https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

700 days journey

Somehow I am still here, 700 days later.

I have a really hard time sticking with things. After a while I never thought I'd make it anywhere with languages, though I've wanted to learn some my whole life. After I had a head injury and also went on some intense anti-seizure meds, many things felt undoable, languages beyond my first among them because my memory is really not so good anymore. And memory stuff aside, it's been a really long journey that has somehow not stopped me. During these 700 days I've became too ill to take care of myself and lived in a friend's livingroom for a year, I lost a long term partnership, I fought and won an incredibly stressful legal battle against the state, and I had a multiple day hospital stay. But I kept going thanks to this community and Duolingo's really engaging program and some outside support that kept me connected to the internet to make it all possible. I feel really blessed to know all of you.

I'm not fluent. I'm not a language wiz. It could be decades before I'm fluent, if it's even possible at all. I'm celebrating because I'm still here and part of a wonderful community.

Over these 700 days there are a handful of resources that have been very valuable to me, so I want to share them with you. These worked for me, they might not work for you. But maybe.

  • If you can, get a language partner. I've never improved so fast as when my friend lived in town and we spoke Spanish together most days of the week. We didn't worry if not everything that came out was Spanish. Sometimes a little Japanese slipped in and at first a lot of English. But as time progressed it was more and more Spanish.

  • Vary your methods. The more stuffed your toolbox is, the more things to keep you motivated.

  • Boredom happens. When it does, come up with a new approach.

  • For you multiple language learners out there, get a textbook and utilize Untimed Practice a little each day. Answer the questions in more than one language. It's very hard, but makes switching between languages easier, and it's an exciting challenge.

  • ReadLang is amazing for several languages if you plan to read things online or upload electronic books.

  • Midori Is the best app out there for students of Japanese. Use it in combination with Google Translate for the En for JP course.

  • Word Reference has an amazing conjugator and dictionary for Spanish, French, and I think German.

  • Google Study Spanish and the kind of grammar you're looking up, like subjunctive mood, and then summarize the lesson on a piece of paper in as few words as possible. This will boost your comprehension. Or go directly there Study Spanish

  • For American Sign Language, check out Life Print.

I'm not really sure what else to say. So, if you have any questions feel free to ask. If it's about the struggles I probably won't go into anymore details than I've already given. I just hope that what I have written will encourage folks to push through and keep going with their language dreams. ^_^

September 4, 2015

86 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you everyone! Your warm words mean so much to me. :)

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CinnamonBoy

OMG, Usagiboy7!!!!! Congratulations!!!!! ¡¡¡¡¡Felicitaciones!!!!! I hope you'll reach fluency level in Spanish and the other languages you're studying very soon! That's excellent!!! Keep it up! We all love you!!!

And thank you very much for the resources!!!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you very much.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Faeryeye

Very inspirational. I know what you mean by struggling to learn. I used to have an eidetic memory until I was struck by lightening. Now the amount of studying I have to do to master something can seem insurmountable. But Duo has helped me stick with language learning. I too am very grateful for this community, and proud of you for your achievement.

You are a great mentor, and a wonderful help in this community!

I love your text book idea. That's brilliant.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Oh wow! Also, woops this comment was for you. I misplaced it.

And I'm glad you liked the textbook idea. It's really helping me right now as I cram for this coming term as a Japanese tutor. I've got 20 days to cover 4 chapters and I still want to keep working on Spanish.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DetErMinNavn

Nothing to say but that you have been one of the greatest people I could possibly meet on the Internet, you are an amazing mod, and thank you for being part of our community.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

That's a really high compliment. Thank you so much!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DetErMinNavn

It is my pleasure, my dear friend :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

Amazing :)

Usagiboy7*100 :D

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Woot woot! :D

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bookrabbit

Congratulations! Both you and duolingo are inspirational. I have been helped through difficult times by this amazing resource too, although I lost my streak when I foolishly turned the coach on. I hope you continue to be helped along your path as you help so many others with theirs.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

I'm so sorry you lost your streak. I'm glad to see a 5 on there, as it means that you've decided to continue anyway. Also, thank you :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Moomingirl

Huge congratulations on your achievement bunny, and on managing to keep going when many others would have quit. I hope things improve for you after your tough couple of years.

You are both an inspiration and a great person to know. :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
Mod
  • 163

Said it wonderfully ! as moonmingirl would :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you both :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gingerninja3148

Wow congratulations! A 700 day streak is something to be very proud of. You have truly inspired me to keep working on my languages. Thanks for the tips as well. They are very helpful.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

171 days is nothing to scoff at. Nice job!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Gymnastical

Congratulations! You make it look easy and on top of that, are a very valuable moderator. The list goes on regarding reasons we're lucky to have you. Keep it up!!!!!!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42

If you don't mind my asking, why did you decide to study Japanese? I'm considering it myself, so I would like to hear other people's reasons for starting.

Big congratulations!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thanks! When I was younger I was a huge anime and manga fan. So I took a couple of years in uni. But, wasn't able to finish the second year. Now I am learning it because it gives me a chance to volunteer tutor students at the local uni. Connecting with people is very important to me, and I love teaching. I want to help give them their best chance at retaining it since they'll only have 2 years available at my Alma Mater.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/no.name.42

Thanks for the response and good luck with the next seven hundred days.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/m.tastic

Nice job :) It's amazing to look back and see how far you've gone, isn't it?

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Very! It feels surreal.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mjaumjaupurr

Congratulations on 700 days! You've been such an inspiration. Thank you for all you do for Duolingo. ^_^

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you ^_^

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rsf138

Amazing man! Keep up your hard work. =)

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/FieryCat

I hope you can have everything in life you want. Once again, congratulations!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you for such warm wishes.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SofritoBandito

Congrats for sticking with it and thanks for being a great mod.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thanks! I have a great team to work with! Very inspiring people who help me do my best.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/daKanga
Mod
  • 163

just , thanks for being part of my important anchorage. Inspirational and a sounding board. And CONGRATULATIONS !
edited: Also thanks for celebrating with us your journey - for - especially for me - as I can see also for others - It is - especially for me - profoundly inspirational - as my life's journey this year finds me sailing in waters I have never seen before, and I do know know , have little trust in my sailing prowess in these strange seas. Thank you for being an inspiration - not in the number of continuous days you have been here - though that is - astounding and admirable.- but in the profound inspiration of kindness, patience, intelligence, and hope of validation of being, and also persistence, that is a significant core, in my hope of opportunities available for ... well us all - right now, and in the future.. thank you.

edited:: and especially - thanks for shaping our community - to be helpful, respectful, encouraging us to be kind and supportive - and also to have fun. For our environment does impact how we learn, how we wish to be involved, and our capacity to be engaged and focused, motivated, and able to advance along our individual language learning journeys.
Not only would many of us have trouble imagining duolingo without you, duolingo would be different without you. ( super quietly said : and so would my ability to cope with my life, thanks for the gift of hope. )

So again THANKS moon bunny !
* hands bunnehhh a small packet of Anzac biscuits - wrapped gaily with a big striped green white and purple bow. *

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

I'm glad I could be an inspiration Roo. You too have supported me many with many warm and kind words along this journey. Thank you.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Larisa_L

Congrats Usagi, I think that no one now can imagine Duolingo without you :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you very much Larisa :)

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TonyAguiar

Super congratulations!!! :)

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thanks!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/PanchoAlejandro

Your motivation is fabolous

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

:D

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jolynnedougherty

Heartfelt congratulations to you!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you Jolynne :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Tunglskin

Many congratulations to you! I hope that I can one day reach a 700 day streak... But my main goal is always to have a great time learning these beautiful languages :)

Good luck to you in your future endeavors!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

That is a great goal! Thank you.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/knittingirl

Congratulations Usagi!!!!! You are truly an inspiration :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

:D

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Carolyn250

Congratulations! When I was a discouraged newbie, you were the first (but not the last) member of the Duolingo community who made me feel good about being here. So you are partially responsible for my streak as well as for your own. I hope you maintain your interest in Duo. for many hundreds of days to come, as you are such a valuable person here.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lewhan

Congrats! Great work, as always! :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thanks! :D

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RikSha

Onneksi olkoon, pupu! Congratulations, bunny! :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

I don't understand the first part of that, but thank you :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RikSha

Onneksi olkoon = congratulations, pupu = bunny. Now you know some Finnish ;)

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10

Wow, that's wonderful Usagi! Congratulations! :) I hope everything goes okay for you, good luck in learning languages and reaching fluency! You're amazing! :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you Tamuna!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

Awesome - and thank you very much for the post!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thanks. I was a bit nervous to post it. But I'm glad I did.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LeIouch

Congrats Usagi, not too far from 1000 days! :P Keep it up :)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

With some luck, I'll reach it! Congrats on passing the 1 year mark, btw!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LeIouch

Thanks, I can't see myself breaking this streak anytime soon haha

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Teenage_Polyglot

A huge congratulation! You were one of the first users I met here, and have walked me through my journey here, always giving me the support and encouragement I needed. To moon bunnies!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

And to puppies! :D You also have been a good friend to me. Thank you.

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Teenage_Polyglot

Always :)

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/buunny

Thanks, Usagi for resources. It sucks to hear about your head injury, but good on you for not giving up. :)

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

buunny! :D The head injury was a long time ago. Not giving up is easier for me in this community than elsewhere. I've taken 2 years of Spanish about 10 years back but I feel more prepared by Duolingo because of how often it encourages me to study. I wish I could have paired them back then because it would have been the perfect, super-powered combination.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AnIsAPandah

Congrats Bunny!!!! :D gives chocolate cake

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Woo pounces and noms da cake om nom nom Thank you Anpan :)

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Brijsven

You are indeed a valuable member to this community Usagiboy7! May your next 700 days be just as sweet! ^_^

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/med-ben

Bravo, keep up with Esperanto :D

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Esperanto is a great language. At the moment I've had to put it on hold to focus on ASL, Spanish, and Japanese. But in the future I'd like to pick it up again.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/PurpleGUCCI

You're AWESOME :D

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Aww, thank you!

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/miacomet

Congratulation, Usagi! I had no idea you had been through so much, which makes keeping your streak even more impressive. Thanks for everything you add to this community.

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you. The community here has been a great support and motivator.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lillyflowercat

This makes me want to cry it's so inspiring... wow.

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Don't cry! hands you a tissue

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/tolunayo

Wow, I did not know your story and it totally inspired me.

Thanks for suggestions and I agree completely the one about varying the methods and dealing with boredom. Incorporating more tools and changing the mix, setting small goals helps a lot.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

I'm glad you found the suggestions useful! And yeah, small goals are great. They are easier to reach and give a boost when met.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Highways

Congratulations! ¡Enhorabuena por esos 700 días! (Ya falta menos para los 1000)

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Muchas gracias!

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/sannehoo

Wow, a 700+ day streak. That is very impressive! Congrats!

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Thank you!

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User

Thank you very much for all you've done on here. Also, congrats on your streak!

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

My pleasure, and thank you!

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Taurendil

It's wonderful to hear that you've managed to stay despite everything.. We all love Duo :) Thanks for the recommendations!

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

Yes, a very loved program :)

September 8, 2015

[deactivated user]

    Tap on your shoulder. You should be proud of yourself. Congratulations. I will get there if I can.

    September 9, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

    You can do it! Don't forget to equip a streak freeze now in case an emergency comes up and you can't log in. Good luck!

    September 10, 2015
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