Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Intelligence is like a four-wheel drive. It allows you to get stuck in more remote places.

So I've been playing on Duolingo lately and am quite enjoying it.  Some of the completely random sentences amuse me to no end although the vast majority are ones I'd never actually use in real life.   I understand we're working with a completely limited vocabulary, but really -- the odds that I ever need to say "my black cat sleeps on the large monkey" are pretty slim ;)  I kinda roll my eyes and go along with it.  

But sometimes, sometimes they get it just right:


Yup, I'm really missing riding these days.  Duolingo and various other random new hobbies mostly just to combat that -- well that, and to increase fitness since the barn has previously *been* my form of fitness.

Ah well -- first world problems right?   ;)

As for Duolingo, there are several things I like about it.   I'm doing a language I've no experience with and it's very intuitive when starting from zero.  Lots of quick wins, and well paced learning.  I love that for the "type what they speak" exercise, it plays at a normal speaking rate, but also has an option of slowing it down to individual words.  Think. Of. Speech. Like. This.   When I understand it on fast, I'm all kinds of proud of myself.  But on slow sometimes I can get it even when I don't really know what's being said -- so that's fun :)

The written exercises -- word matching and text translation are quite good.  When you're wrong, the feedback is useful.  

The speech exercise amuses me -- I have no idea how that engine works and I kinda question it.  For those who haven't played this game, it says a phrase and you repeat the phrase into the microphone.  It then determines whether or not you're close.  But there've been times I didn't even have a clue what they were saying and it was right, and other times I was reasonably confident and it politely suggested I should try it again ;)   I don't do this one nearly as often as I'm usually on the train when I'm playing this game and so I don't want to be talking at my phone.

One thing I'd like to see would be an improved review engine.  It's good at inserting things into short term memory, but the reviewing methodology seems far less developed.  Mosa Linga, which I've also played with, was far better at that.   Sadly though it failed in comparison with everything else.  If Duolingo could just pick up that piece...   It does allow for review though, so there are options -- I just don't know that it's as effective as it could be.    

Anyways -- if you're on, feel free to add me: lhfall -- always looking for motivation :)

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