Online translation a new way to learn a language fast?

Flags of Spain and MexicoThis week’s New Scientist reports (online link below- it’s a short piece in the physical edition on p. 19) that Duolingo – a free online service designed to help people learn a new language by translating web content is working very well.

To probe the site’s effectiveness, Roumen Vesselinov at the City University of New York used standard tests of language ability… he found that students needed an average of 34 hours to learn the equivalent of … the first semester of a university Spanish course.

I have just been over to Duolingo’s site myself – refreshing some French – and it is certainly easy to use. The site’s blog shows that this project has some strong values and has set itself some big targets – it looks well worth exploring.

From a real “product description” on Amazon

The invention of wheel was a major break throw of its scientific age. Like wise we can consider internet is the one of the most influential Scientifics break throw of current age, which was only possible because of advance ever growing communication technologies. Communication between any two sources protocols can be deemed as backbone of the whole setup. Currently several protocol exist and are employed in the cutting age of the communication set up. Different protocols are invented because of different scenario of communication. UDP protocol is actively used in today’s worlds of communication, in real time with data transfer which can tolerate little loss of data and accuracy. Because of ever increasing need and significance of communication system,in this book investigated the UDP software for Ethernet Lite in the embedded system by evaluated of behaviour of some important protocols UDP, IP, ICMP and ARP. One most important thing which we have done in this book that programme memory small as we can .The memory is 10KB with the UDP/IP.

This is the (publisher’s? author’s?) official product description of UDP/IP For Embedded System: Methods, Implementation, Benchmarks, Programming,FPGA, Embedded system.

I don’t think I will be buying it.