How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

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rdearman
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How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby rdearman » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:43 pm

During a lockdown you can learn a new language and to learn to play the piano! How many years is the lockdown in their country?

Seriously, how often have you seen blog posts saying, 10 skills to learn then say you can learn a language. All you have to do is spend 15 minutes per day with Duolingo. I know a lot of blogs are just copied from other bloggers, but sometimes I think these people need a reality check. Am I the only person who is annoyed by this? Or did anyone learn to speak, read, write and understand a new language in 6-10 weeks? I don't use Duolingo, is that where I have gone wrong?


I have spent literally years learning a language and it winds me up. :roll:
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Querneus » Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:05 pm

They're just following a trend, as you say. Maybe a fraction of them actually means "start learning a language", but you'd wish they'd just say that instead.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby tarvos » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:22 pm

Well, in the time COVID has been raging and will rage on, I think *I* could make some progress in a language at least :D
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Cainntear » Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:43 pm

I'm getting quickly sick of Duolingo.
I'm very likely to start unsubscribing from Facebook Scottish Gaelic learner groups due to the frequency with which I see what's the difference between this word and that word posts which to answer would take an entire book chapter on what declensions are and how these two specific declensions work.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby iguanamon » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:09 pm

Yes, the general public could start to learn another language while other activities are not available. They could make a good start on learning one... but the issues are:
How to start learning;
Expectations- i.e. what is learning a language? It takes longer than monolingual beginners think;
Lack of guidance

Over the past decade here and on HTLAL, I and we have seen a notable decline in beginners asking basic learning questions. Some of these are answered with youtube videos and polyglot blogs. Still the basics of learning are not well known- beginners often don't know how best to learn on their own. Some come here already thinking they know all there is to know... and why not? Why do they need us when they've watched all of Lucca's videos?! They start watching a series before they know how to conjugate verbs, expecting a miracle with English subs, and... the result is inevitable.

OK, I get that forums are a depreciating commodity in today's internet. But to paraphrase Joseph Keenan, author of "Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish", if I was wanting to know how to go through a minefield, I'd like advice from someone who has been through it before successfully at least once, several times even better! We may not be Lucca, Benny, or Professor A, but many of us have been through that minefield and can help beginners... if they want to listen to our advice.

As language learning becomes more and more app based, I think that basic need of being able to get real time advice is still useful and will continue to be useful... because apparently, despite all the apps, people still think they can learn a language in a short amount of time and only need one app to do so. Silly me, I wasted all that time with pdf courses from DLI, supplementing with Pimsleur; reading; listening; speaking; writing; working with grammar... I could have just used an app and in three months I'd have been done!!!

Maybe someday in the future, the technology will advance to such a point where maybe one app will do all that we do now by cobbling together varying and distinct resources sufficient to learn a language. That day is not here yet.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Beli Tsar » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:42 pm

rdearman wrote:During a lockdown you can learn a new language and to learn to play the piano! How many years is the lockdown in their country?


I'm not sure. In blog-land, everyone is single, or has a partner totally devoted to helping them realise their dreams. They have plenty cash, and no responsibilities, no commitments to anyone or anything except perhaps their readers. And everyone in blog-land is totally devoted to realising their dreams, one beautiful Instagram shot at a time. Also I observe all their jobs seen to have furloughed then in lockdown, rather than getting them to work from home.

So, working 9 hours a day, in every one of the 130 days since UK lockdown, they should have reached B1 even by FSI standards, as long as we ignore FSI's footnotes.

And, of course, B1 is fluency, in blog-land.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby jmar257 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:14 pm

Cainntear wrote:I'm getting quickly sick of Duolingo.
I'm very likely to start unsubscribing from Facebook Scottish Gaelic learner groups due to the frequency with which I see what's the difference between this word and that word posts which to answer would take an entire book chapter on what declensions are and how these two specific declensions work.

You should see some of the language subreddits. I'm banned from one for telling people to look things up themselves, and had to quit following a couple others because they were inundated with questions you can google yourself and figure out, or just go through more than the first lesson and learn. Stuff like, no joke, "why is it la mano? isn't -o masculine?" or "I thought está was is? why does this use es?" I'd go so far as to say that if you can't figure that stuff out with the Internet at your disposal, you're doomed on your quest to learn a language, and possibly doomed on your quest to learn to tie your shoes.

Not knowing things is fine, no one knows everything, not being able to utilize Google and figure simple things out should be met with derision, IMO. At least on the Internet, given that it's quicker to Google these things than it is to wait on responses on Reddit.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby tarvos » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:24 pm

I'm not sure we should deride people for being slow on the uptake. Let's all play nice.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby lavengro » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:26 pm

Seriously, how often have you seen blog posts saying, 10 skills to learn then say you can learn a language. All you have to do is spend 15 minutes per day with Duolingo. I know a lot of blogs are just copied from other bloggers, but sometimes I think these people need a reality check. Am I the only person who is annoyed by this? Or did anyone learn to speak, read, write and understand a new language in 6-10 weeks? I don't use Duolingo, is that where I have gone wrong?


Not trying to be controversial, and lord knows I am hoping this does not turn into another Duolingo bashing thread (ETA: Sigh. I see my hope was in vain), but I am legitimately asking: does Duolingo currently advertise one only needs to study X minutes per day to "learn" a language (putting aside the issue of what "learn a language" means)? I recall that Duolingo used to advertise something along the lines of "5 minutes a day to learn a language" or something similar in the past, but I cannot locate anything current along those lines.

And I don't believe Duolingo has ever claimed users could achieve fluency by using only Duolingo or within a specific time frame. It has never been a "Fluent in Three Months" or a "French in Three Months" sort of thing unlike other materials out there (Lewis/Hugo). It has been pretty clear that it is not (just like nothing is) a sufficient-unto-itself learning resource to fluency. It explicitly is currently working at CEFR-aligning its more developed courses to the A2 level. Many of its lesser languages would I strongly suspect fall well below A1 (looking at you here, Navajo) and instead are just an interesting introduction to a language (something I would have hardly thought a big sin among a forum of folks interested in languages).
Last edited by lavengro on Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby David1917 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 3:32 pm

I don't think most bloggers believe what they say, so who knows how long they think lockdowns last or if that is sufficient time to learn a language. They are beholden to content culture and the clicks for cash model, so they just have to put something out there. The other day I wanted to buy a laptop stand and in searching for reviews found dozens of blogposts from late March/early April on "Decorating Your New Quarantine Home Office." Like, OK, get a grip y'all.

Not to mention, blog "writers" generally put all of their content through a program like Lantern to modify their posts to an 8th-grade reading level, so even if there once was nuance to their ideas, by the time it hits the screen all of that is lost. They're not concerned with the validity or integrity of their writing, but just getting it widely accessible, SEO-optimized, and clickbaity enough to get that ad-revenue.

With all the cynicism out of the way, I do think that if even a small percentage of people in self-isolated home offices read a post like that suggesting to learn a new language decide to begin with DuoLingo and then take it more seriously in the future, the net effect could be good.

*Disclaimer: No, I'm not talking about YOUR blog, were someone to take offense to the generalizations written above.
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