First Impressions of Danish
Let me just start by saying that overall, I am in love with the new Danish course. I had planned on learning Danish at some point down the road, but after Swedish and Norwegian. However, Team Danish finished first and I decided to give it a try, but not seriously learn it until after I learn the other two Scandinavian languages. Well after an hour or so on the course, I can honestly say that I want to learn Danish as my first Scandinavian language. For those of you who are thinking about learning Danish on Duolingo (or for members of Team Danish wanting some feedback), I thought I would give my first impressions of the new course. One of the first things I noticed is that this course relies heavily on the "tips and notes" feature, which is definitely a good thing in my book. The notes address issues such as articles, plural, and other little grammatical things, which would otherwise be very difficult to figure out. For example, there are two genders for nouns, but no way to tell from the noun other than a few methods of guessing based on the word's meaning. If it weren't for that note, I would still be trying to find a pattern for gender. The course itself is made very well, so that there's plenty of time for each new word/concept to sink in and the lesson order also makes sense. The voice is a little hard to understand, and in my opinion, the male IVONA voice (Duolingo is currently using the female IVONA voice) is easier to understand. Also, I know that this isn't Team Danish's fault, but I feel like a Words section would be very useful, since Danish isn't a phonetic language and it's hard to memorize each pronunciation after a single lesson. There are also some typos in the course, which is pretty typical considering it's only in beta, and a very early stage at that. One thing that I can't say I was crazy about is that you never lose a heart for using the wrong indefinite article. For example, if I said "et vin" instead of "en vin," the system just marked it as a typo and let me move on. Overall, the beginning of this course has made me so excited to learn Danish, and I'm looking forward to one day completing the tree!
Amazing feedback, thank you! Yes, we have reported the issues with the indefinite articles. It is a huge issue, and makes the course much easier for you guys. ;) But I can only say that the only ones you punish are yourself, so if you get the typo warning, then try to remember the word the next time. At some point you will start losing hearts from messing it up. I might add a bit more to this tomorrow, but thanks a lot for your kind words, and we also recognize that there might be some spelling mistakes, but I think that is to be expected with the amount of sentences we have made for every single word :)
Thank you for all the great work that you've been doing! The typos really aren't that big of a deal, and it's usually very obvious that they're mistakes (for example, in one activity, morgenmad was written as morgenmad3). I'm so excited to learn Danish, and I seriously can't overstate how grateful I am.
Thank you so much for this positive feedback :)
I agree with you that the male IVONA is better, and it is indeed the one we were talking about getting. I guess we must have forgotten to mention it, but we will bring it up now!
The idea of in-depth notes and the realization that they help a lot came from peeking at the Dutch course. So we must share some of the gratitude with them :)
I'm really glad to see Danish being offered, since I am Danish myself. However, it is very frustrating that I keep dying when I try to test out of skills, due to mistakes in the "correct" answers. There are many English grammar mistakes there. I'm trying to report them all, so we can get this thing perfected :D
Also, I really hope the voice will be changed. I mean, sometimes I can barely understand her, because the pronunciation is completely messed up, and I don't really think new learners should learn to talk like that since it's totally wrong :P
Yes that is why it is in beta :) Please report all mistakes you can find. Beta testers are very much part of the process in developing a course!
The voice (IVONA) is truly the best available on the market, at least the best we could find. This is unfortunate, since it does indeed mispronounce a number of things. As far as I understand, though, the voice is also in a beta stage -- hopefully this means it will only get better with time.
As for English grammar mistakes, I imagine these appear because of the way sentences are constructed in the course: We use a short-hand syntax, which lets the system "generate" sentences from a basic formula. If we've misplace a control-character, though, this can result in faulty sentences. Again, be sure to report :)
I must say...because of the constant silent letters, irregular verbs, and speech sounds I heard of Danish in the past...I thought it'd be harder than even Dutch since Dutch is closer to English. But nope, for some odd reason Danish is easier than Dutch to me. So I'll just do Danish from now on, it's easier to remember everything for some reason.
I just added Danish because I wanted to peek at it and it is soooo easy to learn that I've decided to stay. I've progressed in Danish more in 2 days that 3+ weeks of Italian. The tips section has definitely been of great help. I'm also doing German and the cases have been my biggest problem where the genitive case in Danish was a cake walk (very easy). My biggest issue so far is that I don't know how to pronounce some of the letters like the ød in the word bread/brød. Silent letters throw me as well. A tip on pronunciations for the beginners would be much appreciated.