https://www.duolingo.com/Tymewalk

Any way to fix the long sentences in the beginning?

I feel one of the biggest challenges for people trying to get into the Hungarian course is the long sentences in the beginning. It's a lot harder to get through the beginning skills in the Hungarian course than it is in the other courses, which is a real shame since the Hungarian course is good at explaining things like verb conjugation and vowel harmony in the tips, but it gets bogged down by these sentences.

Is there any way to fix them, maybe by moving some of the vocab to later lessons? I might be wrong, but I feel like this course would improve drastically if so many words weren't piled on at the beginning.

February 1, 2019

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

I agree - but. Hungarian sentences are long. I picked 10 random sentence in a magazine article. Average length was 39 words! One had 79 words - in one sentence. Yes, people are just beginning but a sentence of eight words is not that long. Especially as they are usually just a list of adjectives.

Oh, and it doesn't get easier. I plan 20-30 minutes to complete a lesson still (sometimes I am pleasantly surprised).

February 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/HirundoPrima

What magazine article has a 39 words average sentence length? :O

February 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Nők lapja

February 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/peter.kristof.hu

In everyday life we don't use complicated sentences at all. Just the official language, journalists and lawyers do it.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

and novelists :-)

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Andreas305

I once heard a kind of proverb in English saying:

Let them first learn to walk before they should run.

And noone is able to read (women's) magazines after having started learning a new language.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

True - but these "long" sentences are actually not that long - or complex. I've yet to see a 39 word one - let alone one of 79 words in DL! Look at Ccf-Uk_2018's list of early sentences (https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/30652278). The longest ones are only nine words and they are simple two clause sentences connected with an "and".

I think the real problem is people can find nothing to hook to. In French or German some of the words are familiar. In Hungarian everything sounds unfamiliar.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Andreas305

Exactly, that's the point: people do not find anything to hook on, though it is said, learning with Duolingo is fun!

And why?

Because they do not get any chance to hook on something because of a very chaotical conception. It works like: "Jump into the cold and have a look yourself, how you can survive. Just learn the sentences, as we throw them over to you. We will give you some information about it...maybe later, maybe never... Oh, by the way, the sequence of sentences in Hungarian can vary very much."

The newbies get confronted in the "Basics" lessons with phenomenons like:

"Ez a férfi bent van, az a férfi meg kint." : The difference between "meg" and "és" - without any explaination.

"Köszönöm a vizet!": The accusative, which does not exist in English. Newbies do not realize, that "vizet" is not "the water" in nominative. - The Explaination is coming a few lessons later.

"Nem vagyok kint soha.": double negation! - without any explaination.

"Nincs jég otthon.": nem + van = nincs - without any explaination.

"Te és a szép lány telefonáltok.": conjugation suffix of the 2nd person plural, which is not the same as 2nd person singular in English.

"Zsuzsa vagyok, mi a neved?" - personal suffixes - without any explaination.

This is not fun - as Duoling is meant to be -, this is just cruel.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

But this isn't sentence length - it is a lack of grammar notes and a bad teaching sequence. Hungarian isn't the only course which has far too skimpy notes.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3

Yes, they tossed too much stuff into Basics 1 in my view. But I think a Tips and Notes section for it long enough to really explain all the grammar that appears there might have been even worse.

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/jzsuzsi

You are totally right about most of these sentences, so I only comment on the last two:

"Te és a szép lány telefonáltok." appears in the Verbs 2 Present Plural skill, which is the right place for it.

"Zsuzsa vagyok, mi a neved?" This is in the Names skill. Personal suffixes are taught much later in the tree. But it is useful to learn things like My name is X, what is your name? at the beginning of the course.

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3

I don't think that's a particularly germane argument. Other languages have a tendency towards long sentences, but that doesn't have much bearing on how long the sentences to teach those languages on Duolingo should be.

I've seen plenty of 50+ word sentences in a Russian kid's book, but the Russian course deliberately tries to limit how much they jam into any one sentence.

February 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/P-Code

It's discouraging for beginners to be faced with so many long sentences, without having gotten far into the course. The long and complex sentences are a blessing to have when practicing grammar concepts and vocabulary later in the course. They're honestly entertaining, force you to pay attention, and review vocabulary from previous skills in the course. But teaching too much too early is not the most effective way of setting up this course.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/peter.kristof.hu

Unfortunately, I agree too. With all respect to the Duolingo's contributors, but these too long, complex sentences are the result of a wrong concept, since the gamification should be the essence of Duolingo.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ccf-Uk_2018

What I found most useful in tackling the Hungarian course is writing in a notebook all the words and sentences in a skill, and their translations. I've been finding this has been helping me a lot in overcoming the long sentences especially, because it makes it much easier to break down the long sentences into small chunks, and thus making it easier to translate. I hope that helps :-)

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Andreas305

Well, a user friendly language course would give the opportunity to do this ;-)

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ccf-Uk_2018

What dorm you mean by user friendly?

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Andreas305

Dorm? I have no idea, what you wanted to say :-)

But as you wrote about "small chunks", this is exactly, what other courses do as first steps to learn a new language.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ccf-Uk_2018
  • Do, not dorm lol not sure why it autocorrected to form haha.
February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/vitezz

First I have to say that I was very happy when the Hungarian course appeared! So thanks for your effort! Unfortunately the long sentences (with only one possible answer), make me learn an exact sentence by heart, instead of doing a translation. Long sentences are not the main problem, but having only one translation and non of the other correct solutions. This is very frustrating and makes me annoyed while trying to solve a lesson. How about adding at least a few correct answers to those sentences? Is somebody still improving the course?

April 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

with only one possible answer

Actually most sentences have many correct answers. But all the answers must correctly connect the English and Hungarian. Many "correct" answers that have been rejected misunderstand Hungarian grammar - and a few have been missed. I get "accepted" messages much quicker now, so someone must be putting in the hours.

April 25, 2019
Learn Hungarian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.