Learning German from DuoLingo: Day 55

in #steemexclusive2 months ago (edited)

Today was day 55 in my ongoing effort at learning to read the German language through use of the DuoLingo application and web site. The remainder of this post will discuss my activities during the last two days.

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Bahnof: Pixabay license: source

Today was a big milestone, because I was grateful to wake up and find a German language comment from @chriddi. This was the first German-language response to any of my posts in this series. I tried to read it on my own, and did manage to get a sense of it, but I had to fall back to Bing translate to understand it better. An interesting thing from that comment is learning that Fettnäpfchen (fat bowls or fat cups) is something like "faux pas". This evening, I replied in German, using some words that I know, but also with the help of Bing translate. Hopefully, my reply says something close to what I intended. I invite other German speakers to reply to future posts in German, too, although I can't necessarily promise that my own answers to those replies will make much sense.

One thing that I took advantage of yesterday is that if you complete lessons on the web site, you don't lose hearts when you get answers wrong. The drawback on the web site is that there are no "Hard" practice excercises that give a +20 XP score. So from a gaming perspective, the ideal thing seems to be to complete new lessons on the web site, but do practice exercises on the cell phone.

Yesterday, day 54, I completed some more lessons in the "Adverbs 1" category and also a number of practice exercises. Today, day 55, I completed the last of 5 levels in Adverbs and began on "Places 1". The tips for "Places 1" includes a reminder that for the accusative cases, "der' maps to "den" and "ein" maps to "einen". I have to acknowledge that along with previously mentioned challenges, I'm also still struggling with recognizing the accusative case.

Here are some words/phrases from "Adverbs 1" and "Places 1"

GermanEnglish
Schule (die)school
Schulen (die)schools
Bahnof (der)Train station
Bahnhöfe (die)Train stations
Haus (das)house
Häusen(die)houses
Markt (der)Market
Märkte (die)Markets
Bank (die)Bank
Banken (die)Banks
auchalso
immer nochstill
soso
Ich auchMe too
nuronly
immeralways
zutoo
zusammentogether
Das ist so.That is the way it is.
alleinalone (I remember this as "all" + "ein" (or "all one")

And here are the numbers that DuoLingo is currently reporting:

  • Streak: 55
  • Crowns: 97 (@cmp2020 passed 100 today)
  • XP today: 163
  • Total XP: 9585
  • League: Pearl
  • Place in league: 1
  • XP in league: 839
  • Time remaining in league: 2d 1h 38m
  • Words learned: 360 reported on cell phone, 422 reported on web page
  • Followers: 4

No new special characters in today's post, so the full table (so far) look like this:

Key presscharacter
ALT-0196Ä
ALT-0214Ö
ALT-0223ß
ALT-0228ä
ALT-0246ö
ALT-0252ü

If you want to learn a foreign language (or Klingon or High Valyrian), my recommendation for DuoLingo continues to be "thumbs up". According to the app, you can also use DuoLingo to learn endangered languages like Navajo or Hawaiian.

For the record, I should also note that wikipedia offers the following criticism:

Duolingo has received criticism for its lack of effectiveness in helping students to fully learn a language. Duolingo CEO, Luis von Ahn, promises only to get users to a level between advanced beginner and early intermediate: 'A significant portion of our users use it because it's fun and it's not a complete waste of time'. After six months of studying French with Duolingo, von Ahn demonstrated a lack of basic verb tenses when asked to describe his weekend in French, "mangling his tenses." Bob Meese, Duolingo's chief revenue officer, did not immediately understand the spoken question "¿Hablas español?" after six months of Duolingo Spanish study.

Language coach and Podcaster Kersten Cable has criticized the app for "its impractical vocabulary, its insistence upon one acceptable translation per sentence prompt, and its lack of explanation for incorrect answers"[77] describing the Duolingo's method as "you learn by parroting phrases without even beginning to cover the background stories that grammar and pragmatics tell."[78] Linguist Steven Sacco at the San Diego State university attempted to test Duolingo's claim of "34 hours of Duolingo are equivalent to a full university semester of language education"[79] by completing a course in Swedish and taking a standardized elementary exam ultimately receiving a failing grade.[77] Sacco suggested some use for Duolingo as helpful for learning vocabulary only in addition to immersion environments like a classroom.[77] Both Sacco and Cable added that Duolingo's translation method of teaching is ultimately inferior to learning language in an immersion environment.

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Es freut mich sehr, dass ich dich erfreut habe!

Mein Kommentar war für einen Anfänger auch nicht ganz leicht zu verstehen. Ich schreibe zu oft zu lange Sätze. Aber er hat dich motiviert und das ist prima... ;-)

Das Fettnäpfchen ist lustig. Das gibt es garantiert in jeder Sprache.

A German president is said to have once said to the Queen: "You can say you to me."

That's a very typical "clumsy mistake" (Fettnäpfchen).

I don't know any translation program that can tell the difference between "you" (Sie) and "you" (du).
As a German teacher I notice very well if someone tries to deal with the language or uses a translation program. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that either. It is a good help and for some people maybe the way to learn a language.

Du bist auf einem guten Weg!

Liebe Grüße
Chriddi

Danke für die Kommentare (Anmerkungen? Bemerkungen? Antworten?). Sie waren eine Herausforderung zu verstehen, aber auch gute Praxis.

Das Fettnäpfchen ist lustig. Das gibt es garantiert in jeder Sprache.

Das denke ich auch, und ich denke "fat cups" war lustig, zu (von Bing).

As a German teacher I notice very well if someone tries to deal with the language or uses a translation program.

As I go through this process, I've been wondering if Steem's communities could be harnessed to help people create an immersive learning environment. I'm curious if you have any thoughts about this at all from the perspective of an instructor?

Of course, there is nothing wrong with that either. It is a good help and for some people maybe the way to learn a language.

I agree with this, too. I think the key is in how the translation tool is used. Personally, I am trying to actually understand the results, not just copy and paste them from one window to another.

Du bist auf einem guten Weg!

Ich hoffe es.

Kommentare (Anmerkungen? Bemerkungen? Antworten?)

"Kommentare" ist gut, da sehr allgemein. You can hardly do anything wrong with it.
"Anmerkungen" would be suitable, for example, in my correction of "Antwort".
"Bemerkungen" is hardly used in written language. For example, you make a funny "Bemerkung" in a seminar at college.
"Antworten" are answers on questions.
The word "Rückmeldung" should also be mentioned. That's "feedback". It is funny that we Germans love to use this anglicism, we often use "Feedback".

LOL - I'm not on duty today... ;-) But I had the feeling that you seriously wanted feedback.

I've been wondering if Steem's communities could be harnessed to help people create an immersive learning environment.

That's a great idea! Personally, though, I haven't thought about it yet.
A friend and me had a project once. There are native speakers in our community who write good articles, but are orthographically very weak. We offered a kind of editing, but that was not desired.

At the moment I am honestly trying with a lot of effort to "save" the community #deutsch - it seems to destroy itself. Maybe in the future I have to orientate myself more internationally. Who knows? Maybe we will start a project together... ;-)

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