Thanks for the great courses! Some of the sentences lack some alternatives, particularly those with zij/ze, jij/je, wij/we… Could someone add those?
One additional correction: the snake -> de slang (this has been corrected from ‘de slag’). However, the audio still is for ‘de slag’ not ‘de slang’. Could somebody please fix this? Thanks!
@Lien: There are many sentences where the learner does not know whether to use formal or informal language: example - mag ik u een vraag stellen? was marked incorrect for mag ik je een vraag stellen? Could this be added?
Sure, we’ll add alternatives. Thanks!
I noticed in part 4 using of gister instead of gisteren I don’t know if it’s correct or mistake, but I think all Dutch students know the word gisteren only.
Hi @mary_russ ,
Both gister and gisteren are OK.
Hij kwam gister langs.
Eergister = day before yesterday.
Eergister was het extreem mooi weer.
Gister en eergister heb ik precies hetzelfde gezegd.
Gisteravond, gistermiddag, gistermorgen, gisternacht, gisterochtend.
My colleague @MerlijnB, our Dutch Language Specialist will look into reports/suggestions about our official Dutch courses.
@Lien Dank je voor je support in de afgelopen maanden!
@MerlijnB Welkom en succes in de komende maanden!
Merlijn wellicht kun je toveren met de Nederlandse woorden…
Thank you! I hope to be of help here, and who knows, add a bit of magic
First of all, I see above that it was mentioned informal vs formal versions ought to both be accepted, because it’s a bit ridiculous to expect people to remember which version of a sentence was used in the past! Supposedly this was being fixed, yet I am still running into this, and it is not conducive to learning to be marked “wrong” for something when that something was not specified in the first place. Either mark all sentences “formal” or “informal” where this is relevant, or add both versions as correct.
Further, you guys seriously need to change the instances of British English into general English for all.
“Moeder” is “mother,” not “mum” (native Dutch speaker was upset hearing that’s what was used!).
“Pants” are things that one wears on one’s legs in the US, not to cover one’s netherbits. You’ve got “pants” being underwear, “trousers” being pants, how is one meant to keep anything straight? You cannot have such ambiguity when people are trying to learn a foreign language! If you cannot find words that people everywhere speaking English would be familiar with without any ambiguity, then you must use both! E.g. “onderbroek” = "pants (UK); underwear (US)."
I note no difference between “coat” and “jacket,” the words are interchangeable, so how can I know what definitions are being used for these words. Also “jumper.” This is not in my vocabulary. How am I supposed to know what a Dutch word is referring to if you use only regional English words?! This is beyond frustrating and incredibly hindering to learning.
I apologize if I come off harsh and angry here, which I likely do, but this is a huge screwup when one is trying to be serious about learning another language and I am quite annoyed by the fact that somehow no one has brought this to light before now, when I am in the middle of courses and getting things “wrong” due to thoughtlessness on your part.
And I was forced to go click ignore on “de onderbroek” because I will continue to keep getting it wrong every single time it pops up and says “pants” and I type in the correct answer to what “pants” actually are. Ridiculous.
And now hit with an incorrect “bent u” when I typed “ben je” because it had been days. Yay?
PLEASE fix these things??
First of all, thanks you for bringing all of this up.
As for your remarks regarding the items “pants”, “mum” & “jumper”: you’re right that this course, like all other official Memrise courses with English as a source language so far, are using British English. As we’re trying to be consistent with the use of British English, adding “broek” for the word “pants” would cause confusion to British speakers.
With regard to the Dutch native speaker that was upset when hearing that “mum” is translated with “moeder”. I would say it’s much more common to hear someone in England say “My mum and I went to the cinema yesterday”, rather than “My mother and I …”.
The word “mum” in the first sentence would most definitely be translated with “moeder” in Dutch, though on it’s own, “mum” coud also be translated as “mama”, which is added as an alternative when the item comes up on its own, and not in a phrase.
However, as there are quite a few differences with for example Standard American English, we’ve decided to not mix those two up, but instead develop a new course that will be published in a couple of days, which will have SAE as a source language.
As for the formal/informal issues, I’m currently doing a search for all instances where both are possible (in typing tests, as tapping tests will already contain the correct answer and there won’t be any confusion), and adding the other options to the list of alternatives.
Again, many thanks for your feedback, and hopefully our new courses with SAE as a source language will avoid future issues.
Making an entirely different course rather than simply adding “word (UK); word (US)” for the few cases it comes up seems rather extreme, but alrighty.
I was just doing the sentence “We zouden graag wat willen eten alstublieft” (Dutch 3, L3) and typed “iets” because we have learned “iets” = “something,” and “wat” has only actually been explicitly learned as “how…!” and in phrases as “what.” Native speaker says both “iets” and “wat” are fine in the sentence. Can that be added as a correct answer, or explain why you feel it would not be? Thanks
You’re absolutely right, I’ve added “iets” as a correct answer both for the single item “something” and as an alternative in the phrase you mentioned.
May I ask whether you’re using the mobile app or if you’re learning from the web version? I’m asking because the courses are mainly designed for use via the mobile app, and with phrases that contain 3 or more words, you will never get a typing test, but a tapping test instead, therefore eliminating a lot of other (possibly correct) options, as you’ll have a limited number of words you can choose from.
Learning on the web version, however, adds an extra layer of complexity, as you will be asked to type out the longer phrases sometimes as well. I was just wondering if it’s indeed true you’re using the web version
Thanks again for your feedback! The issue should be resolved now, though you may need to log out and back in again first.
Oh good, thanks!
Yeah I use the web version, I’m not big on mobile stuff.
I like the tapping ones for longer sentences the first couple times, it’s handy to pick it up that way first rather than just diving in and almost surely messing up, haha, but I’m definitely glad to use it on the web and actually type, as that really helps with learning. Actually I sometimes even get a little frustrated when the longer ones will wait until the very last time (the flower blooming) before the typing, because it does help cement it in and I want to get on to that already, heh.
Another query along similar lines - “wilt u nog wat bier?” is translated as “would you like more beer?” however we have learned that “zouden” = “would” and “willen” = “will,” so, while the Dutch there is what is more natural (so says my handy native ;)), the choice in English of “would” makes it confusing when trying to recall. Is it possible for this to be “Do you want more beer?” or something along those lines so that it reflects the Dutch wording?
I feel like I’m being a total nit-pick haha, but I think Memrise is pretty great (I tried out Duolingo a while back and hated it!) and would find it even more useful if it wouldn’t slip me up switching around words on me!
Very good point about the phrase “wilt u nog wat bier”. I actually think it may even be better to change the Dutch into “Zou u nog wat bier willen?”, that way, the English can stay the same, as “I would like” is previously introduced as “ik zou (graag) willen”. Plus, it’d be slightly more formal, which is what we’re going for in the restaurant/bar setting. It may take a few days before this is changed, as we also need new audio for that phrase, so please bear with me
That brings me to my next point: if you’re using the web version and typing out the phrases as well, you will indeed need to know whether a phrase uses formal or informal pronouns. Since the course is mainly designed to fit the needs of the mobile app users, most users won’t have to know, as those phrases will be asked in the form of a tapping test, and there’ll be only one correct pronoun to pick from.
However, since you’re learning the web version, which as I said adds an extra layer of complexity, it’s sometimes harder to know which pronoun to use, and, as you’ve noticed, not always are all alternatives given. When making the course, we’ve tried to use the most natural sounding Dutch depending on the context of the phrases. You’ll notice that most phrases that you’ll hear when in a restaurant, at the doctor, and other “formal” settings, will always use “u” rather than “jij/je”. In phrases you’ll hear when talking to friends or family, you’ll see that the informal pronouns are usually used.
Thanks again for your suggestions, they’re all very helpful and comments like these will only improve our courses!
Ah good tip, I will try to keep in mind the setting of the sentences. Though it can be tricky when one is on the tip of your tongue and you’re trying to recall it, to think of the specific scenario.
New trouble, not sure if you can assist with this one or if there’s somewhere I should go report it? But twice now when “recht” came up, two of the potential answers were both “straight,” but only one of them is actually the “correct” answer, clicking the “wrong” one (which of course there is no way to differentiate) gets marked wrong. It appears to be something with this particular word, as it happened twice in succession.
I think I’ve found the reason for that one, and hopefully fixed it now. Apparently there were two different Dutch words in the course that both had “straight” as a translation (regelrecht & recht). I’ve now made sure that English translations are not identical anymore. If it keeps happening, please let me know, because then it may be something else.
New point of concern!
Dutch 3, L11: “nooit van mijn leven!” gives “not in a million years!” as the English, but “not on my life” is a normal expression used in English, which is almost the exact same as the Dutch, therefore makes a lot more sense to use rather than a very confusing switch to a similar meaning but completely differently phrased expression…