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Duolingo

Creator: Canoas June 8, 2012 6:04am
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Canoas
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http://duolingo.com

So, a brief history about how duolingo came to be (a quite interesting read as well.

You are all familiar with the captchas right? That code that you need to put in when you register to any website or when you get your password wrong to make sure you're not a bot. Well, this guy made that and after some time he realised that the human race, as a whole, was spending thousands of years worth of time per day on such useless task... and then he had a brilliant idea. What if the captchas were actually useful?

At the beginning captchas were just one word, but now they're 2. What happened is now there's one word that the captcha knows the answer to, to see if you're right, and one he doesn't. The second word comes from book digitalization, the digitalisation software isn't perfect and can't figure out some of the words, so those words are now introduced in the captchas. If you get the first word right then he assumes that you get the second word correct as well, and then he matches the answers from X people who got that word and use it in the translation.

The next step is duolingo. Take a look at wikipedia, there's plenty of articles in english but other languages have much less articles. The same is true for the rest of the internet. What if there was a way to have millions of people translating the internet? Duolingo teaches you a new language by picking easy sentences at first from the internet, which get progressively harder, and ask you to translate them. First you start with the basic concepts such as man and women and then you move on to food, animals, adjectives, common sentences, etc. All this while translating bits of the internet. By matching everyone's translations the software can then produce a professional level translation! Meanwhile you're learning a new language for free with a system that is at least as good as the best language software around (which is also expensive).

It can teach you German, Spanish and/or French (if you know english). I currently have 3 keys, if none of my friends want them I'll be give them to anyone who's interested in learning one of the languages. And by interested I mean really interested, not someone who'll try it for an hour and then quit.

It's currently in beta and I forgot about it for quite a while.. until I got the beta e-mail = D
caucheka
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on the topic of captchas, the one that it doesnt check if its right or wrong has a non-letter character (a number or punctuation mark for example.)

and obv. you can put whatever on the incorrect captcha, like if its

faster. chocolate

you can put

fsff chocolate

anyway, it sounds like an interesting idea but i would fall under that try it and then forget it people.
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Canoas
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I've been trying it for the past hour and I just want to say that, like any other means of learning a new language, it is slow. It's going to take you at least 3 months to complete it if you do it one hour per day.
Pølsemanden
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Operation ******-captcha.
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Toshabi
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Not bad. It's certainly a great way to use as a review tool for those taking foreign language classes.
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