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[Duolingo] Sometimes, Duolingo makes us write dumb things.


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I often hear people saying that Duolingo makes them write dumb things. However, as long as a sentence or phrase is grammatically correct, I still see some use in it because it will help you to master the grammar of a language nonetheless. Sometimes stupid/weird sentences are probably even better than regular ones, because weird/stupid sentences are more likely to stick than just a boring example/sentence.

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That may sound odd because you are just starting to learn the language perhaps. I do not mind just as long as the app is useful for me. Right now I had to stop using it because the lessons do not stick to my memory. It is fun but it is not working for me. I guess I need a teacher or stop doing the self phased lessons.

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I've experienced this as well. I've been forced to say that I'm a bear and that we are turtles. I'm not kidding. I even took a screenshot:
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It's funny because it's so bad Duolingo actually has a Twitter account dedicated to them, called @sh-tduosays (Sh-t Duolingo Says).
I personally follow them on Twitter, their tweets are hilarious.

"Há três mulheres no banheiro de meu pai. - There are 3 women in my father's bathroom."
"Die Schweiz ist ohne Hoffnung. - Switzerland is without hope."
"Ich biete Euch meinen Körper an. - I offer you my body."

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This is exactly what I was talking about. They don't even bring any value and even if we are told with that we should play with the language that we are learning, I still don't see any reason behind phrases like this.

There is one benefit, though: I will never forget about how to say that I am a banana in German;.

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That is so funny! I'm thinking that's probably the reason Duolingo makes those weird sentences - to make people say "WHAT?" and actually remember.

There's been some research about that, and supposedly people learn things faster and better if they are emotional about them. If something makes you go "wow", in a positive or negative sense, you are much more likely to remember it.

On the other hand, the usefulness of "being a banana" when it comes to daily situations is, of course, doubtful :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I actually kind of like the strange things Duolingo makes you write. It makes the learning process a little bit more fun, and I do find that those sentences help make the words and grammar stick! They may be silly, but if the sentences are correct, I see no problem. :)

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Duolingo is a simple computer generated program that uses things that were programmed into and then randomly choosing a noun, verb, etc. Ever so often I feel like that doulingo is not that far away from Memrise in that sense.

Memrise is a memory developing app that also has language programs in it, but the only thing it does is helping memorizing the vocabulary. We can all agree that duolingo is really great thing but can be developed and improved a lot.

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From the looks of it, the language is German.  While Duolingo is a great way to learn a language, it does have flaws and is far from perfect.  Maybe the developers decided to make Duolingo a bit more fun.  Whether the errors are intentional or not, it is more likely that people will remember the errors more than the correct ones.  Learning a language is fun, but these strange phrases, no matter how grammatically correct they may be, would be crossing the line.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know why they came up with such sentences, but I guess they try to apply knowledge from more than one chapter in each exercise, for example, to be verb + food... and they repeat those sentences a lot because the more you repeat more you learn. I don't know why, I am just guessing.  I would other apps to see which one is a better fit for you.

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  • 3 months later...

You get a lot of stuff like   the horse drinks wine   or the horse eats rice..

but the point is the vocabulary, not necessarily you learning useful sentenes,  learn,  drinks, horse, wine,  rice. and also how drinks and eats are conjugated.  There is a lot you can learn from that stupid sentence.

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Yes! I also realized this the other way. Of course dulingo is a machine trying to pick nouns and verbs and putting them together but there a lot of funny ones. I also had the idea of screen shotting them and doing a blog with title - weird duolingo - or something like this.

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It's for shock value - all that matters is the sentence is grammatically correct and that you make that mnemonic connection that reminds you of the grammar, right? I'm not sure I necessarily agree with this philosophy, but if it works, I don't see the problem, really. 

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I totally agree that Duolingo makes you write out sentences that you will never write out in your life. I wish they had some sentences that we could actually use in the future like "I am looking for a restaurant to eat at." If my language skills and verbal skills are bad, at least I can write out a note and the other person can read it and understand me.

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Hahahaha, I got that phrase as well in Dutch. Not very original if you ask me ;)  But those guys do what they can,  I used that app for a while but then after a while I got really bored.  Simply because they didn't make me say or write things I could use to start a conversation.  Unless I wanted to talk about bears that like to drink beers.  I actually wrote them something regarding to that, that if only they wrote things with context and colloquialisms.  That would help a lot!  Focusing on widely used greetings and common phrases would help a lot as well.  

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On 10/29/2015 at 1:40 AM, anna3101 said:

That is so funny! I'm thinking that's probably the reason Duolingo makes those weird sentences - to make people say "WHAT?" and actually remember.

There's been some research about that, and supposedly people learn things faster and better if they are emotional about them. If something makes you go "wow", in a positive or negative sense, you are much more likely to remember it.

On the other hand, the usefulness of "being a banana" when it comes to daily situations is, of course, doubtful :)

 

That is a very interesting theory, actually they say something similar about mind mapping.  That is why images are used a lot, and words not so much.  Maybe I should give this app a try now that I am trying to learn new vocabulary :)  If I recall right I did learn some new words there, but I am kind of worried after hearing some Dutch natives have found several mistakes that the Duolingo team wasn't willing to correct.

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I'd recommend Memrise. I haven't used Duolingo much, but in Memrise, users can submit text/images that can help you remember what you're learning, in addition to scoreboards. I used it to learn some Russian, Swedish, and other languages. I think it's genius.

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