use all or parts of these tables.

October 26, 2018

Those tables would be useful. We've already got the list of most popular words, but I don't think we have any lists for the more grammar focused topics, although having those would be useful to make sure we cover them all :)

October 28, 2018

As I progress through the tree, I wish more of the skills I've done were used in the following ones, to keep that stuff active in my head while I do the new stuff. It doesn't have to be a lot, just a reminder or two so I don't forget it altogether.

October 29, 2018

On each skill title add a suffix: -Pol for polite (해요채), -Def for deferential (합쇼채), -Int for intimate (해채), and -Pln for plain (해라채). That will identify the speech level to be used in that skill. This will not require any modification to the Duolingo infrastructure.

October 29, 2018

The two things I would want in the 2.0 tree is 1. Better audio, I can't really comprehend the audio very well. Plus, it is unnatural. 2. Better structure. I find that the tree doesn't really give you enough material to move on to Verbs 1 and then so. I think vocabulary should be the first priority then grammar, like word order. I think the course jumps into everything too fast.

November 9, 2018

I agree

December 6, 2018

First, thank you for having this language on Duolingo

January 3, 2019

I have books full of possibilities, starting from when I was in the Peace Corps/평화봉사단 in Korea. Can we get on a higher-bandwidth channel?

Samuel Martin, Korean English Reference Dictionary

Samuel Martin, A Reference Grammar of Korean

Myungdo's Korean

Books on religion (Christian, Buddhist), 바둑, 음악...

October 23, 2018

I just don't like the fact that there is a whole bunch of vocab just thrown at you especially in the third branch I think that before each lesson there will be provided the vocab terms before they are introduced in the lesson. So therefore we have time to study them before they get put into examples.

December 6, 2018

I know I am very, very late to the party! But I did a quick search and didn't see that anyone had mentioned the option for using the keyboard to type in answers on the mobile version- as opposed to the word bank. I do really appreciate this in some of the other courses, and was curious as to whether it is being considered at all for the 2.0 tree. I realize that I can use the non-mobile version for this, but having it available on mobile is definitely nice, too. Thanks for putting so much work into the course! It's helped me a lot in general! :)

March 17, 2019
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