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General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: Paulie on March 26, 2014, 03:24:50 AM

Title: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 26, 2014, 03:24:50 AM
Last year I tried to regain some of my Spanish skills with DuoLingo. I didn't succeed. But now I have a goal again, because we will we will go on holiday to Spain in 2,5 months!

Every day in April I will practice Spanish! I will try to practice at least 2,5 hours per week and do something every day to keep my streak going.

Who's with me in this 2014 edition of the DuoLingo challenge? Which languages do you guys want to learn/improve?

Here the people participating so far. I'll try to keep it updated as much as possible. This should also stimulate everyone to post their goals and to achieve them!

PersonDuoLingo nameLanguageGoal
PaulieDuoPaulSpanish1000 XPs per week
JFCJ-F-CGerman50-100 XPs per day
Mrs.Green'stache Spanish
Zinnie Italian
LisaCo Spanish
ScienceSexSavings Spanish
Truckmandubois141Spanish250 XPs per week
Rubybeth French
Mrfilthyrich 50 XPs per day
AyankaAyanka2 German 100 XPs per week
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: JFC on March 26, 2014, 10:56:18 AM
Count me in Paulie! I was doing German on Duolingo in late 2012 also trying to regain--and then hopefully improve--my skills but then I just stopped. I jumped back in again about three weeks ago and cleared the Duolingo history to restart at zero.

My goal has been to complete between 50 and 100 XP a day and I've been accomplishing it so far. I spend a lot of time reviewing versus just blowing through new skills. (I can't learn vocabulary as fast as Duolingo thinks you can!) I'm also borrowing German children's books from the library. The accomplishment I feel when I can actually understand a book targeted to a 2 year old is (sadly) great!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Simple Abundant Living on March 26, 2014, 11:53:48 AM
I'm not sure if this applies to your challenge, but I would really like to learn Spanish.  Do you have any recommendation you can make on programs?  I've had six years of German- high school and college- and I haven't tried learning a language outside of a classroom situation.  CD's I can listen to are great, but I would like to combine it with writing/reading to really reinforce what I am doing.  I am in the medical profession, so a working knowledge of Spanish would be really helpful for me!  Thanks!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: FrugalZony on March 26, 2014, 12:26:38 PM
I have a "daily word" emailed to me in Spanish, it does not take a lot of effort to read the daily email, but the, I'll just read it real quick, often turns into a longer, "let me look this up" session
It gives you the word, a sentence with context and a translation.
I find it quite useful and have been a subscriber for several years now

It's not Spanish English though, it's in my mother language, so won't help most of you if I posted a link.
I am pretty sure you can find Spanish/ English or in your case, Pauli, Spanish/Dutch websites when you google for that
I just don't know of any I personally tried and can recommend.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: ShortInSeattle on March 26, 2014, 01:24:37 PM
I've been having good luck with Anki. It's an app for flash cards with some great Español decks available for download.

Las damas usan abanicos cuando hace calor.

Why yes they do Anki. It's good to be prepared for these situations.

OK, some of the phrases are odd but it's a great app.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Simple Abundant Living on March 26, 2014, 02:34:57 PM
Ok, I got on duo lingo and I'm going to give it a shot.  Work is slow today, so I'm learning Spanish!  Yo soy una mujer...
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: zinnie on March 26, 2014, 02:40:13 PM
I'm in. I've been doing this with Italian for a couple months now. I love Duolingo!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: KS on March 26, 2014, 03:00:50 PM
I'd never heard of DuoLingo, thanks! Been wanting to brush back up on my mostly forgotten high school German, this site looks better than a lot of the other free learning sites I poked around on so far.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 26, 2014, 03:09:35 PM
Great that we can do this together!

JFC: I just started today again and realized that it's easier to have a goal involving XP's instead of time, so I'll see how much on average I can do.

Mrs Green'stache: First I started with a regular offline course and later I took some lessons in South America. About a year ago I started with DuoLingo, but I didn't really have a goal back then. I guess I just need the extrinsic motivation ;-).

FrugalZony and ShortInSeattle: thanks for the suggestions, I'll check them out!

And finally zinnie: welcome to the challenge!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 26, 2014, 03:30:25 PM
I'd never heard of DuoLingo, thanks! Been wanting to brush back up on my mostly forgotten high school German, this site looks better than a lot of the other free learning sites I poked around on so far.

Yes, I also like the site, they made a lot of improvements since the last time I visited.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Truckman on March 26, 2014, 04:21:30 PM
I started doing Spanish on DuoLingo last month. Hit it real hard and heavy the first week-to-10days. Haven't been on since.  I really would like to work on my Spanish, though, so count me in! 

Are there goals to meet or something, with this challenge? Or just to get on every day? Can we make a MMM group or something on DuoLingo so we can keep up with each other?
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Daley on March 26, 2014, 04:31:23 PM
For those interested in learning a language that isn't available through Duolingo, I'd like to suggest the FSI Language Courses (http://fsi-language-courses.org/) archive. The US Government's Foreign Service Institute language instructions are all public domain, and these guys have archived full copies of study materials (books and audio) for everything from Amharic to Yoruba. Fun stuff!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: zinnie on March 26, 2014, 04:58:02 PM
For those interested in learning a language that isn't available through Duolingo, I'd like to suggest the FSI Language Courses (http://fsi-language-courses.org/) archive. The US Government's Foreign Service Institute language instructions are all public domain, and these guys have archived full copies of study materials (books and audio) for everything from Amharic to Yoruba. Fun stuff!

Wow, this is an amazing resource! Thanks for the link.

Another one I have used, that is great for French and Spanish: learner.org (http://learner.org). They have the full video courses of Destinos and French in Action. I used French in Action to learn French in high school and thought it was excellent. You can buy the accompanying textbooks for next to nothing on Amazon.

Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: LisaCO on March 26, 2014, 05:44:34 PM
I've been having good luck with Anki. It's an app for flash cards with some great Español decks available for download.

Las damas usan abanicos cuando hace calor.

Why yes they do Anki. It's good to be prepared for these situations.

OK, some of the phrases are odd but it's a great app.

I want to second using Anki.  You can also make your own flashcards which I do all the time.  I use google images rather than translating back to English whenever possible.  I also make grammar flashcards when I'm trying to drill new concepts (subjunctive anyone?) .

I'm in with Spanish.

edited to add:  I forgot to mention, Anki is free if you use their computer app and I think it's free for android.  It's off the charts expensive (~$25) for ipad/iphone.  If you want to use it on an apple device, it's probably worth looking for a cheaper flash card program.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: ScienceSexSavings on March 26, 2014, 07:38:29 PM
Woo hoo! I'm already working on Spanish, so I'll happily keep up with this challenge.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 27, 2014, 01:26:40 AM
I started doing Spanish on DuoLingo last month. Hit it real hard and heavy the first week-to-10days. Haven't been on since.  I really would like to work on my Spanish, though, so count me in! 

Are there goals to meet or something, with this challenge? Or just to get on every day? Can we make a MMM group or something on DuoLingo so we can keep up with each other?

Hi Truckman, great that you're joining the challenge. I think it's best to set a number of XP's per day or week. But the challenge is to get your streak going. It would be nice to see each others progress and you can add friends at DuoLingo. Not sure if you can make a group. But my DL name is DuoPaul, so feel free to add me!

I'll try to do 1800 XPs per week.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 27, 2014, 01:27:45 AM
For those interested in learning a language that isn't available through Duolingo, I'd like to suggest the FSI Language Courses (http://fsi-language-courses.org/) archive. The US Government's Foreign Service Institute language instructions are all public domain, and these guys have archived full copies of study materials (books and audio) for everything from Amharic to Yoruba. Fun stuff!

Wow, they even offer languages I had never heard of!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: basd on March 27, 2014, 06:07:46 AM
For those interested in learning a language that isn't available through Duolingo, I'd like to suggest the FSI Language Courses (http://fsi-language-courses.org/) archive. The US Government's Foreign Service Institute language instructions are all public domain, and these guys have archived full copies of study materials (books and audio) for everything from Amharic to Yoruba. Fun stuff!

Wow, they even offer languages I had never heard of!
Yet they forgot about Dutch. Ah well, who needs that when you can learn Chinyanja ;)
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Silvie on March 27, 2014, 06:40:31 AM
Here's a Dutch article about DuoLingo.

http://vertalersnieuws.blogspot.nl/2014/02/duolingo-vriend-of-vijand.html

As a translator I'm not sure about the quality of the site, but admittedly I've nver used it to learn a language. I am currently learning Spanish at my company, they offer free language classes :)
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Daley on March 27, 2014, 07:22:07 AM
For those interested in learning a language that isn't available through Duolingo, I'd like to suggest the FSI Language Courses (http://fsi-language-courses.org/) archive. The US Government's Foreign Service Institute language instructions are all public domain, and these guys have archived full copies of study materials (books and audio) for everything from Amharic to Yoruba. Fun stuff!

Wow, they even offer languages I had never heard of!
Yet they forgot about Dutch. Ah well, who needs that when you can learn Chinyanja ;)

I'm sure it's not that the FSI hasn't done Dutch courses, but if you look through the courses available, we're talking about 500+ page PDF files and several hours of audio tapes per course... and all the source files are analog. I'm positive the archives only contain a fraction of all the linguistic materials published, but resource location and conversion takes time, especially when the service is being run solely by volunteers. ;)
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: betterlifepillars on March 27, 2014, 08:10:45 AM
I tried duolingo, but am more of a fan of Memrise http://www.memrise.com/ (http://www.memrise.com/).  I used their website until their app came out to memorize 2,000 kanji that were necessary to pass the national Japanese N2 test with only 6 months of prep. 

Memrise also has a site for Spanish that uses spaced repitition flashcards with cat memes, but I haven't tried it yet: Cat Academy http://www.catacademy.com/ (http://www.catacademy.com/)

I'm such a big fan of SRS (spaced repetition system) and Memrise that I wrote about it on my blog as my very first post for keeping your mind sharp: http://www.betterlifepillars.com/2014/02/28/how-to-become-smarter-keep-learning/ (http://www.betterlifepillars.com/2014/02/28/how-to-become-smarter-keep-learning/)
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: rubybeth on March 27, 2014, 08:31:13 AM
I'm in! I'm already working on refreshing my 3 years of high school French. I'm on level 7 in DuoLingo, but I want to complete everything before we go on a trip to Paris in July. I really need to ramp up my involvement with this.

I also have Memrise and have done a little bit of it. I need to skip some of the basics because I'm way more advanced than learning 'oui' and 'bonjour.'

I'll also make a plug to check out your local public library's language learning resources. Some libraries offer Rosetta Stone for free use on-site, or have online options you can access with your library card number, like Mango Languages, or Pronunciator, for just two examples.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: mrfilthyrich on March 27, 2014, 02:37:07 PM
I'm in.  I will go for at least 50xp everyday in April.  I briefly started a month ago and fizzled out.  This will be good to hold myself accountable.  Good luck, everyone.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 27, 2014, 02:51:26 PM
LisaCo and ScienceSexSavings (your main interests?) welcome to the challenge! Are you guys setting goals regarding XP points? Or just a nice streak?!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 27, 2014, 02:54:03 PM
Here's a Dutch article about DuoLingo.

http://vertalersnieuws.blogspot.nl/2014/02/duolingo-vriend-of-vijand.html

As a translator I'm not sure about the quality of the site, but admittedly I've nver used it to learn a language. I am currently learning Spanish at my company, they offer free language classes :)

Interesting article. Nice that you get free classes. I also took a year of Spanish classes but they are really expensive if you have to pay for them yourself :-). Also, my linguistic talents are very small, so I need a lot of classes/practice.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 27, 2014, 03:02:39 PM
I tried duolingo, but am more of a fan of Memrise http://www.memrise.com/ (http://www.memrise.com/).  I used their website until their app came out to memorize 2,000 kanji that were necessary to pass the national Japanese N2 test with only 6 months of prep. 

Memrise also has a site for Spanish that uses spaced repitition flashcards with cat memes, but I haven't tried it yet: Cat Academy http://www.catacademy.com/ (http://www.catacademy.com/)

I'm such a big fan of SRS (spaced repetition system) and Memrise that I wrote about it on my blog as my very first post for keeping your mind sharp: http://www.betterlifepillars.com/2014/02/28/how-to-become-smarter-keep-learning/ (http://www.betterlifepillars.com/2014/02/28/how-to-become-smarter-keep-learning/)

Cool that you learned Japanese! And thanks for the links!

I'm in! I'm already working on refreshing my 3 years of high school French. I'm on level 7 in DuoLingo, but I want to complete everything before we go on a trip to Paris in July. I really need to ramp up my involvement with this.

I also have Memrise and have done a little bit of it. I need to skip some of the basics because I'm way more advanced than learning 'oui' and 'bonjour.'

I'll also make a plug to check out your local public library's language learning resources. Some libraries offer Rosetta Stone for free use on-site, or have online options you can access with your library card number, like Mango Languages, or Pronunciator, for just two examples.

Nice that you also have a direct goal, that should keep the motivation up!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Silvie on March 28, 2014, 07:05:41 AM
Here's a Dutch article about DuoLingo.

http://vertalersnieuws.blogspot.nl/2014/02/duolingo-vriend-of-vijand.html

As a translator I'm not sure about the quality of the site, but admittedly I've nver used it to learn a language. I am currently learning Spanish at my company, they offer free language classes :)

Interesting article. Nice that you get free classes. I also took a year of Spanish classes but they are really expensive if you have to pay for them yourself :-). Also, my linguistic talents are very small, so I need a lot of classes/practice.

Have you tried Volksuniversiteit? It's not online but an actual class you go to once a week. They have a few different options. I took some Spanish courses there and really liked it. They are in almost every Dutch city.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Truckman on March 28, 2014, 08:38:55 AM
I just signed up for Memrise yesterday. So far I'm really digging it.

My biggest issue with learning a language is not using what I've learned.  I need to start speaking to people in Spanish - preferably people that understand Spanish...LOL.

My username on both Duolingo and Memrise is dubois141, if anyone is interested...
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: basd on March 28, 2014, 04:17:21 PM

Have you tried Volksuniversiteit? It's not online but an actual class you go to once a week. They have a few different options. I took some Spanish courses there and really liked it. They are in almost every Dutch city.
+ 1 for actual courses. I pay around 200 per year for 26 Italian classes of 1.5 hours. With an actual teacher and classmates. Not at the Volksuniversiteit, but at an international cultural organization for all things related to Italy (it's called Societa Dante Alighieri).
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: JFC on March 28, 2014, 08:44:05 PM
My username on both Duolingo and Memrise is dubois141, if anyone is interested...

Hey Truckman I just added you on Duolingo. My user name is J-F-C. I've added you as well DuoPaul (I hope that's okay). This should help keep me motivated knowing others can see when I slack off.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Truckman on March 29, 2014, 07:49:56 AM
My username on both Duolingo and Memrise is dubois141, if anyone is interested...

Hey Truckman I just added you on Duolingo. My user name is J-F-C. I've added you as well DuoPaul (I hope that's okay). This should help keep me motivated knowing others can see when I slack off.

I've added you and DuoPaul as well.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 29, 2014, 09:08:15 AM

Have you tried Volksuniversiteit? It's not online but an actual class you go to once a week. They have a few different options. I took some Spanish courses there and really liked it. They are in almost every Dutch city.
+ 1 for actual courses. I pay around 200 per year for 26 Italian classes of 1.5 hours. With an actual teacher and classmates. Not at the Volksuniversiteit, but at an international cultural organization for all things related to Italy (it's called Societa Dante Alighieri).

Yes, I did follow courses for a year about 2 years ago. They were about 300,- for half a year. I liked them, and would like to do something similar next year. DuoLingo is for now a great way to regain some of the Spanish knowledge I used to have, so I can start at a challenging level. VU is doesn't seem to expensive, about 10,- per lesson of 1,5 hours.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 29, 2014, 09:09:36 AM
I'm in.  I will go for at least 50xp everyday in April.  I briefly started a month ago and fizzled out.  This will be good to hold myself accountable.  Good luck, everyone.

Nice that you're joining! What's the language of interest?
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 29, 2014, 09:32:56 AM
I made a table, I'll update it once in a while, please post your goals!!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Daleth on March 29, 2014, 10:18:37 AM
I'm not sure if this applies to your challenge, but I would really like to learn Spanish.  Do you have any recommendation you can make on programs?  I've had six years of German- high school and college- and I haven't tried learning a language outside of a classroom situation.  CD's I can listen to are great, but I would like to combine it with writing/reading to really reinforce what I am doing.  I am in the medical profession, so a working knowledge of Spanish would be really helpful for me!  Thanks!

I used to teach two languages and have studied 8 living languages plus several dead ones (Latin, medieval languages etc.). I've tried a lot of different methods. Here's what I would recommend, in order of quality-to-price ratio:

1. Pimsleur CDs. Some libraries have these or can get them on interlibrary loan. Put them on your computer and then your iPod or phone, and you have one of the most effective methods I've ever used for learning to speak a language--FOR FREE! Even if you buy these it's not outrageously expensive (compared to, say, option 2 or a [usually useless] college class), and you may be able to find used copies on eBay or somewhere. Just make sure you're getting the full language program (Level I, Level II etc.), not one of the short tourist versions. Also be sure you're getting the right language--for instance they have a course for European/Chilean Spanish and a separate course for Central American Spanish. You can get a level for about $150 or less at Pimsleur.com (download to your computer).

Pros: amazingly effective for learning to actually have conversations in that language. May be available for free, always available for a relatively low price. Very convenient--no books, so you can practice while driving, doing the dishes, whatever.

Cons: does not teach you to read/write. This is MUCH less of an issue if you're learning a language that uses the Roman alphabet--once you can speak you can figure basic reading out pretty easily if the alphabet is the same--and of course it's a non-issue if you're just learning so you can go on vacation there or talk to people from there.

2. Berlitz one-on-one or very small group lessons. Only available in cities where there are Berlitz schools (lots and lots of cities, but not all). These are EXPENSIVE, though still less expensive (and way way more effective) than a college class.

Pros: extremely effective, and allows for more customization than a prerecorded method, since you can ask the teacher questions or ask them to focus on particular subjects you're interested in being able to talk about. Includes both conversation and some reading/writing.

Cons: expensive. We're talking in the low thousands.

#3: Berlitz CD/book courses. These are part listen/repeat stuff that you can do while driving/washing dishes etc., and part books/workbooks. I haven't found these as effective as Pimsleur--and I've never seen them in a library; you have to buy them--but they're good.

Pros: work well; teach both conversation and reading/writing.

Cons: in my experience at least, they don't work as well as Pimsleur (but they still work well). They're also probably not going to be found in a library, so getting them for free likely isn't an option.

...aaaaand I was going to mention Rosetta Stone, but it's way less convenient (you have to be sitting at your computer) and it uses a lot of flash card-like methods that don't really work that well for me personally. But still, let's call it #4.

Meanwhile, the typical college or community college class would rank something like #946. They really are not designed to give you actual skills so much as just to "expose" you to the language and culture. Passing vocabulary quizzes is not going to do much for you when you're in country!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: ScienceSexSavings on March 29, 2014, 01:22:52 PM
LisaCo and ScienceSexSavings (your main interests?) welcome to the challenge! Are you guys setting goals regarding XP points? Or just a nice streak?!

Haha, you got me :P They're 3 things that I like to teach about when I get the chance.

I haven't set a concrete goal yet - I need to look over my history and see what's reasonable. Getting a big streak going will definitely be part of it, technically I'm up to 7 days now, but yesterday's practice was after midnight, so I'm back at one.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Truckman on March 29, 2014, 02:09:29 PM
I made a table, I'll update it once in a while, please post your goals!!

Right now I'm going to set a goal of 250 pts/week for DuoLingo. 50 points a day for 5 days out of the week.  I've already hit it pretty hard today, practicing on stuff I learned a few months ago when I first started it.  I'm also doing Memrise, so between the two I think 50 points a day on DuoLingo is a good start to not get me burned out.

I'll reassess in a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Ian on March 29, 2014, 04:42:46 PM
Some useful sites here, but it looks like I haven't found a good one for Korean yet...
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Daleth on March 29, 2014, 07:18:12 PM
Some useful sites here, but it looks like I haven't found a good one for Korean yet...

Pimsleur. So far the only language I've looked for from them that they didn't have was Icelandic... ad nobody has Icelandic.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Simple Abundant Living on March 29, 2014, 07:53:46 PM
Some useful sites here, but it looks like I haven't found a good one for Korean yet...

Pimsleur. So far the only language I've looked for from them that they didn't have was Icelandic... ad nobody has Icelandic.

How does pimsleur compare to these free online sites?
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Ayanka on March 29, 2014, 08:18:23 PM
I want to learn German and I ll give duo lingo a try. My nickname is Ayanka2 and I ll set a goal of 100 XP a week. I know that is not a lot, but I ll probably overshoot that/have a hard time making that because of my schedule. And now off to bed.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Daleth on March 30, 2014, 09:14:19 AM
Some useful sites here, but it looks like I haven't found a good one for Korean yet...

Pimsleur. So far the only language I've looked for from them that they didn't have was Icelandic... ad nobody has Icelandic.

How does pimsleur compare to these free online sites?

It's orders of magnitude better. If you want to memorize a bunch of vocabulary lists and tourist catch phrases, go enjoy the online sites. If you want to actually learn to have *conversations* in a foreign language, get Pimsleur CDs, or Berlitz.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Ayanka on March 30, 2014, 10:38:37 AM
Some useful sites here, but it looks like I haven't found a good one for Korean yet...

Pimsleur. So far the only language I've looked for from them that they didn't have was Icelandic... ad nobody has Icelandic.

How does pimsleur compare to these free online sites?

It's orders of magnitude better. If you want to memorize a bunch of vocabulary lists and tourist catch phrases, go enjoy the online sites. If you want to actually learn to have *conversations* in a foreign language, get Pimsleur CDs, or Berlitz.

Actually I liked the duolingo site because it was hard on me with the grammar. I am not saying that the CDs will not be working better, but for a couple of thousands I can afterworths take a big tour in Germany to practice live...
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Daleth on March 30, 2014, 11:19:29 AM
Actually I liked the duolingo site because it was hard on me with the grammar. I am not saying that the CDs will not be working better, but for a couple of thousands I can afterworths take a big tour in Germany to practice live...

Oh, I'm not saying Pimsleur or Berlitz are soft on grammar. Just saying that mastering a language's grammar is not the same skill as being able to communicate. Pimsleur and Berlitz will teach you to communicate, and they'll point out grammar rules as needed (i.e. as they are relevant to the type of conversation you're learning to have).
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on March 31, 2014, 02:12:48 PM
Thanks for your tips/advice Daleth!

Tomorrow the challenge begins!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Truckman on March 31, 2014, 02:15:45 PM
hit my 50 pts today on DuoLingo.  Going to bounce over to Memrise and rack up some points there, too. 
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Truckman on April 04, 2014, 06:07:08 PM
Hit my goal for the week.  I had to make up some extra points today to hit my goal - I had 2 days that I hardly did anything.  Well, not totally true - I was using Memrise and forgot to get my quota for the day on DuoLingo...

Anyone else?
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: JFC on April 04, 2014, 09:47:49 PM
Hey Truckman just heading over there now. I've made my daily goal range all week so I'm happy. I think I'm the furthest west of the bunch or perhaps I just do it later in the day than everyone else -- either way, I like that when I log on I get to see everyone else's hard work for the day. It helps keep me motivated to see all of you doing so well.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on April 05, 2014, 05:07:03 AM
Nice work! I still have to practice a lot to get to my goal this week, but the streak is still going! I might lower my goal a bit.. I'll also try memrise this weekend!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Paulie on April 06, 2014, 12:47:42 PM
Just lowered my goal to 1000 XPs per week, that's hard enough already.

For the ones that are using Memrise: how do you know which course to start? Because I do not want to start at the beginning again, but they offer a lot of different courses.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: FrenchyMustache on April 08, 2014, 05:09:45 AM
Hello folks, just passing by.
I'm just willing to say that if anyone need help with French, i'll trade against hours with english.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: HattyT on June 25, 2014, 11:41:18 AM
How is the language challenge coming along? 

I have stealthily joined your DuoLingo challenge.  I love the game like interface. I love having it in my smartphone (The MMM approved Republic Wireless Moto X). I’m liking being able to do a unit over and over until I feel confident with the material. 

However, my goal for now is to be able to make small talk with strangers. I want lingo that is nice, easy, repeatable in many situations.  So far, the listen and repeat format of the Mango Listening systems is working better for that.  It’s a paid system, unless you are badass enough to get it through your library.  You can use this link to see if your library has it: http://www.findmango.com/ (http://www.findmango.com/) 

I am also finding language hackers fascinating. 
Like Tim Ferris: How to Learn Any Language in 3 Months
http://fourhourworkweek.com/2009/01/20/learning-language/#more-1077 (http://fourhourworkweek.com/2009/01/20/learning-language/#more-1077)
Tipsy Pilgrim: Get Fluent in Any Language in Just 20 Minutes!
http://tipsypilgrim.com/blog/get-fluent-in-any-language-in-just-20-minutes.html (http://tipsypilgrim.com/blog/get-fluent-in-any-language-in-just-20-minutes.html)
And Ted Talks:
How to learn any language in six months: Chris Lonsdale at TED
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNEWdn0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNEWdn0)

I’ve also found information (YouTube clips) on how to teach English as a foreign language helpful.  Both for in case I have the opportunity to trade teaching English for learning my target language, and also for help cutting through unnecessary ‘noise’ as I’m learning.

Does anyone else have language hacking links they’ve found helpful?
Anyone found any helpful teaching English links?
Is anyone else trying to learn Portuguese?
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: rubybeth on June 27, 2014, 08:34:48 AM
I am definitely failing this one. I am still on like level 8 of French and we leave for Europe in about a week. Yikes! Oh, well, at least I know how to say hello and thank you. Bonjour et merci!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Firefly on July 04, 2014, 09:27:08 AM
Count me in - Italian. Thanks to you all, learned about DuoLingo so I started using that this week and also some CDs I listen to in the car.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: amyable on July 04, 2014, 11:03:48 AM
I'll do Spanish, 50 XP a day on Duolingo + 1 Skype tutoring session a week.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: JFC on October 30, 2014, 12:02:52 PM
I'm happy to announce that I have finished the German tree in Duolingo! After a few false starts this is a great feeling. The thread has been inactive for quite a few months, but I hope some others are still quietly participating in the challenge and are making progress toward their language goals.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Jon_Snow on October 30, 2014, 12:20:12 PM
While I watch what my wife refers to disdainfully as "your sports" on TV, she sits on the couch doing her Spanish stuff on Duolingo. She says it actually might be better than Rosetta Stone, which cost us around $150 I think.

We leave for Mexico for our yearly visit in a couple of weeks, so we will see how her new skills are developing!
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: fireferrets on October 30, 2014, 07:41:44 PM
This is really neat! I am doing a lesson a day on DuoLingo for: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Irish, Italian and Portuguese.
I don't have any deadline for learning, so I'm okay with taking it slowly and building the language-learning habit. If I have extra time at the end of a day, I do review mode or practice translating materials in Spanish or French.

Don't worry, I have a mind for languages, so I do not confuse similar ones. : )
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: Al1961 on October 30, 2014, 09:48:07 PM
Thanks for bumping this!

I've been wanting to learn Spanish, but have always gotten frustrated with verb conjugations and given up without making much progress. I think I can persevere with Duolingo.

Al
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: neophyte on October 30, 2014, 10:15:04 PM
Does anyone have recommendations for good audio resources for more advanced learners?  I'm thinking like audio books, news, or podcasts intended for native speakers.  I personally am most interested in Spanish, so I can find that if I look, but if there is a site that catalogs these things for multiple languages, that could be of general interest.

Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: HattyT on November 02, 2014, 08:33:46 AM
1)     For audio resources, I'd say, YouTube is king. 
2)     Specifically my best luck so far has been Facebook.  I raid the likes of my Brazilian FB friends; their favorite music, tv shows, blogs. 
3)     Soap operas, tele-novellas are a resource.
4)     This article (good in general for free language learning resources) has a section on how to find Native Content in the Language
http://www.fluentin3months.com/free-links/ (http://www.fluentin3months.com/free-links/)
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: NinetyFour on November 02, 2014, 09:16:31 AM
Following.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: rubybeth on November 05, 2014, 10:12:19 AM
I'm taking up Dutch! So I'm back on the DuoLingo gauntlet. So far, I like it a lot.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: fireferrets on November 06, 2014, 05:33:13 PM
Check out this chart to see about how long it might take you to become proficient in a given language: http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty (http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty)

Looks like currently, most languages offered on DuoLingo would take 575-600 hours (except German [750hrs] and Irish [1100 hrs]).

The FSI is basing their estimates off 3-4 hour study per day for the # of week estimates.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: rubybeth on November 07, 2014, 08:19:28 AM
Check out this chart to see about how long it might take you to become proficient in a given language: http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty (http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty)

Looks like currently, most languages offered on DuoLingo would take 575-600 hours (except German [750hrs] and Irish [1100 hrs]).

The FSI is basing their estimates off 3-4 hour study per day for the # of week estimates.

I basically just don't want to sound like a stupid American when visiting Europe. My experience in France and Germany a few months ago was that the locals were very kind and friendly if we attempted to use a few courtesy words, and then politely ask if they spoke English, and they'd be happy to switch (if they could). I already know I'll never become a proficient speaker of Dutch, but I at least want to be able to pronounce street names and not totally butcher them, as well as learning polite greetings and how to order food or ask for directions, just in case. I'm the tourist, so I feel it's my duty to be prepared to communicate in the language of the country I'm visiting.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: fireferrets on November 07, 2014, 05:16:19 PM
Check out this chart to see about how long it might take you to become proficient in a given language: http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty (http://www.effectivelanguagelearning.com/language-guide/language-difficulty)

Looks like currently, most languages offered on DuoLingo would take 575-600 hours (except German [750hrs] and Irish [1100 hrs]).

The FSI is basing their estimates off 3-4 hour study per day for the # of week estimates.

I basically just don't want to sound like a stupid American when visiting Europe. My experience in France and Germany a few months ago was that the locals were very kind and friendly if we attempted to use a few courtesy words, and then politely ask if they spoke English, and they'd be happy to switch (if they could). I already know I'll never become a proficient speaker of Dutch, but I at least want to be able to pronounce street names and not totally butcher them, as well as learning polite greetings and how to order food or ask for directions, just in case. I'm the tourist, so I feel it's my duty to be prepared to communicate in the language of the country I'm visiting.

In that case, it might be beneficial to do a bit of research on Dutch (Holland) culture, to see what politeness means to them. For example, from what I understand, the Danish (Denmark) don't use "please" but have other ways of being polite.
Title: Re: Time to improve your language skills - DuoLingo Gauntlet
Post by: train_writer on November 08, 2014, 07:23:15 AM
While my goal for this year was picking up Russian and begin to learn Japanese, it turned out to be learning advanced French and more advanced Ukrainian.

Now that both my work assignments concerning those countries are finished, I would like to focus on Japanese, as that is where I'll spend 6 weeks travelling next May-June. I am very excited but realise i'll probably only grasp the very basics before May..
Any recommendations on websites or youtube tutorials or other?

My thought on the methods I tried: Always use a mix of methods and set small goals!
I have also good experiences with Pimsleur for several languages. I bought 2nd hand books/cd's and they can also be found easily in the library. While it looks outdated, it is a very thorough method imho if you truly want to be prepared to indulge in the language for work or life.