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Interacting with your friends on Duolingo...

Apologies if this subject has been explored already but not only would I love to get to know more people who are both learning Romanian and already native Romanian, but I would also love to be able to interact with my current list of friends.

Unless I am missing something really obvious, there doesn't appear to be any way to talk to the people on your friends list etc. Although my friends list is short (and it'd be great if it was bigger, hint hint!) I would love to get to know more people as I think it could really help with learning the language.

I want to know why you're studying Romanian and find out more about you all! For example, I am a 29 yo male from the UK who is moving to Cluj within the next month to work in my company's new office. I suspect I will be there for the next 2-3 years so I'm really trying to learn the language so I can integrate quickly. It's an exciting adventure in my career and I can't wait to go!

What about you guys? Is this forum really the only place we can talk to each other?

Speak soon! Shaun

May 21, 2019



Hi there

I usually sit around quietly (but not creepily) without joining in the discussion, but I would definitely be more active if there were PMs around. I have heard that there are groups, but I am one of the unlucky ones who cannot see (or join) them.

As to why I am learning Romanian… because I want to. I came across Duolingo while I was searching for some practice ressources for my students (I teach German as a foreign language) and realized that it had been quite some time since I last learned a language. I decided to chose Romanian after a Moldovan student brought a book about Berlin (my hometown) in Romanian and there was a text about Germany and Berlin in general. Even though I had never learned a word of Romanian, I could not only understand the text but also point out sentence structure, tenses,… just based on my knowledge of other (Romance) Languages (i.e. German, Latin, English, French, Italian and Spanish). So I decided to go for my fourth Romance language.

Anyway, I like Romanian more and more. It is weirdly familiar and yet so different. I am not that far along, but I can‘t wait to actually go there.


Hey, all lurkers are welcome here! The more the merrier! Congratulations on teaching German as a foreign language, I definitely couldn't imagine myself teaching English for example. My German isn't particularly great either... the only bits I remember from school centre around "ja, das stimmt", "nein, das ist nicht sehr gut" and "hilfe, mutter in der wohnung!" (a classic line from our school textbook!) I really wish there were more Romanian resources like the school textbooks I had for French and German. I have been tempted to set up my own resource based on my own learning to help explain the more intricate things like grammar etc. but I would definitely need a few native experts to correct me all the time.

It sounds like you know lots of languages, I'm very jealous. Is Romanian the one you're currently learning, or are you still learning others at the same time still?


PMs would be so great. I think the groups you're referring to were the "clubs". Duo stopped those on monday? but they are still accessible with an older version of the duo app. But I have to say, clubs were not that great, missed opportunity for Duo. Maybe they'll do something similar but better in the future. If you speak Italien (and French and Spanish) Romanian should be easier for you. My mom (speaks Romanian) can read a lot of Italien only because of her speaking Romanian. But speaking German and English does not help (me) with Romanian at all. These are (West) Germanic languages and beside some words I find Latin languages very different/difficult.


I could never imagine myself teaching either. I was looking for a job while I was at university so I started teaching English and then 2015 happened and now I am teaching full time. It‘s fun, but it would be better if I could chose my own students. Sometimes I just want to strangle them. (sorry, rant over)

What kind of text book did you have??? „hilfe, mutter in der wohnung!“ WTF?!? First: Hilfe, Mutter and Wohnung are nouns and need to be capitalized. Also: Where is the verb??? And why would I cry for help because (my/a) mother is in the flat???
Sorry, I forgot to mention that I also speak the language of kings: sarcasm. (Maybe we could get a Duolingo course for sarcasm. We also have the GoT languages)

Yes, I am only learning Romanian right now. I don‘t think that it is a good idea to learn several languages at the same time, especially when you are at a similar level. I want to wait until Romanian is even half natural, i.e. I don‘t have to think about it all the time, have to look up all the words,… I tried learning Italian and Spanish at the same time and it was a total flop (I quit Spanish after a couple of month). Also, if I am doing this, I am doing it all the way and whole-heartedly and I can‘t do that if I also have to focus on another language.

Yes, I recognize so much from Latin, French and Italian. There are some similarities between German and Romanian/Romance languages. The Romanian word for potato is cartof. That comes from German die Kartoffel. But you are of course right, French and Italian are my main sources.


Haha, I thought the same about his textbook. Maybe it was used as a bad example :P

Yes, Romanian has not only Kartoffel as a loanword from German but rather a whole list. Schnitzel - șnițel is another one. Check out Wikipedia, there are listed several. But that does not help me with the grammer. I'm just not used to stick the articles to the end of words. It's often feeling as if they are missing although they are there of cause. Sentence structure is unwonted as well.


I think we all want to secretly strangle someone, I won't judge you ;-) Hahaha, I didn't say I was very good at German but yes, we had compulsory French and German for 3 years (clearly I did not learn very much!) - remember, I was learning from 2001-2004 so hopefully a lot has changed since then! But yes, the mild panic when my mother is in the flat... LOL. Normally I'd expect to be Schwiegermutter instead ;-)

I agree with you on the language learning front. I definitely couldn't cope with multiple languages at the same time. I've heard that Italian is similar to Romanian so that'd just confuse me so much. I'm totally committed to Romanian as my second language. One of my friends knows German, French, Spanish, English and Russian! Crazy!


Yes. The Romanian forum is great for discussing language questions but Duolingo was never designed as a social media site at all. Not enough people to moderate to keep safety and identity security uppermost since they have low budget and focus on learning languages.

There is a wealth of info in the Romanian discussion forum on many other things. There may also be links to other services that pair you with native speakers or other learners. I know there is at least one club on Facebook of DL Romanian learners but I'm not sure how active it is.

Good luck with your learning. I am tackling Romanian again too because I have several friend in the dog, church and music world there. I certainly have a new respect for all those Romanians and others who have taken on English as their second (or third) language!


That's interesting, but in your opinion, doesn't that almost seem counter-productive then? To have a friends list that just seems to be a trophy list?

Sadly I'm not active on Facebook, but I've spent much of the last 6-9 months scouring the internet for learning materials... compared to the likes of French, Spanish and German it can be really tough to find high quality learning materials that go beyond the basic vocab. There are some grammar rules that really need a native to explain but just aren't covered very well online which is a shame.

Yes, luckily my company places an emphasis on having English as a strong second language for the Romanian employees so all the locals have already forgiven me for my terrible Romanian haha! This is the first language I've tried to learn since school (I was awful back then) so it's really interesting to compare the differences. How are you finding it?


First of all, DL was established as a free language learning tool. All social contact is secondary to their mission, I believe.

I have found the program here helpful but maddening as well. The voice of the spoken words is often distorted so much I have to guess...but it prepares me for real life...lol. Their tips and notes are helpful, as are the comments of many users (many of the them natives) over the years in the old discussions.

I learned French in school and used it when traveling long ago. I also studied Spanish and Italian so took those up here too. But I originally came here because I loved the music of the group "Noblesse" and one song in particular kept waking me up at night with its wonderful melody. I was determined to learn the words and their meaning and finally did. I also got one of their CDs, which was nice. They sing beautifully and their voices are clear and their diction flawless, which helps a lot too. I still get lost even in reading Romanian but I am new to it still.

There are some tricky things but you will find those as you go along too, I'm sure. This has been a WONDERFUL find for me, as I looked for nearly a year, too, to find a program that would be affordable and useful for me (I like lots of audio). The gamification of language learning that DL uses is actually addictive and I am so thrilled to have found it here. It's hard and parts do not make sense but the light bulb is my friend (tips and notes). They don't cover as much as I need to know to understand everything totally but since I learn best by doing at this stage of my life, I am able to pick it up better first THEN the rules make sense and come back to me. It's the same with the lyrics of the songs I memorized...I had no idea why they said what they said, but I knew they were good messages so I learned and sang them. Now, after a few months here, they are making more and more sense.


Oh, I totally agree, there are definitely some flaws in the audio still, but it's definitely a learning curve! I try to use DL in tandem with many other resources like Mondly, Tandem, Reverso and the other 50000 apps I have randomly downloaded! I've also kinda started putting together my own personal learning resources (I have a rather large, forever-expanding spreadsheet!) which has been a great way for me to collate everything

I've never heard of Noblesse but I'll be sure to check it out. On the whole, I find that reading Romanian isn't too bad (as long as I've already learnt the relevant words) but I struggle with listening to the language... everything just blends into mush lol. Where are you from originally, what's your native language/location?

I found a youtube channel with a few hundred "nursery rhyme" songs which are both hilarious and informative at the same time. I'm not sure if we can include hyperlinks, but put "BNHr5q2nMrc" into YouTube and tell me that's not the most annoyingly addictive song in the world!!


That frog video is kinda cute, sure weird but still funny xD and I was actually able to understand some things.

Speaking of keyboards - my keyboard on windows works just fine with Duolingo but mine on Android does not. I installed Romanian keyboard but some of the accents are a bit different and are therefore not recognized by Duolingo. Did/does anyone elese has this problem? Did anyone download a different keyboard?


Oh yes, that's a bad one!!! LOL I thought I was bad learning my Romanian from Christian music but I'll certainly stick to it! At least I know that whatever I'm learning, it's not too bad.

Sorry I didn't see this sooner. It might be nice at some time to revive the FB group or at least join it to talk, but I don't spend a lot of time chit chatting anyway. I am in the U.S....always have been and always wanted to visit elsewhere, which is why I am learning languages.

One of the things I really, really like about DL is that it does get the sounds in my mind! I find myself saying "fluturele" or "bufnita" (I really need to get a keyboard adaptation, BTW!) or scrisoarea or soarsele. I learned early on when studying lyrics that the "i" at the end is not pronounced, per se.

But yes, grammar is becoming a nightmare the more I progress. I have lots of memorization to do.


I told you! Some of the nursery rhyme videos are super weird but I'm kind of okay with it! Oac, oac, diri diri dam... I did request to join the FB group but unfortunately nobody has accepted me yet. I have been to the US once, about 12 years ago now, mostly East Coast but I'd definitely go again one day, I'd like to see more of it.

Ahh, the keyboard thing is actually fairly simple to resolve (on Windows, at least)! Open your start menu and type "language", it should show you "edit language and keyboard options". From there you should be able to install the Romania package and set up a keyboard shortcut which allows you to cycle through the various "language keyboards" you have installed. the default combo is LeftShift+Alt and you'll see the language in the bottom right change from ENG to ROU. From there, the buttons for ă î ș ț â are [ ] ; ' # (on a UK keyboard layout. it's the buttons to the right of P and L). If you're on a Mac then I can't help you sorry!

Grammar has been really interesting for me. It's made me realise the pros of cons of English by comparison. For example; pros: no genders! cons: ambiguity in pronunciation. In Romanian, every letter only has one sound, unlike in English (thought, although, thorough, plough, cough, through, tough...)

Also, the 'i' can be funny sometimes. "The Children" is Copiii << yes, three i's!!


Salut fellow Romanian learners. Nice to see some other people here and yes, I think it would be great having the opportunity for exchange about the language, in the language itself, about the country and cultur and what ever comes to mind. I also find these friendslist kinda weird because so far there seems to be no purpose to them at all? I'm learning Romanian simply because my parents didn't teach me (and yes, I'm still a bit peeved about this). By the way, I'm the same age but female.

I just looked up the facebook group of Romanian learners but it seems they are no longer activ? Over 300 people but not a single post the last 28 days...


Salut! That's a shame that you were never taught Romanian but I suppose it's never too late to start - how long have you been learning for? I imagine you know a LOT more than me! That's a shame about the Facebook group. I'll have a look for it in a bit... perhaps we should both join and try to make it active again! We could be the life and soul of the Facebook group haha!


I hope it's not too late although I struggle with latin languages. No, you probably know way more than me, I know more or less only what Duolingo thought so far, except I can count and maybe, if I can recall it, I could tell the time. I've wanted to learn Romanian for years but found it pretty hard to find the right start, there are not many programs around for learning Romanian. I found a really good onlinepage with all the grammer but it was too much for the beginning. Than, 20 days ago, I found Duolingo :D I hope Duo gives me enough knowledge that I could proceed on my own. At least I can practice my pronunciation with my family and they can correct me. When did you start and how are you getting on? Did you volunteer to go to Romania or did you company want to send you? Haha, maybe we should try to do that with the fb group.


I used to be absolutely terrible at languages when I was at school so I'm making a really strong effort this time (more out of necessity as much as anything!) I can certainly recommend some further resources for you if you're interested, or even share what I've created so far (it's organised chaos!)

I started towards the end of last year but didn't necessarily take it too seriously. Initially I just wanted to be able to talk to people in the new office and learn a few words to make them feel welcome to our "work family" but then the company asked if anybody would be interested to work overseas so I volunteered. It's such an incredible opportunity and I'm so lucky to have a chance to experience life overseas. I will be leaving in the next 2-3 weeks I think and I'm very, very excited!


You had French and German at school? (Why German??) I wasn't good at French either, not much did stick but in all faireness I wasn't really interested in that language. Motivation has a lot to do with how well someone learns. And ever so often the learning experince depends on the learning conditions (i.e. the teacher). But with you staying with "only" Romanian speakers in Romania I'm confident that you will learn very quickly and that this will be a whole different learning experince than school. It really is a great opportunity you have there. I hope you'll keep us in the loop on how you settle in and what you experience.
P.s. it's really nice of you to learn some Romanian to make you new colleagues feel welcome :)

Sure, I'm interested! So far I started to use the grammer webside I mentioned in addition to the Duo grammer sheet and skills, I started using the Duo tinycards (but they only accept very specific answers which I don't like) and I write my own flashcards (on paper :D) which is weird because I never did this before, it was not my style of learning. But I like writing stuff down, as it helps me a lot to memorize. Recently I have started to even write my grocery list in Romanian. It's a nice why to "exercise" the language and integrate it to everyday life. I also labled some of my stuff in Romanian.


Oh yes, they were both compulsory for the first three years of secondary school. The only thing I remember from French (excuse the awful errors here...) is "Est-ce que je peux enlever ma vest s'il vous plait?" which I think is probably spelt wrong so I'm sorry! I agree with the motivation aspect, especially when sometimes I learn one thing and then find five other exceptions and it''s almost soul-destroying but I must remember that I have been learning English for 29 years, so naturally it will take some time to learn Romanian... it won't happen overnight!

I've been thinking about creating an app or something on a website where you can generate random sentences of varying difficulty as practice. For example, it randomises [1st/2nd/3rd person], [verb] [optional adverb], [noun], [adjective] etc. and gives you the opportunity to translate etc. but then I realised I wasn't very good at coding anymore and I would just get very distracted from my actual goal of learning. Maybe I'll come back to the idea one day because I think it'd be great if there were some really good resources for Romanian, especially ones that favour grammar structures instead of basic vocabulary.

I've started doing things like that too! My last few shopping lists have been in Romanian although I have to be careful not to buy the wrong things of course! I read a tip that the key to learning a language is not to "translate" in your head, but just to learn it for what it is and it'll stick in your head better. Although, when I start thinking in Romanian my brain hurts haha


I don't know why Duolingo restricts the replys in a row...

Haha, I get it with the exceptions. Sometimes, there are so many, I'm going to say that there isn't even a rule in the first place...

That's one reason why I draw most of the animals and foods on my flashcards and labled stuff in my kitchen. But in the beginning, I think translating is not that bad, you eventually stop doing that in your head once you're advanced enough. And I'm not even sure how it would work without translating a bit back and forth in the beginning. I wonder if it is an advantage or a disadvantage to learn a new language through another foreign language, especially under this aspect of translating in your head/thinking in differnt languages. Sure, thinking in Romanian doesn't take you far at this stage, but I try it with simple sentences (which I then send to my mom to ckeck) like "Eu am capșune. Capșunele sunt dulci. Eu mănânc un sandvici cu ouă."

And please share those further resources you mentioned :)


Someone still here?

Shaun, are you in Cluj already? How's your experience so far? Could you already use some of the Romanian you learned on Duo?


Hey Afina! Sorry for the delayed response... I am now in Cluj and wow, what a beautiful city! I've been here a couple of weeks now and it's wonderful. Everybody I've met has been really friendly and helpful and even though my Romanian isn't very conversational they've all been impressed when I try to say things in Romanian. People keep telling me not to worry too much about all the grammar etc. but I'm addicted to learning it now so I keep working my way through the Duo tree. I also have Mondly and I've found some useful things on Memrise too. I've had a very busy couple of weeks but finally starting to settle down a bit now. I am struggling to get used to the heat though; it's a little too hot for me so far haha! How are you, are you well?


Hey Shaun, nice to hear from you.
Sounds very good so far. Pictures of Cluj indeed look very beautiful, I can only imagine how it is in reality. The only thing I know from Cluj is Ursus... Have you had time for sightseeing yet?
Yes, Romanians are really nice people, very hospitable (at least the ones I got to know ^^). Maybe they're right, as I said before, you'll make great progress in no time beeing there especially as determined as you are. I bet your Romanian has already improved. You should use every chance you get to practice even if the grammar is not top-notch (yet) ;) But I get it, I always worry about the grammer as well, and even my English grammer has still a lot of flawes.
I can assure you, the weather here is more than a little to hot as well. We hit 37°C today! Think that's even hotter than in Romania right now? At least you get a fair chance of snow in winter there :D It's said to get a bit "colder" here next week. Otherwise I'm doing fine and make progress here on Duo, slowly but steadily I would say. I didn't know that Memrise has an English-Romanian course! Thanks a lot, will take a look at that Memrise course right now.


I also think that it's a shame that users can't interact. There are some really cool people who post frequently on the forums, and it would be nice to chat with them sometimes or ask questions. I leave my italki profile in my bio, so if anyone is interested, they can reach me through there. I used to use hellolingo in the same way until the site got shut down (because it was old?). I would definitely recommend leaving a link to an italki profile though if you'd like to communicate others on duo :)

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