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https://www.duolingo.com/MaryWeather

Little ways to integrate a new language into your every day life

Recently a friend of mine changed the setting on my phone so that it was all in French instead of English. A lot of apps will also switch to whatever language your phone is, like facebook and instagram. I found that this is actually really helpful, and I'm really happy he did it. Even though it's such a little thing, it's really helpful.

Also when I'm at work and having to read labels I try to read the French ones. These are just little things I've discovered really help when trying to learn a new language and they don't take any effort.

So how do you incorporate a foreign language into your every day life?

4 years ago

89 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CattleRustler

I would suggest finding music that you like from your target language...

I have found a Guatemalan musical artist (Ricardo Arjona) who's music I have come to enjoy very much. Anyway, I printed the lyrics to the 7 or 8 songs I really like, and each night I sing along. This has helped me learn and understand words and phrases on a much deeper level than just studying on DL. I have been exposed to more complexities than I would have been at this point in my study. It also helps because it's more actual speaking/pronunciation practice than I would get otherwise. But it helps to be dating a woman who is a native speaker (Peruvian). I have many native spanish speaking friends, and it's very cool to be able to understand and converse more and more fluently each day.

(from "iluso" - cd Adentro - R. Arjona)

...Si es tu ex la del buró no hay trato

Con su mano señalo el retrato

¿la conoces pregunte?, confuso

Fue por mi quien te dejó, iluso

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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This is the absolute best way I have found. I haven't used spanish for ages, but I can still remember the words of every song I ever learned, and sometimes they just pop into my head randomly.

Music is a fantastic, amazing powerful thing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CattleRustler

! Mis sentimientos exactamente !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karen_1952

I agree whole heartedly!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sllyvain

This is a very good idea! I'm currently doing it with german and Rammstein... And I'm now getting pretty good translating "you have" ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CattleRustler

Muy Bien.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Writingsuus

You should try In Extremo and Oomph as well :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MillerAaron

My friend has been doing this pretty often

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryWeather

This is a great idea ^_^ I'll definitely try it!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CattleRustler

wait, youre going to date a peruvian woman?? JAJA. Just kidding. Buena Suerte! Good luck!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/liamvictor

I like to translate the slogans of advertising and posters, then as you are bombarded all day long it can turn into mini practices. A "soft drink" at the moment has a poster campaign saying "I believe in you", so I see that and think "Io ti credo". Tutto poco aiuta (or perhaps, ogni piccolo aiuta) as a supermarket over here says...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/notapolarbear

"Io ti credo" is like "I believe you". "I believe in you" would be "Io credo in te". :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/liamvictor

Thank you, I've been finding clitic pronouns particularly hard!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CNDragn

This is a really great idea! I will have to do this..once Im a little further along though...or I might end up locking myself out of my phone because I cant understand something, and then I will have to learn some German curse words to yell at it properly LoL!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryWeather

Hahaha yeah! Trust me I've made my fair share of mistakes XD I've accidentally deleted and photos or gone to a page that I didn't mean to go to XD But you learn from those mistakes! Trust me I learned real quick how to not delete my photos XD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrben83
mrben83
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I've changed my facebook on my pc, also stuck post it notes on my kitchen cupboards... with the words for the objects inside... I had to stop there though as it was getting a bit silly with post it's all over the flat... my flatmate started to object... I haven't tried my phone yet, might be something to do today... sounds like fun :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kaet
kaet
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I've started doing occasional Facebook statuses in Spanish. I didn't realise how many of my friends know at least some Spanish, but a few of them have made helpful corrections (nicely!) or replied in Spanish. I'm also reading my daughters some board books in different languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryWeather

I'll definitely have to try this! Find out how many of my friends are hiding the fact that they speak French XD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/centime
centime
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My GPS speaks French to me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SnoozingOwl

I try to translate what I'm thinking in English into French sometimes, (just for simple thoughts like I'm so tired) and when I don't know a word I look it up.

Also in some films/videos there's subtitles in different languages, it's really cool. I try to keep a look out for these.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryWeather

Yeah, my friends suggested to me to think in French when I get a chance to. That's pretty hard to do but lately I've found myself doing it more. I'll respond to some of my co-workers in French when I do that! Haha!

Oh and Netflix has a few French films. Usually I'll wind up watching French films with one of my best friend and I get so excited when I can pick up things. ^_^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
BarbaraMorris
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Me too, for Spanish. It's very challenging. I keep wanting to point my mouse at my brain to get hover help for the words I can't remember.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drmariner

I went to see The Counselor in Columbia. The movie was in English wi Spanish subtitles. Afterwards I was so proud that I understood almost all of the verbs (even if I wouldn't be able to come up with the word myself, I either knew it or knew enough other words to figure it out with context clues). I was so excited...until my boyfriend pointed out that in was English translated into Spanish, so it didn't have the mysterious Spanish verb tenses that cause me so many problem. Doh! Jajajaja.

Does anyone have specific Spanish music recommendations? Something common that I can find on iTunes or Amazon?

Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/juermen

I recommend to go to you tube and look for romantic music that is well pronounced as slow but write it with lyrics so you get the song and the lyrics to follow. for example Jose Luis Perales has good pronunciation. Try for example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJaCpQzqtmc; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sLVo-2EDwg; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgQj2M8NX68

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
SD-77
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Many times I have songs going through my head, and I just start trying to translate them into Spanish. And if I don't know a lyric then I make something annoying up, like "Voy a popper unos tagos, solo tengo veinte dolares en mi pocet..." :D I don't want to do this, it just keeps going through my head. :)

Also my brothers and sister who are 7-11 years old (I'm 15) are also studying Spanish here, so sometimes I try to talk to them in Spanish, but it's hard because I'm more advanced in my tree than they are.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Johnni0
Johnni0
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^ Eso es super chévere! (es una palabra Ecuatoriana que significa "awesome")

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lamyrtilleverte

I heard that a French anime-dubbing studio is getting the license to dub Hetalia... (J'espére que nos acteurs sont bons. J'ai entendu que les dubs français ont une mauvaise réputation...)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CNDragn

Ohh I love Hetalia! Kiddo got me hooked on it :) if they come up with a German dub that would be quite something!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lamyrtilleverte

I think I've seen a German fandub somewhere. I couldn't tell if it was any good or not, but you might want to give it a go.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CNDragn

Kiddo did some research for me...she found some clips but not full dubs. Awe! thanks for the idea though!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lamyrtilleverte

You're welcome!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SaxyLady
SaxyLadyPlus
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I play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and sometimes like to type random things into free company chat to see if anyone answers me back. "Il mio cucchiaio è troppo grande!" or "Sono una banana!"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryWeather

Ahh I wanted to play that! It was really cheap on the Playstation Network but I decided to pass up on it. >.< Now that you mentioned it I want it hahah! But that's pretty cool! I would definitely do that if I were playing an MMO XD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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Words cannot describe how delighted I am that those phrases are incorporated into duolingo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9R1ODvReQE

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/italiaoo

sounds good. and crazy :-)). Is Final Fantasy something like secondlife?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Goldfish23

Another great idea is to stick Post-It notes on everyday objects, like what I've done for my German practice: like 'der Kühlschrank' (refrigerator) or 'die Lampe' (the lamp).

I even write little notes to myself to try to remember a new word or phrase, it's going to take me a while, but it does help.

(If anyone reading this wants or needs a German practice partner, I am always available. I need help thinking in German and conversing would help!)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fuzzybooks

That seems like a really good idea actually. Not sure everyone in the house would appreciate it if notes in German started popping up on things, but very good idea. I'll have to see about getting some post-its.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Goldfish23

I am so glad I could help!

Well, as long as you ask permission to post the notes, I am sure the other members of your household won't mind. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tangaloor

I've been playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in Spanish and I have learned tons of new things. Lots of slang, of course, and all of it from Spain (not super useful, seeing as I live in the U.S., but ah, well). Many newer games and systems have a few different languages to choose from, which is awesome. Of course, there are always ROMS as well. I may or may not have Pokémon: Verde Hoja on my laptop right now. d:

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porquepuedo
porquepuedo
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If I'm in a gaming mood I set everything to Spanish. Also, if I ever find a product with multiplingual descriptions on the back, I read the Spanish one. It's pretty cool how I can understand every word of it!

goduolingo

GO DUOLINGO!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
SD-77
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I also read the Spanish product descriptions! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Taurendil
Taurendil
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I'm also doing that though I'm not studying Spanish. I read the German, the English, the Swedish, maybe also Norwegian to compare it with the Swedish one, plus Finnish if I still need to :D Well, this is not always the case but I've noticed I do it sometimes...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrankin15
mrankin15
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Listen to disney songs in a foreign language. It sounds kind of ridiculous, but a lot of the vocabulary I've picked up came from them. Plus it's pretty cool to hear the different voice actors that were picked.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Taurendil
Taurendil
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I love doing this. Actually I'm listening also to the ones in a language I can't even understand, but what does it matter? xD

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dogstaruk

Add lots of French TV channels/Newspapers/pages to your Facebook likes. It means your newsfeed has regular mini-bites of French to translate, even if you don't click on all the items. Reading comment threads on French articles is good for picking up slang and abbreviations. Leave French radio on in the background whenever you can. Even if you're doing other stuff, you'll find yourself picking out phrases.

Watch as much French TV as you can. Either get a French satellite system (they're about £200) or use a proxy server so you can access the French TV channels online.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/musa_meditans
musa_meditans
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I spend a lot of time on public transportation, and I usually pass the time (battery life permitting) reading news articles on my phone. Since I decided to make a more concerted effort to improve my Spanish a few months ago, I've downloaded the apps for some of the major Spanish publications such as El Pais and El Mundo. Now I can keep up with world and U.S. news and practice reading Spanish at the same time!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolJean1

I downloaded the Scrabble app and started playing in French. There are lots of words and phrases I say in German(Danke, Ich bin mude, Ich habe hunger, etc) but now I''m trying to say them in French.Also Google and Yahoo have International sites so sometimes I try reading an article.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lovingmytyler

I write my boyfriend notes in Spanish sometimes. or we will even have some Spanish study date. sometimes he will randomly say something to me in Spanish and I have to figure out what he has said. also in my Spanish class we do cross word puzzles a lot!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Fanfiction, I love it. at fanfiction.net they allow people to upload stories in various languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MusingThoughts

So do I! What's your username?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/writerjisung

I changed all of the social networking sites I use to the top priority language I'm learning, which is Korean. I also like/follow a lot of Korean sites and people on facebook/twitter, so that somewhat helps my reading. I'm also a kpop fan and love watching kdramas, so that somewhat helps with the listening part. I also have a Korean friend that I sometimes practice my Korean with. ^^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryWeather

Ahhh you're studying Korean? I'm actually studying Korean on the side. French is my major in school, but I love South Korea and I want to learn the language. I know the site Talk To Me In Korean, but do you have any others? I really need all of the help I can get since I'm learning on my own. It's intimidating to practice a foreign language on your own and I have no one to turn to if I get confused. I have been using reddit a bit in the Korean language sub reddit, but that's about it. May I ask how far into the language you are?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/musa_meditans
musa_meditans
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I live in Korea. I came here with very little background in Korean and due to my irregular working hours I have been unable to commit to a formal language class, and my attempts at any substantive independent study of the language have mostly floundered. When I first tried Talk to Me In Korean, it just frustrated me; It appears I prefer a "textbook"-style approach with lots of practice exercises. Since Duolingo has been really good for providing a bit of structure for my more recent attempts at practicing Spanish and French, I've started to look for interactive online resources for Korean. So far I think the best I've found is Click Korean from Seoul National University: http://lei.snu.ac.kr/site/en/klec/click-korean/index.jsp Bonne chance! 화이팅!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MehmetAlican

I've changed the language of my phone and facebook. No mistakes so far :) Thanks for the great idea.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97
adamyoung97
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I like to speak to my family and friends in different languages - Chinese, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, French and German. While they get annoyed at me and can't understand me it helps me to speak it and recall it rapidly. Az nem rossz, ugye? Also, playing games and setting websites to a different language where you're already familiar with the words (Facebook) helps you learn these words in the languages, and see the new sentence structure.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
SD-77
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A családod magyar? Vagy honnan tudsz magyarul?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97
adamyoung97
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Nem, angol. Az internetről tudok magyarul :) meg barátoktól, akik magyarul beszélnek

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
SD-77
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Nehéz volt megtanulni?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97
adamyoung97
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Néha, igen, de Magyarországon éltem amíg 4 éves voltam, úgyhogy elég könnyen tanultam meg. Neked kellett angolul megtanulni, vagy a családod angoul beszélnek?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SD-77
SD-77
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Ja, akkor gondolom könnyebb. Belgiumban születtem, magyarországon éltem 1 évesen, 2.5-5.5 éves koromig amerikában éltem, 5.5-14 éves koromig magyarországon éltem, és tavaly óta angliában élek. 11 éve angolul beszélünk otthon, de az összes rokonom magyar.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karen_1952

I live in a predominantly Hispanic community and my Spanish is horribly lacking. That being said, I like to immerse myself in an environment that speaks Spanish (like local family owned eateries where Spanish is the dominant language) and give it a go. I watch television, say hello whenever and try to immerse myself where that is the only language spoken. I do not let my inability to speak the lingo stop me from trying to communicate with others. When I walk my dog I always run into the same individuals, and one woman (do not know her name and have not thought to ask) carries on a conversation only in Spanish. I listen hard and am able to understand some, not all, but we do manage to communicate. It can only get better.Exposure is the key.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ckhadung
ckhadung
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Singing is good too, my friends :) Usually the classical, old love song will do the tricks. It makes you remember the vocabulary, grammar plus practicing speaking.

Well, imagine you sing for your partner a song in different languages :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Llwddythlw

Yes, I discovered that my iPod Nano had that function. I've set it to display Modern Hebrew which is really my second language. It took a bit of getting used to. I haven't quite plucked up the courage to choose an ATM display in Spanish but one day.....

I try to listen to a local Spanish radio station in the morning. The people speak very quickly with a broad array of accents, most of them using the weak "s" in the middle of words (I think this is a Latin American/Caribbean "thing").

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ljeanxo

I do that too!! Helps a lot, huh?! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolJean1

Also, I follow a few Twitter accounts that are in French.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gordon_gregory

I play Grand Theft Auto with the audio and subtitles set to Italian. Also many BluRay discs come with audio and subtitles for many languages, watched Stanley Kubrick's film "Barry Lindon" like that. It was funny hearing Leonard Rossetter's character speaking Italian.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porquepuedo
porquepuedo
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I tried the first lesson of Italian just to see what style it was, and I really liked it. After I finish learning German, do you think I should do Italian? Does the terribly recorded voice ever get irritating?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gordon_gregory

Only you can answer that I'm afraid. I learn Italian because I travel there.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porquepuedo
porquepuedo
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But would you suggest it, just as a language to learn for fun?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrben83
mrben83
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very much so! The robotic voice isn't too bad :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
TheGandalf
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Yeah, Italian, in my opinion, is the easiest language to learn on Duolingo (it may tie with Spanish).

L'italiano è una lingua bellissima!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porquepuedo
porquepuedo
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I'm planning on learning all of Duolingo's languages. I'm definitely going to learn Italian next then! At this very moment I'm speaking in Spanish with some people and I think I'm pretty good at it. (I'm also amazing at being modest) German is pretty fun, the grammar (all the cases and genders!) is slightly complex however I think it will be quite an achievement once that's done. Italian will be my fourth language then, along with English, German and Spanish... I think Duolingo deserves a huge pat on the back!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
TheGandalf
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Yes, yes it does.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/notapolarbear

My feelings towards the atrocious audio went from 'meh' over 'KILLITWITHFIRE' to 'well I guess I'll have to accept it sucks'. But then again, I already knew Italian before I started, so YMMV.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andro0
Andro0
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there are 2 different latin spanish languages on iphone... spanish and spanish(mexico)... its not catalan because there is also one labeled catalan, so there is actually 3 dialects of spanish

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luzdelaluna
luzdelaluna
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Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish, it is a language itself. I lived in the Catalan spoken part of Spain and I took Catalan classes during a couple of weeks. Even the Portuguese language is more similar to Spanish than Catalan. Check this: http://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espanya , a text in Catalan to give you some opinion :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andro0
Andro0
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Oh ya sorry. I didnt even think about that when i wrote dialect. My spanish teacher told me about the languages of spain and how regions of spain want to become their own country

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luzdelaluna
luzdelaluna
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Don't worry, no problem. I just wanted to let you know ;) And yes, they really want it :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryWeather

I think it's neat that there are so many gamers here! I never really thought to change the language on my games. I know what I'll be doing now! ^_^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

I set my computer to French many months ago. I'm so used to it now I barely notice! Except when I get an unexpected error message and have to work out what it's telling me. :-)

What I like about having my OS in French is the occasional surprise I get when something else ends up being in French because it detects the OS language. I recently started playing the game Fez on my computer and was delighted to find that all of the (fairly minimal) dialogue was in French, and easy for me to understand.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MsLagerkvist2

This is so great that all you people can integrate your new language. I watch Spanish language movies and translate Spanish posters, but it doesn't get me very far. I live in NYC, with a lot of Spanish speakers, and I am at a loss, even though I've been at Duo Spanish for a while. The other day a woman on the subway asked me if I spoke Spanish and I had to say no, because I knew she needed directions. I felt guilty, so I said, "Dónde usted....?" and her face lit up like a light bulb. Really, those were the only words I could think of and she was happy. But I couldn't give her the information she wanted, even though she was on the wrong train for where she wanted to go. :-(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryWeather

Ahh, I used to live in NY. You should definitely try going to local hispanic restaurants and try to immerse yourself in the difference places where a lot of Spanish speakers hang out. You might even make some friends ^_^ Also I do recommend using other means along with Duolingo to help you. I'm taking French courses so Duolingo is more like an aid, not the sole means for learning the language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MsLagerkvist2

Thanks for the response! I have lots of Spanish-speaking buddies at the laundry mat and my upstairs neighbor is from the Dominican Republic. They have all been very supportive of my trying to learn. I'll just keep trying but I don't have the time right now to make it a central focus. I'm quite interested in following this conversation about how people are making the transition to using the language. I think some people just have a knack. I use French and German in my daily life, so even though I can't say I speak German, I think I could get it up on its feet more easily if I were in a German-speaking country.

P.S. You gave me an idea. I should write little scripts with anticipated responses that I can memorize. "Where would you like to go, what train are you looking for, my Spanish isn't great, but maybe I could help you, you are on the wrong train, etc." That way I won't feel like a deer in headlights when trying to order in a restaurant or giving someone directions. At least I'd have a point of departure.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmpressW

I greet all my teachers and students in French. And talk to creole friends the best I can daily in french.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dogstaruk

The problem with changing the language of your computer or phone is that the spell check and predictive text changes with it. So it becomes a real battle to write in your native language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrben83
mrben83
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I use an android phone and have the swift keyboard app, which allows me to have both spanish and english predictive text, there may be something similair for the iphone... not sure about the pc, I've only changed facebook so obviously I haven't had any problems with that

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drmariner

On the computer, this can be a real problem. Word dictionary, thesaurus, spelling and grammar checks fail. On the iPhone it's easy. If you go to Settings > General > International > Keyboards. There you can add as many different language keyboards as you like (well, I'm not sure if there is a maximum number, I have three). Then there is a small globe key to the left of the space bar that allows you to quickly change between languages. The space bar flashes the language when you switch between them and the language of the word "space" changes as well. Autocorrect, spell check, etc. change with the keyboard. It's super easy and quick to change between languages. So much so that I'll switch for just one sentence or phrase. The Spanish keyboard had a dedicated ñ key too. This also provides a way to "cheat" in Duolingo. If you misspell a word while translating it will autocorrect for you, so you might not want to use the correct keyboard for your lessons!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Phoniex-Pyro

I've never tried that before. I'll probably try it sometime~.

I try to find songs that are in the language but end up listening to a Finnish song or Russian instead of Spanish, Italian or even French. But i haven't tried and Ita or French song yet. Everything else though XD.

Actually, what I somehow did is change my desktop to a language I no absolutely nothing about beside 1 word. I changed it into Russian then randomly chose a 'word' because I can't read Russian and it turned to Turkish, I also can't read XD.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Budgiez

As I walk home I stop and have a conversation to a small plant or a bird, it sounds strange to do but it helps you practice speaking with confidence. If you screw up the plant won't know any better.

1 year ago