https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide

Value of learning multiple languages on Duolingo?

  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

A few days ago I 'scored' my first Golden Owl in Esperanto. Now, a question arises in my mind whether I can now claim to know Esperanto on the strength of the information contained within the Esperanto tree. The answer I would give myself is bound to be NO. The reasons are many but I suggest that I would need considerably more grammar knowledge, practice in listening to and speaking Esperanto and so forth. As it so happens, I have finished a good handful of other Esperanto courses elsewhere and have collected a massive amount of information on Esperanto grammar.

This brings me to other students on Duolingo who study all kinds of languages. I note that many students indicate that they have finished a good few language trees in various languages and they seemingly keep on adding to these. Does this mean that those individuals can lay claim to master all these languages or are they doing this for other reasons? Are they completing all these trees in order to have some idea as to what other languages entail or are they after scoring points and competing with others?

Mark you, I think that Duolingo is a fantastic concept which gives any learner at least an opportunity to obtain some understanding of a new language free of charge. I find nothing wrong with this. However, I would dearly like to hear from others on Duolingo why they want to complete so many language trees without necessarily specialising in any of these languages. So, after say ten language trees, how many languages do you really know? Is it really so important to score points and compete with others or is it better to learn one language at the time until you know it?

3 years ago

69 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
  • 25
  • 19
  • 18
  • 17
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4

I don't really see Duolingo on it's own leading to fluency, and I haven't really seen that idea advertised. It's great for building a solid foundation for the journey though. :)

I've got multiple flags because I'm sampling various languages. I don't have enough room in my brain (unlike notable others) to complete all of these trees right now. I'm focusing mainly on Spanish and American Sign Language with some Japanese thrown in on the side. I've greatly enjoyed sounds and feel of these languages as I've tried them out.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2013s.angel

OMG Usagi, my primary language is ASL. I can give you a few links that have good ASL lessons. Granted the ASL in the lessons are a bit old, but still used a lot in the deaf community. Now and days, sign has turned into more slang sign and has become less proper and more lazy with the younger deaf generation that uses it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lindakanga
Mod
  • 24
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 24

That sounds like the lament of all older generations through the ages ;P
edited. addition: And those that communicate by sign languages - I KNOW you are AMAZING ! (two of my nephews once or twice removed - communicate by Australian Sign Language :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2013s.angel

I'm only 23. I'm not that old. The younger generation that uses sign, doesn't sign good, at least not where I'm from. Their signing is just sloppy. You wouldn't be able to really understand it. With sign language you have to be very careful what you're signing because in the face alone has at least 30 different sign meanings that I can think of, if not more, so if you sign 1 sign incorrect, you may end up saying a whole different thing by accident. And, with sign it's all about facial expressions and body language. If someone isn't signing the full sign of a word, then I'm not going to understand what they're trying to say. Also take note that with sign language, there isn't just ASL (American Sign Language) because Sign Language isn't universal and used the same everywhere. So, there is ASL, PSE, SEE (which are all forms of sign language, but grammar wise they're all different. For instance, if you're from upper state California and you sign PSE or SEE and decide to go down state towards Riverside, CA then you'll notice everyone there signs proper ASL and some deaf people may get upset you're using PSE or SEE as it's not considered correct.). Then you have international sign languages like SSL, JSL, BSL, etc. *just to clarify: ASL= American Sign Language at its purest is saying something straight to the point. PSE= Pidgin Sign English which is using a cross between ASL and English. Using sign language in English grammar. That would mean there are a few more signs. SEE= Signed Exact English is exactly what it sounds like, using full English grammar while using ASL signs and other signs that ASL or PSE do not have a sign for....SSL= Spanish Sign Language. JSL= Japanese Sign Language. BSL= British Sign Language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lindakanga
Mod
  • 24
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 24

I agree with you, and some lingots as well :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2013s.angel

Thank you. And, I found a site for Auslan Sign Language I thought you'd might find useful http://www.auslan.org.au/dictionary/

As for ASL, you guys can sites like http://www.start-american-sign-language.com/ <-- best site out of all of them. Other sites that are pretty popular for learning ASL-> ASLpro.com, Lifeprint.com, and Signingsavvy.com .I'm pretty sure that Lifeprint offers a Youtube channel as well.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lindakanga
Mod
  • 24
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 24

Thank you angel ! you are an ANGEL :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

That's so interesting. I knew there were different versions in other countries, but didn't know that there was so much variation just in California alone.

EDIT: My sincere apology Angel as I had not realized that it was insulting and offensive to mention that my dog is deaf to a deaf person. Thanks for letting me know. Obviously, dogs are not people, but I can understand that it would be a sensitive subject. Although I do use touch and visual means to communicate effectively with my dog, it's not correct to call that a language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2013s.angel

California is a "melting pot", there are so many different cultures and just like with any other language there are different dialects how a language is used. For instance, Spanish is not just Spanish, there are different forms of Spanish like Portuguese, Mexican Spanish, Spaniard Spanish, Brazilian etc....but, the closest example I could give to comparing the various Spanish varieties towards the Sign Language in CA is Spanlish. You ever notice how people who speak Spanglish have chopped up the language so much it's not just Spanish, but both English and Spanish, so when they go visit Mexico and try to speak Spanglish the people there will look at them weird and know off the bat they're not from there. It's not just from the accent, but how the language was used.

And, yea, that's like the worst thing you can tell a person that is deaf. "Oh my dog is deaf"....and often or not this happens a lot and is taken offensiveness in the deaf community. It's considered an insult cause you've just compared them to a dog. And, for a hearing person to create signs for sign language is looked down upon in the community. And, I don't speak for all deaf people, it's just general knowledge of the many deaf people I've encountered over the years. There's a few things that the community looks down on. But, it's not the same for everyone in the community. For instance, I don't really go to the social gatherings, so that's looked down upon by some people, but I have my reasons why.

While Sign language has become more well recognized, it still isn't taken all that seriously as a language. Many times in an emergency at the hospital, hospitals may not have a sign language interpreter, but get a relay service and refuse to bring a physical interpreter as it'll cost the hospital money and this upsets so many deaf people. Just with any other language, you wouldn't have native Spanish person on the phone with an interpreter to speak with a doctor cause chances are there's a person there that speaks it.

Sign is a visual language, if the person's eyes are closed cause of pain then they won't see what is said. But, with a physical interpreter being there they'll be able to tap them or wave to them to get their attention. A lot of times too, the connection between the relay service isn't good and drops the call which is never good in an emergency. Oh, and I must say too that not all deaf people know English, just with any other language there is a precise way how it should be written and signed, so it's not that a deaf person is illiterate or stupid, it's just not in a way for them to understand. For example, in ASL I would say or write 'Name, you what?', but for English it translates as "What's your name?" ASL "Student here, I new" English "I'm a new student here" ASL "Cool! Class you have, what?" English "Cool! What classes do you have?" I hope that gives a better understanding of the language and maybe some of you will want to learn Sign, but it's completely your choice.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

That makes sense. There are words in Southern California Spanish that are not used elsewhere.

It's unfortunate that hospitals aren't prepared to provide necessary services. So often what many people take for granted is not accessible to everyone, and that is not right.

Getting back to the original question, I do hope to one day take an American Sign Language course. Other than some finger-spelling learned as a child and a couple other things, I don't know that much about the language. I do think it's very beautiful and expressive and that's what interests me.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2013s.angel

It's fine don't worry about it. You didn't know. I was merely informing you, so if you encountered a deaf person IRL in your town that you're prepared, if you plan to approach them. And, that's great you plan on taking a sign language course. While it is unfortunate the medical field and other areas aren't well informed on sign language, I do know a lot of people from the deaf community are trying to break that barrier and get more people informed on it.

Here's some good translates on songs from English to ASL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlxPp0vAniY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3KSKS3TTbc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaVgmUSVrqs&list=PLp2sMMQiQKWFRDbR89QscdpGX-3bsvjEH

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldv5sKbJuxE <-- Sign Language in PSE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by8hWaUsRAM

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2013s.angel

I have friends in Aussie, but I don't think I've ever seen Auslan Sign Language. I'd high recommend learning it though for your family members, if you haven't already. I think the only international sign languages I've seen are BSL, DSL, and SSL.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
  • 25
  • 19
  • 18
  • 17
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4

I'm currently using LifePrint. My online instructor is Dr. Bill Vicars who teaches, I believe, in San Diego. It differs slightly from what I'm picking up from the university students in Oregon, but not by too much. If you have any ASL resources that are close in regional dialect, I'm mainly looking for those. Feel free to drop by my Activity stream to talk more about it. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2013s.angel

Agreed. I was actually going to head over to your page and apologize to Arkonide for flooding his page with the side conversation that got off his original topic. Sorry Arkonide and for anyone else that wants to talk more about this they can feel free to drop by my page as well. Thanks!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

Angel, that is not a problem. Thank you anyway. Sign language is fascinating as well and I wish that they had a universal sign language that can be understood in any language. That probably is impossible.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2013s.angel

Only time will see how any language will develop in time. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeIouch

"I don't really see Duolingo on it's own leading to fluency, and I haven't really seen that idea advertised"

Ummm...fluency badge?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
  • 22
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 11
  • 11
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Haha, good point!

But then again, French native guru Sitesurf is only 60-something percent fluent in French according to that badge... So Duo sure has high standards!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
  • 25
  • 19
  • 18
  • 17
  • 7
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4

Duo's fluency badge doesn't reach 100 for any of the courses. It is not programmed to go that high. Though, I don't know where the cap is.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jesuisuneananas

I don't see a gauge like that as an advertisement of Duo's ability to take you to complete fluency. It's more just to give you an idea of where you're at. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/8726201

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/danarst

Sometimes I wonder the same thing, but then I remind myself that there are people out there who are able to learn and master dozens of languages quite easily.

My guess is the majority learn one or two languages very well and dabble in the rest because it's fun.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

If that is the case, why not? It is good to get at least a feel for other languages.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizsue
  • 25
  • 25
  • 10
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 9

I like to focus here on learning Spanish, and after I finished Duolingo's Spanish for English speakers course I started some of the intermediate and advanced Spanish courses on Memrise. Meanwhile, you may see little icons for English, French, and German next to my username here too.

The English one is because I took Duolingo's English for Spanish speakers course after I finished the Spanish for English speakers course - it includes a lot of Spanish! ;)

As for French and German, I dabbled in French for Spanish speakers and German for Spanish speakers too, again to practice thinking in Spanish some more.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lorel90
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 12
  • 8
  • 3
  • 1574

I always wonder the same thing, why are people studying so many languages at once? And I agree with one of the answers: it is a game for some people, but there are other reasons.

One of the polyglots in youtube puts it very nicely: There is a difference between studying a language and learning a language. In my profile you will see the English flag, that is the reverse tree and you will see in most profiles.

I have completed German in DL and I would like to stay here for a bit longer so I am reviewing my french and I may review my Italian, but the language I am learning is German. I have conversational levels in both, French and Italian.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maurice314
  • 22
  • 20
  • 15
  • 14
  • 9

There are several reasons I have for learning multiple languages: 1) I want to learn a lot of languages 2) I like learning multiple languages at the same time for variety. 3) Because I can. 4) I do actually prioritize my trees and focus based on what languages I want the most. For example I specialize in Dutch and French. As such I actively search out other resources to practice and learn. Spanish and German are more passive learning than anything else. I figure one I get Dutch up to a decent enough level(since it is the closest), I will have a good base in either Spanish or German and can easily turn those into active mode. 5) This is just a hobby of mine. As such I don't have to learn anything on here anytime soon and can move foreword at a leisurely rate so doing more than one tree is not a problem.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

If you know Dutch, it often is easier to learn German. However, German is a very precise language in terms of grammar.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
  • 22
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 11
  • 11
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Yes, I think it's better to do it the other way around, if both are foreign languages and one has the possibility of choosing the order.

While it has its own idiosyncrasies, as does any language, Dutch feels like a walk in the park after German... :-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
  • 22
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 11
  • 11
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I've yet to start a language completely from scratch on here. Duolingo (both the courses and all the wonderful inspiration and other tools I've gotten from the community here) has helped bring my French from A2 level to a strong B1 and my Spanish from A1 to A2. I'm looking forward to starting to learn Russian almost from scratch. I'm also taking classes in a language not yet on Duolingo.

I suspect most of those with many flags next to their user names were learning (and/or already knew) several languages before they discovered Duolingo. And if it disappeared tomorrow, they'd keep learning languages. There's only so much motivation to be had from competing with others, one must have quite a lot of internal motivation as well to keep doing this.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

Mastering a language can be a life-long pursuit, and yet I only have one life. Despite intermittent previous exposure to both Spanish and French for many years, I have not mastered them.

Annika mentioned that Duo helped her improve her level in both Spanish and French, and that has been true for me as well. A short online test gave me B2 in French and B1 in Spanish. I don't know how accurate the test might be, but it's highly likely that I scored better because of Duo. I'm probably closer to A2 in Spanish, and between B1 and B2 in French, but it's an improvement regardless. The French Duo tree gave me the courage to sign up for B1/B2 classes at Alliance Française for the first time in ten years, which in turn gave me the confidence to attempt to read a novel on my own. So it builds on itself.

Getting back to the original question, there are many reasons to start a new language before specializing in one particular language that have very little to do with competition or scoring points. Each language and culture has its own perspective. Language offers a key to the doors of perception.

In my case:

  • Spanish chose me. I didn't choose Spanish. I spoke a little between the ages of 4 and 8, and have had beginning courses a couple times (12 and 20-something). I know enough to get by, and speak Spanish a couple times per month. I started and finished the Spanish tree because I was tired of sounding like a little kid. Spanish is on the back burner right now, but I will focus on it more fully next year. I do hope to eventually get up to B2 or C1.

  • I chose to learn French when I was 15 because I'd been fascinated by French culture since the age of 8 and Spanish didn't really seem like a foreign language at that time. I've had two years of university French, and a few other classes here and there. After finishing the Spanish tree, I started the French tree because I have an upcoming trip to France. I finished the French tree and am still maintaining it gold and am also doing the reverse French to English tree. I would like to become more solidly B2 and maybe C1 some day.

  • I started the Dutch tree after finishing the French tree. My fourth trip to Amsterdam is coming up, and I'm aware that you can get by just fine in English. However, Dutch pronunciation has always been a mystery to me and it's been frustrating to not be able to pronounce Schiphol, Leidseplein, or Zuiderzee. I quickly learned that Mevrouw Duobot's pronunciation isn't very good, so I use Forvo before each lesson. In any case, I usually learn a few phrases, even if it's only please, thank you, and hello, before I go most places. It's more polite that way. I hadn't originally planned to finish the Dutch tree, but have become very interested in the differences and similarities between Dutch and English. Dutch news can also be quite entertaining even if I don't understand everything, and I found some music I like too. It's unlikely that I will ever master Dutch.

Eventually, I will go on to learn some Japanese, Swedish, and ....?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

Elizabeth, I am sorry to see that the Dutch pronunciation is a mystery to you. Quite frankly, I agree. If I could, I would help you listen to words like Schiphol, Zuiderzee, Scheveningen, 's-Gravenhage or Den Haag etc. I have no accent in the Dutch language but certainly in English. The 'ui' sound for instance does not exist in English and so you go on. From the various answers I have read here, with a big side trip to ASL :-), I see that most if not all people are aware that any course you do on Internet, be it through Duolingo or Lernu, serves to give you a good idea as to that a particular language is like, but to master such a language, you basically have to live it, speak it, write it until it flows naturally. That takes an awful lot of doing. I am still a member of NAATI (National Australian Authority of Translators and Interpreters). I am very aware how difficult it is to master a second and subsequent language(s). I can see, however, that the courses on Duolingo serve as giving you a good basis to work from. By the way, I do not take offence if one deviates from my original question/observation.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

That's very kind of you. Fortunately, Dutch pronunciation is becoming less mysterious. I've found a few online pronunciation resources. The videos on the alphabet and other pronunciation issues were very helpful. Plus I check each new Duo word on Forvo before starting my lessons. (I put links below for anyone else starting to learn Dutch.)

http://www.learndutch.org/dutch-alphabet-pronunciation/

http://forvo.com/

I even had an opportunity to test out my Dutch about a week ago. She understood when I said groot and grote. Of course later she told me that she was from the Hague and that they are famous for not being able to roll their Rs. She corrected my pronunciation of groene and konijn. I told her that my favorite sentence so far was, "Dat is een slecht konijn." She laughed and said she looked forward to hearing about what else I would be learning. Now, I'm thinking about what I can say next time with my very limited vocabulary.

My observation on the forums over the past six months is that those who have had some previous experience learning a language have a better idea of what is involved. Based on how your questions was phrased, I'm not surprised that you have some expertise in this area.

On the other hand, we frequently see posts from beginners asking if they will be fluent after finishing a tree. Others seem to have very high expectations when they get all the way or even part way through a Duo tree. After finally having an opportunity to have a real conversation with a native speaker, they become disappointed or discouraged when they are not able to understand everything or feel tongue-tied. My own expectations go up and down. Sometimes I think I'm better at something than I actually am in reality, and then set myself up for a rude awakening as I recently discovered having to read aloud in French classes and ended up feeling mortified.

Of course, not everyone who does a tree is expecting to master the language. Some do it just for fun or out of curiosity. Duo does give you a good start if you want to pursue the language further.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

Your links will be helpful to others who want to learn Dutch. As a matter of interest, I still have difficulty pronouncing certain English words such as squirrel. Yes, I know how to roll my 'R' but also how to modify it to fit in with the English pronunciation. It does not matter which language you study, how you pronounce it is also heavily dependent on what your mother tongue is.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
  • 22
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 11
  • 11
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

I love to hear that Spanish chose you! :-)

I guess I can't say that any language I've learned really chose me (yet), but I do have different relationships with each language. French and I were not getting along at all, despite my repeated attempts to learn it, but since I've come here to Duolingo we have made up and are quite friendly now.

B2 is where I'm aiming as well, sooner or later. That means I can do everything, even if it's not elegant. To get from B2 to C1, certainly a well rounded C1 who can speak at that level, takes so much time and effort, that I feel it's probably not worth doing it (at the expense of other languages and other things in life) unless I aim to live in a country that uses that language. Having achieved B2, one can then just learn more and more vocabulary through reading, and maintaining several languages at that level is also not too hard.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

I would very much like to get to C1 in French and hopefully I am under no delusions as to what that will require. I'd like to read what I want, say everything that I'd like to say, and understand most everything that I hear. It's ambitious, I know. I do thinks it's possible to do without living in another country. On the other hand, I find it best not to focus too far ahead, but to aim for closer and more immediate goals. For the moment:

  • Finish reading my first novel that I have read on my own in French. I decided to not stop and look up each word immediately. I'm listening to it on CD, and have seen the movie already and will read it next in English. Maybe after that, I will read it again in French and slowly look up any remaining words that I don't know.

  • Work on my pronunciation.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/2013s.angel

In all honesty, I would suggest that no one puts down on their job applications that they are fluent in the languages they have completed on Duolingo or any other site, but rather that they are conversational. And, even so, I still wouldn't put that until I have spent at least some bit of time interacting with natives from the country of the language I studied using resources like chat rooms, video chatting with some native speakers on a IM, and being able to understand and translate things that are presented to me accurately.

In my personal opinion, I don't see keeping points as competing with others. I think of it more as a motivational task to keep me intrigued to want to keep learning. I really don't look at it as competing with others. While I am happy for my friends if they complete a tree before me that does not necessarily mean that I need to rush myself to get through a lesson. I could care less if they've finished before me because everyone learns at a different pace and I've learned that I am not like everyone else. We are all different and you need to focus on YOUR lesson, not on the other person's next to you.

As for not knowing if you truly know the language you've been studying, i'd say you'd already have your answer to that. Have you ever heard the phrase "if you don't use it, you lose it?" well that applies perfectly to language learning. If you just finish a lesson, but don't keep up with it and brush up on what you already know then of course you won't know it. You'll have forgotten what you were taught since you didn't keep on top of it. I hope this best answers your questions or concerns you might have been having. Good luck! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chaered
  • 17
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 10
  • 9
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4

You have to work with your own compulsions and motivation triggers. If gamification and scoring can get you to learn stuff, and e.g. reading literature cannot, then the real choice may not be between doing the extra language tree or doing more reading in the one you worked on, but between the extra language tree or playing World of Warcraft.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

Wonderful answers so far. I am genuinely interested in what motivates others to learn languages. I grant that some will learn more easily if they can do so in a competitive spirit. English is my second language but I also know Dutch (my mother tongue) and German. My school French has remained just that: school French. I agree that you have to maintain any language in order to gain or maintain fluency. Personally, I also see the mastering of other languages as a means to understand more about international developments. I am currently studying Esperanto primarily in homage to my father who was an avid Esperantist in his day. It took me only 73 years to come to that decision. Unlike some, I love delving into grammar and Esperanto certainly has an enormous amount of information on Internet on that subject. Finally, I agree with all comments so far. There will indeed be many reasons why one learns another language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
  • 22
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 11
  • 11
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Has learning Esperanto, or hanging out here on Duolingo in general, made you interested in learning languages other than Germanic and Romance ones? I would imagine that someone interested in grammar would find rich pickings in many "more foreign" languages.

I love to hear that you area continuing your father's interest! Just like every language is a new world and a code for it, every language a person speaks is another piece of that person's personality.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

I am still relatively new on Duolingo. I actually discovered it via YouTube when I saw a video that 'starred' Muzulo. I have never been interested in learning just conversational this or that. I simply find grammar very interesting and it almost is like a mathematical equivalent. It is hard to explain. I might resurrect my school French although that is so ridiculously long ago.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
  • 22
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 11
  • 11
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

For me, doing a Duolingo tree (or the equivalent amount of learning in another, less fun and addictive way) is a precursor to reading literature in that language.

I find that completing the tree and really trying to learn the content of it makes it just about possible, if still not easy, to start reading proper books.

I was always going to keep learning languages, but it's true that Duolingo has injected some steroids into my plans and widened my horizons by smoothing that rough A0-->A2 ride.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

I think that I have just about done every online course in Esperanto that I could find, which include Lernu, Universala Esperanto, Kurso de Esperanto, Gerda Malaperis, Ana Pana and a few other ones. I am not sure that you could start reading books on the strength of Duolingo alone but if you do, try not to look up every word you do not know. As long as you know the context in which words and sentences are written, you may be able to follow the narrative. I can read books in German and naturally also Dutch without translating into any other language. Yet, in the case with German, when I see certain words that I do not know recur time and again, I look them up. Having said this, I still rate Duolingo somewhere near the top when it comes to learning another language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TajMartin
  • 25
  • 21
  • 18
  • 11
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 3
  • 3
  • 186

I do it because it's fun. I prioritize Spanish, but enjoy playing with the other languages and finding the interesting quirks they all have. I feel like they are a little bit scrambled in my brain but that they'll all find their own compartments eventually. I did a few short Spanish courses years ago and thought that I'd forgotten it all, but once I started on Duolingo, I realised that what I'd learned was all still there.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pipapple
  • 25
  • 15
  • 7
  • 3
  • 3

I'm only learning Swedish on Duolingo at them moment but in the distant future I would like to learn a few more. I think it really boils down to individual learning styles. I was never interested in languages at school because I didn't have a connection with the cultures surrounding the available languages on offer. Therefore I dropped them as soon as I could! However as I got older I became fascinated by different cultures which is why I would love to learn multiple languages. However, I did try to re-learn French while also starting Swedish at the same time on here (and for about a day I did a bit of Esperanto and another day a bit of Italian). However I would often would mix words up when translating which I think is just due to the fact that I'm a monolingual speaker so I'm not use to learning languages.

Although I am nearing the end of my Swedish tree, I'm going to continue refreshing it before moving on because language learning is still new to me and as fascinating as other languages are, I would rather have a firm understanding of the one I feel most connected to rather then knowing bits and bobs of multiple ones. They always say once you've learnt one language, others become easier so I guess I would say that if you feel comfortable enough to say you have mastered the skill of 'language learning' then why not learn multiple ones? I personally think I am no way near this yet, but I'll get there!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FazendaLondrina

For me I am learning with duolingo but also living and working in Brazil. Despite the fact that I have finished my Portuguese tree. I wouldn't say that I am anywhere near fluent in Portuguese, I have only been here for 10 months, so despite having to speak it every single day it will be a lot longer before I can say anything that comes to my mind, I estimate I will be fluent (to the level my husband is in English) in about a year. I am at a point now where I would say I understand 90%¨of conversation and can follow a fast moving conversation between several people. What duolingo helps is with sentence structure, especially in immersion, but it is a start rather than everything you need. I will go for other languages on duolingo but these will be only for the purpose of travel and being able to get by.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mephili
  • 21
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 19
  • 17
  • 16
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 8
  • 6

I like languages. I like to learn how other people see the world. Learning other languages has helped me to learn more about my own language, English. Some people decide to learn just one foreign language. Not me. The more the merrier. I do learn differently than when I was younger. Before, I did not study languages in much depth, as I thought a lot of time was needed. With Duolingo, it is possible to learn in a few months or weeks what would take years otherwise.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit
  • 25
  • 23
  • 22
  • 22
  • 22
  • 21
  • 20
  • 20
  • 20
  • 19
  • 19
  • 18
  • 18
  • 18
  • 17
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 9
  • 8
  • 8
  • 6
  • 6
  • 129

For me the main reason to learn all the languages that duolingo offers is to get a better view of the way languages work, to see the different ways that people express themselves, the similarities and the differences between languages. I can do it because this method works well for me, tying the spoken word to the written word. I would not be able to do it without that visual aspect. Nor would I be able to do it if I had to pay for it. I have not learned to actually speak the languages, but I can read them to varying extents, which is enough for me. The competitive side of it is not why I am doing it but I can't deny it is a nice bonus, and good for my self esteem. If I had a pressing reason to learn a second language to proper fluency doing so many languages together would probably be a hindrance, but as an English speaker living in England, unable to travel due to full time responsibilities, there is no reason not to take full advantage of this learning opportunity.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lahure
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 13
  • 12
  • 12
  • 10
  • 1788

I would mention that my good friend bookrabbit is in first place in 'The Duo Golden Owl Hall of Fame' (Google will take you there) with the fourteen trees as reflected next to her username. I think she has now completed twenty two trees, however! These are not all shown above. Let's say a member has completed the Portuguese from English tree as well as the Spanish from English tree. The Portuguese and Spanish flags would show next to that member's name. A far greater understanding of those two foreign languages can be gained by then doing the Spanish from Portuguese tree and the Portuguese from Spanish tree. We get the Owls but they don't count, as Duo shows each flag once only.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

Great to see the various responses. You make eminent sense to me. If you take on languages at Duolingo for the right reasons (for right perhaps read realistic), Duolingo is a very good source to get a better feel of the way languages work.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
  • 22
  • 17
  • 17
  • 16
  • 11
  • 11
  • 5
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

If one studies maths or likes to read books about World War II, no one ever asks if one is fluent or planning to learn everything there is to learn about that subject... ;-)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

Ah, we are becoming philosophical. The main difference probably is that you need a language in order to communicate.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Izabela_K
  • 25
  • 25
  • 23
  • 23
  • 18
  • 18
  • 14
  • 10
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 415

For me, a lot of it is a love of learning. I feel bored if I'm not learning something. I'm not exactly sure what exactly will come from all that I've done with Duolingo so far, but it has taught me the importance of consistent study and repetition when learning a language. I was rather pleased and surprised at how much of the local news in Spanish I understood while watching it last evening, although news casts are easier pickings for audio comprehension. But still, it was amazing to see how another world, another language is opening up to me.

Besides Duolingo, there was one other key moment that has brought me to today where I gained a 5th golden owl. That was registering at lernu.net and I began to study Esperanto. That was the language that made me realize that even past the age of 40 it was possible to learn to use another language fluently. I'm not perfect with it and I still study it, but usually dream at least once in a week in it and every week I exchange emails with another esperantist. And with that email partner, I also now practice some with Portuguese and Italian, since they speak both of those languages fluently.

I've also found that as time passes, it seems like the more I learn in each language, it helps to reinforce the others, especially now with all the shared vocabulary of Esperanto, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. I have some moments of cross-confusion, but they grow less with time and as those languages mature in my head.

Languages are deeply human things. Every now and then while I'm working with them, I feel a sense of awe and wonder at how we use the words and these varied grammars to express our thoughts, our sentiments, our feelings. It's no wonder there's a rich history of believing in languages and magic, how with words we name things and recognize them, how we define and describe the world around us, the worlds inside us. English is my native language and it is beautiful, but so are all the others I've been learning here. And somehow now that I've finished the Italian tree, I feel closer to the poems of Richard Hugo, one of the greatest poets that America has ever seen. He fought in Italy in World War 2 and wrote poems about that experience as well as when he traveled back to there.

Sed eble mi estas nur frenezulo.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

Mi ne kredas ke vi estas nur frenezulo. Estas ĉiam bone lerni aliajn lingvojn.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/antspants01
Plus
  • 13
  • 12
  • 9
  • 7
  • 6
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2

I learn languages because they are fascinating, because I don't like the idea of being completely ignorant to countries and ways of life outside Australia, because I love travelling (and I believe you should at least bother to learn a few basics when you go to a country despite the fact many these days do know decent conversational English). Comparative grammar can be fascinating when you note the idiosyncrasies between European vs. Asian languages or even amusing differences between similar languages in the same family.

For instance, I find it really interesting how German has a V2 syntax. It took me two years to read fast enough for me to not feel it was completely alien. I suppose it is when it seems only German, Dutch, and Afrikaans (I assume) are the most notable? I do sometimes find it really odd how you have to read a sentence and then go all the way to the end to actually know what the verb is. In comparison, there's Spanish so worried that people won't know if a sentence is an exclamation or a question so they created their own punctuation marks just to ensure readers would know immediately.

Some other reasons is that I find it therapeutic and time-consuming. I have a few mental problems and get panic attacks or awful bouts of depression. Often learning languages helps distract me from bad thoughts. As we all know... there's nothing like learning another language to take up your time.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

Every language has its own idiosyncrasies; I give you that. When in Wales many years ago, I tried to learn Welsh and that is something else again. You know that you know a language when you for instance can read text without feeling the need to translate it into your mother tongue. You will never know how much I really agree with your sentiments in the last paragraph. I am sure that many could relate to these.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KayleeSmeaton0

Duolingo gives me my foundation for languages, but I feel learners would have to delve further elsewhere for more fluency.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

You are absolutely correct.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElFFELTOWER

I am studying French at school in an extended French program. I was invited to join Duolingo to improve my french. I did the English to French course and now I am doing the French to English course to enhance my learning. I will start learning Spanish when I finish the other tree. I believe that Duolingo really does help us learn.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

That is good to see, Eifeltower. Although I am specialising in Esperanto, I am also learning French through Duolingo. It is great to see all these comments.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElFFELTOWER

I will start Esperanto after Spanish. I would like to master the foundations.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

I wish you good luck already. In addition to Duolingo, there is an enormous amount of information available on the Internet regarding Esperanto.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElFFELTOWER

Thank you, I wish you good luck as well. A friend of my relative is a polyglot and she knows Esperanto fluently.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

I wonder when someone deserves the title of polyglot. How many languages do you need to know before you can use this title?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElFFELTOWER

Well I guess you could be considered a polyglot if you know 4 languages or more fluently as one said in the video I watched of a 17 year old boy who learned 20 languages and is continuing to learn more.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElFFELTOWER

When they know at least five languages.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

Thank you for you good wishes by the way. That leaves me out as a polyglot.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElFFELTOWER

I found this online:

A speaker of: four languages: quadrilingual; three languages: trilingual; two languages: bilingual; one language:

(these are not the actual definitions).

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arkonide
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7

In that case, I am trilingual for now. :-) and well on the way to become quadrilingual being in Esperanto.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ElFFELTOWER

I am also a trilingual . . . for now.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cswrawr
  • 23
  • 21
  • 20
  • 17
  • 16
  • 11
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 2
  • 630

I started German just for fun and because I didn't know anything from it, started Italian because I was traveling there and figured I'd be better off knowing a few words. I finished neither of those... but I do believe there are people here that complete them because the courses are there and they can, it's just for fun. I mean... it's better than minecraft at least?

3 years ago
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.