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duolingo.com vs spanishdict.com


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I´ve used both of these sites and think duoloingo is better.  My reason is mainly based on the way they test you.  Spanishdict uses a system where you earn 10 points for a correct answer, but you lose possible points very quickly based on the time it takes you to answer.  My typing is pretty good, and I even have a few of the special spanish characters memorize for typing.  But when taking the tests, I always feel like it is a speed typing exercise more than a spanish lesson, especially since spelling errors result in a wrong answer. There are times when I know the answer right away, but still earn 7 of 10 points based solely on having to correct a typing mistake before I submit my answer.

duolingo doesn´t time your answer, and also gives partial credit if you closely mispell a word.  With this site, I definitely feel like I am being tested on my spanish, not my typing speed.

Duolingo is also more streamlined.. which is good and bad. Spanishdict has videos of an actress practicing a bunch of stuff, then you move to the drills and testing.  Duoling, you go straight to the drills and testing and there isn´t a lot of fluff.  It depends on your own personal scheduling, but I would prefer to just get to the meat of it.

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I really like duolingo. I haven't used it for Spanish, but have used the site to learn French and I must say that it is one of the best free sites on the web. Their design is really cute and they teach you so much quickly.

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This isn't the first time I'm hearing good things about Duolingo so I think I may just give in and give it a try. If I remember correctly, under a different topic someone mentioned that there is also a free Android app too! So that's just an added bonus

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  • 4 weeks later...

I tried DuoLingo, and I must say it was awfully boring for me. I couldn't stick with it. It also has some shortfalls, since you have zero opportunities for using the language spontaneously and creatively as you would in a real-world conversation. Successfully translating nonsensical sentences like "My horse drinks wine" from English into the target language is a far cry from functional, spontaneous and creative language use. Nor does DuoLingo provide much contact with language above the sentence level. Trying to comprehend a news article or a chapter from a novel are very different from translating "the glass" into the target language.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've enjoyed using Duolingo, but now that I think about it, the above posts are right. There isn't much beyond translating a sentence, is there?  My area I have the most trouble with is conversational Spanish and Duolingo doesn't help much with that aspect of learning. I sure would love a good conversational Spanish course that wasn't costly.

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  • 1 month later...

I prefer Duolingo as well. I use it for Spanish and French and I feel like it goes over the grammar and vocabulary enough that I have a good grasp on it by the time I get tested. I like the testing format as well and I think it is helpful and constructive. :smile:

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  • 2 months later...

I have been using Duolingo for awhile now, & I must say that I'm enjoying it fairly well. It's great if you want to build your vocab. It isn't the best when it comes to conversational Spanish (as in actually speaking with someone), but I believe the sentence translating is definitely helping to give you an idea of what one might say in a conversation.

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  • 1 month later...

I can only speak for spanishdict. I used it when i was a complete beginner and it helped so much. I remember those days, it was about 3 years ago. I don't know about duolingo maybe it's nice as well.

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  • 7 months later...

I can only speak for spanishdict. I used it when i was a complete beginner and it helped so much. I remember those days, it was about 3 years ago. I don't know about duolingo maybe it's nice as well.

SpanishDict was really nice with great videos and all that.  I just really disliked the ´timed´ aspect to the tests.  It put too much of the emphasis on your typing skills.

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Dear OP, I have no experience with spanishdict at all, but from the sounds of it... it sounds like a really bad site to practice Spanish.  I have a lot experience with Duolingo, and yes, even tho my mother language is Spanish I have checked the Spanish course they offer and I must say it's really great considering it's free.  I actually like the way they test you! I wish they added the pronunciation option to the Dutch course, that would be awesome!

Duolingo is such a valuable resource!  I only hope they don't start charging for it soon, it is so good!

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I've enjoyed using Duolingo, but now that I think about it, the above posts are right. There isn't much beyond translating a sentence, is there?  My area I have the most trouble with is conversational Spanish and Duolingo doesn't help much with that aspect of learning. I sure would love a good conversational Spanish course that wasn't costly.

Actually that is something i really dislike about Duolingo (but in general I love it), the fact the only make you translate phrases and in most cases they don't make much sense.  That upsets me! I wish they used real examples, not only grammatically correct language constructions, because the student ends up so confused then!  Like me learning dutch... I often wonder... would if be correct if I say it like this when speaking to a dutch person? 

Because Duolingo puts too much emphasis on showing grammatically correct phrases, but rarely uses real examples of language constructions used daily. Hence I have stopped using Duloingo (for now, because Duolingo is actually super useful to learn new vocab and practice it!) and focusing more on my course and other materials.

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  • 9 months later...
On 3/6/2015, 10:30:29, Trellum said:

 

Actually that is something i really dislike about Duolingo (but in general I love it), the fact the only make you translate phrases and in most cases they don't make much sense.  That upsets me! I wish they used real examples, not only grammatically correct language constructions, because the student ends up so confused then!  Like me learning dutch... I often wonder... would if be correct if I say it like this when speaking to a dutch person? 

As a Spanish native speaker too, I totally agree with Trellum about Duolingo. Personally if found Spanishdict to be a better option over it.

In fact I would go farther saying that WordReference, Reverso and SpanishCentral are many times better than Duolingo.

Another resource I use whether for English, Spanish or else is linguee.com, which can return the translation for a phrase you are familiar with in your own language, but in the different possible ways it is found on real online examples.

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5 hours ago, OmniHead said:

As a Spanish native speaker too, I totally agree with Trellum about Duolingo. Personally if found Spanishdict to be a better option over it.

In fact I would go farther saying that WordReference, Reverso and SpanishCentral are many times better than Duolingo.

Another resource I use whether for English, Spanish or else is linguee.com, which can return the translation for a phrase you are familiar with in your own language, but in the different possible ways it is found on real online examples.

 

What about Memrise? ;)  I know a lot people find it tedious to create their own word lists, but they ignore that doing that actually helps them learn said words even faster.  I know it did help me, but it requires constant work :(  I'd never go back to Duolingo to ''learn'' a language ever... total waste of time.  Maybe if they used phrases that were more useful, and made more sense (maybe some context wouldn't hurt)  Duolingo wouldn't be so bad. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I love using Duolingo as it has a facebook integration and translate familiar words in Facebook making you learn useful words that you encounter everyday. But it can be too formal and not exactly how you will use it in a daily conversation. Memrise is a good tool for both conversational and formal but not one hundred percent accurate as anyone can contribute. I strongly recommend Culture Alley but it only offers Chinese and Spanish.

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going to jump back into my own thread to defend duolingo a bit.    I think it is just a preference, but for me I would rather learn vocabulary as lessons and pick up as much grammar as possible passively by doing the vocabulary lessons.  Learning conjugation is not fun, but learning new words is.  Duolingo is definitely for beginners and is very light, but it is also pretty fast at building a basic vocabulary and doing a lot of repetition of conjugating present tense.

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  • 3 months later...

I've never used Spanishdict so I can't say anything about it. I've been using Duolingo and I think that it's a good site to start learning the language and build a decent vocabulary but then you must move on to something else if you want to be able to go beyond writing a correct sentence. Duolingo can be a great site for beginners, it's easy, funny and it gives you a  rather good foundation. Even better if you finish the language tree and then you start it again from the other perspective, like a reverse tree, that way you can learn even more. From there you can start reading books, listening to audiobooks, watching subtitled movies/tv shows. Anything helps.

 

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Duolingo actually helped me when I was at a lower level in Spanish, a quite low level actually. It just introduced me to new words and ways of expressing things that we weren't learning in school. However, now I'm at a B1/B2 level and Duo does nothing for me. I'm above the level they teach. Still it's a good way to get started with a language. If you make notes and complete the tree, all while supplementing with other things like Memrise and books, you'll do well. 

SpanishDict I still use, but for their conjugation tool and explanations of grammar + quizzes. It's not like Duolingo though is it? It's like a reference website. They own Fluencia, but that's separate and paid. 

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  • 1 month later...

I have no experience with SpanishDict, but I have used Duolingo and when it comes to it, my opinion is divided.

In general, I liked the concept of Duolingo and the sentences they chose were fairy good. However, it's not a perfect app. I remember being frustrated with the speaking part. I was learning on my tablet and whenever I said something, the app marked it as incorrect and took points and then I had to stay longer on one lesson - it was pointless. My mum was learning Spanish via Duolingo too and she experienced the same problem. She too stopped after awhile.

The second problem I had encountered was not so serious, but still very annoying. I had started with German to collect a few points and I had passed about 20 lessons in two or three days. Then I'd skipped the day and when I came back, I found that Duolingo had marked almost half of the lessons for me to repeat. Pointless! I don't want to do another lesson with household items or family relations, it's boring - I already know that. So I stopped simply because it was forcing me to repeat the lessons. It was too much of a bother.

Still, it was a good app. There were a lot of good things. I'd started learning Irish and Italian, it was fun. But I experienced the same problem. My lessons went from golden (perfect score) to simply "passed." It was incredibly annoying.

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