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The Klingon Language Institute Forums Duolingo connection between Duolingo and KLI

  • connection between Duolingo and KLI

    Posted by bIrchoH on March 13, 2024 at 9:42 am

    I assume that no KLI member works for Duolingo, which would explain the latter’s sometimes awful quality. My question is, how far does cooperation go? Do they ask you whenever there’s a question, do you contact them when necessary, or how does it work?

    Examples for what definitely needs to be worked on are their hints, especially for English-to-Klingon translations; numerals are a pain in the arse since their meaning differs when you express what time it is (‘X o’clock’), the hints usually feature the ‘normal’ meaning, the whole bloody things is far from being self-explanatory for a noob, and despite their claims, Duolingo doesn’t include enough grammar.

    ‘X points with the Y finger at Y’ is a similarly hopeless case when it comes to the hints but less awful to deal with.

    And the third big catastrophe I noticed: expressing where somebody lives (Dab); hints suggest a -Daq suffix is needed (like vengDaq) but it is considered an error; in other words, the mistakes you make are the ones that Duolingo suggests.

    Of course I always click on ‘hints are wrong’ but I wonder if that’s going to have any effect.

    I take it for granted that you aren’t responsible for what goes wrong there, but I wonder if you can somehow contribute to the language course turning from a bad option for people who lack acquaintances interested in tlhIngan Hol into a course living up to their propaganda, which, of course, would be asking too much. https://www.thecut.com/2019/01/does-duolingo-even-work.html is an interesting read for those who care, even though it isn’t about Klingon.

    bIrchoH replied 1 month ago 2 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • qurgh

    March 13, 2024 at 12:08 pm

    The KLI used to be directly involved in creating and maintaining the Duolingo Klingon course, until a few months ago when Duo cut ties with a lot of outside assistance.

    One thing the course fails to do is adequately direct students to the notes/lessons that explain how the language works. You can see the first 12 on this page https://www.kli.org/duolingo/. We are working to get more of them online.

    I’m not sure I understand your issue with numerals when telling time. You simply say the number followed by rep:

    wa’ rep1 o’clock (am)
    wa’maH cha’ rep12 o’clock (12pm)
    wa’maH chorgh rep18 o’clock (6pm)

    There is an idiomatic way to tell time which talks about how many bells have been hear. Is that what you are having an issue with?

    For “X points the Y finger at Z” you have to use the correct finger verb in Klingon and then fit it into the pattern of ZDaq Y-finger-verb X:

    vutwI’Daq SIq HoDThe captain points his index finger at the book

    Does this help explain it?

    For your last point, Dab never uses the -Daq suffix on the place being lived in. Dab itself means “dwells in/at/on”:

    Qo’noS vIDabI live on Qo’noS
    DujDaj Dab HoDThe captain lives on her ship

    For more help, I highly recommend joining the KLI’s Discord server (it’s linked in the menu above). There’s a channel on there just for Duolingo help.

    • bIrchoH

      March 13, 2024 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks for your reply, the link, and so on. I haven’t checked the link yet though, so I will just reply to misunderstandings at the moment.

      My issue with numerals when telling time was obviously caused by their hints being seriously screwed up; it all makes sense when you explain it, but this definitely doesn’t apply to the hints on Duolingo. They have forms with Qoy’lu’pu’ and imply that numerals are used differently without explaining how and why, which is, as you know, normal for Duolingo.

      You also misunderstood my point when it came to pointing at things; I have no problems with the grammar but with their hints being wrong, not reflecting what you just explained. Meaning, if I know how the finger is called, I can translate the sentence, but not thanks to their hints.

      Same goes for Dab and -Daq. My problem is that their hints are misleading and wrong, implying that -Daq was required and then ‘punishing’ you for believing their nonsense, and I was wondering how things could go that wrong.

      It therefore seemed absurd to even consider that a KLI member could be responsible for the hints.

      Again, I thank you for your time and explanations, including those that weren’t needed.

      I am not on Discord but will maybe consider joining, depending on whether I will consider that an acceptable platform. For a better understanding, I am the kind of person boycotting so-called social media, mistrusting big data companies, and caring about data privacy.

  • qurgh

    March 13, 2024 at 2:07 pm

    I have been told in the past by the folks who used to run the Duo course that the hints are just hints and shouldn’t be used as a guide on how to say something. I believe the Duo software itself is part of the issue, as it isn’t setup to deal with Klingon grammar and often gives hints based on what individual words mean and not how they actually work in the sentence in question.

    There’s nothing any of us can do about how Duo is setup now. We can only offer help to students so they can make the best use of the software.

    • bIrchoH

      March 13, 2024 at 2:10 pm

      It was worth asking though since other threads seemed to imply that there is or was some sort of contact between the KLI and them, which is what my initial post was based on. Thanks for your replies!

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