The Duolingo experiment.

Hello folks,

As I’m going to live in Sweden for quite a long time, I thought I would try a little experiment. Two weeks before the departure, I started an intense Duolingo/Memrise training in Swedish. My goal was actually to know how effective those methods are in learning a new language from scratch in a short period of time. This was inspired by the reddit post I found here.

I did a mean of 100XP a day (not visible on my steak because I went offline and lost it). I tried, given the about of free time I had, to do as much as possible (without frying my brain). When the Duolingo lesson seemed to have a lot of vocabulary, I was going straight to Memrise in an attempt to learn the vocab better.

Stuff that happened while learning

  • Around the second checkpoint, I wasn’t able to really remember most of the new words. The brain seemed kinda full. As a side note I went to the second checkpoint in three days. Should have use Memrise more but it’s really time consuming.

  • The voice listening part was very tricky at first. Especially since I was going fast and not listening to it carry carefully. However, using the timed practice was a good thing and forced me to listen to it. I could feel this slightly improving with time even though I’m sure the difference between the robot voice that can be slowed down and normal folks talking will be too great.

  • As much as I hit a wall at the second checkpoint, all that I learned before started to sink in better. I could actually feel that I had learnt stuff. Be it about the grammar that seems I little bit more natural for example. It’s really good to feel like your doing better. I had the same thing happening to me when I started to learn English “seriously”. At first you feel like you’re learning nothing, and suddenly as you hit a wall, you realize, at the same time, that you finally get all that you learnt before. It’s a strange feeling where you feel good since you know you got better and bad because you can feel you’re kinda stuck there. At the same time.

Once in Sweden

So, now the first week end as passed. I tried talking in Swedish once but it wasn’t a great success. I should try more but I’m quite shy. However, reading skills are quite the surprise. I only went up to the second checkpoint and I can read quite a few words and more than often it greatly helped. Basically, adds are sometime understandable and I can get the basics of every menu in the restaurant.

  • reading comprehension far better than expected. I’m still bad but I only has time to so two check points.

  • sometime so random it makes stuff with context easier.

Conclusion

Do it. It’s free and totally worth it. It’s like free food, you cannot complain when it’s free 😉

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