Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Three Years on Duolingo


Day by day, my Duolingo streak got to three years. Now I almost can't imagine not starting my day with a cup of coffee and an hour of German exercises. I definitely prefer the English-German version, with the sound turned off, where I translate out loud every single sentence in German and then compare my translation to the German answer. The thing is, that Duolingo exercises provide you mostly with ready-made sentences in the target language and you are expected to fill in the blanks, translate into your base language or listen to and then build the sentence you just heard out of the word blocks. All of that is useful, no doubt, but it is kind of too easy and doesn't require that much word recalling and sentence building. The way i use the app is much slower, but forces me to translate simultaneously all the time and improves my active use of the language.

Lately I've been listening to Youtube channels in German a lot. Here are some of my latest finds, which I'd like to put in a good word for:

Learn German Relaxed with Gabriel has some grammar videos, but most enjoyable for me are Gabriel's walks around in Taiwan, during which he tries to speak slowly and very clearly and to talk about his surroundings and various other entertaining topics. Absolutely excellent for a beginner listener.

Deutsch-Podcast is a channel by two ladies, both German exam instructors. I've listened to them speaking about various topics, also fairly easy and understandable for a beginner.

Deutsches Geplapper - this one can be a bit more difficult to understand, dependent on the guests, but I've listened to some interesting polyglots, discussing various language learning strategies and personal experiences and I found it worth the effort.

My level is probably somewhere around A2, modest B1.1, with probably some B2 grammar, but gaps in A2 vocabulary, when measured according to a standardized system. I still have a lot of the English-German tree left, plus almost 20 units of the revision part of the German-English tree. I really hope the developers would add new parts to the trees, as I can't imagine what else could make me study German every day, but my Duolingo. Of course, it would be smashing, if they added a German - Bulgarian section, but I'm not holding my breath :(

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