How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby lavengro » Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:58 pm

Cèid Donn wrote:

I think it is this forum rather than the Duolingo community that has become the beneficiary of that toxicity.


Dude, I'm really sympathetic to you here but may I remind you that you once passive-aggressively PM'd me over a typo in one of my posts here, something that I felt was so toxic that I still remember it despite it being seemingly trivial and was one of the several microaggressions I've experienced at this forum that influenced my choice to stop keeping a log here. Be careful about pointing fingers.


Hi Cèid Donn,

I am concerned enough about your comment that I feel obliged to violate some solemn vows about not returning to this thread.

I am a relatively infrequent PMer in this forum, so much so that I still have all of my sent and received posts. Is the following the post that you are referring to as passive-aggressive, toxic, a microaggression and a factor that influenced your choice to stop keeping a log here? If so, let me say I am extremely apologetic as I have always considered you to be an important poster who brings a lot to the community with your posts, but quite frankly, I am extremely surprised at your characterization of my PM. I had thought it was just a light-hearted PM and had assumed by your response that it was accepted as such.

Is this the PM exchange, or have I missed one?

Please note for context, the re: line "You're doing it wrong" was not my comment, but the re: line that autopopulated when I sent a PM regarding one of your posts with that title.

https://forum.language-learners.org/ucp.php?i=pm&mode=view&f=0&p=8089
________
Re: You're doing it wrong
Sent: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:51 pm
From: Cèid Donn
Recipient: lavengro

lavengro wrote:
Subject: You're doing it wrong

Cèid Donn wrote:
That is exactly what the Satirist phrase "Hell is other people" means, and I beg all of you, don't engage in that. It's really not healthy. :|



[text of lavengro's PM]

Hi Cèid Donn,

no need to respond at all, but I was wondering whether "Satirst" means what I assume you intended it to mean - related to or deriving from Sartre? Although I am not particularly a fan of Sartre, I have always found this to be an interesting phrase. But I think "Satirist" is more likely going to be read as meaning related to satire, even when it is capitalized.

Regards,
lavengro


[Cèid Donn's response]
Yeah, I must have let spellcheck change Sartrean to that without noticing (it's showing a red line under it right now, so I suppose I'll add it to my dictionary to avoid that in the future). [Some personal information redacted - lavengro] --just see my log. :lol: Oh well. No big deal. I was more worried that those people weren't going to even get what I meant by how nitpicking over other people's progress is really a projection of their own anxiety and emotional baggage, and that makes other learners anxious and afraid they'll come under that same sort of scrutiny too, and eventually everyone is just full of dread of what others are thinking. While there are other interpretations of that quote, most readings of Sartre agree that is in essence what Sartre meant by "hell is other people."

I'll probably leave it, for a bit of unintentional satire. :lol: Like Zen said, the thread evolved into critiquing what others are doing, so they deserve a big irritating typo like that. I don't even want to open that thread again, I have nothing to prove here and there was a lot in the thread that just depressed me. I know I'm not a good fit for the community here, so I try to keep to myself. But sometimes I have to go and open my mouth.

Anyhow, it's late here so I'm going to go play Mini Metro and listen to Radio-Canada and not care. I hope your studies are going well.
Last edited by lavengro on Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Cainntear » Wed Jul 29, 2020 3:33 pm

tarvos wrote:
Cainntear wrote:
tarvos wrote:
Cainntear wrote:
tarvos wrote:Then I think the problem is rather: why are you putting yourself in a situation where you are constantly exposed to this torture, when the simple thing to do is simply not pay any attention to it? I just ignore Duolingo and take it for what it is. I don't have any interest in explaining myself a hundred times either, so I just make sure that I don't.

But the numbers are so overwhelming that they're taking over every online space now. Getting out of the way of all DL learners means getting out of the way of all learners.


Does it? I don't feel like it does, yet.

Are you a member of many Scottish Gaelic learners' groups then...?


No, but Duolingo doesn't just exist for Scottish Gaelic...

And I was talking about my experience of Scottish Gaelic learners' forums.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Cainntear » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:07 pm

lavengro wrote:Thanks Cainntear. As you note, Duolingo does include grammar notes, though I think that may just be for the web-based version rather than the app version. The notes are hardly obscured - there are only two buttons for the introduction to each new skill unit, and TIPS is the first button (with START being the second).

Hardly obscured? Two problems:

1) as I understand it, most of their users are on the mobile app version, not on the site, and Duolingo actively chose not to share the notes with them

2) They used to call them "lesson notes" and push them at you before a lesson. They decided that people didn't like them and changed the name to "tips" to make them seem less important. Then (unless I'm very much mistaken) they hid them behind a small icon of a lightbulb beside the none-too-obvious key icon for testing out. They're now back as "tips". But all in all, that's a history of underplaying them and not encouraging learners to read them.

and the discussion forum relating to each exercise often includes quite a lot of discussion - the sort of discussion that is helpful to an individual learner trying to figure out why a particular case is being used, for example, or questions relating to alternate vocab items, etc.

Except that you then have discussions of a grammar point dispersed over multiple examples, and mixed in with discussions of other difficulties, like spelling confusion, multiple distinct senses for a single word form; other grammar points raised by the same example. And because people only go there when they don't understand, there's often a long time between comments, and the people who end up answering are people who're not really in a good position to do so.

By way of contrast, Memrise (another tool I love) has (as far as I am aware) zero grammar notes or tips, zero commentary, and does not take one to a high level. Pimsleur also does not do much in the way of grammar notes. But neither Memrise nor Pimsleur attracts the same sort of vitriol as Duolingo.

Of course not. Because they're not as big as Duolingo. Pimsleur is a minority thing, and a fossil of learning philosophies older than the majority of the Earth's population. Memrise is still a niche player, and likely to remain that way. If Memrise ever gets 300 million dollars then I will readily rip into it for popularising inadequate models of language learning.

Duolingo is literally the single biggest supplier of language learning content in the world. I think that opens it to more scrutiny than anything else.

I guess one can blame Duolingo itself for lazy users who fail to take the time to read the grammar notes if one likes and if that strikes one as fair (but it does not strike me that way).

See, you complain about others being closed minded and vitriolic, but here you are calling millions of people who go out of their way to learn a language "lazy" because they've bought into the myth of the product.

Going back to an earlier post of yours that I haven't yet addresses pointwise.
lavengro wrote:but just to point out that yours are just opinions rather than facts. And some here have opinions that are different from yours (though given the ferocity of the attack rather than debate, I do not expect many to venture into the thread).

Some of the things discussed are (in my opinion) facts and you haven't challenged them. The one criticism you have directly addressed is the hiding of actual instruction in "tips", and as I say above, I think your defense there has very little merit.

The Duolingo-bashing on this forum used to be based on the perspective that it was using and taking advantage of volunteers to the detriment of those language learning professionals trying to earn a living at teaching a language,

That is still one of my main concerns. The biggest language learning company in the world pays web developers and gets language teachers to work for free. Their technology is basic and crude, but with shiny polished edges, and accrues most of its value from data they never paid for.
then when it started using paid professionals the negative criticism appeared to be that it was forsaking its volunteers.

Are you forgetting that different people have different opinions, like you yourself said? Because the fact that different people have different complaints doesn't mean that both are wrong -- hell, it doesn't even mean that either are wrong.

The main criticism I've seen of the professional trees has been that the database of alternative answers is lost when the old questions go, and suddenly they're back to marking valid responses as incorrect. That is a fair complaint, but it is also understandable that if you can't lose the old, you can't create something truly new. Both arguments are valid.

The other issue with moving from volunteer courses to professional ones is that you're effectively binning other people's hard work. When you've been selling your ideals as being a community site, presenting the illusion of community control and ownership, it really is a kick in the teeth to active contributors when you turn round and discard them. This has been the downfall of many sites -- LiveMocha for instance lost their community cred when they ditched their core free FIGS and lessons to sell courses made in partnership with Collins (and the FIGS ones weren't even community-sourced in the first place). I believe I left the site when I realised they were prioritising requests from premium customers to push them to volunteers, and I was being inundated with requests to provide free feedback to people who were paying a monthly subscription. That was, of course, far worse than anything DuoLingo have done, but they're on the way there, as they have volunteer moderators helping paying customers, and the principle of building up a community identity then pissing all over the people in your community is similar. I cannot criticise anyone who feels hard done by when they buy into it and get burned.

And then criticism that Duolingo says it is free but it is not free because it has the nerve to use ads to pay for its infrastructure, though oddly that criticism does not appear to be made against other similarly-free learning resources.

Well this is one of expectation, isn't it? Duolingo sold itself on being free, no adverts, old school dot-com bubble utopia dreams. It is not my complaint, but even then, I accept it as a valid opinion for others to hold.

Now the criticism is that it is somehow damaging to language learning, which with every respect seems a little frantic.

There's no respect in that statement, and as the person who has most forcefully made that argument (because I genuinely believe it, and can give a rational account of the effects I'm seeing) I'm still feeling frankly very offended by it.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Cainntear » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:31 pm

tarvos wrote:It makes sense to go for ad views if you want revenue in this capitalist world. Did you expect Duolingo to be a non-profit?

No. But the problem is that the ad views come at a cost to the integrity of the teaching. As the saying goes: "if you're not the one who's paying, you're the product."

Duo needs to make money. They have a business model that needs to work in the modern world. Whether we like it or not, they are a not a non-profit organization funded by a national government or the United Nations that can do what they want in order to function. They're a commercial enterprise, and given our world is still a damning hotbed of neoliberal capitalism, that's what you'll get.

But in the process, they're devaluing education.

They've set an expectation of getting things free, and they make it pretty difficult for anyone to justify investing time and money in making good online resource, because you need money to run a business. Duolingo exists today not because of what it is, but because of who runs it. The website they launched in 2011 would have been dead by 2015 if it hadn't been run by the inventor of ReCaptcha and the belief that his genius was enough to make it work. Even when his entire concept proved to be utterly unworkable (funding by selling learner-sourced translations), investors assumed he'd still pull some golden rabbit out of a hat. The site now looks no different from hundreds of businesses that crashed and burned in the previous two dot-com bubbles. Freemium model? Check. Lower income than expenditure? Last I knew, and I've never heard a clear statement that they'd got into the black. Vague promise of future monetisation? Check. Valuation that bears no sensible relationship to either revenue or profit? Check.

It's not surprising to see that Duolingo caters to the slowest learner.

But it doesn't cater to learners -- it keeps eyeballs on the page. Their goal is retention of users, not retention of language.

Consider this:
years ago, I recall reading a comment from (I think) von Ahn addressing the question of why a piece of software with a database of millions of possible sentences gave learners the same sentences again and again, instead of a variety of different ones. His response was that they tried it, but people became frustrated and stopped coming back, so they fixed it on repetition of a small set of examples.

So why couldn't people do the varied examples? Because they weren't learning the rules/systems/patterns of the language. I tried to do German with just Duolingo to see if I could manage to get der/die/das etc in my head without conscious attention. I failed. I managed to memorise some of them, but not many.

If you're not learning the systems of a language, you're not learning a language. But Duolingo continued down the path of least resistance -- memorising, not learning.

I reiterate - not everyone has the same abilities. But there should be education aimed at them too, and you cannot fault Duolingo for aiming at a broad spectrum of students.

Crap materials don't help weak students.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby tarvos » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:27 pm

But it doesn't cater to learners -- it keeps eyeballs on the page. Their goal is retention of users, not retention of language.

Consider this:
years ago, I recall reading a comment from (I think) von Ahn addressing the question of why a piece of software with a database of millions of possible sentences gave learners the same sentences again and again, instead of a variety of different ones. His response was that they tried it, but people became frustrated and stopped coming back, so they fixed it on repetition of a small set of examples.

So why couldn't people do the varied examples? Because they weren't learning the rules/systems/patterns of the language. I tried to do German with just Duolingo to see if I could manage to get der/die/das etc in my head without conscious attention. I failed. I managed to memorise some of them, but not many.

If you're not learning the systems of a language, you're not learning a language. But Duolingo continued down the path of least resistance -- memorising, not learning.


I share your view on all of this. You don't have to convince me of your truth. You should be convincing Duolingo ;) *I* discourage my students to use it. I have NEVER liked systems based on rote memorization, because they've never taught me anything, and I am very much in favour of learning how to use the system because I've been in this business long enough to know that that's important.

Like I've said before, I don't mind that you've ripped into Duolingo. Have at it, I won't lose a night's sleep over it. I don't use Duolingo, I never have, and I don't feel like starting now.

But the problem is that Duo is a rich company that doesn't share your philosophy, and you're trying to convert someone who hasn't spent a single penny on Duolingo in the past. If you feel that Duo is taking advantage of people, you probably should be doing something about that instead of sitting here complaining to me. But you're complaining about a commercial product being cynically commercial and using its position as a tech giant to get its clicks and its money. Well YEAH. That's what companies DO and it's their BUSINESS MODEL. They don't give a rat's behind that it's immoral if it puts money in their bank accounts. If you want to stop that, you've got to fight a wholly different fight, probably a political one.

And I'm aware you focus on Gaelic, and there aren't that many options for that language, and you're frustrated. But please, don't take that out on someone who is on your side. I've seen so many people use Duo and they were all inevitably the students that failed or never went anywhere.

But what would you have me do? Wave a placard around that says "Ban Duolingo?" I don't care enough to fill up the corona-infested streets to do such a thing, and I'm afraid all my valiant efforts would be in vain and drowned out by the masses who would (on the basis of democracy) claim that they like Duo and spend their money on it.

That's why I'm telling you this again: for your own sake, drop it. It doesn't do you any good to dwell on this type of immorality unless you're going to make it your life's mission to undermine big tech corporations who can use their technology in all sorts of insidious ways because they've rigged the capitalist system to beat the game. I've learned to live with it and flow with the system, for better or worse. You'd do well to spare me your vitriol. You're going to alienate people you might need on your side in the long run.

And if you find a way to stop people rigging the game, post it on the Internets, take advantage, vote, and go! But don't pen me the same essay fifty times to tell me something I already agree with.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Cavesa » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:28 pm

tarvos wrote:[
As for more dumb people - do dumb people not have a right to learn? The whole idea of education is that you teach people to be clever.


Exactly! And that's the problem! Duo is not making them learn. Duo is lying to them about how much they are learning. It has gone so far, that the green owl congratulates you on your "hard work" after five answers. It slows everything down so much, that they are not progressing at any noticeable rate. Instead of making them learn, it is misleading them about what learning really is, and setting them up for failure.


I'm sure some people have more innate ability or desire to learn, but the role of a teacher is to foment that desire. I'm not sure we can do that by discouraging people that are "dumb". I've never in my life told a student that they are dumb and should give up studying a language, even though I don't think that all people are built equal. It's not my place to judge people, it's my place to offer these people a service and I'll do it the best I can.


You're definitely right in theory, but I think you're missing my point. If you get a slow student, are you deliberately lying to them about their progress to make them pay you more? That's what Duo is doing. Are you telling them how awesome they are for dozens of hours, despite knowing they'll fail miserably, when their imagined skills meet the real world?

If they're slow or they have different goals, we can make that work. I think you always inherently connect more as a person to certain people that share a certain mindset and that's an inevitable process, but it's not something you should, as a rule, reward. Kindness is important, and it costs €0 to be kind. Remember - what you reap is what you sow. Be a bitter teacher, and you'll see bitterness in your students.


Yes, you're right, but that's not what duo is doing. Unfortunately, this kind of "kindness" doesn't usually make people succeed. I am all for kindness, but Duo is not being kind. If it is manipulating a slow learner into wasting a hundred hours instead of investing them into something more efficient, it is not being kind. Wasting people's time, that is not kindness. Even the less gifted learner will not learn better with the dumb exercises, they just may not realise it. Perhaps a better defition of the target public is not a dumb learner, but a lazy one without any real need for the language. But a learner in need of a foreign language for living will actually pay a lot for the wasted time in missed opportunities.


I reiterate - not everyone has the same abilities. But there should be education aimed at them too, and you cannot fault Duolingo for aiming at a broad spectrum of students. That's an unfair comparison to make. If it doesn't suit you or if the changes don't appeal to you, there is a whole world of ways out there you can achieve your personal goals. But don't take that out on other people who might want or need to learn a foreign language for their own reasons. They've got the same right to be there as you do and if they take longer, that's their problem. If you as a teacher can't deal with that, then maybe you should reframe your target audience. For a language like Spanish that's perfectly viable.

When there's a dearth of materials, like for Gaelic, things can get more testy, but that's the basic idea.


You misunderstand. I am all for aiming at a broad spectrum, with the intention to help them learn. I am against misleading people to earn more money. That is the problem. The learners in need of a language suffer the most by these lies. A green owl complimenting you for tapping on a few multiple choice pictures will not help you to a better salary. It will just keep you from finding a better learning tool, that might do that.


I have never said they had no right, or shouldn't learn. Don't misinterpret me. I am openly saying that not everybody is equally gifted, which is 100% true. I have never said the less gifted ones shouldn't be taught. I am just against lying to them and making them fail. I am against the thought that in order to be successful, Duo (or any other tool) needs to cater to the lazy people and lie. A less gifted person needs to work harder in order to achieve the results, not to do the exact opposite and be "kindly" lied to.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby rdearman » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:16 am

If I had to bet on someone with resolve and grit who is thick as a brick, or a super intelligent lazy person I would bet on the person with grit every time.

I don't use Duolingo but I can from the brief look at it see that they do have a community of users. And that community is also recommending other places for example clozemaster or other apps. So I suspect that the duolingo marketing is been corrected by the users such that anyone who thinks that exclusive use of Duolingo will teach them and language is being quickly corrected.

So I think whatever the drawbacks of the management of Duolingo the community of Duolingo seems to be a good counter balance to the effect of capitalism on the website.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Adrianslont » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:39 am

rdearman wrote:If I had to bet on someone with resolve and grit who is thick as a brick, or a super intelligent lazy person I would bet on the person with grit every time.

I don't use Duolingo but I can from the brief look at it see that they do have a community of users. And that community is also recommending other places for example clozemaster or other apps. So I suspect that the duolingo marketing is been corrected by the users such that anyone who thinks that exclusive use of Duolingo will teach them and language is being quickly corrected.

So I think whatever the drawbacks of the management of Duolingo the community of Duolingo seems to be a good counter balance to the effect of capitalism on the website.

This describes the one person I know (not online) who is a duolingo user. A duolingo start + online and in country tutors has served him well. The girlfriend probably helps, too.

When The Virus-2020 hit I briefly considered my options lockdown options, scanned a few of the articles you mention, Rick, and also noticed Duolingo mentioned a couple of times (this was not on language learning sites).

Anyway, four months later I have not embarked on any new projects or followed any of the advice. Maybe I should have taken up duolingo so I could participate in the dominant sub thread of this discussion.

And unlike our comrade who kicked off the duolingo branch of this thread I haven’t seen duolingo “taking over every online space now” - emphasis not mine. I hang out here and r/languagelearning and I don’t see it. And if you see duolingo in the title of a thread, you don’t have to open it. I think this is a case of someone over-generalising their personal experience with one particular forum.

Edit: for clarification, I don’t mean to say that my friend is “thick as a brick” - lol - just that duolingo has been a cornerstone of his learning.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby ryanheise » Thu Jul 30, 2020 9:52 am

Saim wrote:I use the products I like and critique the products I don't like. It's called a review.

I don't feel any need to not be negative about this product given:

    1) it's very famous and many people go to it as their first source
    2) the company actively promotes confusion about how language learning works and the company's marketing filters out into the broader online language learning community
    3) the company openly mocks minority languages by claiming that more people are ""learning"" them on their platform than actually speaks them
    4) it's ineffective, and no-one has any counter-argument to this other than "it's not worse than nothing"


That's OK, but I just happen to think that persuasive reviews are the ones that are more balanced and present both positives and negatives. When a reviewer is unable think of ANY positive things to say, I'm inclined to suspect that the review is biased, and I don't tend to put much weight in it.

A lot of points/opinions raised in this thread are new to me. I didn't know that the company openly mocks minority languages. But was that really the intent? I had to look it up, and I found this duolingo forum post:

"There are more people learning Irish on Duolingo (143k) than... there are native speakers of this language (130k)!"

That's a really interesting statistic (if it's true, and depending on whether you count native speakers as 1st language speakers vs any native Irish person who learns it in school as a 2nd language, etc.) and deserves the exclamation mark at the end. Remember that there is no universally accepted protocol for how not to offend someone because different people get offended for different reasons. A computer scientist may see the world differently from people from different backgrounds. So I tend to not get too bothered unless the intent is conclusively to mock, and here I don't think there is enough evidence to suggest that conclusively. I feel that people today get a little too emotional about things that don't necessarily have any bad intent behind them.

Incidentally, while researching these numbers, I came across an interesting statistic: there are apparently more people who have learnt English as a second language than there actually are native speakers of the language. According to Wikipedia, there are 336 million native speakers of English, but 839 million with English as a second language. It makes me curious to see these statistics for all languages. At least to me, an interesting statistic is an interesting statistic regardless of whether the language is big or small, and regardless of what anyone reads into the intent of saying it.

Another point that is new to me is that I didn't know Duolingo is "ineffective, and no-one has any counter-argument to this other than "it's not worse than nothing"". I've already mentioned that being overly negative is not an effective way to make a point and be persuasive. There are a number of people in this forum who happily use Duolingo. If you genuinely want to hear a counter-argument to your quip that "It's not worse than nothing", you may just need to express it in a less hostile way so that these Duolingo supporters feel welcome to join in a constructive discussion.

On this general topic of the type of learners that Duolingo is attracting to the language learning community, I genuinely think Duolingo is getting more people involved in language learning by making it fun, and that necessarily means we will have a higher percentage of casual learners. These are people who wouldn't necessarily be interested in doing a serious course, they're doing it only because they've found an activity that is actually enjoyable for them. Some might think that they could learn more effectively another way, and that could well be true, but this is the type of learner where enjoying the ride is more important than learning faster. I don't "personally" know any Duolingo user who is actually under the delusion that they'll become a fluent speaker just by just using this app. And yes, by making an app that's fun and easy to use, they may be attracting more casual learners to the language learning world, and yes that may result in a higher ratio of a certain type of comment in forums that serious learners may find annoying. Some serious learners (and teachers) can understandably have the thought, "Wouldn't it be great if every learner were a serious learner?" I don't think, however, that this is a problem we have any say in. People can be casual learners if they want to, and should we really turn them away by telling them they need to get serious and stop enjoying this gamification stuff? Only if someone expresses that they want to be a serious learner should we treat them as such, otherwise let them be.

Just as a bit of fun, if anyone does feel the urge to brush off a question that could have been found via a quick Google search, you can try Let Me Google That For You.
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Saim
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Languages: Native: English (AU)
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Saim » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:21 am

ryanheise wrote:A lot of points/opinions raised in this thread are new to me. I didn't know that the company openly mocks minority languages. But was that really the intent?


Of course not. Their intent is promoting their product. They don't care about minority languages either way.

That's a really interesting statistic (if it's true


It's not true.

Remember that there is no universally accepted protocol for how not to offend someone because different people get offended for different reasons.


I'm not offended. I have a political commitment towards minority languages, so I naturally consider whether certain discourse is good for minority languages, and if it's not and I see it creeping into online spaces that discuss minority languages my priority is to dismantle this and let people know about it.

If you genuinely want to hear a counter-argument to your quip that "It's not worse than nothing", you may just need to express it in a less hostile way so that these Duolingo supporters feel welcome to join in a constructive discussion.


My point is that I absolutely don't have any goodwill towards Duolingo, and that's because of the way it's marketed and how popular it is. If you personally want to write a more positive review, feel free to write it.

I don't "personally" know any Duolingo user who is actually under the delusion that they'll become a fluent speaker just by just using this app.


Why does every discussion on Duolingo need to include this red herring?

The issue isn't whether Duolingo can or can't bring you to fluency, and the criticism of Duolingo is not that people think that. The question is whether it's at all a good way to teach you some basics of the language.

"Wouldn't it be great if every learner were a serious learner?"


I certainly don't think so.

People can be casual learners if they want to, and should we really turn them away by telling them they need to get serious and stop enjoying this gamification stuff? Only if someone expresses that they want to be a serious learner should we treat them as such, otherwise let them be.


When my friends who aren't language enthusiasts talk about Duolingo I say it's not bad for the basics but you'll have to move on from it eventually.
When my students talk about Duolingo I say that I'm not a huge fan of it but it'll probably help if you're also taking classes.

When on online language learning forums I talk completely differently.
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