Something big is coming to Duolingo. Are you ready?
Thank you for speaking out for Memrise. Memrise is a site that wears everything on its sleeve, it makes it very clear that it is only as good as the input people put in to it, and it doesn't exactly order you to waste your time on courses you think aren't very good. There is so much to be gained from the 'organised chaos', it seems petty to just criticise the site for its bad points. I know some people expect to have silver service, but you have to actually have something rough and ready in the first place, before you can even begin to think of such lofty concepts as 'refinement' :P
You say if there isn't a good course then make one, I don't mean to sound rude or anything if I do but if you're wanting to learn a language how can you make a course for it? You're doing the courses to learn. I use memrise to learn Danish and hardly any courses are made by actual Danes, they're made by people only a bit better than me. So in a way I hope duolingo makes it better because I think it would be hard to make a duo course unless you were fluent in the language.
What makes duolingo really appealing is it seems to be somewhat structured and has quality content which is mostly reliable and informative. Users receive feedback on their overall progress through unlocking levels and earning points.
I have several issues with user uploaded content
I can not see a way in which they could build a 'structured' course, and by structured I refer to a fully constructed skill tree to the same level and quality as the current duolingo skill trees. Which I feel would be taking away some of the key aspect of what I personally think is really good about duolingo. (A progressive FULL language learning tool)
The 'user' in question doesn't have to be a native speaker. certified teacher, duolingo staff or anybody with any real knowledge of the language at all. So how can the quality of the content be assured? Infact, how can it even be proven what I'm told I'm learning is what I actually am learning. And even so, at which point do you class yourself good enough to teach a language? I'm a native English speaker, would I say my spelling and grammar is flawless enough to teach foreign learners 'proper' English? No.
Which leads to.
- I would hate to see a jumbled mess of half decent courses which you would have tossed around the place, by any old Joe who fancied making their own 'flashcards' for us all to see which have been ripped straight from a GCSE textbook. In regards to memrise, having used that service, I like it. But why would duolingo want to be like memrise when we pretty much all agree, memrise is a lesser product and this one is more quality.
If there was a filter process where 1 course of 'X' language was added and over time it was developed by users whilst vetted and approved by the staff at duolingo or other native/professionals over the quality of the 'X' course content, then I can see it working well.
Other than that, what can a few basic, mashed up, thrown together courses teach me I can't find out elsewhere.
Don't misunderstand that I wouldn't want user content added, but I'd rather it don'e correctly because (especially when it comes to languages) ..
QUALITY is winning. Not quantity.
Just my 2p
@Raftus "Courses on Memrise aren't like the full course on Duolingo, we agree on that, right?" I think that's the point of why people want duolingo to not be like memrise, which is why it was being insulted. I personally use memrise to learn NEW vocab instead of just redoing loads of old ones (obviously I still water so that I remember the vocab) in which case making courses myself would be pointless as I need to learn from people significantly better, (like natives, as I get the impression that some courses I see were just made using a dictionary/some basic phrases). I want a system where natives/fluent people can make a course like a duolingo course that teaches how to actually form your own sentences, something memrise doesn't do (as it's a flashcard site). Don't get me wrong, I love memrise, but I'd imagine most people using it (especially for the more obscure languages which aren't on duolingo currently) they use it to learn new vocab, in which case the "make your own course" suggestion is pointless. Sorry for blabbing so much and I don't mean to sound rude if I do.
You can be learning a language and still make a course, no problem. Courses on Memrise aren't like the full course on Duolingo, we agree on that, right?
For instance I'm not fluent in Spanish, and am learning it here and on Memrise, but I could make a themed course on certain gothicky, descriptive words that I've learned reading 'La sombra del viento', for instance. I don't have to be much better than others at Spanish, but that course might be fun for someone to learn from. You see a few of those types of courses there, and it gives Memrise a flavour distinct from Duolingo.
Ha ha, don't worry - you're not rude, it's a pleasure talking about this with you. We obviously see different uses for Memrise, but that's the beauty of it. I just felt that Memrise was being unfairly slighted here, when it is a completely different kind of site to Duolingo.
I will be intrigued to see how Duo intend to keep the high standards once (because this is probably what the big surprise coming up is) they allow user-generated content.
Ah good. I don't agree with the people insulting memrise, although I do agree with the comment to a small degree because some languages have better courses than others. From looking at the ones like Chinese, French, Spanish, I haven't tried any of them out but there seems to be a lot of long courses with a lot of words, whereas some languages have very few good courses (or none). Some people use memrise to learn, some use it to remember, I guess? I use it to learn partially because I have no other alternative website to use. It is different to duolingo, which is why I think it would be great if we can add languages to duo but make sure it's still in a duolingo style, so you don't get any languages like the badly made ones you sometimes find on memrise.
I really hope that this is what the surprise is, as I would love to get to see what languages are added here and since duo has audio, writing and reading practising it could come in very useful. Comparing memrise and duolingo does seem a bit weird though, as I thought of them as unconnected, I was surprised how many people I found to actually use both.
I admit, maybe mediocre mess was a little harsh. I use Memrise for Spanish vocabulary too so it's not like I used it once and am criticizing it after using it only 5 minutes though. It's just that compared to the professionalism DL uses Memrise seems a bit less organized. And in the end, I'd rather have professionals making courses than people like you and me. Not saying courses users make will be bad, not at all, but people who went to school to study a language for a couple of years probably have more experience in putting exercises and lessons together than we do. I guess we'll see in the end how well it works :)
Some of the courses are awful, lack audio etc., but some are actually put together very thoughtfully. I'm thinking of Ben Whately (who is one of the Memrise team) and his Mandarin course. It's massive, with a huge amount of thought put in. It is a shame that they don't weed out the crap ones though. There was another one done by the Guardian newspaper on Memrise. The good courses are easy to find.
At least we can guess at what it is. With all those eggs, I think it's an indefinite number of something. Maybe the ability to add your own languages - that would be indefinite. Or maybe teaming up with Google translate and including almost every language.
I find it interesting to see people's reactions. Does it really matter whether you know what it is or not? It wouldn't make the time pass quicker, anyway.
I think the suspense is actually kind of fun. It gives me something to dream about. :)
They explicitly said in their latest AMA that they are no longer creating courses for new languages internally and would be making tools for creating courses instead. They aren't exactly being vague about what is coming up. Though for some reason a ton of people still don't realize it.
Unfortunately, Oct 9 will be two weeks too late to easily balance all those eggs on their ends. As everyone knows, the best time to attempt this feat is on the two equinoxes, when the gravitational pull of the sun is equally balanced.
Perhaps this article can help duolingo with their egg balancing challenge:
Actually, the idea that eggs balance more easily on the equinox is a myth. The disturbances in the air, slight downward slope of the surface, tidal effects from the moon, and vibrations in the floor outweigh anything gained on the equinox.
I'm not sure whether you were kidding about that, but I thought I'd explain just in case.
...You say 'Chinese', so my dream would come true ! And what about Russian ? Russia has also the red color on its flag...I prefer Chinese but Russian would be cool too...I really think that Russia will play an important role in the future between the USA and China. We usually underestimate Russia.
Thanks, even if that 's a bit slow, I need to check the examples in my dictionary before writting. Thanks a lot.
So tired sometimes when I 'm back from work...By the way, my name is Italian but I am French actually and unfortunately I can't speak Italian with Italian people...很奇怪，哈哈！
That would be so cool! I was thinking more Egyptian Arabic to help travelers and International businessmen, but ancient Egyptian would be awesome! I knew Egytian Arabic was different than Arabic in other parts of the Arab word so I was more focused on that angle. Maybe a bonus skill level in dealing with terrorists with phrases like, "I'm not an American spy," and "Where is my embassy?" I'd love to see Egypt, but I definately want some language skills first before going there.