Duo caught my little niece (Thing that I couldn't do)
A few weeks ago, I asked my little niece if she wanted to learn a language, I suggested that she learn English for obvious reasons. Her answer: NO. I tried again and I received a NO again.
The days passed, and suddenly she saw me while I was on Duolingo, and the magic came. She asked me: What are you doing? I'm learning English. Then she said me: Ahhh, I thought you were playing. My reply was: Actually it's a game too, do you want to try it? Short story: Now she uses Duo every day.
I write this, because maybe you have a young family member, who is not very interested in learning a language. That happens because the most common approach is saying "You need it", of course they need it, but that doesn't matter to them. They just want to play and have some fun, and Duolingo gets that.
Fun fact: She didn't want to learn any language weeks ago, now she want to learn english and japanese. All because of Duolingo.
Greetings from Chile!
"English... the complete lack of grammatical gender"
He is a girl. She married its wife. The man was an actress, his father was a spinster but its mother had been a bachelor. She may have been naif but he was naive. And so on.
(Non-English speakers DON'T copy these, they're all wrong!!)
But I know what you mean. There are dozens of gender-specific words in English, possibly hundreds, and quite a few that really do need to change according to their gender OR the gender of the word they describe. Fortunately for all of us, Male/Female nearly always refers to Man/Woman, or an animal, and everything else is "It".
Although.... Ships are usually "she". Cars and other vehicles can sometimes be "she". So can guns, although some are "he". It gets worse when you get into poetry - read about the "pathetic fallacy" and "personification" in English Literature.
Yes, you're absolutely right. I'm an English speaker too, (and a writer, author, editor, publisher) but I fully realise that I'll never, ever, understand all of it.
The verb "to be" is irregularly conjugated in every language! In English: I was, you were, he/she was, they were.
There is no distinction between singular and plural you. There used to be, when the singular was "thee" and "thou" but those words are no longer used. Whether the "you" is singular or plural has to be gotten from context (although the plural can be emphasized with you all or you guys in different parts of the US or even "youse" or "yinz" in some very specific places.)
I did not know that! In the US, if we say "I've got something" it means "I have something" but if we say "I've gotten something" it means "I've obtained something." Subtle difference...
I wonder if Duolingo would consider a course in UK English for American English speakers? (I'm sure there would be little interest in the converse lol...)
If you wanna get technical, you actually used to be the plural and formal you, while thou was informal and singular, and I'm sure if we still had thou it wouldn't use 'were' so if it helps, just remember that 'you' used to be the 2nd person plural, meaning all plurals use 'were'
Hi Alan, usually, you are right: I/she/he "was" and we/they "were." In this case for "I thought you were playing", we use another verb form called subjunctive. It's used for situations where we aren't sure if something is happening or will happen. Here is an explanation for the grammar, scroll down to "were-Subjunctive" https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/subjunctive.htm
Here is a link to a small executable that allows you to type Spanish accents by holding down the cap lock key while typing the letter.
http://www.onehourprogramming.com/spanish-accents/ I put the text of your message into google translate and it came out with perfect English syntax, which makes me suspicious that your Spanish is rusty. Still I can only hope to someday be able to communicate in Spanish as well.
maybe you want to show her Mondly (free topic with 365 daily lessons), Mondly kids (Android app) or Lingvist.
On Lingvist you just need to "fill the word into the blank" but in the L2 target language matching the given L2 sentence.
But the audio is quite nice (superb, crystal clear) and they play the full audio the target language AND show the L1 base/source language.
On Lingvist you can complete 3-4 exercises per day:
- learn 20 new words
- review 100 flashcards
- accomplish a 85% accuracy (with recalling the words in the L2 target language and being able to correctly type them out into the blank)
- complete 1+ grammar/reading/listening challenge
I am just not sure what all the language pairs are on Lingvist; Spanish->English might not be available....I would have to check (I am currently not signed in; their community forum is gone).
I am a retired person so obviously not so young any more. But I can also see the attractiveness of Duolingo because of the game-like format. I am addicted to Duo because I have a lot more time on my hands and can afford this addiction. But I also want to add that I like so much learning Spanish on Duolingo, that I also decided to go back to French, which I knew quite well when I was young but after moving to the US did not have opportunity nor motivation to continue. It gives me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction to find out how much French I do remember even though most of my adult life I have been using English, which is not my mother tongue either.
I recommended Duolingo to a mum for her son. Her daughter is in my daughters school (4), hes 13. He is struggling with this English and she asked me if I could help him. I'm not a teacher or very good at French (hence learning it on Duolingo) so I suggested he try to see if it will help him before exploring other avenues. She saw me today and told me its fabulous and he loves it.
Just to clarify - Im English and I now live in France.
Sort of a similar thing happened with my not-so-little (she's almost 12yo) niece. She'll start French soon (tomorrow, actually) at school and, although she is reluctant to learn languages (she is quite gifted for them, though), I proposed her to skip some of her summer secondary homework if she did some DL lessons every other day instead in order to get a bit acquainted with the language. It isn't still her first choice cellphone activity but I'd say she has been enjoying it enough to have some hope about it. :D
PS: If you check my duome profile, all the French from Spanish stats are hers:
- 16 crowns
- Level 7
- Words 395
- XP 928
- +197 XP to next level
I actually do. I study it from English while she does from Spanish.
Interestingly, the few times I've prompted her, she has replied, not accurately but nicely close. As we say, "tiene muy buen oído".
Trust me, if she used her natural talent for languages she'd be WOWnderful with them! She has other preferences right now, that's all, but I'm happy she is "in" and she doesn't find the whole thing scary or overwhelming as languages are usually rather intimidating for most people. =)
PS: And about your little niece... Both English and Japanese! She aims high! Great for her! You're proud of her, aren't you? Rad, indeed! Up with your little niece!!! =D