Failed Level 1, 3 times already-
It was a very fun beginning trying to learn german, however the focus became too different from what my brain was expecting, the picture to word relationships were the very helpful and thus kept my attention, then the quizzes turned out to be about "the" being der das and die for certain words with no rule or clue defined. In the translation portion you can click on the yellow word and it gives you three definitions, so why is "I am making a man" flagged wrong. Additional frustration when spellcheck turned my sentence to Ich bin Rome frau.
But thank you I learned Mann, frau, jurgen,
or maybe I missed the class lessons and went directly to the quizzes?
Yes, most of the lessons are via the quizzes. However Level 1 does have a lesson section. When you click on lesson 1 and before you click on the actual quiz, if you scroll down, you will see an explanation of the topics that are going to be covered in lesson 1. This area is called "tips". You can also click on the tab for "discussion" right next to the "tips" tab and the "discussion" area will show the questions and answers that others had on that particular section of Duolingo.
That should help. If not, just ask again.
P.S. Sometimes, it is helpful to write on paper the concepts that you are struggling with.
found the lessons, on the web! however, i discovered this app on the android.. no "lessons" to be found there nor any indicator that i needed to know those "tips".. really frustrating start. Only found the website to share my experience about it before deleting the app. How many times do they think an app can call me a failure before I quit trying?
I'm sorry to hear that you were so frustrated.
Duolingo is very responsive to feedback. I've been using Duolingo for several months, and they are always upgrading things. Indeed, they have changed the "learning trees" so that they are easier to learn based on data that they have collected.
Many who use Duolingo will use the smart phone apps for when they are reviewing material. When they are learning new material, they use the internet version, so they can access the supplemental material if needed.
I agree that it would be nice if they somehow indicated within the apps that the apps are not the whole Duolingo experience.
I didn't even know there was a web version until I went to try to find a link with info to send to my dad via email. Then it took me a second to realize I could actually log in and do lessons! But yes, I hope both get a little more fine tuned and ... not sure how to put it but that the web and apps become a little more similar (as much as possible).
Salxandra's suggestion is great. For now (you won't have to do it forever), write down the questions you keep missing, in English and in German. Then go over them away from Duolingo. The ones that are really troublesome perhaps write out by hand several times, saying them aloud as you write, and understanding as well as you can just what they are saying. It's a structured way of practicing w/o really having to know much, yourself, about the language. . . . Or, if you just can't stand this level any longer, write down the questions you miss (English and German) and use the cheat sheet to get past those questions when you again encounter them. :)
I've been using the web version and I've been struggling to remember the correct 'the' as well. I think it's just a matter of guess work to start off with, to a certain extent, and then remembering your correct answers and trying to repeat them and trying to learn from your mistakes when you get it wrong. Keep practising! :)
At Duolingo I've studied French (about 1/2 way through) and the first 8 levels of Spanish, only on the website. But my background in both languages was good before starting here--I can read French fairly easily and studied Spanish 50 years ago in school and remember a lot of it. But going along in French it's seemed to me that starting from the very beginning might be difficult at Duolingo. So it's great that DavidDizon started this discussion, and I hope even more people chime in. When I finally start German here, I'll probably find out for myself, I guess. how easy it is to start from scratch on this site.
Probably what I'll do w/ German (or Italian or Portuguese--or Russian, if Dulinguo would only add it!) is to get a good introductory grammar and refer to it when necessary, or even work through ten chapters or so in it and then dive into Duolingo. Actually, I have the feeling that referring to a grammar will soon be necessary for me French.
The kind of grammar / primer I mean is not, say, the new "Complete" Teach Yourself courses, because their explanations are not very systematic, but the older Teach Yourself books from the 80s or before, or the French, German, Russian, or Italian grammars that used to be published by Barnes and Noble. They all explain such points as DavidDizon mentioned, and the tables of contents and indexes make these explanations easy to find.
Is that what others do, resort to non-Duolingo materials? Or is there a better way to go about this? Maybe there is material available on Duoling that covers such points systematically that I haven't seen.
(This is not particularly a complaint about Duolingo, by the way. They are a great site--I stop by every day, for what that's worth--and they charge no money yet offer great language-learning facilities.)
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Duolingo can only do so much, but they're continuing to try. I think you may need to look into German before you start trying to learn it on here. If you did, you would learn that there is no clue as to which word would have "der/das/die" and so forth. If you're on the computer, you should be able to scroll down and there will be a small lesson on the topic. Want a good learning tip? If you're a complete beginner to the language, write everything down in a notebook. That way you can always refer back to your notes and not fail the lesson over and over. You may not get the words committed to your memory, but you will develop a language learning core. Hope you give it another try!
Writing things down is a great tip, MelsWolf, because that helps form memories in two ways: kinetic and visual. People have different learning styles, some people have more of an audio memory, they can easily learn/memorise things they hear, whereas some people have more of a visual memory and they need to see things, because things 'go in one ear and out the other', and then some people have more of a kinetic memory, so their learning/memorising is aided by movements/actions. Different people have strengths in different types of memory/learning, so it's good to reinforce learning in different ways.
I'm glad to know I wasn't speaking out my butt, ha ha. I've always found it helpful to write down my vocabulary (especially simple things like household items or food--which all begin to sound the same to me). It always gives me something to refer back to if I'm struggling and definitely helps me with my spelling. But I certainly didn't know about the kinetic and visual memories, I'll have to look it up!