https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrSBenson

English is suffering (French from English)

The reporting functions in DL have been reduced in number - missing conjunctions, prepositions and possessives, clumsy sentence construction, incorrect grammar etc. (in English) can no longer be reported directly. I am learning French but I do worry for those people who are trying to learn English because the standard of DL English appears to be quite low.

April 17, 2019

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NeSmilga

That's very true. Unfortunately this is an overall trend, reflecting decreasing attitude to grammar, punctuation, spelling. I am not an English native speaker, and some of my younger colleagues are. To my surprise they do very basic English grammar mistakes. Seems, that this is not anymore important for many people.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SugaSugoi

Well, no, it is still important. I make mistakes all the time with friends or even in random forums. I tend to let them slide and not really care. In general, I feel like half or more native English speakers don't care about their spelling and even less about grammar. It is important though. I think it's most important in a professional setting. Other than that you honestly probably will get strange looks from people if you talk properly. I remember in high school I had to dumb down my English so my classmates could even understand what was coming out of my mouth. I actually use an internet extension called "Grammarly". It checks spelling and grammar no matter where you type. Even in this box, it will correct my typos, lol. So some of us still care. ^-^

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zig_Zag_Wanderer

I care a great deal. I find it quite painful to read poor English. Unfortunately, with the rise of the internet, it appears to be increasing, although that may just be because we are exposed to people with so many different backgrounds than we used to be.

I am also finding that the quality of journalism writing is declining rapidly. Few people seem to care enough any more. We all make mistakes, but often people just don't use proper grammar or punctuation.

I would probably be viewed as elitist for pointing it out however.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackieMitc2

I teach High School Science online. When students write essay questions with large numbers of capitalization and grammar mistakes, I remind them that their meaning will be clearer if they use proper grammar. It seems like little care is taken, and that grammar and spelling are viewed as unnecessary luxuries. I suspect that the youth are often not told why they should care about these matters, and that they will be judged as less responsible if they refuse to use conventions. It's a disservice to young people to allow them to continue without learning how to efficiently communicate.

April 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zig_Zag_Wanderer

I agree with you fully. I also believe that with the mass synchronous communication that currently exists, as opposed to the old asynchronous communication (books, teaching etc), everything is changing much faster than it used to. Because of this, communication standards are changing very much faster.

April 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ngraner42

I am amused by discussions of common grammar being considered bad grammar. You can just as well say that French speakers are Latin speakers using bad grammar, bad spelling and bad pronunciation. Though I admit I dislike the misuse of "literally".

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Macjory

I agree that the English translations of French sentences in this course are often clumsy, awkward and in some cases, even ungrammatical. That has not been true of the other Duolingo languages I have studied (i.e., Spanish, Portuguese and Swedish). It is a shame that the developers of this course have not paid more attention to the quality of English they use.

April 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

I'd be curious to see examples.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/parchee

How did you use to go to school? This belt is too old, I have to buy a new one. The cat went back in his box.

These are some examples that contain a clear error. But actually, there's another type of sentence that I found more annoying. Those are the sentences that are technically correct grammatically, but use such unnatural English that it is almost meaningless. I find these really hinder my learning, because I cannot figure out the meaning of the French sentence.

Something else that is annoying is that most of the comments are now just discussions of English grammar, rather than useful discussion of French grammar.

April 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

What is clearly wrong about "How did you use to go to school?" or "The cat went back in his box."? I concur there's a clear error in the other sentence, but Duolingo's disregard for standard punctuation is, for whatever reason, of long standing.

April 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/parchee

Sorry, on reading it a second time there is nothing wrong with use to go to school, since the past tense conjugation moved to did. For the second example, it should be the cat went back into his box.

I picked some examples in the time I had, but there are certainly many more: You must to go to the tourist office. This looks super good!

April 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

"The cat went back in his box" sounds fine to me. I'd probably use it more frequently than the version with "into." "This looks super good!" is informal but natural.

"must to go" - Well, we agree on one at least :)

April 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/parchee

Follow me into the jungle is different from follow me in the jungle. Anyway, rather than arguing this point, let me provide more examples:

You musn't cross the tram tracks. If you park wherever, the police are going to come. The metro line thirteen is often crowded.

April 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jane836122

It should be 'used to go to school', i.e. past tense. Although 'how did you used to go to school' also sounds a bit odd to me.

April 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

in negatives and questions using the auxiliary verb do, the correct form is use to, because the form of the verb required is the infinitive: I didn't use to like mushrooms, not I didn't used to like mushrooms.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/use

April 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Suzanne343318

I couldn't agree more. I have just been assuming that this is the way US English has developed, so I have more-or-less gone along with it in order to get through the new tree as quickly as possible.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Words50000

American English still does have proper ways of spelling and speaking. It is not our dialect but rather mistakes, laziness, and those who feel as though they must defend improper speech because everyone’s manner of speaking is completely valid. Well, it’s not. I can’t just go speak improper French and say “Deal with it!”.

April 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SandraStea1

I suspect that people seriously learning English will use DL as a start, a help, a practice, etc. and not rely on it totally. As with anything free, you often get what you pay for and I believe with DL we get way WAY more. It is a wonderful foundation to learn many words, phrases, sentence structures with generally correct pronunciation.

Is it perfect? No. Is anything? I don't think so. I have not ever seen DL claiming to be the only language source people should use. Please, if you find people who believe it is sufficient to fully teach them good and proper English (or any other language) let them know that there are limitations to DL.

Others also make a good point (or I will if they have not) that the state of "English" seems to be disintegrating as the use of it in social media increases. "Shorthand" seems to have taken over many communications in so called English speaking countries. I don't know if this is true of all languages but I certainly see it in English. I won't comment further and I do not think DL is lowering their standards because of this but who knows?

Having said all this, I too am doing the French to English program now. Having nearly finished it, I can see some glaring holes and problems. I guess that is why I think it is important for people to recognize DL for what it is, with its assets and limitations. To fully correct all of these would take a lot more time and money and effort that DL will likely want to put into it. I am just glad that they continue to allow and encourage sharing of other resources for serious language learners.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimThibaul

Duolingo tells me "Where is the museum ?" is wrong it should be "Where the museum is ?" nobody talks like that.

Where is the museum ? You are looking for maybe the "Louvre" and you would like directions.

Where the museum is ? to me is almost not really a question you miss the the question mark you are implying that you know the location of the museum ...... Where the museum is it always cold.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roody-Roo

The sentence you're referring to is, "Can you tell me where the museum is?" Obviously your own language knowledge needs a little work if you can't see (or hear) the subtlety here. I have to imagine you're not a native English speaker. Is that true?

April 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roody-Roo

I'm not necessarily saying you purists are liars, but I don't see more than a few scattered examples of "bad" English on Duo. Could one of you give a few examples of what I should be looking for? Or are you overstating a bit?

April 18, 2019
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