due to some health problems I had again to make a little break in my language learning. Today I came back and I really like the new look of the site! :)
Only one thing confused me a bit: Has there not been an accent filter for the library in earlier times? I'm learning portuguese and would like to stick with european portuguese for now. But I can't find the filter anymore. Could anyone help me?
@Kathi_W - Hope you're feeling better now!
Let us take a look at this and see what has happened...
The Accent field has also disappeared from the lesson import page.
Me too - without the filter European Portuguese has more or less become a needle in a haystack of brasileiro.
Hi Kathi and Mithridates, you can find the lessons I imported by going to my profile, you have direct links there, meanwhile.
Yes, we have removed the Accent filter along with Categories and Types and converted all into Tags. Unfortunately, tags aren't yet working in the Library. We do apologize for this and hope to have them working soon. They will be better in the end since all selected tags will be remembered. For now, if you go to the Learn page and click the New Course button, you can select your desired level and desired tags including accents which appear there and this will show all courses you are looking for.
That is very bad news, Mark. As Mithridates said, it will now be almost impossible to find European Portuguese lessons, Canadian French lessons, or to distinguish between Bokmal and Nynorsk in Norwegian,
This is by far the worst of all the changes included in this update. I am really disappointed... :(
I don't care about accents. As long as it is spoken and I can hear it. I can learn the language for the new words and not the accents. But this is my opinion, I guess.
I agree with mikebond. There are huge differences between some of the accents.
@OzzyHellBack: There is a difference between an accent and accent. The difference between american and canadian accent is small. The difference between Brasilian and European Portuguese is much bigger.
@Mark: I understand that you have put Categories and Types into tags. I've never understood why there was such a difference. But I cannot understand why you mix this up with the accent, a totally different class of information in my opinion. What I always find strange according to the tags is the mixture of German and English expressions for the Categories and Types in the German library. How have you dealed with that? Can new tags be created or can only given tags be used.
yes, I think Vera is right. For me as a beginner the difference between european and brazilian portuguese is large. I slowly start to hear the difference now and most of the time I notice if the text is european or brazilian. But for single words the different pronounciation is still very confusing for me. That's why I want to stick with one accent until I made more progress.
In my opinion, the information about the accent should stay an own category. And even more: I think it should be mandatory for new lessons. (Because I think this was voluntary till now, so some lessons had no information about the accent at all, is that right?)
Anyway, thank you a lot for the direct links, Fernanda! Your lessons are still my main source :)
Thanks for all the feedback. Please keep it coming and we will certainly end up with the best solution for all concerned. Agreed that accent is important for many people, and different from categories and tags in my view.
I totally agree with Kathi. I even wanted to suggest more accents for some languages (some of them had no accent choice)...
If you want to find lessons in European Portuguese go to the New Course popup from the Learn page and click the tag European. You will then see all courses in European Portuguese.
Regarding tags, you can use existing tags or create new ones every time you add a lesson. What's more lessons can have multiple tags which was an issue before. There are situations where speakers in a lesson have different accents. Now both can be added as tags.
We will be continuing to refine the tagging system but I suggest we wait until it's working properly in the Library and try it for a while to see how it works. I understand it's hard when things change, especially when things aren't working properly but we did this as a way to improve the ease of use in the Library which was not as good as it could be.
I find it frustrating that I cannot see the accent any longer in the library. I want to see if a lesson has British/American/Canadian/Australian accent or German/Austrian/Suisse accent at the first sight. It was definitely not an improvement to put this in the tags.
I believe the ability to select for accent is coming back as soon as the tag system which now works on the Learn page is set up in the Library. Lets wait a little and see
I should add that the purpose of this change is to make this and other sort fields more obvious. In its older form few users knew that there was an accent filter.
I really enjoyed the accent button and hope it returns. As a beginner Spanish learner, I do dabble in all the Spanish accents as I know it will only help in the long run. However, later on I intended to focus mostly on the Latin American side as the majority of Spanish speakers I will ever encounter are not from Spain.
Steve said: "In its older form, few users knew that there was an accent filter", but all content providers knew there was an Accent field where they should select the appropriate accent, for the benefit of the users who did care about accents.
Now, there is no way for content providers to know they are supposed to add the accent as a tag. You should at least add a Help button or, better, a written line where you explain what to add as tags, including the accent of the audio file.
@mikebond - that's a good idea. We will add a line explaining the types of tags people can use. People also now have the ability to add multiple tags such as Portugal and European or Canada and Quebec.
Thanks, Mark. I look forward to that. I certainly like having the ability to add multiple tags. If you make it clear what types of tags can/should be used, I will no longer miss the "Accent" field (which was a wrong label in some languages, e.g. Norwegian, Latin, etc.).
As a language learner I find it very helpful to know the accent of the speaker. I think that many lesson creators might forget to include this information (as a tag).
Also, speaking of tags, I think it would be helpful to include a tag box in the course edit window in order to be able to apply the desired tags to all the lessons in the course instead of having to apply tags to each lesson individually.
I still wonder how many learners seeing tags like "Venetian", "Tuscan", "Australian" or, even worse, "Stockholm", "Goteborg", "Ecclesiastical" and so on, will understand that they relate to accents or pronunciation varieties. How are we supposed to make a distinction between the tag Stockholm meaning "lesson about the city of Stockholm" and Stockholm meaning "lesson read in Swedish as it is spoken in Stockholm".
It would be necessary to rewrite such tags to make it clear that they deal with accents and pronunciation, e.g. "Venetian accent", "Stockholm variety", etc. I could do it, at least for Italian, but it would be quite time consuming.
Call me pessimistic, but I don't see a bright future for accent tags in their current form.
And so far all the tags I have seen were in English. I guess there should be tags in other languages as well, including the target language (for non-beginner lessons)?