How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

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Bilingual_monoglot
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Bilingual_monoglot » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:37 pm

I think now might be a good time to introduce my own thoughts and experiences into the... discussion?

First, I have used Duolingo, but I'm a picky learner with quickly evolving tastes, so I currently find it annoying (the voices they use are annoying, except in Esperanto, and their Chinese course feels wrong). However, I have found it useful on occaision, and will at the very least be good to get your feet wet, more if used well and as part of a multi track approach.

Personally, I don't find Duolingo to be that toxic, though my experiences are unique. Most of the time I spend on language communities outside of this one is spent in Esperantujo, which has a unique relationship to Duolingo as the only language you can get to a fairly good level in using only Duolingo. Actually, Duolingo has been a bit of a godsend to the community. As for those people who say that Duolingo is the only way, I have yet to see them, though I admit it could just be a product of my own experiences. If you search either Google or Youtube, anyone talking about Duolingo is aware of its limitations. In fact, one of the more prominent Duolingo Youtubers also talks a lot about learning after Duolingo. Though i have never ventured into the Duolingo forums, so your mileage may vary.

As for the deceptive talk about what it actually take to get fluent, I don't think that's the fault of any company as much as it is the fairly limited monolingual perception of what language is. Specifically, I think the problem is how fluency is perceived as this on/off switch, that people don't seem to understand how speaking a language is not something you can magically do after x amount of time. Hell, I still need to work on my native language. Though, this is is just a half formed thought that came to me while reading this thread, so feel free to violently disagree.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Migla » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:50 pm

When it comes to Duolinguo-like Chinese courses, HelloChinese app is similar and superior to Duolingo Chinese. Or so I've been told. I like the idea of an app such as Duolingo, but my attempt to try it for German ended up with me feeling bored and feeling like I am gaining nothing. I may have felt different if I knew no German whatsoever when I tried the app. But yes, Duolingo seems to be everywhere, presented as the holy grail of language learning. I guess the experience varies across languages and levels.
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betise
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby betise » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:45 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?

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:


i just wanted to chime in to sympathize with the mild frustration at this sort of thing. it really seems ever-present in discussions "in the wild" about language learning. the fact is that people that have never tried to self-learn another language to fluency don't usually have an accurate grasp of what it can take, so it might seem to them that all you need is this or that course/book/software (as someone pointed out, RS used to dominate). of course, i think the immediacy, availability, and claims of Duolingo(and their users) have exacerbated the problem, but Dunning-Kruger and the desire for instant gratification are major driving forces imo, too. i'm not going to continue the what's-wrong-with-Duolingo discussion because it seems to happen in every LL community i'm in, all the time. you've all made good points, i think.

back to the 'quarantine self-improvement' topic: it's increasingly likely people that are using quarantine time to learn a language will reach proficiency, as there doesn't seem to be a real end in sight, at least(or especially?) for the US at the moment. so hey, if one started in march and goes to the end of september...that's 6 months. for some people i imagine they started with an unrealistic expectation and insufficient tools(just Duo)...and maybe they've adjusted and gotten their reality check by now. it seems to me like you sort of have to learn how to learn a language because there's so much noise about how to do it, how long it takes to reach x level, etc. today i saw a post on a subreddit where someone posted a video of someone claiming they can learn a language in 7 days (a young woman on TikTok)...they crowdsourced the language suggestions and got stuck with Arabic. :lol:

also, hi everyone, i made a new account here (had one and a language log a couple years ago) because i couldn't access my old one.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Iversen » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:10 pm

I have seen reports about the level of infection in a slum area in India which surpassed 50%. But outside such areas the percentages are much lower, and in Europe you would probably not even reach 5% this year - so group immunity is not a realistic hope. And it seems that immunity doesn't last long and can't be relied on, which even makes the hope that mass vaccinations will solve the problem soon rather dubious - and first those vaccines have to be developed and produced on an industrial scale... well, I think we may reach the point where you can get a jab before travelling abroad, but I don't see it as a lasting solution. And with time people will get fed up with social distancing and hand hygiene, even those things precisely are the ones that could keep the pandemy under control.

So I think the virus will live longer than the capability and willingness of our societies to fight it. And lockdowns in poor countries will almost certainly cause more deaths than the virus itself. I think the covid virus is here to stay, and lockdowns will die out for economical reasons.

As for learning during quarantine periods - well, I can see it function for some months, but then people get restless or apathetic (or both in alternation) and both states of mind a detrimental to learning.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby golyplot » Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:37 pm

tangleweeds wrote:But I've got to say that as far as Japanese goes, and even beyond, Lingodeer has been the most effective langage learning app I've ever used. But I'm having a hard time putting my finger on why it works so very well for me.


It's funny because I found Lingodeer to be a frustrating waste of money. But I guess everyone is different.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby jmar257 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:15 pm

Bilingual_monoglot wrote:Most of the time I spend on language communities outside of this one is spent in Esperantujo, which has a unique relationship to Duolingo as the only language you can get to a fairly good level in using only Duolingo. Actually, Duolingo has been a bit of a godsend to the community.
I may have to give it a shot for Esperanto...I get occasional desires to dabble in it.


Bilingual_monoglot wrote:As for those people who say that Duolingo is the only way, I have yet to see them, though I admit it could just be a product of my own experiences.

I've known at least one person who wasn't explicitly saying this, but was giving me grief for telling them Duolingo wasn't good enough. To be fair, there's a few subjects where I'm probably not the best instructor, not because my advice is wrong, but because I can be a jerk about it when it comes to some subjects I've read a bunch on/done a bunch and am passionate about because I just tell people what to do :lol: I mean, if you just enjoy using Duo and don't care to get more than A2 or so, it's fine, but I just struggle to find a case where it would be all one would want to do.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Gordafarin2 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:08 am

Speaking of Esperanto and Duolingo... Yes, it has been a jump-start for the community, with lots of new people learning, some even sticking around to continue to higher levels. Duo provides some small subsidies to local groups, as well, to encourage the Duolingo Events program. And the most active Esperanto-learning Facebook group is centered around the Duolingo course.

About that FB group, though. It gets the kinds of beginner questions that you would expect - how do I say X, how can 'fari' mean both 'to do' and 'to make', etc. But it also gets questions that imply a total non-understanding of underlying grammar. People will ask "Why is it sometimes bela and sometimes belaj?" (adjective plural agreement), "What is the difference between komprenas, komprenos, and komprenis?" (present, future, and past tense) - as if these concepts have not been explained to them at all.

I haven't used Duo myself for several years, and I know there was some discussion earlier in the thread about whether Duo is hiding its grammar points or if they are easy enough to find. So I can't offer my personal opinion on the layout of the site, but I can see the end result - It seems, at the very least, that they are easy enough to miss that there are people going through the course without any exposure to descriptions of the grammar, and are confused enough about it that they go elsewhere to ask people.

And this is Esperanto we're talking about, where the main grammar points can fit on one side of A4 paper. So it doesn't bode well for more complex grammar. And there are ways to effectively demonstrate grammar without outright stopping to give a lecture - but the current method doesn't seem to be getting the point across, at least for some learners.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Beli Tsar » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:33 am

Gordafarin2 wrote:I haven't used Duo myself for several years, and I know there was some discussion earlier in the thread about whether Duo is hiding its grammar points or if they are easy enough to find. So I can't offer my personal opinion on the layout of the site, but I can see the end result - It seems, at the very least, that they are easy enough to miss that there are people going through the course without any exposure to descriptions of the grammar, and are confused enough about it that they go elsewhere to ask people.

And this is Esperanto we're talking about, where the main grammar points can fit on one side of A4 paper. So it doesn't bode well for more complex grammar. And there are ways to effectively demonstrate grammar without outright stopping to give a lecture - but the current method doesn't seem to be getting the point across, at least for some learners.

This thread has made me explore Duo a little again, and while they aren't where they should be, I think they've made big improvements in this area. Fistrly the tips are much more obvious - they are above the button for learning on each lesson, meaning that clicking them first is the obvious thing. Secondly, and this makes the bigger difference, if I make a grammatical mistake in French they correct it and explain it in a mini-tip. You have to read this and then complete a question that tests you've understood to continue.

Obviously many of us would like more explicit grammar (i.e. Kwiziq!) but this is a big step. In the early days, Duo was self-avowedly entirely Krashenite, and said that any explicit grammar instruction was counterproductive. Not all the courses will have caught up yet. But if the core courses are beginning to make fundamentals explicit - verb conjugation, gender agreement etc. - then we should have far fewer of these basic questions cropping up on forums.

In a sense, Duo itself is proving to be an interesting experiment in the utility (or otherwise) of explicit grammar.
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby Cavesa » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:38 pm

Iversen wrote:I have seen reports about the level of infection in a slum area in India which surpassed 50%. But outside such areas the percentages are much lower, and in Europe you would probably not even reach 5% this year - so group immunity is not a realistic hope. And it seems that immunity doesn't last long and can't be relied on, which even makes the hope that mass vaccinations will solve the problem soon rather dubious - and first those vaccines have to be developed and produced on an industrial scale... well, I think we may reach the point where you can get a jab before travelling abroad, but I don't see it as a lasting solution. And with time people will get fed up with social distancing and hand hygiene, even those things precisely are the ones that could keep the pandemy under control.

So I think the virus will live longer than the capability and willingness of our societies to fight it. And lockdowns in poor countries will almost certainly cause more deaths than the virus itself. I think the covid virus is here to stay, and lockdowns will die out for economical reasons.

As for learning during quarantine periods - well, I can see it function for some months, but then people get restless or apathetic (or both in alternation) and both states of mind a detrimental to learning.


Europe is stabilising well, with just localised spread in most countries. The US will need to put in a lot of effort to catch up for the initial delays. The developing countries will be the real challenge, that much is true. However, I wouldn't be such a pessimist concerning the vaccine. The one developed in Oxford and now tested in Brazil looks promissing, the Lancet is the most reliable journal there is. We'll see.

One of the things that give me hope is the evolution of the various types of the virus, as some virologists describe it. The more virulent ones die out (they let their hosts die or get quaranteened), the rest will stay but will be more supportable.

Yes, people were a bit too excited by the self improvement at first. But if such attempts keep them from drinking, falling into bad depression, or otherwise asking for my services, I'm ok with that :-D
...................

Btw as we were discussing that Duo has replaced RS in the public discourse: RS seems to be relancing. They are probably motivated by the quaranteen learners. I am bombarded by their ads on FB, web, and so on. The RS comes from various channels, and is impossible to just block (as it is always advertised through a different medium, blog, newspaper,...). And when I block the ad and FB asks why, I sorely miss a button "the product is trash" :-D
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Re: How long do bloggers think lockdowns last?

Postby tangleweeds » Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:56 pm

Cavesa wrote:The US will need to put in a lot of effort to catch up for the initial delays.
Unfortunately the US is embroiled in such divisive party politicking that we are incapable of concerted effort. I'm also quite disturbed by the degree to which people appear to have gotten bored of avoiding crowded recreational situations, especially now with the temptation of summer fun and/or needing to beat the heat. I feel lucky that I'm in a state that's implemented mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines early and tightly, but as of the beginning of July, I've noticed traffic has resumed to a disturbing degree (I live just outside downtown, very near the main freeway, so I can hear it clearly).

However, I wouldn't be such a pessimist concerning the vaccine. The one developed in Oxford and now tested in Brazil looks promissing, the Lancet is the most reliable journal there is.
My concern is that we have never successfully made a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine. For example, they were pushing a feline coronavirus vaccine in the '90s to prevent FIP, which is fatal and nasty. But that vaccine is no longer available, because while it protected 90% of the cats from FIP, the other 10% suffered an exacerbated cytokine storm and died.

Yes, people were a bit too excited by the self improvement at first. But if such attempts keep them from drinking, falling into bad depression, or otherwise asking for my services, I'm ok with that :-D
I'm with you 100% here. And I believe that in the end, we will actually be netting a certain small percentage of lifelong language learners from this trend, as well as a bunch more who simply become aware that learning other languages might be possible, interesting, and/or worthwhile even if they have trouble sticking with it in the shorter term.

Btw as we were discussing that Duo has replaced RS in the public discourse: RS seems to be relancing. They are probably motivated by the quaranteen learners. I am bombarded by their ads on FB, web, and so on. The RS comes from various channels, and is impossible to just block (as it is always advertised through a different medium, blog, newspaper,...). And when I block the ad and FB asks why, I sorely miss a button "the product is trash" :-D
And Rosetta has drastically dropped their prices, to where, while still overpriced for the relative ineffectiveness of what you get, they're now *less* expensive that a number of other programs I'm running across in my explorations of currently available Japanese resources.

Full disclosure: A friend bought me the lifetime full access RS membership at the discounted price, and I enjoy playing with it more than I do Duolingo. I'm unsure how much I'm actually learning, but I do feel it helps re-enforce things I've learned elsewhere. It's pleasant to play with when I'm tired or it's much too hot to think--I enjoy clicking on the pretty pictures. I do believe they've improved both the diversity and cultural relevance of their photos, and I am impressed with how the photos are dynamic, compelling, and clearly relevant to whatever they're trying to reenforce.

But I don't think it's useful as a primary teaching resource, or necessarily worth what they charge unless you're getting the full access membership and using it to re-enforce a *lot* of different languages--which might be true for some people here. I think it might be useful for someone who didn't want a back-burner language to fade out entirely, but didn't have a lot of mental energy to put into it (and had $200 in pocket change to divest themselves of).
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