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  5. The Italian course got really…

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

The Italian course got really jealous!

How about some grammar drills, you guys. This Italian course is more like Far West nowadays. No grammar, no backup from the moderators. Just the dessert’s echo or a poor guy asking. The French course is really heating up and seems like paradise. On the other hand, we more and more feel like Lucky Luke when we have to google almost every sentence we meet, when we have to study Clitics by trial and error, or become gold diggers to find ‘imperative’ and ‘causative construction’, while learning infinitives. This isn’t the right way to study. It’s taking too much time to move like a turtle and it’s not at all educative. Perhaps a few of us should exchange grammar notes and prepare a decent guide for everyone. What do you think about it, my fellow riders? Grazie

September 6, 2014

62 Comments

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

It truly feels like the cinderella language when you look at how shiny Danish and Dutch are! :(

EDIT: I'm crunching my way through the last 15 or so skills and I have to say that the quality of the grammar exercises has taken a nosedive. I really hope the remaining ones won't be like this but I'm not holding my breath.

September 6, 2014

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

Hold on, know the feeling. Our Cinderella waits for her good Fairy from Italy!

September 7, 2014

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

Exactly this. Yesterday I have finished "Future Perfect". The overall quality of the course is descending as you advance in the tree. And judging by the number of reports I make versus the number of "thank you for your report" mails and the times I have seen one error more than once - I don't see it change in the near future.

September 9, 2014

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

I'm at exactly the level in the course material as you right now. That particular section didn't make completely make sense to me so I decided just to finish the lessons and move on. There also seemed to be a lot of real errors in the English sentences which I hadn't seen further up the tree.

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris.koch

Happens quite often at the later grammar sections, unfortunately :( Even the Italian ones, I showed them to my Italian girlfriend, and she was like "nobody ever speaks like that..."

September 9, 2014

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

So basically we learn the grammar rules (more or less) from Duolingo...then learn how to use them realistically by watching Italian movies/television or conversing with native speakers!

September 9, 2014

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

I think it's better for learners to think of duolingo as a big exercise book where you can practice what you learned from your grammar book/website.

The clitics section really needs to be broken up in a few smaller sections instead of being a jumble of all manner of pronouns. I really think that a lot of people must quit Italian at this point (there were certainly a lot of posts like that in the discussion threads of that section) and I came very close to it as well.

I don't think that it's asking too much for relatively small changes like this to be made. I've heard that lessons have been changed or deleted in the past so why not now?

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris.koch

that is pretty much the case for all of Duolingo :P I meant it more like that some later lectures don't really teach anything. It is rather some grammatical structures that could be useful for really advanced students (like Subjunctive Perfect and Imperfect being useless unless you already have a good understanding of Italian)

September 9, 2014

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

True, I agree that we should be reinforcing what we learn through other mediums like film and television, and even conversation (if one is lucky enough to have the resource)

What I find myself struggling with is that I also feel like with DL's focus on grammar rules, spelling, and sentence structure we lose a lot of learning we could be getting from watching movies and shows. I try to couple DL with an old copy I have of Rosetta Stone, which I am not a huge fan of, but some days I feel like Rosetta Stone's focus on teaching words rather than rules is more beneficial.

All in all both are important but I feel like DL kind of hits you out of left field with intensive grammar units. Clitics (the major point of contention) as well as Present Perfect, at least in my case, are lessons that kind of just plop you in without much help.

September 9, 2014

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

I hate how they left Italian so unfinished. I'm already catching up so much faster in german and irish and am retaining them much better simply because it goes into a bit further of a depth with tips and notes. That's all that's really needed. Just some extra understanding like how certain words can swap gender depending on usage and such.

September 7, 2014

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

..and don't get me started on the almost incomprehensible 'voice'.

September 8, 2014

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

I had to turn that off a while ago since it was mostly useless.

September 8, 2014

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

I rarely do dictation exercises because of it.

September 8, 2014

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

right? a lot of the words come up wrong/ unclear in almost any exercise. Seriously, like who is someone to actually talk to about this course that can do something

September 9, 2014

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

Ask for a refund, if you're unhappy!

September 9, 2014

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

First, for what? Second, regardless if it's free or not italian was not held to the same credibility as even some of the other starting courses. For someone really wanting to learn the language, seeing as you're level sixteen you should understand, that's really frustrating. I'm perfectly able to get through the course, but it just doesn't stick as well as some of the other languages that give you in depth analysis of the language in their tips and notes sections.

September 12, 2014

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

Couldn't say it better, I'm sick of having to google so much in order to ind a good source to learn grammer with, or having to rely on random comments, feels like Duolingo team or whoever should work this course out really neglected it.

September 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trop232

I cannot upvote more, all of this is so true and disparaging,

September 6, 2014

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

Glad to have company. Molte Grazie

September 7, 2014

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

I have 11 skills left and I am really about to give up on it. I blamed it all on me so it's good to see others are struggling too. I used to learn most of it on the subway but with so many sentences faulty or just weird and not trustworthy I stopped doing it because there are no discussions and googling is a pain on the phone. :(

September 6, 2014

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

It’s such a pity to stop now. I am on your skill steps, know how that is. You can try this link to read in Safari, just before doing your exercises. And a little red from me.

http://www.ielanguages.com/italian.html

September 7, 2014

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

thank you, this is a very helpful site! ❤

September 8, 2014

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

Per imparare grammatica io guardo i video di Tomxxytu sul YouTube. To learn grammar I use Tomxxytu's videos on YouTube.

September 6, 2014

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

Yep like the most of us, Tomxxytu channel is a good one, but it can't replace Duolingo doing its job of maintaining its courses' quality

September 7, 2014

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

There are currently two Italian courses being developed. One for Spanish speakers and one for French speakers. You could probably ask their teams for help.

September 7, 2014

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

Good idea, we can ask them. If they are planning to attach grammar in their courses, it’s only a matter of translation then.

September 7, 2014

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

They also started to organize a team for German - Italian. They already ask Marziotta and me to participate. I hope that my experiences on this course would help to create the other one.

September 8, 2014

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

It's interesting that they don't even bother replying to posts like these...

September 8, 2014

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

I have finished my Italian tree now and I have to admit that sometimes it was pretty hard stuff. But, on the other hand, I found this kind of acquiring a language a quite natural way that suited me a lot. True - I very often was completely puzzled by some obviously weird sentences. But this just made me curious and work harder, too. Perhaps it is just upon the learning character you are, but I used tips and comments as well as a simple Italian grammar book and this was it. In fact - as a language teacher I recommended Duolingo to my students. It is a very natural way of learning a language. So, even with all these problems mentioned I still think Duolingo does a great job. And it's free, after all.

September 8, 2014

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

Congratulazioni per completare Il suo albero italiano!

I can’t help noticing also, of course except hard work as mentioned, your other three success keys: a German native speaker, a language teacher and a reader of an Italian grammar book. A win-win combination that makes the most out of DL.

Grazie

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kgm_7

Duolingo, per favore! ^^^

September 6, 2014

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

Have any of you checked out the "Words Tab" lately, at the top of your screen (assuming that you are in the group of users who has access to it)? It is right next to the "Home" tab, on my screen. (See picture below, labelled Number 1)

It addresses a lot of your complaints about not having any support.

When you first land on the page, you see a list of words that you have encountered during all of your lessons. The most common ones are listed first-- which doesn't make a great deal of sense to me-- but, at any rate, you can then click on the heading (or downfacing triangle) of Last Practiced and it reverses the list, and shows you the least used words-- the ones that you should probably be studying!-- now.

Number 2 Move your mouse over any word in the first column, the ones "underlined" in gray dots. There are hover hints. Number 3 Now click on any word.

September 10, 2014

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

I agree completely. That being said, if you are serious about learning the language, don't let the Duo course discourage you! I highly suggest buying an Italian textbook to use alongside Duolingo.

I bought the 7th edition of "Prego! An Introduction to Italian" and it's been very helpful when Duo's lessons start to frustrate me or I need more detailed information about a certain verb tense or grammatical exception. Since I bought an older edition, it was very reasonably priced and totally worth it.

I'm not okay with the Italian course being so shoddy (especially towards later lessons), I'm just trying to make the most of it. Ideally, it would get some much needed TLC from the Duo staff! I'm just now getting to the lessons on subjunctive...and I have a feeling that I'm in for a struggle.

September 7, 2014

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

You're spot on regarding the need for using textbooks to augment DL. We used "Prego" a few years back for the course at my local community college. It's an excellent resource. I found a link to McGraw-Hill's online student version of the 6th edition, but I haven't been able to locate the same for the 7th or 8th editions. Duolingo is nice for practice; going through an individual module takes only a few minutes on a smartphone, but it doesn't replace a textbook, and I'm not sure it was intended to.

I'm not sure if your comment about it being shoddy is directed at the smartphone app or the website. The smartphone app has problems that don't seem to exist in the web version. I keep having to remind myself that it's free.

I know what you mean about the subjunctive lessons. I thought I knew the subject pretty well before I started it but bombed when I tried to test out of it. Duolingo hates my translations into English.

September 7, 2014

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

Arrotino, here's the student link to the 7th edition of the Prego textbook! http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0073535265/student_view0/capitolo_preliminare/index.html

And, this is the student link to the 8th edition of the Prego textbook! http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0073386251/student_view0/capitolo_preliminare/index.html

The 8th edition is the current edition that is being taught at the university I attend. The exercises are helpful. It's gives excellent information but it's so hard to understand written rules. Marisarc, I bought the 6th edition of Prego! on Amazon for about $25.00 and it's not much different than the 8th edition!

I like Duolingo much better! It's fun, interactive and challenging! I'm never bored playing Duolingo!

September 9, 2014

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

Mille grazie!

September 9, 2014

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

I agree and like your TLC aspect. As for me a perfect (free) learning meal would offer basic grammar before the drills (just a snack, not to become overwhelmed of it), lots of gaming practice and finally comprehensive textbooks aside, like the one you suggested. Other Duolingo teams have already tested their menus. What about Italy with such a cooking tradition.

September 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KateM303

I dont know. I agree the lack of notes are frustrating and I dont always understand what is going on right away. However, I find that after going on for I bit, I will go back and redo lessons to work on just plurals or verbs and I find it makes more sense. It took me forever to understand how plurals worked. I just now had an aha moment with working with prepositions and all of the gender forms of prepositions. I guess I just dont know how much extra notes would help me having not gone further with other languages on Duolingo yet. I dont know how much I would use them. :p

September 7, 2014

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

Just like we are in Italy, disorganaized and uncaring. Is quite disappointing the way the italian course is managed an I see it firsthand.

September 6, 2014

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

:( no, this is too harsh against yourselves ❤

September 6, 2014

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

It's not, I promise you! Ahaaa

September 8, 2014

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

Sadly is true, I hope you never gonna see this in our beautiful contry

September 8, 2014

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

:D

September 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/superluigi13

Personally, I'm quite far into the Italian Tree, so I've learned most of it by trial and error, but it's unfortunate to see just how little discussion there is about Italian, considering it's the best language on the site in my opinion. I would love to see a lot more explanations on the grammatical aspects. I've been doing various verb tenses and there's very few pointers on how to conjugate them properly. Quite frustrating, if you ask me.

September 7, 2014

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

Perhaps some help on the matter here: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/4472318

(Not to toot my own horn, but hey...!)

September 8, 2014

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

First of all, I would like to congratulate both of you, MABBY and Sandrabruck, for being the first ones to enter into the ‘ DL Golden Hall of Italian Teachers’. To make such a great start, I would suggest to attach your summaries, as primary comments in the ‘Clitics’ section, so that every newcomer who either feels lazy or more academic or both can take a look at them there, while taking the tests.

Secondly, just to heat up the challenge, if you would like to repeat it for …ever, why don’t you both consider the possibility to moderate Italian? In a formal way or in a more informal one by answering questions regularly or providing helpful links of grammar. Well, guys, it’s your chance to make Cinderella a princess!

Grazie in anticipo

September 8, 2014

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

I totally agree with you possumaki! My luck : Learn 3 years before in an association in my city, so today it's easy for me. You can study with "Memrise" or "Impariamo l' Italiano" (exercises for foreigners)... Good luck and sweet week possumaki :)

September 8, 2014

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

Many many thanks for your tips and your optimistic words. Have a little red from me.

September 8, 2014

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

I agree, some grammar would be nice! And also fixing the worst mistakes sounds like an option. Today I was asked to translate "the teacher" in one of these exercises where you need to click on the correct articel and type the word - you know. I mean, I still feel like a beginner but I was 100% sure about "l'insegnante". It marked my solution wrong saying it can be both "la insegante" and "l'insegnante" depending on the gender. Now, first I think is is always "l'insegnante" and second I cannot click two articles anyway. Then you report it, and I could swear I will across this very mistakes ten times, before they fix it.

September 8, 2014

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

The same goes for the German course (and the French one, at least when I was still at it about a year ago). I've come to realize that Duo is no more than a game. Actually, it is often advertised as such by the Duo team. You really need to pick up a proper grammar book if you are any serious about learning the language.

September 8, 2014

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

For me, the core issue is this: As you get into the lessons more down the tree, the moderator presence, and the quality of the sentences, decreases while the number of unresolved problems increases. I feel that this could discourage many people from actually completing the tree, and may put them off of the language altogether.

Yes Duo is free, and yes our expectations have to be realistic, but I think it's detrimental that course quality seems to decline as difficulty increases. And no, I don't think it's whiny or ungrateful to question why the Italian course isn't as well developed/moderated as some of the others.

Duolingo is a fantastic program and I'd love to see all of the languages being moderated well and to an equal extent...it would certainly make for a more harmonious discussion board!

September 9, 2014

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

Well, WE don't have to Google every word. I very very rarely have to check words now although i do have a dictionary to help with spelling. And personally I have had excellent responses from the Course moderators and lots of other Italian students.

I agree that Clitics is a very difficult concept for English speakers to grasp but someone has recently posted an excellent guide to their use which I found very helpful.

I cannot speak for other courses but I am very happy with DL's Italian offering thank you, so please don't speak for everyone by using the 'we' pronoun.

September 8, 2014

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

Psionpete, I have already seen three courses and Italian isn’t running very fast, at the moment, in the Olympics of learning friendly courses. You will eventually notice yourself how friendlier French are with Remy’s grammar and with Sitesurf to backup almost every sentence. You also may have heard all the applauses about Dutch and Danish. This is the newest model of DL. Personally, I am very fond of its developmental character and I am voting Italian to benefit of it too.

September 9, 2014

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

I just came onto this discussion 4 years down the line - maybe due to Duo's site uplift (?) I have lived in Italy for 10 years now, but still struggle with the grammar. So I haven't had a problem with the vocabulary - I know the words - but I have an awful time with the verbs. I don't know how Duo's Italian of 2019 compares with 4 years ago, but I have a feeling that a lot of the same mistakes are there. But it is an easy and relatively painless way to practice. I also have www.italian-verbs.com in another tab to help me out. The only module that I was really disappointed with so far was the "Formal You". It just repeated the same things endlessly throughout the 5 steps. As I have a hard time with the "Lei" I was very disappointed!

My main issue, as I can see with many of you from 4 years ago, is the discussions. I often go there when I can't understand why an answer was marked wrong, but there is seldom any help to get. Unfortunately many people who don't have a real understanding are telling people completely wrong information. There is a real need for some native language speakers that consistently monitor these discussions. I know, maybe a tall order for a free service, but if you are going to do something as grand as this site, it is a shame not to do it correctly...

Oh, and the original meaning for the post. I lived in Denmark 20 years and spoke fluently. Now after 10 years away I could sense my losing the ability to speak, so turned to Duo just keep up some exposure to the language. But applause for the Danish? During the time I have been on the Danish Duo, I have never seen such a truly weird bunch of sentences, there is definitely at least one person making up sentences there with some serious psychiatric problems! I mean things like "hunden spiser ham" (the dog is eating him), which is even incorrect, as for an animal doing the eating, it would be "hunden æder ham".

April 5, 2019

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

My point was that by using the 'we' word you suggest that you are speaking for everyone rather than stating your own opinion.

I was just saying that I was relatively happy with the course, especially with the moderators who are doing an excellent job and that I was not happy to be included in your moan that the Italian course was in some way sub-standard.

September 9, 2014

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

WE must be the current tree climbers, the future ones and the ones who applause consistent learning improvement. WE cannot be the ones who finished the tree, felt okay with it and don’t care about troubled others.

That was a very easy assumption for you to make. Now, please, unless you are willing to contribute to a grammar exchange, like a few others, I don’t see the point to continue reading your unrealistic comments about my acts, which I may consider at the moment just thoughtless.

September 10, 2014

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

Agreed. Duo lacks most of the basic material required for genuine language learning.

September 8, 2014

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

I agree. The quality of the Italian course gets worse and worse the further I get. I've had to start supplementing my studies with other programs just to learn basics. At least I got a student discount on Rosetta Stone!

September 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/superluigi13

Hey, would it work if instead of waiting for them to do something about it, we shared our own "Tips and Notes" for various sections? I feel like that would help us a lot quicker than waiting for them to fix the issues.

September 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marc.libra

I am not complaining, DL works pretty well for me :-)

September 14, 2014

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

I can't compare as I am only taking the Italian course, but I have experimented the same feeling with some lessons and you have my support (every improvement and new lessons will be welcome ;) ).

September 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelMoore10

thats neat

September 11, 2014
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