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én hundre dag av duolingo

11/29/2020 9988fbd91ccc0ea76cff484b1fe16d19

jeg har brukt duolingo i omtrent 124 dag, og her er noe ting jeg har læret på denne tiden.

duolingo, though attracts a lot of critism is a pretty good tool provided you use it correctly & methodically. in the last 124 days i've gone from completely beginner to being fairly conversational (at least in reading/writing - speaking is another thing entirely) - here's a few things i've picked up in my language learning journey

First of all, ignore the Duolingo mobile app - it's pretty bad for anything but a bit of practice on the train or out and about what with the hearts system - you should primarily use the desktop app, also turn off 'Speaking exercises' in the settings - it's too hit & miss

personal learning method using duolingo

1. For each new topic, review the tips section, e.g. & write down all relevant grammar / vocabulary in a book - writing increases conceptual retention

2. Create Anki Cards (more on that below) for all listed vocab & tag them by module name

3. Actually start doing the module - complete all of level 1 in one sitting to solidify collected vocab
Here's are some important things to do when using duo:

  • don't use the multiple choice (click the USE KEYBOARD button between the Skip & Check buttons) and type out the answers - typing forces you to remember the word themselves rather than seeing & remembering, helps with spelling & remembering special characters too (ø, å)
  • When you get something wrong, open the DISCUSS link to open the forum thread & read about, there are usually people in the comments that leave really good explanation / alternate solutions, then create an Anki card of the norwegian/english so you don't make the same mistake twice

4. From level 1-3, complete over a few days interspersed with doing other modules, I typically have about 8 on the go at one time so things don't get too repetitive & I get the spaced learning

5. For level 4-5 I only ever repeat if something is not sticking or there is a lot of grammar that needs to be solid - otherwise you can use the test feature (little key icon on the right of the popover that appears when you click a module) to avoid all the labour of getting it to level 5

6. Towards the end of the level, before doing the level test I do all the module tests & get every skill to level 5 so everything is gold

Each day I aim for around 50-100xp, time permitting - which seems low but I'm also doing things like Anki cards, writing notes, reading news etc. - so about an hour of practice overall, being currently more than half way through the tree & at this pace I should finish the tree in another 100-150 days

én: øv hver dag, selv om litt

as with all things, being consistent is key, especially with languages - don't expect to be able to learn by doing large chunks every 3-4 days because you will forget it all - a la ebbinghaus forgetting curve

even if you aren't feeling particularly motivated it's really important to just do some - doesn't even have to be duolingo but perhaps reviewing cards, reading some material or talking with a friend / someone in a language specific discord server

to: bruk anki

leverage spaced repitition learning using flash cards - there's this great application called Anki built just for it - i'd reccomend making your own cards than taking a deck from online otherwise you'll get overwhelmed by the amount of new content

Keep cards short & sweet, I think I average around ~1-2 seconds per card review - if you don't know something always pick Again < 10m, and Good for ones you do know - I never pick Easy just so cards don't fling out to +8 months away for the next review

tre: ikke jukse

it's tempting to hover over words in duolingo just to get a quick answer but you're doing yourself a disservice long term - rack your brain for a few minutes or try and work backwards from a word, for example:

vanligvis - you might know vanlig as the word for common, and then vis is used as the ly suffix, so give a stab at usually

likewise with the grammar, you might know the definite article for car as bilen, so naturally you'd use denne when referring to this car - that way you don't need to remember the demonstrative pronouns for each word but just how they connect

fire: ikke løp etter xp

again, tempting to rush through the tree just to get crowns / xp / top leaderboards but it's not really worth it - don't burst yourself in the beginning otherwise you'll lose motivation fast - slow & steady wins the race

fem: bruk andre ressurser

don't rely solely on duo/anki for your single source of learning, diversify your resources & things won't feel so mechanical - i personally recommend:

  • books: some great written resources out there, I've personally been using Short Stories in Norwegian for Beginners & Norwegian Tutor, though these are for more when you're past the beginner stages
  • discords: often times it feels a bit unfair how every piece of content on the internet is seemingly written for an english speaking audience, joining norwegian discords helps with applying learnt knowledge & feels pretty rewarding talking to another person in their language
  • news: is a site I use often, fairly level difficulty of written content