Please expand the "Spiritual" lesson
It does not even teach the word "prayer". Thanks
Duo only teaches a limited number of words, and everyone seems to want more of something and less of something else. A dictionary can tell all of us just about any word we want to know. ;)
Religion is an important part of culture. For most spanish-speaking countries perhaps even more than the anglophone ones. It is essential for understanding certain cultural works, conversations, and people. I agree with what you're saying about the need for being general, but I think some basic words are missing here.
People have asked for more words about travel, introductions, education, colors, dating, and a host of other things. We all have our 'pet' topics that we would like to learn more about, and we all can list a few 'basic words' we'd like to see added - words that many of the millions of users on Duo may not care to learn. There is currently a thread running in which a user says he does not need or want to learn the word for 'curtain.' To pray = rezar, by the way ;)
Language programs will never teach sufficient vocabulary, so in the meantime it might be easier to use a religious/history book to get the vocab you want.
Fortunately, I've learned a lot of spiritual language from conversation, because the language I got from the spiritual section is zilch compared to what I've used in Latin American countries (you're a Jew? That's a discussion. "Jamas/Ojala" becomes a discussion on Islam. Pre-Hispanic religions? That's a discussion.)
I was pretty surprised the program doesn't even mention a thing with regard to Pre-Hispanic religion, I mean, even if it doesn't mention what Jewish or Muslim is.
your word needs to rank pretty high in a frequency list to merit inclusion in duo. duo vocab is less than 2000 words (way less).
here's how i looked at this: google "spanish word frequency" find http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Frequency_lists/Spanish1000
google translate of "prayer" suggests "oracion", "plegaria" and "suplica", and others
doing a quick browser page search on frequency lists 1-1000 and -2000 for these three yielded no hits.
you may have a different "prayer" in mind. and maybe i made a mistake.
"suplico", a verb form, but not your word, is #5856. way, way down the list
The list you've provided is "generated from subtitles of movies and television series". This is problematic for multiple reasons.
Apart from the obvious, some words on the list are repeated in different forms or even (according to the discussion page) accents, homographic words are not disambiguated (eg. oro/orar lumps "gold" together with "I pray", "praying", and "to pray"), and finally, some basic words that duolingo teaches are not on it (eg. the word "vegetal" is not even among the top 10,000).
Also note that even if the list were normative, arguably there are important concepts that map to more than one word, so you'd have to add up occurences of all words representing a concept (in our case prayer) to decide whether it's worthy of inclusion.
sure. lots of problems with it. and i'm not defending any words on duo's word list. what resource would you use to build a word list? this is a serious question. lots of people are building word lists and many word lists are out there. you can pick any number that you like better.
you have to start somewhere and use some resource. you also need to go on more than a hunch. although i'm not defending "movies and television series" it seems to me to be not too bad. do you think that "prayer" might occur more frequently in newscasts? or sporting events? perhaps it occurs more often in novels. would novels be more representative of common contemporary speech patterns than movies or television? how about text books? the bible?
duo is certainly not going to build their own word list from scratch. they are going to start with someone else's. i would like them to explain what they chose and why. but i assume they will not because they won't engage in a word-by-word debate.
by complete coincidence, i ran across this thread right after i posted.
you might find it interesting or useful. the writer makes this observation:
"Of course, be aware that there are always differences between frequency lists of spoken and written language.
You should always take it into consideration and adjust it to your goals. "
Lists vary. Adjust to your goals.
I also find it weirdly empty. I would like to add the following: -Christianity, christian, Islam, muslim, Judaism, jew, ... (Buddhism, ...) -If catholisism, then also protestantism and a few other denominations. -Denomination -Theism, atheism, gnosticism, agnosticism, secularism, secular -A few religious holidays which are big in latin america and/or Spain