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https://www.duolingo.com/Unockastai

Accents: I don't know them because I don't have to.

I think the way that Duolingo just lets you make accent errors without consequences is not conducive to learning the language. Sometimes adding an accent changes the meaning of the word entirely. Does anyone agree that they should count for something? (maybe bonus points for getting them right?) What is the reasoning behind not grading accents like wrong words?

3 years ago

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Macjory
Macjory
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I tend to agree. Sometimes I'm lazy and don't add them, but I need to learn how to spell Spanish correctly, and that means using accents. Until Duolingo rewards (or punishes) users for mistakes in the use of accents, I guess we could keep track of them ourselves. Just because Duolingo makes it easier doesn't mean we can't do it ourselves!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

I think of them like minor typos, which Duo often does allow (unless the typo turns the word into another word). The buttons are slightly annoying and the alt-codes are definitely annoying, so I can understand wanting to allow forgiveness for those who don't have access to a specialized keyboard layout or a Mac. This goes doubly true for the timed tests.

A useful skill when self-teaching is to figure out how to motivate yourself. I've been noticing the difference between the "correct!" and "almost correct!" I only consider the "correct!" to be 100% correct, and I put "almost correct" as partial credit. I'm not as diligent about the diacritics in Spanish as I am in Swedish, but this framing does help me remember.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Macjory
Macjory
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Thanks, those are good suggestions. And I totally agree about timed tests: it takes too long to find the right keys. Maybe Duolingo could add the keyboard that they use when they ask you to translate from English to Spanish: just make it a permanent feature somewhere on the Spanish screen.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

I'm pretty sure I saw a forum post where someone found an extension for an on-screen keyboard. Here's one for Chrome. You can google around for others.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tara668
tara668
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I'm so excited to be learning everything Duolingo is helping me with, I really couldn't care less about how many hearts or lingots or points I have or what level DL describes me as being at. So when they show me that I messed up an accent, I'm mainly really happy to get the feedback, and I make a mental note of it, and after a few times (give or take) I start getting it right.

Eh, honestly it's not exactly true that I couldn't care less about all the little prizes etc., but they're much less important to me than the chance to learn. So I don't care how DL does or doesn't count them. As long as they let me know about my mistakes.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Well they do tell you that you made a mistake. I find the red text with the correct diacriticals kind of painful so I try to get my diacriticals correct and avoid the red "scolding".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElimGarak

I tend to remember some accents as ALT + 161 = í or ALT + 160 = á ... but I never seem to remember how to find the e ... it's not in the same group. I have a notepad file where I have them all listed that I can refer to, but I do my bet to be accurate with accents because the wrong one at the wrong place can change the word's meaning completely.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tara668
tara668
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I use the US international keyboard setting on my laptop, and with that I can just type things like ' + e for é and ~ + n for ñ. Left alt + ? or ! gets me ¿ or ¡

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/attanatta
attanatta
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^---- I'm giving an upvote and lingot for the best method (IMHO)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tara668
tara668
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¡Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

If you learn Spanish conversationally you'll be able to distinguish si, tu, el, and son whether or not they have an accent.

Duo has done tests and when it is fussier (as in counting accents as incorrect) usership has plummeted. If Duo is 'too hard,' many people stop using it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

I wasn't aware of that specific user test but it makes sense.

I personally adhere strictly to using the accents because, personal choice, but it would be pretty cool if they gave you an option for stricter grading that you could toggle if you so chose. You know, like "hard level" that requires proper use of the accents and "grammar nut" which would require proper use of the accents as well as require proper capitalization and punctuation. That'd be pretty sweet.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jensen_David

As a native speaker I will say that for everyday text messages and letters.... You are safe, we don't use them. We know which tense, or if its a verb or a noun by the context.

But... yes, if you want to write like a cultivated person, or do university-level essays, then yes, you need them.

But a but over that but: We rely so much on Word autocorrector for it.... Despite the "simple" rules that they taught me during elementary school, for me it was easier to just memorize that certain endings, tenses or words carry them. And I still struggle with them. And I have an MA in social sciences so I'm supposed to know how to write.

Bottom line: Don't sweat it too much. It's better that you memorize conjugations, gender and subjunctive than accents, that will make you a better speaker, and you conversation partner will thank you for it :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Unockastai

Thanks for a great answer, have a lingot!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jensen_David

Hehehe thanks. One additional thing that is kinda related. Even though lack of accents isn't frowned upon in daily usage, confusing between s, c, z and between v and b, or forgetting an h (and even, as some younger people do, mixing k, q and c....), THAT will be frowned upon and you will be considered a stupid person with low education.

Spelling is considered much more important than written accents.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jensen_David

(Thats only for the written point of view, for the hearing aspect, do please use your accents correctly :P)

3 years ago