https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

[Suggestion] Duolingo Diary

I'd love to have an option to keep a diary, or a blog, in my Duolingo profile. It could be used in different ways:

  • Posting my thoughts and plans about the trees I'm currently working on. Surely it is not interesting to everyone here in discussions, but my friends may want to read my entries and share their thoughts or encouragement.
  • Trying to write something in a language I learn - and maybe get it corrected by my friends. (Yes, I know there are dedicated sites for that, but wouldn't it be cool to have this option here where you already have friends?)
  • Posting anything not exactly Duolingo-related. This would be a great way for my friends to know me better.

And, of course, I'd love to read my friends' journals if they chose to keep them.

Before, you could write anything in your own stream. It was not much because your entries got quickly buried under other activities, but now we can't even shout something like "I'm back and doing my German lessons again!". That's sad.

What do you guys think?

April 5, 2015

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

They probably scrapped that writing on our own activity feature because they strangely expected that we'd have conversations in the L2 we are learning. When that failed because the interface was simply bad and few people really knew what it was meant for, they took it away.

A duolingo diary or journal has been suggested[1] before in one form [2] or another. But the team has neither acknowledged the suggestion or even commented, so it seems unlikely to be a priority.

Text production (writing practice) is something we desperately need but unfortunately duolingo doesn't help much in that department. The feature to promote conversation practice among users also seems to have been scrapped [3].

Anyway, it seems like a good idea, I would go further and suggest that they don't allow any L1 in such diaries, forcing people to practice in their L2, and maybe only allow L1 in the comments. Otherwise Duolingo may end-up as a semi bloggging site.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

I don't see anything bad in blogging in your L1. I don't think there will be too many people who just come to blog and don't learn at all. I was active on a typeracing site with such a feature, and it was a great addition to the overall experience: people posted their thoughts and frustrations, wrote about their problems and achievements and got encouragement. I don't know anyone who stopped using the main features of the site (typeracing in this case) but kept blogging.

Personally, I see the blogging feature as a way to know other Duolingo-ers better without cluttering the forum. Right now, you only see active members appear in many topics, but don't know anything about their personalities unless you connect somehow outside Duolingo. And, personally, I don't feel like connecting on Facebook or Skype until I know people at least a little.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

Well, Duolingo is mainly for learning, and blogging in one's L1 doesn't really promote any learning. Frankly Duolingo relies too much in one's L1 in my opinion, and this will only exacerbate the problem. It requires an L1 in the lessons, in immersion, in forums, activity, and even in the words list. This is like teaching someone how to ride a bike with training wheels and never removing them. They'll never know how competent they are until they can try without it.

There are also drawbacks to allowing a micro-blogging feature here. People can start adding obscene things that will require moderation and more features to avoid people posting too much about themselves. People will generally find it harder to write nonsense in their L2.

It is fine to also have some sort of personal diary (perhaps one that is invite-only), but I think before that we need one for practicing the L2 because there is far too much focus on the L1 in this platform.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a

How would one even go about not allowing the use of a user's L1? Technically, I mean.

Also, I think you are forgetting that many of us here aren't using our L1 on here: I am writing this in my L3 or L4 (depending on how these are defined), and am learning my L8 from my L6 here.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

How would one even go about not allowing the use of a user's L1? Technically, I mean.

Using dictionaries to evaluate the sentences. Duolingo already does this to an extent during the lessons (e.g. Hindi ->English). It would prove much easier for languages with different scripts though.

Also, I think you are forgetting that many of us here aren't using our L1 on here: I am writing this in my L3 or L4 (depending on how these are defined), and am learning my L8 from my L6 here.

Not really, English is my L2 or L3 depending on how one would define it. But anyway, I wrote L2, but I really the language being currently learnt LL(Language being Learnt).

Another approach could be simply be allowing people to write in their L1 but requiring them to also write it in the LL, and hiding their L1 post by default. At least then one would learn something in the process.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic

Well, you could say something like "Hello, I have a question. Is "Ella lo soñó a él." a correct sentence? If you can, please explain. Also, is anyone else having trouble with the past tense? Please let me know in the comments!" or "I live near a large Spanish community. What dialect of Spanish should I use when talking to people?" These may be things people don't want to alert everyone about, but want to say. Also, it would be discouraging to new learners if they had to post in the language they're learning.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

In fact, your examples are perfectly valid topics to discuss on a forum. I rather meant more personal things like: "Starting from today, I will work on my Portuguese tree and then practice my French and German decayed skills. Let's see how much time it will take me to make all my trees gold", etc. - something that may only be interesting to friends, not to everyone.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic

Oh, that makes sense.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/_luso_

I like how we can already link to our Facebook and Google+ profiles for that. For me, Duolingo already provides enough opportunities to connect, and even to get to know each other before connecting. I suppose that's what we're doing even now.

April 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/niamhwitch

This might be a really dumb question... but what are L1 and L2?

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Language 1 and Language 2. If you are learning Irish through English, than English is your Language 1 and Irish is Language 2.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/niamhwitch

Thank you. Yes, English would be my L1 and Irish would be L2. Go raibh maith agat.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vishnugb

L1 is the language you are already fluent in and therefore are using that as a platform for learning another language, the L2. For example, I am learning French (L2) through English (L1).

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/niamhwitch

Thank you. :-) My cat's name is Vishnu, btw.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vishnugb

That's nice... I've never heard a cat being called Vishnu. :)

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10

Oh, that's a great idea! :) I like it. There should be an option like that in here, I agree.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1

That would be nice! It would be a good way to keep all the language links I find here in one easy to find place. Plus it would be fun to know some people here a little better - there are lots of great people here, but they pop up and then slip away...

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/BleachedCrayon

I would like some way to practice writing outside of the lessons but inside duolingo.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarmady

Since some of us spend quite a lot of their time here, why not? You may publish your language learning, articles, suggestions and opinions on the blog.

Or at least perhaps we can add a link to an external Blog page (in addition to face book).

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77

For practice in L2, there is this website, http://lang-8.com/, which lets you write posts and native speakers correct them.

April 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo

Thanks :-) I know about this site, and have already signed up, but it takes effort to build another community of friends around you. So I thought it would be great to write something here where I already have friends.

April 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77

Good point :)

April 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/FreedomWind

I want to learn German but I avoid all needless information. I don't want a blog. There are many opportunities to do it with social medias without monopolizing a learning website. So, I prefer Duolingo as it is.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a

But you wouldn't need to go to someone's profile and read their texts, nor would you be required to write your own. Like this discussion forum, it would simply be an option for those who do want to use it.

Personally, I have not found Immersion helpful for my learning at all, but it did not bother me when it was there (I'm in the EU, and thus don't see it anymore).

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

That's interesting, so essentially every single Euro citizen has been kicked out of immersion?

That makes it even more important that Duolingo adds something like olimo is suggesting, because now Euro citizens have no way of practicing reading using Duolingo. That would make it possible to read using any course, and wouldn't require any special updates to have these in mobile or even in Euro countries.

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a

Hmm, I thought I'd been kicked out of Immersion for being based in the EU. However, when I switched back from ESP<--FRA (my current course) to FRA<--ENG (my first course on here) just now, Immersion was there alright. So maybe it's just not being rolled out to newish courses as the legal situation is still being figured out (and its commercial significance reevaluated)?

Sorry for the misinformation!

April 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

No worries, Immersion is simply unavailable for new incubator languages. Some old incubator courses luckily got the immersion before Duolingo lost interest in implementing it.

That's why it is still valuable to have an area to simply read texts. I mean currently no matter how one slices it, Duolingo courses are unfair to some users because they don't get the benefit of reading immersion documents.

Regarding the EU thingie, I think Duolingo doesn't really care about monitoring immersion usage. They added the disclaimer just to cover their legal behinds.

April 5, 2015
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