Please report any issues noted in this course here.
Hello Dylan, can you please explain the meaning of the inclusion of two “-n” annotations at the end - such as “der Deutsche; -n; -n”? I understand that this normally represents the plural, but why is it doubled in this case?
(There are other similar cases, such as “der Präsident; -en; -en” and “der Agent; -en; -en”, so this seems to be linked to designations for people.)
Regarding issues, I will try and keep a note in order to mention them. The ones I have noted are more like “peculiarities” - such as two versions of “die Sekunde” (level 47), one requiring a plural and the other not, and the inclusion of both “Freitag” and “der Freitag” (level 65).
Thanks very much for maintaining this course. I think that it has been very well set up and it’s good to keep it in shape.
One’s the plural ending and the other is the dative for weak declension nouns (I may not have the exact terminology right, but essentially that’s it)
Have fixed the duplicate words, it’s necessary to replace them with others to prevent Memrise getting confused about which levels you’ve completed, but the words I’ve replaced them with aren’t necessarily top-1000 words, just the best I could find in a limited time.
About a year ago, I took a German class in Berlin. We learned it as “N-Declension.” It applies only to some masculine nouns, usually those that come from Greek or Latin and refer to people, but also masculine nouns that end in -e and a few animals.
This page has a good explanation: http://germanforenglishspeakers.com/nouns/weak-nouns-the-n-declension/
Hi, I don’t know the level I’m afraid, but
doesn’t have a plural, but also doesn’t say “no plural” in the english prompt.
Again, I don’t know what level, but
still has a comma rather than a semicolon before the plural.
Fixed those two (plural of Beauftragter can’t be indicated via a suffix, as you need to remove the r)
Would it be possible to put a disambiguation on “enorm”? At the moment it says (‘gewaltig’ or …) but I always guess ‘riesig’.
I think riesig says (‘gewaltig’, ‘enorm’ or …), so I’m guessing that they are synonyms?
Kasplan, I really appreciate the pointer - thanks!
Dylan, thanks very much for your answer and your continued work on this course.
(It’s a pity that Memrise does not have a ‘help’ facility per course - which could just be a ‘readme’ text for the course authors to describe their conventions and any other points. This plural/dative suffix system is probably a linguistic convention, so my misunderstanding is down to my ignorance, but different courses use different conventions.)
I think that disambiguation is a more general issue than this one case. This course is certainly one of the better ones in handling ambiguities, from those that I have looked at, but it remains a general issue because Memrise does not appear to have a good general framework for handling synonyms. This is obviously a big matter in a course which has 5,000 of the most popular words in a language and therefore has to handle multiple synonyms.
This course often gives pointers in the questions to which of the possible answers are wanted. This is certainly a help - although sometimes to the point where the clue makes the answer too easy! However, I feel that that differentiation in the description (in English) of some words which are almost synonyms is very subjective and I find myself learning the course’s definition ‘pattern’ for a particular word in order to get the correct answer.
Maintaining a consistent approach in a course of 5,000 words - and within the limitations of the Memrise framework and tools - is a mammoth task and I don’t think that we can expect things to go much further than this course already does. I’m assuming that I have to put up with the occasional shortcoming and that I will learn more about the full meanings of words when I have come across them in real life, in context. Of course, improvement of individual cases (such as “enorm”) can obviously help!
Happy to add disambiguations but I don’t like using whole words if I can avoid it. The main reason for the inconsistencies are because various contributors have various opinions about how it should be done.
My favourite now is to give a minimal clue (e.g. “not ‘r…’”) and add any other possible answers as alternates in the English column - I’d prefer to use a custom column for it, but I don’t have permission to create one unfortunately. But at least now if you type a valid word (e.g. ‘riesengroß’ instead of ‘riesig’) you won’t be marked wrong.
I agree that disambiguation is tricky in general - I’ve been using memrise for years, and am currently studying 48 different courses, so one has to get used to what words are in which course. However, this particular course is unusually good at making distinctions, presumably thanks to the hard work of @dylan.nicholson.548 and some others: having done about 80% of it I’ve only come across a tiny number of sets of words that are confusing. Hence it’s especially pleasing to get the final odds and ends cleaned up.
I don’t know where you stop with synonyms, but there are some cases where it is annoying that a common synonym is rejected.
One I noticed today is where it requires “außerhalb” and it rejects “draußen”, but the prompt says “außen or …”. Sorry, I don’t know which level this is on since I came across this in Review mode and I don’t know how to search for the level - do you (Dylan) have any way of doing this?
Another small item to fix is that the word ‘der Glaube’ has to be written as “der Glaube (no plural)”. Again, unfortunately I don’t know the level.
On level 77, I noted three cases where accepting synonyms could help, but the most obvious for me is the answer to “contain”, where the required answer is “enthalten” and “beinhalten” is not accepted.
It would be a lot easier to work with a table of the complete course, in order to make improvements to create greater consistency and to decide what synonyms to accept.
Incidentally, what do you mean by “adding alternates in the English column”? Does that mean that alternate German answers are accepted (when typing)? I presume that you changes don’t affect the tapping tests, which require the one answer which has been specified?
Hello! The right plural of der Ritter (level 32) is die Ritter, not *Rittere.
With alternates in the English column if you type one of them it tells you “Sorry you typed the English when we wanted the German”, and lets you retry. Like I said, would be better if it was a custom “Synonym” column but apparently only the course owner can create columns.
Dylan, thanks for entering the fixes.
Regarding the alternates in the English column, I understand now. I experienced this yesterday when I entered an alternate German word and I didn’t understand why I got the message.
Is it possible to make contact with the course owner to get permission to add the column?