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  5. 700 Days, 7 Languages

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

700 Days, 7 Languages

What a rollickin' ride. Thanks to all for the collaboration!

A few suggestions for things to do beyond DL in order to achieve true fluency: (1) Grammar study is vital, and with DL alone, you will not learn enough. I recommend the "Practice Makes Perfect" series of books. (2) Read online newspapers in the foreign language, and become interested in ongoing stories. The subject area doesn't matter: politics, sports, the arts, you name it. That can work very well in tandem with DL's so-called "Immersion" (which is really just written translation, but useful all the same). (3) Find well-educated native speakers with whom one can converse, in person or on Skype. I live in a large city and it's relatively easy to make friends with such people. But another way is to build a network on DL through the "Immersion" work. (4) Watch foreign language movies and television programs, and as soon as possible, get the ones that don't have subtitles. (5) Find reasons to use the new language -- including writing it -- as a part of your everyday life.

If we regard a foreign language project as something that always requires "extra" time, rather than as something to integrate as quickly as possible into our daily lives, it can quickly become a burden; we'll never have enough time! Consider this: Some foreign language newspapers are more useful than those written in our native tongues; foreign language movies are an excellent source of entertainment and enrichment; and when we have friends whose native languages are different from ours, we can deepen the relationships by communicating with them in their native tongues.

October 2, 2015

184 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linguist001

¡Bien hecho, profesor!

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbusike

Usted tambien ha hecho bien Linguist001

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linguist001

Gracias, Jim. Que tengas un buen fin de semana.

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EpicPowerHero

When I first saw that I thought it was 7 days, 700 languages and I thought "Not possible!"
Hahaha.

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/herekittykitty99

And level 25 on all of them! Felicidades!

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaeeSafaee

Oh... It was 400 days ago when I met you first, here in Duolingo! You've been such a great inspiration for me, professor! Congratulations! :)

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

Right back at you, Maëde. It's been a pleasure to follow your impressive progress.

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChitChatty

It's impressive enough that you went through the program for 7 different languages, but the fact that you did it in less than 2 years--that's pretty freakin' cool.

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LisaJEE

Wow! You have a blog? I'd love to read about your experience.

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WanderingMonk

congratulations!!

felicidades

congratulazioni

félicitations

Glückwunsch

parabéns

grattis

and

gefeliciteerd

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YuriKB

Did you begined from zero to this or was some course already begined?

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

I began from zero, except in French. I know other languages, but they are Asian ones, not available on DL.

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/compicej

Wow! ¡Impresionante! ¿Y cuántos idiomas sabe usted?

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

Gracias. Sé diez más el nativo inglés. Sus resultados también son impresionantes.

October 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/compicej

¿Once en total? Wow! Cuando yo sea grande quiero ser como usted :)

Ah y me gustaría saber cuáles son esos idiomas que domina, si no es mucha molestia.

October 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

Estos: español, frances, italiano, hindi, tailandés, correano, portugués, alemán, holandés, sueco e inglés. Estoy aprendiendo el chino.

October 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FreeManStars

Congratulations John ! What do you do IRL?

Did you learn them separately one after an other ?

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

Yes, I've found it most efficient to carry one at a time to a relatively advanced conversational level. It's much easier to reinforce than to build from scratch, so I only 'begin' one at a time.

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

I'm a university professor.

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/webnauta

Wow! learning all those languages is a big challenge!!! Your achieve is amazing and a good example of perseverance for us here, with Duolingo. I think that Duolingo can give us several skills in our foreign and new language, at leat that has been my situation because at the moment, I could reach my whole learning goals completely, and furthermore i've been able to beat my own limits!!!

Keep your practice! good bye ;-)

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sannehoo

Your own streak and levels are pretty impressive as well!

October 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/webnauta

Thanks! You also have a great streak, keep your work :)

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sannehoo

I'm willing and trying. :-) It usually breaks when I'm on holiday and there is no (reliable) internet. Then a 1-day streak freeze just isn't enough. :-(

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SoyHenry

Congrats.. Todos Nivel 25 amazing :o

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barakx5

That is an amazing achievement ! Inspiring !

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevanSF

Awesome!

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mateo_123duo

Hello! Wow! You know a lot! but Do you know, speak, listen, read and write in these language?? Congrats!!!!

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

Yes, I do. Thank you.

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JordiAbadal

Muchas felicidades. Y ahora cual es el reto?

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

Quizás el japonés ... ¿qué piensas?

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JordiAbadal

Con tu capacidad de aprender, no tengo la menor duda de que lo conseguirás. Un saludo desde Barcelona

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

Gràcies molt, Jordi. Espero que tinguis una bona setmana.

October 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JordiAbadal

Jajaja. Moltes gràcies a tú John. No dejas de sorprenderme. Un abrazo amigo.

October 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kgeiger

DANG!!!!! Inspiration right here. Congratulations, what an accomplishment!!

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bookrabbit

Well done! Which one next?

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

I'm pondering, maybe Japanese ...

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RyanOkushi

I'm a native speaker, and I'm trying to make a language course for it. It doesn't really seem like anyone else wants it though.

October 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oromolearner

native speaker of what? I'm up for it

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hansie9

Irish? Or one of the obscure ones maybe... from Scandinavia - they seem very different. You have a good, consistent selection there?! :-)

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lalohomme

Congratulations !!!! yo llevo 2 dias xD

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talca

Felicidades.

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Talca

That's why you are called Professor # 1. ¡¡Genial!!

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allexandra492

Chapeau bas... :)

October 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kimojima
October 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

Thank you, kimojima. Your approach and mine are virtually identical, except that my daily writing consists more of correspondence than of private journal entries. I always write first without aids, then review and decide whether to consult an external resource. With regard to such resources, I completely avoid Google and other bots. Their results are pathetic; I think it will take fifty years before artificial intelligence can catch up with humans' ability to interpret or translate. Once I get past the 'beginner' stage in a new language, I try to avoid bilingual dictionaries, preferring to own and consult a recently published excellent 'real' dictionary in each of my languages (for example, the 2014 revision of the RAE's 'Dictionario de la Lengua Española). I am, however, hooked on one online multilingual resource for checking the precision of a nuance: wordreference.com.

October 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/catcampion

Holy-moly, good sir. Time to do the reverse trees! I finished both in just over a year (reverse went much more quickly) Now, (in addition to maintaining on DuoLingo), I use verbling.com/i/cat1 to deepen my Spanish studies. They have privates for under $10/hour & small classes for $2/hour! I'm moving to Ecuador in two months, so it is critical I ramp up my studies.

October 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

Excellent plan. ¡Espero que tengas una experiencia fantástica en Ecuador!

October 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jolynnedougherty

Wow and congratulations!

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NtateNarin

Amazing!!!!! Plus all of them at level 25!! Congratulations. :-) May I ask what the hardest language was to learn? Plus which ones you like the best?

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

My favorite languages are Spanish and Italian. For me, the most difficult language that you can find on DL is German, but Mandarin [not on DL] has its own distinct challenges. Attitude is everything!!

October 3, 2015

[deactivated user]

    ¡Increíble profesor, que histórico inspirador. Que vengan 700 más! ;)

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth_00

    Congratulations!!!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/territrades

    Somebody used his 700 days much more effective than I did. Chapeau.

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leslie_Duo

    ¡Bien hecho! ¡Felicitaciones!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duo783313

    Gamification is working for you! Certainly this is a strong reading/writing accomplishment. Has your conversational skills matched? Also, maintaining each of those language skills is a job in itself. I'm a noob here and really want conversational skills.

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    I agree completely. Conversational skills should be the first and top priority. That is not usually the case when one learns a language via the 'academic' route, and the result is diminished motivation and poor efficiency of learning time.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cesardfreitas

    ¿Cómo te va con el español?

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Estoy cómodo [C2] en español; tras mi idioma materno, es mi idioma favorito. Hace dos años, no sabía nada de eso. Y tú, ¿cómo va el inglés?

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cesardfreitas

    Genial, en la escuela aprendí mucho inglés no lo dudo, pero necesitaba seguir, este es un excelente método para practicar un poco todos los días, el español es mi idioma materno. Veo que tu gramática es perfecta, por lo que entiendo que de verdad este curso te enseña a la perfección.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Muchísimas gracias, César, y buena suerte en tus estudios.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duo783313

    Bien.

    Having audio issues with my netbook (running Ubuntu server + lite GUI) - no sound, no microphone on duolingo. Audio works fine with other websites, like youtube. Everything is working on an Android tablet, but I read that the exercises aren't as challenging outside the web interface. Any ideas?

    I should have replied in Spanish - but don't have enough vocab yet. Actually, haven't learned how to enter the accented characters on my tablet using a USB keyboard yet either. Don't think it is possible. With the on-screen keyboard, it is possible.

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cesardfreitas

    wooow great!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamKoziko

    I am pretty sure that you haven't started your language study with DL ;) nevertheless Big Congratulations! Really impressive. I wonder what the next seven 25s we will see for two years ;)

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamKoziko

    And I have just counted your XPs: 587 785. It makes 840 daily. That's the job! Mes félicitations cordiales!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Thank you, Adam!

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ichthus731-Larry

    Do you supplement DL with other things as well? I'm very curious, when a person reaches level 25, how much ability on an average do they have to understand spoken language and communicate with native speakers?

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Yes, I do. I never rely solely on DL, because DL doesn't deliver conversational skills, and those are vital for language mastery. The typical person at level 25 can read well enough and translate from the foreign tongue into his/her native language, but that person lacks the ability to understand rapid/accented/idiomatic speech and cannot effectively converse.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tecjohnson

    So what do you supplement, for example, spanish with? Or German? Thanks!

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    (1) Grammar study is vital, and with DL alone, you will not learn enough. I recommend the "Practice Makes Perfect" series of books. (2) Read online newspapers in the foreign language, and become interested in ongoing stories. The subject area doesn't matter: politics, sports, the arts, you name it. That can work very well in tandem with DL's so-called "Immersion" (which is really just written translation, but useful all the same). (3) Find well-educated native speakers with whom one can converse, in person or on Skype. I live in a large city and it's relatively easy to make friends with such people. But another way is to build a network on DL through the "Immersion" work. (4) Watch foreign language movies and television programs, and as soon as possible, get the ones that don't have subtitles. (5) Find reasons to use the new language -- including writing it -- as a part of your everyday life.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fuv7

    Exactly, I also would like to know what your tools to master speaking abilities are :) Do you converse with native speakers via skype etc. or have other smart ideas?

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Please see the answer posted just above and now added to the original post. Good luck with your studies!

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/catcampion

    I recommend verbling.com/i/cat1 to deepen Spanish (& English) studies. They have privates for under $10/hour & small classes for $2/hour!

    October 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hansie9

    There is no substitute for immersing oneself in the society/culture of a chosen language... and arguably we cannot properly learn any language without doing so. ....but we'll "get by".

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aneuronal

    Tremendo logro !! Felicidades ! Que bueno que te guste el español. Te recomiendo a un poeta Chileno: Vicente Huidobro, puede ser el libro Altazor

    Una ultima cosa te queria preguntar: ¿ Cómo lo haces cuando sales de vacaciones y no hay internet?

    Que estés muy bien,

    Francisco

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Muchísimas gracias por tu sugerencia, Francisco! Voy a buscarlo. Sin internet, no pudiera vivir! A pesar de viajar a Tíbet y otras partes de China durante el mes de julio de este año, cada día había internet en alguno lugar. Que tengas un buen fin de semana.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aneuronal

    John, le quería preguntar si esta familiarizado con la plataforma 'Memrise' para el estudio de lenguas, si es asi, cual es su usuario?

    October 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Lo siento, no lo conozco.

    October 11, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KingCT

    I am interested to know, in what order you tackled the languages? Did you alternate Romance and Germanic to reduce confusion or did you approach them in order of similarity?

    October 24, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Good question. I approached them generally in order of similarity to my core languages (English, Spanish, and Hindi), with the Nordic/Germanic ones last. I don't know if it would have been more efficient to alternate. I don't know any Slavic languages, but I do know several east Asian ones. Thanks for your interest.

    October 24, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ldv1970

    You are saying you do not know any Slavic languages and you have level 25 for Russian at the same time. I am confused.

    January 28, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dmitriy_K

    He wrote this comment one year ago. Maybe, he was studying in last months.

    January 28, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/huber23

    you are a great person , i really wanna know seven lenguages like you

    November 23, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TreyzMeName

    congrats sir! is level 25 max?

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LangForThought

    Oui oui monsieur.

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lexi_N17

    Felicidades!!!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Suzannia

    amazing!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ria_Villanueva

    Amazing and inspiring!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thucnv

    Wow and congratulations!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChauLe3

    wow, amazing !!!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chaered

    Fantastique! Geweldig! Awesome! Parabéns! Sagenhaft! Jättebra! Lindísimo!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hansie9

    ....and in Irish? :-o ;-)

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Clive.Thomas

    Amazing. Quite an achievement. True dedication to purpose.

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matfran2001

    Wow, amazing mate! Congratulations! Did you do it one language after another, or just all seven languages from the beginning?

    Also, you must have averaged about 1000 XPs per day, during almost two years.....How could you do that? Several hours every day I guess.....True dedication.

    Inspiring!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    One at a time. I can 'hold' a large number of languages once I master them, but I can't 'begin' two at once.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmilieAC

    Wow! Very impressive!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tic12

    well done, can't imagine, how much hours you spend every day

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LoeK.Lpez

    felicidades!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbraxunsIllusion

    Wow. Congrats.

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LiviwithPups

    Oh my gosh! That is so inspiring!!! What was the most difficult language over all? And what languages would you recommend learning first? Right now I'm learning Spanish :))

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Of all the languages I've studied, German was the most difficult for me, followed closely by Mandarin, but for very different reasons. I completely agree with and support your choice of Spanish first. In my opinion, it's the second most useful language in the world, it helps you learn others such as Italian and Portuguese, and it's my favorite.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/valentina.322

    That's unbelievable! congrats!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/geffersonro

    Terrific man! Congratulations, you're my inspiration now!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Isrianth

    That's very impressive! ¡Felicitaciones!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sannehoo

    Your streak is pretty impressive too!

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Redfan4ever

    Awesome

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Allexandra492

    I used to love Red, years ago. I still have their first 3 albums. How are they now? :)

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Redfan4ever

    Better than ever!

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zambataro

    You're amazing, professor!

    October 2, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yescinig

    very nice, congratulations

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hill1447

    I'll be lucky if I can polish up the one I used to speak in just 700 days. Hats off to you!

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AJS6

    Félicitations

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ansslecter

    Congratulations! What is your native tongue ?

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Thank you. English.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HexManiacSarina

    Omg. Bro. Marry me. holds engagement ring with Lingot in it But for real tho, how fluent do you feel in all of those languages? :O

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    I use them all regularly, I try to keep track of what is beginning to get rusty, and tilt the practice in that direction.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenDag

    And you are doing all of this along with your academic load, and yet it is LAW. Kudos! You are amazing.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeonidBr

    Professor, Wow! It is fantastic work ,Congratulate! My expirience in Dl over 515 days, It is too worse, but just today I start to read the "World news" fluencey by English and it is still hard to leasten. Goog luck!

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Prol3psis

    Big congrats! Great job! It's nice to see that your favorite languages are Spanish and Italian as well :) I hope you didn't learn them both at the same time, like I did, because it was a nightmare sometimes haha

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    One at a time!!! I can't handle two new ones at the same time. Once I master one, I can handle a new one without damaging the older one.

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yinyangrunner

    How long does it takes you to master a language? :-)

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    If the new language is in the same linguistic family as one I already know, it takes around 4 weeks for basic conversation and writing, and about 3 months to be comfortable in advanced conversation, reading and writing. If the new language is in an entirely different linguistic family, those numbers approximately double, and if the new language does not use Roman script, they would double yet again.

    October 6, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FaithDavis4

    WOW! This is amazing!! What did you find to be your biggest help/resource, outside of DuoLingo, for Spanish??

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Please see the comment I have recently added up top, following the original post, listing five points. ¡Buena suerte!

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jluginbuhl80224

    @professor01 can I ask how many you can still speak fluently or semi-fluently?

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    I operate comfortably in all of them with measured competency ranging from B3 (German) to C2 (Spanish).

    October 3, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jluginbuhl80224

    Thank you for the response, and also thank you for some of the advice you have given in this discussion. Congratulations on your achievement.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SofritoBandito

    This is amazing. Can you tell us how much time per day you commit to Duolingo vs reading newspapers vs chatting with people etc? Do you read news stories in 7 different language each day, or just in the language you're currently learning?

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    I read Spanish, Italian, and French newspapers daily or just about daily; the others more like once a week. When I'm learning a new language, I start reading a good newspaper as soon as my vocabulary is adequate (usually after 4 weeks) and then stay with it every day until I achieve mastery of conversation (usually takes me at least 3 months). I always place the early emphasis overwhelmingly on conversation and reading, and gradually build the attention to grammar over time.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yinyangrunner

    Impressive. Can you suggest a good Spanish newspaper to read daily?

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    elmundo.es -- it's the best by far!!

    October 6, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lena_S

    What French newspaper would you recommend?

    October 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Le Monde.

    October 11, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sebastosiano

    Impresionante. Solo quisiera consultarle dos cosas... Una es sobre el chino mandarin, como lo estudio ? Tiene algún recurso en particular para recomendar. Porque estoy justamente empezando y en realidad se lo podría considerar casi como dos lenguajes en uno. Y lo otro... profesor de que ? Cual es su área académica ?

    Un saludo.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Gracias. Para mí, la mejor herramienta ha sido "Fluenz" -- discos que no son gratis! Entre las herramientas sin costas, me gusta "FluentU." A principio, mi estrategia no era aprender los signos/caracteres sino enfocar en el pinyin (es decir, la fonética). Creo que la conversación siempre es lo mas importante. Soy catedrático de derecho. Un saludo.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeonidBr

    My congratulations once more!

    I think that is a record for Gines Book!

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/refusenick

    Chapeau bas, Prof. Do you remember how you stumbled upon DL and what motivated you to learn all these languages? Did you set any specific goals and targets?

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Thank you. I travel extensively, lived for several years in Asia as a child, and was comfortable in both Hindi and French at a young age. But I've always hated 'academic' language learning, especially the North American version. I think our formal educational system approaches the whole project in a way that maximizes pain, minimizes excitement and inspiration, and is guaranteed to fail. I was tipped to DL in Europe in autumn 2013 by a student in one of my lecture classes. What I liked most about it was the emphasis on gaining some conversational proficiency almost instantly. Originally, my goals were modest, but when I started being able to have real conversations without the need for an interpreter, the enthusiasm for connecting with diverse populations on the planet just took over. As a general rule, however, I slant my studies toward languages that I think will be most useful. Thus, although Mandarin is spoken by more people than English or Spanish, English and Spanish are more useful and practical for a global citizen [when a Chilean enters into a business relationship with a Chinese citizen, they do it in English!], and as a result, I maintain C2 fluency in Spanish but in Mandarin, my standard is more lax: "function well in Beijing." As for specific goals, I always use an intensive approach when learning a new language, and compress the process into a few months until I achieve a certain level of mastery which allows me to reduce the frequency of practice but maintain effectiveness.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeonidBr

    Professor 01 WOW!

    There are really pieces advises for everyone. And after all that is to work, and "compress the process". I watched you achievements in Dl, 170 grade of translator! WOW! Bravo! Thank you.

    Best wishes!

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Thank you, Leonid!

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenDag

    Now I understand why you did not cite French as the hardest of all the languages you learned. You learned it at a young age. The younger and the more one is exposed to a language, one feels more comfortable in it. Trying to learn French, I can see it is very hard to acquire it. For German, I cannot say the same. I was taught eight years of German in school and ı know how the language operates (still not good at it.) But, I do not thin I will come to a descent level in French. Maybe, I am frustrated because, as you have indicated earlier, my studies lean heavily on academic side, instead of the fun part of the language, which is "communicating" it.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Well said! There are two other advantages of learning a language at a young age: (1) a young mind is a sponge for vocabulary; (2) when one learns a language before age 12 or so, one's accent is likely to be perfect for life. I can neglect French for months and jump right back into it with ease. But if I were to do that with Mandarin (which I learned very recently), I would probably have a lot of problems. The other side of the coin is that mature learners are more motivated, less distracted, and usually more efficient and strategic in designing their learning programs, than kids. As a result, in my experience, adults tend to reach proficiency in new languages faster than the kids.

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenDag

    I agree completely. ... And admittedly, it is injustice to French for me to say it is most difficult to acquire it: i indeed had to give a long break for my French in DL (for some personal reasons). Three days ago, i revisited 23 lessons i mastered a while ago: thanks to that organ called brain for holding on to what is learned so far in a language, I moved on swiftly to the point where I initially fell away. THAT alone for me is the most precious reward of learning a language, and THAT really is what gives me the motivation (or the hope) to move forward. And, people like you shed light in the tunnels new learners move through. Thank YOU for thinking to open this discussion about your experiences. I read those precious gems left here and there in one gasp.

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Thank you, Deniz. You are very kind. I particularly value your comments since they come from a professional linguist.

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElRiXIV

    Very good performance. Congrats. Tons of them . I have a question or two. What is the proficiency kept in all these 7 languages. Do you still work on it (DL). Are you in linguistics or teaching of any language ? Well , this would be the 3rd question. Many thanks in advance. Again CONGRATS.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Thanks, Elena. I maintain competency ranging from B3 to C2. I use the so-called 'Immersion' feature frequently. I'm not a linguist, but an ethicist (law professor).

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

    Grattis! Jag ser att du har studerat svenska. Vad tyckte du om det? Spanska och italienska är mina favoritspråk också. Jag är nybörjare i italienska, men har studerat spanska tidigare. Nu försöker jag ta mig igenom italienska från spanska och det är ett jättebra sätt att tydligt se likheter och skillnader mellan de två språken.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Svensk historia är fascinerande för mig. Och jag beundrar det arbete som författare som Vilhelm Moberg, Torgny Lindgren ... och Hennig Mankell! Jag fann det mycket bra att behärska spanska innan lära sig italienska. Jag hoppas att ni har samma erfarenhet. Bästa hälsningar från Philadelphia!

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

    Ja, visst har man stor hjälp av spanska när man studerar italienska! Det var intressant att läsa att du känner till och tycker om några svenska författare. Vilhelm Moberg har ju skrivit om fattiga svenskar som utvandrade till Minnesota på 1800-talet.

    Hoppas att du inte har något emot att jag duar dig. Jag tänkte inte ens på det när jag skrev förra gången, men, som de flesta svenskar, duar jag alla. Och då menar jag verkligen alla, oavsett yrke, titel och ålder. Jag förstår att det kan verka främmande för den som talar t.ex. tyska, franska och spanska. Jag vet inte hur det fungerar i Italien, men jag antar att "Lei" används på samma sätt som "Usted".

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    (1) Jag tror Mobergs arbete är djup och fascinerande! (2) Jag förstår, och jag föredrar "du." I Spanien, inte annat än i Latinamerika, använder de informella "tú" och "vosotros / vosotras" för alla (utom kungen). Det är så jag föredrar att arbeta, och om USA hade olika smaker av "du/dig/ni/er," Jag skulle föredra den informella ett.

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HandsomeNwealthy

    can you be more specific on how much you practiced each day/week and what you did? When you were watching movies were you trying to hear every word or were you just trying to understand the basic meaning? Did you doing any writing to practice getting the grammar correct?

    Congrats on your achievements

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Answering the three questions: (1) TIME SPENT: First, in dealing with languages I already know, what I try to do is integrate them into the rest of my life so that it doesn't seem as if I'm devoting separate time to languages. And so, for example, I personally believe that Madrid's 'El Mundo' is one of the most objective and useful newspapers on the planet, and I have observed many, many times that it tends to get the 'scoop' on really important global news before the best newspapers in my home country [USA]. I read it because it makes me better informed, period; it just happens to be in Spanish. Also, my job requires me to lecture at universities around the world. I used to do so exclusively in English. Nowadays, I use the local languages as much as possible. I don't count any of that as 'language study time,' but instead as 'living in the 21st century.' Second, everything changes when I'm starting a brand-new language. When in the process of learning a new language, I "find" at least one hour per day to concentrate on that language. I usually have to keep that up for about three months without missing a single day, but approximately after that length of time, I suddenly realize that I have burned things in deeply enough that I can afford to scale down the practice. (2) MOVIES: At first, I 'got' only small parts of the spoken language, although I was helped by the body language and whatever else was happening visually. I viewed it as 'cheap immersion.' The most important thing was not to give up, because immersion is the way we each learned our maternal tongues as infants and it's also the proven path to language fluency in adulthood. And so long as the stories are interesting and one can stick with it, the percentage comprehension steadily grows. (3) WRITING:Yes, all the time. The greatest value of writing practice is that it causes the learner to take the initiative in organizing thoughts in the foreign language. That is what is most essential to break out of the beginner stage, when everything is mimicry and memorization.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HandsomeNwealthy

    thanks for the detailed response. I need to step my game up and really get this Spanish learning going. You are a good inspiration

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenDag

    How many more languages do you think you have the capacity to learn and maintain them at a descent level? İs this a lifetime journey for you, or are you ever feeling tired of knowing so much. In other words, at this level you have with all those languages, do you ever feel "this is enough," or can you always regain the zeal to start a new one?

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Great question. There's certainly a point where the only way to excel in a new one is to drift away from one previously mastered. But what I've discovered is that once one has truly mastered a language, even if one neglects it for a long time, one can recapture it with stunning speed once one is re-immersed. The key word there is "immersed," as in spending time in the relevant country and avoiding the readily available opportunities to skate by in one's strongest language ... that is a special challenge for native English speakers!!

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PetitRenar

    Belle performance! Bravo!! J'ai lu tous les posts et commentaires que tu as laissé jusqu'à présent et tu sembles dire que, dès que possible, tu vas commencé à lire les journaux.

    Sur DL, tu nous conseillerai de commencé à quel niveau? Ou après quelle étape?

    Parce que j'ai essayé de lire "De Telegraaf", juste après avoir lu ton article...je comprends bien ce qu'il se passe et ce que l'auteur cherche à transmettre. Mais je ne me sens pas du tout prêt! Est-ce une erreur de ma part? Devrais-je chercher tous les mots qu'il me manque? Ou DL encore un peu plus avant de commencer?

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Merci. Les choses les plus importantes sont la patience et le désir. Le néerlandais est une langue très difficile à apprendre (bien que la plus grande difficulté est à parler). Je pense qu'il faut passer le niveau 20 avant de se sentir à l'aise avec les journaux néerlandais. Cependant, après le niveau 10, tu trouveras que tu fais des progrès plus rapides sur DL si tu lis simultanément des matériaux à l'extérieur. Choisis des articles sur des sujets dans lesquels tu as un niveau d'intérêt élevé. Essaye de deviner le sens des mots qu'il te manque, et essaye de lire l'article en entier avant de vérifier les mots dans le dictionnaire. Bonne chance!

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/msddk

    Hi, may I ask how many lessons did you do for a day in order to achieve this level of language knowledge in 700 days. I want to finish French but still I could not. And I'm doing 5 lessons per day. Do you think this is enough? How was your program?

    And other comments and advices are all welcome please.

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    I think it is usually counterproductive to do more than one lesson per day, and I'm positive that 5 is far too many. There is a lot of research showing that if too much new material is thrown at a language learner in one day, the student's long-term retention is poor -- and at the early stages, long-term retention is absolutely crucial. The basics must be burned into long-term memory, and that requires repetition, and the repetition must be of a "reasonable" quantity. There are parallels in the ways experienced actors memorize their scripts: for maximum efficiency, they begin each session by going through what they learned in the last one, then they practice a tranch that can reasonably be memorized in one day, then they review and close for the day. This is my approach: When I am learning a brand-new language, I limit myself to one lesson per day, but I often repeat that lesson several times in the day, and I practice writing using what I have learned. After just a few lessons, it should be possible to apply the knowledge in order to come up with NEW thoughts and sentences on your own, rather than just repetition of exactly what's in the lesson. When I am refreshing a language I already know, I will do more than one lesson in a day, but usually no more than two.

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/msddk

    I think you were trying to say "skill" instead of "lesson" bcs there are hundreds of lessons, and it is impossible to finish hundreds of lessons per language and several languages make thousands lessons to be finished in 700 days :) When we think skills, yes you are right and from now on, I'll be doing that as well.

    But the thing I'm sorry for duolingo is that it does not teach grammar very well. For vocabulary it's awesome but for grammar we need other language learning materials either online or hardcopy.

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Yes, you're quite right, I did mean "skill," rather than "lesson." I was thinking beyond DL and more generally about course design for language learning, where a "lesson" is deliberately designed to be all that is reasonable to accomplish in one sitting or for one live class -- even if the lesson seems to have relatively little content. And I agree with you completely about DL and grammar.

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/acspecht

    This cannot be overstated. I made the mistake of completing more than half of my German tree within the past few weeks with no repetition, and I've reached a point where I literally need hints for most of the words in every sentence because I've retained basically none of the vocabulary. Focusing on keeping my tree green now seems to be much more fruitful.

    October 8, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deano625253

    Next to your Lingot icon it just says "Calculating..."

    October 4, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    :) :)

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelenCarlsson

    Professor Calculus :).

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    ;)

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yubsie

    What I'm particularly impressed by is the fact that in 703 days you never had a connectivity issue that kept you from extending the streak.

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    I, too, was surprised, since I travel to remote parts of the planet. But all good things must end some day ...

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevHS

    You speak Spanish??? Gracias.

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Cierto, CEF nivel C2, ¿y tú ?

    October 6, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevHS

    Soy nivel 4 pero hablan a espanol con fluidez. Su increible aprender siete idiomas en 700 dias... Utilizo mis lenguas mi cartera como estoy educado en casa.

    October 6, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sannehoo

    Wow, very, very impressive! Professor indeed!

    And what will you do next? I see you kept your streak after the 700 days, but I guess you'll need a new challenge.

    facepalm Ik had dit in het Nederlands kunnen schrijven!

    October 5, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Thank you. Veel succes met de Nederlandse taal!

    October 6, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sannehoo

    Dank je, maar ik ben al een native speaker, dus veel beter zal mijn NL niet worden. ;-) Ik ben bezig met Spaans, want dat klinkt zo leuk. Soy un pinguïno!

    October 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElHammo

    You are The MAN!

    October 6, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gwen-ohl

    Professor01, congratulations! Can I ask, do you plan to learn some of Slavic languages? They are also interesting but seem difficult to foreigners because they have hard grammar rules with many changes for the words for gender, tense etc..

    October 6, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Professor01

    Thank you. Good question. I would like to do that. Right now, it's my weakest area. I think I will do it when I decide to visit those countries. I have lived and traveled frequently all over the world, but never to/in Slavic countries. One for the 'bucket list!'

    October 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenDag

    Well, I see no weaknesses in any of the approaches Mr Professor Humble. (No offense implied.) The Slavic languages are still part of the Indo-European language group. Taking up to learn Mandarin (Sino-Tibetan family) is too much enough a challenge for a native speaker of one of the Indo-European languages. I wish you all success in your Mandarin Professor. Please let us know about your progress. Because It is so inspirational.

    October 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gwen-ohl

    I didn't mean the weaknesses of Professor01. Yes, Slavic languages are the part of Indo-European family, but they have a highly fusional morphology, much higher than other languages.

    October 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DenDag

    Yes, you did not mean that. Sorry if I implied that. I was responding to Mr Professor in that sentence. ... I still think, going out from the Indo-European family, is a big leap. It is like entering a new sphere.

    October 7, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lm6480

    ¡Hola Profesor! Estoy aprendiendo español y quiero ver películas en español. Yo intenté ver "Buen Día, Ramon" pero no puedo entender cuándo hablan porque es demasiado rápido. ¿Qué debo hacer? Tengo el mismo problema cuando escucho música.

    November 24, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeraMeowLove

    Cool!

    February 13, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Indian_Music

    Great list of suggestions. Thanks.

    April 19, 2017
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