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Day 3: Learn French for 14 days

Kristel, 28, has taken on the challenge of being an active beta tester of Lingvist and will learn French for 14 days to see what it’s like to use an adaptive algorithm for language learning. Check out her previous post from Day 1.

“Overall - I think I’m doing well. 336 words sounds like a lot. Lingvist’s ‘Results’ page claims it’s 58% of the entire language. That seems a bit exaggerated. But since it works well for my self-esteem, I’m not complaining.”

Learned words total: 336 Total study time: 2 hours 49 minutes

“Regarding my fear of routine and self-motivation to actually commit to studying every day, I’ve found that on the scale of all the annoying things one has to do during free time (shop for food, cook, clean, laundry etc), Lingvist still remains among the least irritating options. And I mean it as the best of compliments! It’s the perfect excuse for procrastination. Whenever there is a choice between washing dishes or spending ‘quality time’ with Lingvist instead - the latter always wins. I tried to figure out why…and I think it’s (again) because of the clever learning method behind it. It doesn’t make you feel as if you have to work hard, but at the same time it still shows proof of personal development.”

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My feedback for the Beta version:

“There are some parts about the study method which I’m not completely convinced by. For example, it seems that I have reached a more advanced level on Lingvist where the missing verbs in sentences keep popping up in not just the present tense, but also in various past and future tenses. This is quite confusing to follow. Luckily there are also thorough verb charts provided if I don’t know the answer. But it is still quite hard to have a grasp of verbs in a logical system if all the possible options keep mixing with one another. Then again - maybe I am too quick to judge and in a few days this will pay off and start making sense on some deeper level. We’ll see. It’s only day 3.”

Lingvist replies: Why do the verbs crop up in an unsystematic way?

There is a method to the madness. The quick answer is - because this is what happens in real life. In our approach of teaching statistically relevant vocabulary, we’re also mimicking the haphazard but natural way of speaking. People don’t speak in themes (all the colours I know, all the tenses of “parler”). We put several themes and verbs and tenses together to compose our message.

Kristel mentioned an important point. She has some prior knowledge of French, so she knows how to conjugate verbs in theory. Many of you won’t have any idea what “parlons” indicates. We’re working on a little cheat sheet of basic grammar rules that you could look up when necessary.

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