Now I’m curious: does it have something to do with the choice of vocabulary?
It is something I wondered from time to time, but especially when i encountered a set of sentences mentioning the Council.
I thought “What did he say? Council? What is a council? And when am I ever going to need to use this word?”
Then it turns out I saw it and heard it quite often in the news - but I guess there’s not going to be the exact same sentence in the Italian course!
For a few other sentences I though it might be a choice based (also) on the sound of words - that is to make sure we have enough of each and especially LL, CH and anything tricky to practice pronunciation.
Anyway, I guess I’ll have to try German myself. It’s for me quite like Welsh for many people I heard on this Forum and outside: it was spoken by their ancestors, or by other family members…but for one reason or another attempts of learning to speak it never succeeded. Same for me with spoken German (even though it’s the very first foreign language I heard, and learnt a few words of and with a dictionary I can even read Kant!).
I guess that will be also an interesting experiment to compare results of traditional language courses and SSiW - even though right now the side effect of learning Welsh is that almost every time I try to think of a word in German the Welsh one appear in my mind instead!
Sounds intriguing, Aran — how does it work? When you say “all sentence construction is done by humans”, does that mean the two speakers record all the complete sentences and the computer just puts them into the given order for each lesson, or do they record the individual “building blocks” of sentences and then put them together to make the different sentences? (As in, “I want / to see / the house / today”, “You can / buy / the car / tomorrow” — mixing and matching the various parts to make new sentences.) I can imagine that would save a lot of time and trouble in the recording, but it might also sound a bit choppy…
Oh good. I was thinking a sort of computerised pick-‘n’-mix-the-words system would easily end up sounding unnatural, so I’m relieved to know it won’t be that!
I’d love to learn many languages with SSi too, if only I had all the time in the world… I definitely want more Cornish (that’s what I’m focussing on at the moment and have finally managed to enrol in a term of classes in London, which wasn’t possible before due to work commitments) — once that’s under my belt properly, I’d also like to have at least basic fluency in Welsh and Breton. Then SSiFrench and German would be so useful for travel — I should probably start SSiSpanish for the same reason… oh yes, and since I’d love to visit the Hebrides, I’ll have to make use of SSiScottish Gaelic when it comes…
Seriously, even with the relatively little of it I’ve done so far, SSi is THE BEST basic language learning tool I’ve ever come across and I’m still amazed at what a boost it gave me when I was just beginning to learn Cornish — you literally go within minutes to putting together your own sentences and actually thinking in the language (however momentarily at first). Whoever came up with the concept is a genius and I reckon SSi should conquer the world!!
I have to say that I am really excited for the SSi Method for other languages, particular french as I did a lot of it at school and hope it won’t take too much to get it back. Buuuut I am glad for the delay as I can then keep at the Welsh, which is going at full pelt since the last weekend speaking in the wild!
No problem. I’d like to add that I think an extremely important part of your courses are the review lessons - usually the final lesson in a course - where all structures and vocab from the course are reviewed in the space of 30 mins or so. As mentioned during these lessons, it helps one to keep the language readily accessible in their active memory. This is especially important for those of us who are learning several languages, as it allows us to focus on learning the next language whilst maintaining the previous ones in a time efficient manner. So please include the review parts with all other ‘SSI’ languages courses too
Final thought - might ‘SSI’ courses eventually include Chinese, Japanese and Polish?
Yup, we’ll get there with all three of those, I’d hope… I agree about the review work, although we might need to change the structure of it slightly (perhaps be separating it off into a specific review lesson, instead of just intensifying it at the end of each level).
I have a friend interested (keen) to know about any Arabic thru SSi. I notice Duolingo beta Arabic is due to launch in May this year.
In the meantime, Aran, have you any recommendations for me to pass on to her, and if she took up a language you are offering, e.g. Welsh, or Spanish, could she later move onto learning Arabic, i.e. transfer her SSi subscription over from, say Welsh/Manx/Cornish/Spanish/Dutch to Arabic?
Any recommendations for how NOT to approach Arabic, or good sources of advice, anybody?
Oh, this is very, very exciting. I have had such fun with SSiW. The thought that i could maybe use the same brilliant method to brush up my school French and German and maybe branch out into Italian (which I’ve always wanted to learn) is just fabulous.
But yes, another year to focus on my Welsh is almost certainly a Good Thing. There is such a thing as spreading oneself too thin, and I’m very good at in when I get caught up in enthusiasms.
It’s had to take a back seat to us getting use to advertising cycles and VAT payments - it’s been a headachy kind of a year so far, but I think we’re getting it dialled in now - and we currently have two days a week set aside for SSiBorg work, so we’ve got movement on it… I’m quietly confident that we’ll be producing at least some new stuff before the end of the year…