What's the point in learning the names of so many animals at the very beginning?
In the first section there is a lesson teaching a long list of animals. They are hard to memorize because they differ from all other European languages. I wonder why we are expected to spend all this energy to learn them. I just can't imagine a situation where I can't survive without words like 'giraffe' or 'reptile'.
If you have reached the animal skill you can expect to find the names. Where someone might use anything taught in a language is not something we can predict. You are not only learning the names of the animals but word and sentence structure, pronunciation, how words are spelled and sound.
It is totally frustrating because the lesson includes 30 different animals, it is just impossible to memorize them as there is practically a new one in each sentence instead of repeating them. In other languages the names of animals can be helpful to learn the pronunciation because they are almost the same in all the languages but in Greek everything is pretty different, they are 30 completely new words.
Personally I found them quite useful - even if you're only visiting Greece, it's handy to know things like "cat", "dog", "insect" and so on. Some of the words have made it into English to some degree - entomology, herpetologist, dinosaur etc. And for others, the etymology can sometimes be quite enlightening or even funny - ιπποπόταμος (something like "river horse"), καμηλοπάρδαλη ("dappled camel") and so on. As Jaye says though, learning shouldn't ever be too much of a chore, if you're not enjoying the unit or not finding it useful, move on to the next one instead of trying to reach level 5 in it.
I think that's a great point - a lot of them are either similar to English or give other useful things for further down the line. I can't see the same thing being true for 'parts of speech', though, which keeps turning up in the strengthening exercises for me...
Many users have complained about parts of speech and it will not be in the new tree as a result. Having said that, if you're intending to continue learning Greek outside of Duo, they're very handy to know, as all Greek language textbooks make very frequent use of these terms. I remember, at the time, thinking "when will I ever use these?", then a few months later, being quite glad that I had actually learnt them :-)
You are not required to memorize the names. As they reappear in other skills you can find them in the Drop Down Hints. With repetition, you will have learned them. You don't need to reach Crown level 5 before going on to other skills. Do levels one and two and move on. Later if you feel like reviewing the animals (or any other words) you can go back and do some more. This is self-learning method and there should be no pressure.
Here is a good link to help you use Duolingo most productively without stress:
For me, the silly sentences that use animals in them like "the cat orders fish" or the bear chases the children" are not only hysterically funny, it helps me remember the syntax of the sentences.
And that is the secret to learning. If you can remember it, for whatever reason, you will learn it.
Me too! I just started to learn the animals today and was surprised to see how many there were, but then I realized a few seemed to be cognates and some were roots of words in English.
And, I got a giggle when I figured out the animal from the verb prompt and the answer was "What does the fox say!"
What helps me is too try to relax and just think of everything as a puzzle right now. When I first tried this years ago I was really pushing (and I think it may have still been in beta). This time around I'm just relaxing and trying to view it as fun, like I would a crossword puzzle. And I switch off the phone app and use the computer every few days to take the "heart" pressure off and to be able to see the tips and to be able to comment on the forums.