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Duolingo Friend List Expansion Thread
August 22, 2013 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Someone suggested in the foreign language thread on the Blue that we have a Duolingo username exchange thread, so I thought I'd bell the cat.

Here, I'll start. I'm nsedlock over there. I was making good Spanish progress for a while, and would like some motivation to get back into it.
posted by Elementary Penguin to MetaFilter-Related at 8:13 AM (139 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

I am 'quinby' on Duolingo. I've friended the Metafilter meta-friend to boot.

"je manges une pomme"
posted by jquinby at 8:18 AM on August 22, 2013


o/

celsius1414 over there as well. Was working on my Spanish over the summer but have gotten distracted of late. There are reportedly new lessons to be had, so I'm thinking of just re-starting at the beginning and moving forward again.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:18 AM on August 22, 2013


This looks like the best option for me to get my Spanish back. Mostly because I want to be able to tak to myself without people understanding. I'm theichibun over there too.
posted by theichibun at 8:20 AM on August 22, 2013


I'm Lisa McG over there. Thanks for setting up this thread, EP. Great idea with the Metafilter meta-friend idea, atrazine.
posted by _Mona_ at 8:22 AM on August 22, 2013


I'm MeghanC over there. I am admittedly abysmal at languages, but DuoLingo is (slowly) starting to make it stick, except for French, which still leaves me banging my head against walls.
posted by MeghanC at 8:23 AM on August 22, 2013


I'm malthas over there as well, and I friended the MetaFriend!
posted by malthas at 8:24 AM on August 22, 2013


I'm malocchio on DuoLingo...haven't used it for a while but this seems like a good time to pick it up again.
posted by malocchio at 8:26 AM on August 22, 2013


I had never heard of DuoLingo before this post but now's as good a time as any to refresh that college German (or high school French?). I'm victoriajohnson.
posted by troika at 8:26 AM on August 22, 2013


Holy cats some of you guys have a ton of little gold coins.
posted by jquinby at 8:30 AM on August 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh - I just noticed that Duolingo is on the pull-down list of social media thingies in our MeFi profile pages.
posted by jquinby at 8:31 AM on August 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ah, good catch jquinby. Added mine there.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:32 AM on August 22, 2013


Awesome. The "Metafilter" dummy user is a clever idea, good thinking!

I'm duoBugs (spot the clever naming convention!), and horribly, horribly out of practice.
posted by metaBugs at 8:38 AM on August 22, 2013


Also: "bell the cat".

...what?
posted by metaBugs at 8:40 AM on August 22, 2013


By the way, I've found Twitter to be a great resource for having access to Spanish speakers/writers (and I assume other languages). In addition to general news sites, I've followed various folks/organizations that share my interests (e.g. cycling, food, space, etc.).

This thread motivated me to finally get around to creating a Twitter list of the Spanish feeds I follow, so if anyone else is interested, please feel free to have a gander.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:51 AM on August 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Holy crap. Had no idea this existed. And they have an Android app! I just signed up.
posted by zarq at 9:00 AM on August 22, 2013


Hey cool, I just signed up after reading that thread and was just looking around the site, funny to see this thread immediately afterwards. Had never heard of it before and I'm not really sure how it works yet but my username is randomnity86. I'm really bad at languages so I'm not expecting much, but I'd love to revive my forgotten French.

(Does it always need sound? That's going to deter me from using it in public places, obviously)
posted by randomnity at 9:06 AM on August 22, 2013


You can turn off the need for speaking aloud via settings, but I don't think you can get rid of sound altogether. Headphones are a help.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:10 AM on August 22, 2013


Belling the cat
posted by dhruva at 9:12 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just joined. I am MoxieParker (uh, I named myself after our youngest cat).
posted by Kitteh at 9:17 AM on August 22, 2013


Thube ubonluby ubothuber lubanguubage Ubi'm ubat uball gubood ubat ubis Ububbubi Dububbubi. Ubi'm guubessubing thubat duboesubn't quubalubifuby mube.
posted by Toekneesan at 9:19 AM on August 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wish it had Japanese so I didn't have to read Dragon Ball.
posted by theichibun at 9:22 AM on August 22, 2013


I'm primalux - diligently trying to keep my Spanish from going to crap.
Also, thanks for the twitter list link Celsius1414!
posted by primalux at 9:26 AM on August 22, 2013


Ubi ubused tubo bube quubonsubar.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:34 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


dhruva - thanks! I do vaguely remember the story, but I'd never heard the expression before.
posted by metaBugs at 9:51 AM on August 22, 2013


Hi there, I'm duolinguist ambrosen.
posted by ambrosen at 9:53 AM on August 22, 2013


How fun. I've wanted to learn Italian for ages. bearwife over there too, now that I've signed up.
posted by bearwife at 9:55 AM on August 22, 2013


attackpony
posted by polywomp at 10:03 AM on August 22, 2013


Reminding me of Duolingo AND teaching me the idiom 'bell the cat' -- Best MetaTalk thread this week, certainly.

I'm LogopolisMike over there.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:07 AM on August 22, 2013


Skybly, trying to brush up my (very limited) Spanish.
posted by Skybly at 10:12 AM on August 22, 2013


Signed up for Duolingo ages ago but never really checked it out. This seems like a good time to start!

I'm estherbester, trying to learn German
posted by estherbester at 10:21 AM on August 22, 2013


I'm embfitz there -- usually brushing up on Spanish, occasionally wandering into Italian, and utterly confused by French.
posted by gnomeloaf at 10:40 AM on August 22, 2013


I forgot that I signed up on Duolingo to brush up my HS French - I'm Julnyes over there as well.

Thanks for the reminder - adding people right now.
posted by Julnyes at 10:45 AM on August 22, 2013


I'm VaguelyArtistic on DuoLingo, currently 2/3 of the way to Spanish 9 (so still a beginner.)

If anyone is hesitant to try it because they haven't had luck with languages in the past, give it a shot, it's really working!
posted by Room 641-A at 10:46 AM on August 22, 2013


And they have an Android app!

Oh yes, the app is fantastic!
posted by Room 641-A at 10:53 AM on August 22, 2013


My name is in my profile. I'm learning French right now, but will drop into Spanish in the future.
posted by Night_owl at 10:57 AM on August 22, 2013


I'm Renoroc over there too.
posted by Renoroc at 11:08 AM on August 22, 2013


JuanaBlanca787 - trying to brush up on my Italian!
posted by DrGirlfriend at 11:12 AM on August 22, 2013


You can also take a look for MeFites at Duolingo in the Social Explorer.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:13 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Holy cats, this is awesome. I've always wanted to learn Spanish--took a few basic courses and it didn't really stick, even though I've studied both French and Italian with some success. Speaking of, I'd love to brush up on my high-school French while I'm at it. I'm tzikeh. Gonna go friend the metafilter dummy account now!
posted by tzikeh at 12:19 PM on August 22, 2013


Sienamystic on Duolingo, have already been randomly friending Mefites in the past few minutes!
posted by PussKillian at 12:37 PM on August 22, 2013


Should have said, this is to brush up on my never-very-strong Italian.
posted by PussKillian at 12:39 PM on August 22, 2013


My spelling in Spanish is terrible. The drilling of "listen then type" is excellent. Plus peer pressure from all of you...
posted by janell at 12:45 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm on there as teacamelpyramid. I haven't really spoken Spanish since my Abuela died, but my child's preschool is an immersion one and some of the staff members don't speak English. I understand what everyone is saying, but when I open my mouth only tumbleweeds come out.
posted by Alison at 12:45 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm on a mission to learn italian and relearn french - lacquagatto over there and I need motivation desperately!
posted by danapiper at 12:45 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm nhazelton, working on Spanish. Maybe this will provide me with the jumpstart I need! I had a nice streak going and then I missed a day and my motivation disappeared.
posted by SugarAndSass at 12:48 PM on August 22, 2013


Oh cool! Signed up as katallison -- Spanish, here I come!
posted by Kat Allison at 12:50 PM on August 22, 2013


KAT ALLISON HOW THE HELL ARE YOU, AMIGA OR SHOULD I SAY ¿CÓMO ESTAS?
posted by tzikeh at 12:53 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm HeartsEase, learning French And Sweetums on Memrise, which is really useful for drilling all that new vocabulary.
posted by heart's ease at 1:09 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm, shock of shocks, hoyland, though I haven't been on it in a couple months now.
posted by hoyland at 1:09 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm on there as this same name. I've had it for a while and never done anything with it though.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 1:38 PM on August 22, 2013


Hm - there's something goofy with the links to our Duolingo accounts from our MeFi profiles. They all default to the main Duolingo page, instead of taking us to each user's account.

Any ideas?
posted by tzikeh at 1:53 PM on August 22, 2013


Yay language learners of mefiland!
posted by jph at 1:53 PM on August 22, 2013


I've restarted learning French after a long break, and it's actually quite tricky. Going back to the "basics" seems to be giving me quite complex sentences drawn from all of the modules I've completed in the past, not just the easy, beginning stuff. It's coming back to me, but practising the first few modules is more of a slog than I had expected!

tzikeh - Is that happening consistently for you? I just clicked yours, and it took me to your user page as expected.
posted by metaBugs at 2:05 PM on August 22, 2013


tzikeh, I see the main page and then the user profile snaps into place. Do you have JavaScript disabled, or a browser extension that keeps JavaScript from running?
posted by pb (staff) at 2:05 PM on August 22, 2013


metaBugs: tzikeh - Is that happening consistently for you? I just clicked yours, and it took me to your user page as expected.

I tried to get to the Duolingo profile pages of Night_Owl and Janell (links to MeFi profile pages), and both defaulted to the home page.

pb: Do you have JavaScript disabled, or a browser extension that keeps JavaScript from running?

Quite possibly; I'm at work, where the computers are from last millennium. I'll try again at home.
posted by tzikeh at 2:10 PM on August 22, 2013


Yep, those both work as expected for me.
posted by metaBugs at 2:14 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm Dpnash there. Working on French. But hadn't logged in for a while and just now when I did (to make sure I remembered my profile name right) it said one of my skills has "lost strength." Mon dieu! Putain!
posted by dnash at 2:28 PM on August 22, 2013


I will endeavour to expand on my scant Spanish. I'm Silverbees!
posted by deborah at 2:36 PM on August 22, 2013


Aha, now I know why I've been getting notifications today! Like every other time I've tried to pick up French again, I used duolingo a lot for a while, then fell off the wagon. Getting a new job that I don't need to escape from with time-killing activity had something to do with it. Maybe I should try, try again.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 3:04 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm JannaK over there as well, attempting to learn Spanish. Peer pressure might help!
posted by JannaK at 3:09 PM on August 22, 2013


I hadn't heard of this, thanks. I'm eruonna there now, studying Portuguese.
posted by eruonna at 4:13 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm Lexica there as well as here.

Their help function is making me cranky. What's the difference between "friend" and "follow"? And how does one "follow" somebody, anyway?
posted by Lexica at 4:26 PM on August 22, 2013


Lexica, I think they're the same thing, but friend is mutual and follow is not. So, to befriend someone, go to their profile and click "Add Friend". You'll show up as a follower on their list until they friend you back. (I think....that's how it appeared to work when I tried it)
posted by JannaK at 4:29 PM on August 22, 2013


ersatz was taken, so I'm... quepena.
posted by ersatz at 4:51 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm peiyunc. Thanks for this thread! It got me to finally start on my French again.
posted by undue influence at 5:07 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm kofcarrotflowers over there, learning Spanish. Thanks for the twitter list Celsius1414! I follow several Spanish Twitter feeds for the same reasons, and it's been really rewarding to have what felt like a parallel universe gradually reveal itself to me over time as I learned. I'm not so organised as to have a list of the Spanish Twitter accounts I follow, but have found some great Spanish music (indie pop/rock and jazzy hip-hop), if anyone's looking for some. The best part of learning a new language has been how this whole new world opens up, all the people doing and making things I love in this other world I can now access! :)
posted by catchingsignals at 5:16 PM on August 22, 2013


Ooh, a fun new way to (maybe) (finally) teach myself some German! Signed up as cellar.door.
posted by cellar door at 5:32 PM on August 22, 2013


re: twitter - I tweet mostly in Spanish. I'm not amazingly interesting or anything but I'd be happy to be a Spanish twitter buddy with anyone who wants to practice their Spanish. Link to my account is in my profile. I swear I'm not trolling for followers!

(edited to fix typos caused by a wiggly toddler on my lap)

posted by DrGirlfriend at 5:43 PM on August 22, 2013


I just joined under the username matildaben. I'll try using it to brush up my Spanish before my Guatemala trip this winter.
posted by matildaben at 5:47 PM on August 22, 2013


I just learned of this site now and signed up. I am new Spanish learner Literaryhero. Yay!
posted by Literaryhero at 6:13 PM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also new to DuoLingo, also signed up for Spanish. Username: DirtyOldTown.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:16 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm gjamq on Duolingo. I signed up for French a couple of months ago so I should probably get back on it.

I speak Spanish so if I anyone wants to practice hit me up (does Duolingo have messages? if not, via memail).
posted by Memo at 6:27 PM on August 22, 2013


Sometime ago, I signed up on Memrise but didn't follow it up properly. This one seems interesting too. I just signed up for German with the same username ssri.
posted by ssri at 6:54 PM on August 22, 2013


Hi. Oi! Wie geht's?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:44 PM on August 22, 2013


Yay I have been doing this for a while but my irl friends are not really into it. I'm coreybeaker over there trying to get my French on.

The audio part has been the best thing ever; my listening comprehension has skyrocketed making md wonder why we never just had 'spelling tests' in high school French....
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:45 PM on August 22, 2013


Great idea! I'm wiskunde on DuoLingo as well and currently trying to brush up on French and Spanish.
posted by wiskunde at 7:47 PM on August 22, 2013


I just signed up for Spanish under "tntwork". Excited to start learning!
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:05 PM on August 22, 2013


I'm acb there. I've been mostly doing German, with a detour into Spanish before Primavera this year. Mein Deutsch ist noch sehr schlecht.
posted by acb at 1:55 AM on August 23, 2013


If you're doing Italian, feel free to contact me (sc_acc) with questions. (Duolingo really doesn't have a wiki, a grammar, or basically any in-place system to actually teach you rules.) I'd highly suggest listening to some Italian radio, because the audio on Duolingo isn't quite at the speed you'll have to deal with. Here's the station I suggest:

http://tunein.com/radio/Radio-24-1048-s26090/

Radio 24. They have shows archived there, too, so you can listen to shows on different themes (health, soccer, politics, etc). They also have a number of documentary shows, as well.
posted by sutt at 4:16 AM on August 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, I take that back regarding duolingo having no grammar rules. They've apparently added them in (at least, in the Italian lessons, which I just tried again). That's great, and was sorely needed.
posted by sutt at 5:47 AM on August 23, 2013


I signed up for French as crazyasafox. Hit me up yo.
posted by A Bad Catholic at 11:39 AM on August 23, 2013


I'm there as rhiannonstone. Working on my Spanish, though I slowed down a bit when I started taking a class.

So I feel kinda dumb, but what exactly does the friend function do? Do we just follow each others' progress? Can we chat? Do we compete?
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:00 PM on August 23, 2013


Ooh, hopefully this will get me back into playing with Duolingo. I'm jdherg there too.
posted by jdherg at 3:14 PM on August 23, 2013


rhiannonstone, i wondered too - I think it is mostly for competition; a little friendly motivation?
posted by Tandem Affinity at 5:43 PM on August 23, 2013


I am being the metafilter cheerleader. If you go to the 'Stream' tab you can 'awesome' other people's achievements. Also it works something like Facebook where you can post comments and comment on other people's achievements.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:20 PM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm Apwoh, working on French. I haven't been on there in a while and some motivation would be great!
posted by apricot at 7:58 PM on August 23, 2013


adawsonsmith over there, working on my German.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:28 AM on August 24, 2013


Hola! Me llamo AlpacaQueen y yo aprendo espanol.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:59 AM on August 24, 2013


I'm connn on duolingo, mostly working on French and needing duolingo friends to motivationally kick my butt.
posted by mossicle at 1:38 PM on August 24, 2013


This is neat. I'm Errantmystic over there.
posted by Errant at 5:33 PM on August 24, 2013


I'm Tflbo, I just added you all! I'm mostly working on Spanish for now.
posted by Salamandrous at 5:49 PM on August 24, 2013


I'm yuwtze over there as well. I hadn't heard of Duolingo before, but it's awesome, and I'm surprised how much high school French I still know.
posted by yuwtze at 7:09 PM on August 24, 2013


I'm moonsinjune, studying Italian.
posted by moons in june at 7:39 PM on August 24, 2013


I just got an email that quepena passed me in total points. It's ON.
posted by janell at 11:14 PM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm natanta, embarrassing myself with how bad my French has gotten.
posted by nat at 12:33 AM on August 25, 2013


So now that I added everyone, there is so much chaff in my stream that I can't awesome everyone's achievements and make encouraging comments. I wonder if there is a way to adjust exactly what gets posted there.

To make it even more a hassle for me, I don't think they have the social options in the Android version. I think it might be time to consider writing a strongly worded email to whoever's in charge before getting distracted and doing something else.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:19 AM on August 25, 2013


I just got an email that quepena passed me in total points. It's ON.

*Sonrie misteriosamente*

Using the unlock options for single or multiple units helps save time if it's something you already know. Just check the vocabulary later to make sure you know every word.

An option to 'continue' after you 'check' automatically, if your answer is correct, would be welcome.

However, I laughed at this one: "Tu caballo no es necesario" (your horse isn't necessary). Might come in handy some day if I'm apprehending a trespassing vaquero.
posted by ersatz at 5:21 AM on August 25, 2013


My favorite has been "O urso come meninas" as the wrong answer on a multiple choice question in the Portuguese lessons.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:35 AM on August 25, 2013


This is fantastic! I'm doctorzira.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:57 AM on August 25, 2013


My favorite correct answer so far: "Il ragazzo è nella balena." (The boy is in the whale.)
posted by Errant at 8:30 AM on August 25, 2013


patork over there, currently working on French. Following you all from the metafilter meta-friend now!
posted by Kosh at 10:10 AM on August 25, 2013


See also Shit Duolingo Says.
posted by catchingsignals at 12:57 PM on August 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


My favorite has been "O urso come meninas"

Wait till you get to the lion that writes letters.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:01 PM on August 25, 2013


Oh wow, Shit Duolingo Says is fantastic. I've never been able to decide whether the sentences are generated on the fly, or were written by someone with a loose grip on reality. My girlfriend enjoyed duo and I repeating "Tu es parfait parce-que tu es une femme" when that kept coming up, and I went through a phase (in the Food lessons, I guess?) when it kept going on about a pink elephant that likes red wine.

The most memorable one, though, was when I was on my own one evening and had left the site open halfway through a lesson. For no obvious reason a paper suddenly slid off the stack next to my laptop, landing on the keyboard; a moment later duo's robotic voice asked "Tu es seul?" Aargh.
posted by metaBugs at 5:33 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm oct1473254 on Duolingo. and thanks for Shit Duolingo Says, because it makes me feel less like a crazy person.
posted by geryon at 8:19 PM on August 25, 2013


les garçons mangent une pomme noire

What, just...one between both of them? (I am kagredon there as well)
posted by kagredon at 10:47 PM on August 25, 2013


Oui, ils utilisent un couteau avec deux mains, et ils apprécient chaque de leur propre.
posted by Errant at 2:41 AM on August 26, 2013


I did the duolingo thing to prep for a trip to France; I was hilariously unprepared for everything except asking for apples. I'm SaintBrevity over there.
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 6:47 AM on August 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jeez, you all are going to make me learn to ask for apples in French if it kills me, aren't you? Jennaratrix, learning French, did the social explorer gizmo and am now going to randomly add all the other French learners here. Just so you all know who it is.
posted by jennaratrix at 12:10 PM on August 26, 2013


Perhaps Zombie Johnny Appleseed owns stock in duolingo because Spanish lessons seem all about las manzanas thus far.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:10 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Nosotros queremos las manzanas.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:16 PM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, uma maçã não é como uma laranja.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:47 PM on August 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


So far my Spanish lessons seem to be all about bread-obsessed animals. The bear eats bread. The horse eats bread. The cat eats bread! At least the men and women are turning it into sandwiches at this point.
posted by Lexica at 6:28 PM on August 26, 2013


Yes, but they drink their soup.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:00 PM on August 26, 2013


C'est moi.
posted by jph at 7:15 PM on August 26, 2013


Kronur on there also; I need to get back in and om petition always works! ;)
posted by Kronur at 5:18 PM on August 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm, mine use a spoon for their soup. But, often, the spoon is too big!
posted by nat at 9:07 PM on August 27, 2013


Just signed up as Quietgal, hoping to pick up some useful Spanish and maybe dust off that highschool French.
posted by Quietgal at 6:50 AM on August 28, 2013


I got this nice sequence:

These men are dead

el oro es mio (the gold is mine)


And then Duolinguo offered this:

This is not a phrase

posted by ersatz at 9:19 AM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


My new favorite sentence is Eu gosto de cerveja, mas eu não bebo cerveja (I like beer, but I do not drink beer) so apparently I only platonically like beer.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:01 PM on August 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The verb "to touch" has pulled up some really interesting samples in the Spanish lessons. Just now, I got both "Why do you touch the turtle" and "No, we do not touch the women". So handy in everyday conversation!
posted by JannaK at 3:24 PM on August 28, 2013


I keep mixing up onions (cebollas) and horses (caballos), which could lead to some awkward misunderstandings in the wild.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:47 PM on August 28, 2013


Dr. Zira: "I keep mixing up onions (cebollas) and horses (caballos), which could lead to some awkward misunderstandings in the wild."

I'll do you one better. Years ago a cousin of mine mixed up conejos (rabbits) and cojones (balls). The context? He was trying to tell an adult that his rabbits were out of the hutch, and instead informed the man that his balls were out:

Perdónenme señor, pero tus cojones estan afuera.

They all had a good laugh. In his defense, he was just a kid at the time but the story is still legendary within the family.

I almost made a similar blunder a few years back at a Mexican restaurant we frequented that maintained a separate menu. If you knew about it, you could ask for it and get a wider variety of authentic food. I was going to ask them if eggs were available, because I was itching for chorizos con huevos. Luckily my dad corrected me before the waiter came back. The right way to ask was:

¿Hay huevos? (Are there eggs?)

...and not ¿Tiene huevos? (Do you have balls?), which might have gotten me punched.
posted by jquinby at 6:05 PM on August 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


My favorite Spanish phrase so far is ¡Si, son reales! Just waiting to learn the Spanish word for spectacular and I'll be set.

A close second is today's Es probablemente mi elefante. Because, you know, I get my elephants mixed up all the time.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:41 PM on August 28, 2013


I found this article by someone who used Duolingo for a year to study Portuguese, and I suspect I'll agree with everything he says when I'm done or when I quit, especially the part about how many of Duolingo's flaws are due to trying to teach its users to translate random Internet articles, rather than communicate with another person in the language.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:48 AM on August 29, 2013


I'm kristian.thy and I'm learning German.
posted by brokkr at 4:34 AM on August 29, 2013


I found this article by someone who used Duolingo for a year to study Portuguese...

A rather more optimistic viewpoint is found in the comments of that article:
I’ve been using Duolingo to learn Portuguese for about 4 months, and have gone from knowing not a single word to having a working knowledge of probably 1000+ words. To me the biggest plus point is that it provides a framework to progress when you have absolutely no knowledge of a language. I had tried learning Portuguese before but found it incredibly daunting.

I’m pretty sure it can’t teach you a language, but it can get you started, and is an enjoyable and free way of building vocabulary. It meant that when I started with my tutor I already had some kind of base to build upon.
The system is never going to replace more immersive and verbal courses (or actual immersion), but it can certainly give you a base to grow upon. Or to brush up on the Spanish you haven't taken a formal course in for some years and your opportunities for regular use are limited... (400-Rabbits is the username, add me!).
posted by Panjandrum at 4:12 PM on August 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not only finding it useful for brushing up on my high school French and college Italian, but having them side by side with Spanish and Portuguese is, for me, very useful in terms of learning the specific differences in emphasis and vocabulary. I have no idea how useful I'd find it if I'd never taken or didn't retain any language course, but as it is I'm getting a lot out of it.
posted by Errant at 5:29 PM on August 29, 2013


The right way to ask was:

¿Hay huevos? (Are there eggs?)

...and not ¿Tiene huevos? (Do you have balls?), which might have gotten me punched.


Wow thanks, there's a mistake you saved me from making! (assuming I don't forget)
posted by catchingsignals at 6:14 PM on August 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm nobeatenpath on duolingo, attempting to learning German.
posted by Megami at 2:11 AM on August 30, 2013


Currently doing French, Italian and German and my username on Duolingo is cvodb
posted by prolific at 12:42 PM on August 30, 2013


I'm brushing up on parlezing le fronch. Name: thecakest.

I also want to do some Spanish so I can better understand the telenovelas. So far, if there's an episode of Que Bonito Amor where they discuss drinking milk and eating apples, I am going to be in business.
posted by dayintoday at 5:53 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is there enough interest to create some kind of group or forum for Mefites who are learning a language? For instance, Duolingo is short on grammar, but there are a lot of resources online.
posted by ersatz at 6:20 AM on September 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have no idea how useful I'd find it if I'd never taken or didn't retain any language course,

I have a long, pitiful, and unsuccessful history of trying to learn languages. The other day I was able to tell someone to please keep the bathroom door closed because the cat was inside and also ask them if they knew where my kitchen rug was. In Spanish! In full, complete sentences! And without really stopping to think about it. Not phrases I learned by rote, but I actually constructed the sentences. IT WAS SO WEIRD!
posted by Room 641-A at 9:54 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is there enough interest to create some kind of group or forum for Mefites who are learning a language? For instance, Duolingo is short on grammar, but there are a lot of resources online.

I would be up for that ersatz.
posted by catchingsignals at 4:27 PM on September 3, 2013


I have lousy history in trying to learn French. But Duolingo seems to be motivating. I am kaushb over there.
Thank you for setting this up!
posted by justlooking at 2:20 PM on September 9, 2013


my username is my real name, so I've put it in my profile to prevent publicly linking it to desjardins.
posted by desjardins at 1:35 PM on September 10, 2013


It's been a hot damn minute since this thread got posted but I am MarquisCarabas and I'm about to friend you all
posted by WidgetAlley at 7:01 PM on September 10, 2013


I love the little "oh noes! someone else has just passed you up!" messages because it completely triggers the competitive jerkface in me. And of course there's the little "hot streak" thing that rewards you for logging in every day to do *something*.

I'm racking up Lingots left and right, but there isn't anything really exciting to spend them on yet. So I'll hoard them until such time as they make something really cool available for "purchase."
posted by jph at 8:48 PM on September 12, 2013


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