New question type idea
Was just thinking about how I'm struggling with Object Pronouns in Spanish. It's not sinking in anywhere near as quick as everything up to that point, and I thought a neat idea would be a question whereby you're asked which is the Direct Object, the Indirect Object, etc in this sentence, A, B or C.
I think part of the problem is, natively, you don't really need to think of the words you're writing/saying/reading as these things, but when you're trying to learn, tuition in being able to parse a sentence in those terms seems to me as though it would help immensely!
Also, it would be absolutely awesome to be able to see, not just a translation of a sentence, but the literal translation. eg
"Ella te lee un libro a ustesdes"
Literally, as far as I can tell, translates to something like
"She (to) you reads (el/ella/ustedes form), a book to you (formal)."
as well as
"She reads you a book", which is conceptually, but not literally, what the sentence says.
I think that'd help immensely in getting a feel for the grammatical syntax.
I think you will like this YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/languagenow. It is fantastic and its material is invaluable, and I think it will help a lot. More specifically, see below for the links to his videos on direct and indirect object pronouns. They are about 8 to 10 minutes each.
Direct Objects and Direct Object Pronouns: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8W-IbKxFaU
Indirect Objects and Indirect Object Pronouns: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gdn-c3MsqA
Regarding the first part of your post, I think that would additionally burden Duolingo with the need to teach grammar in and of itself - direct and indirect objects may be clear enough but diving into the grammar morass of participles, perfect whatevers, ordinators, and so on is probably going to frustrate users. Then again, I hated the ancient crusty yellow grammar book I was given in grade school as much as I hated my French text later on, so I suppose if anyone could pull it off it would be Duolingo. I wholeheartedly agree with your second concept, even it you had to hover or touch the conceptual translation.
nods It would require that for each Spanish word, the correct synonym or concept is known in context.
Agreed on dry grammar lessons lol. But... a DuoLingo resource wouldn't go astray. One can certainly YouTube it, but... more extensive explanations than what's offered in the "Tips" box would be great. Perhaps an Articles section on specific parts of the language for those who are interested? With links from within the lesson that show you relevant ones?
First, read the discussions for exercises. People are often very helpful there. Second, once you think you understand something, try to explain it to someone else who doesn't yet get it. Hit the internet to make sure you're right, because you wouldn't want to screw someone else up.
Create your own tables, based on what you find -- but only use them as a check (after you've translated something, to see if it's right) not as a crutch (instead of coming up with what you think might be right).
Mm... I hadn't read the discussions I must admit, I'll give that a go.
Haha I don't have many folks who would be all that interested in hearing me attempt to formulate my thoughts about Spanish unfortunately.
I started doing exactly that actually, in the early lessons :) I don't check whether I'm right by peeking, if I'm getting it wrong enough to fail the lesson, I obviously haven't learnt it :)