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https://www.duolingo.com/duttagupta35504

That Feeling of Empowerment

I can speak English, Hindi, and Chinese. Of course, not all of those fluently; Chinese I've been learning in school for some seven years now. Hindi I speak at home, and have picked up from conversations around the home. My aunt is fond of teasing about how atrocious my Hindi grammar is though. There is a feeling of empowerment connected to knowing a language. At any given point, I can seamlessly slip into Hindi, and it will make as much sense as it does English, but will sound like gibberish to anyone else. I'm far from perfect in Chinese, but the day when I was able to talk with a music teacher, and have her understand me, was worth it all. Now I can eavesdrop on native speakers and understand the basics of their conversation. I've always loved French. I learned it for two years in school but had to stop when I moved. With Duolingo, I'm looking forward to that day when I can understand a few words in someone's conversation, or communicate basics with a native speaker, or write something legibly. So I'd like to thank the Duolingo staff for all they've done to empower people. And wish everyone good luck on their language journey. May the Duo be with you.

4 years ago

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jheavner724
jheavner724
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Eavesdropping on native speakers is every multilingual's favorite past-time :) ... Well, I think many of us try to avoid it once we can understand everything, but when we're still learning it can be good practice.

It's great that you feel such empowerment. Good luck with continuing your language learning!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
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Yes, I love eavesdropping, but no, it doesn't go away as I master the language better :-) It tends to get worst in fact, as I'm proud to understand more and more, haha!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wandering.Seeker
Wandering.Seeker
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Linguists estimate that between 30 and 60 percent of English words have french origin. in my opinion, knowing English already makes it way easier for you to learn French. you learned Hindi and Chinese, so learning French should be a piece of cake.

also I find French lot easier than German for example, another language which English itself is originally came from. if you seriously devote yourself to study French and reach the certain level you're confident to give yourself "B2" on it then learning Spanish or Italian as next language shouldn't be hard and you find yourself much ahead in the path. all thanks to their origins and similarity.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iustitia
iustitia
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Do you have own experience about learning Spanish and/or Italian after learning English and French? I know they have similarity and it definitely helps, but also may become problem when you mix two language. I am asking, because I started learning Spanish on Duolingo only and I have the feeling that my French (not very advanced, but around 2 years of learning) helps. I wonder how it goes later.

I would appreciate if you could say more about your experiences :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ketoacidosis
ketoacidosis
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I'm an English/ Polish native that started learning Portuguese about eight months ago. I think I understand a fair bit of basic Portuguese, but I'm always learning, maintaining, and practicing.

I started trying to learn French not too long ago, and everything so far has been quite simple, granted that it's mostly review of what I've learned in school. When I'm introduced to a new French word, I usually don't have to hover over the word to see what it is; I can often guess what the word is from either English or Portuguese (or sometimes Polish, surprisingly). I imagine it'd be similar if I go on to practice Italian or Spanish, or perhaps even German with my Polish background.

I've experienced a bit of difficulty with similar words while practicing French (or thinking the Portuguese word first accidentally), but I feel that this will happen less frequently as I practice more.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wandering.Seeker
Wandering.Seeker
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No, I don't have any experience of Italian nor Spanish, but I do have a fruitful intensive study of French for a year and German for half a year before meeting duolingo, and also learned English from childhood all by myself. I love researching about linguistic articles and talks on languages in plain words as well.

I investigated about them among polyglots and experts. I have a french native as a buddy who is into Italian and when we argued whether English is easy for french or not, to my surprise said Italian is way easier. I bought Italian books myself few weeks ago, he was right, knowing French I could guess well what some Italian words or phrases trying to tell.

background does affect how well you learn, it was funny to see English and french speakers find it difficult to learn one another language. the feeling isn't always similar, like Germans find it easier to learn English than English learn German. if one of your second languages is from European ones, the rest become easier (for me being English, it made me look at it outside of box, unlike natives, because they take many things for granted) if still at second language, then any language would be a challenge. the thing is when studying French, think French, imitate French accent, be stubborn and no shy about it. it's trail-and-error, you find your unique style of learning on the way.

Spanish and Italian are siblings, much similarity. this I learned from polyglots around the world. yet you're right it does get confusing according to this internet-famous polyglot (cause I haven't tried myself, I do German and french): http://www.thepolyglotdream.com/learning-more-than-one-language-at-the-same-time/

of course, I missed talking about passion. assumed that you're already passionate about French for example. my favorite comic I read on phone when idle is blake et mortimer. in music I love noir desir and jacques brel. I play video games in french (look, if anyone reading this, if ever forgot anything, don't forget this, my big secret, it is an excellent way to immerse as game engages you in story unlike films)... you should try role-playing games, like Skyrim, dragon age, batman series (www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4jEBWftvT0) where there is lots of dialogues...ubisoft also makes good voice-acted french games, I always play AC in french and usually they are always in multi5 or so. sometimes read newspapers like:http://www.lemonde.fr/ ... reading bilingual quotes are one of easiest way too (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Voltaire)...sneakpeak in french forums around internet too...join penpal sites and start skyping...never we have been so equipped to learn languages this better in history of mankind.

last paragraph was bit off topic but since you said being not advanced, I liked to share mine. overall, hope they be of any help to you. it took me quite time to write this seriously. passionate of French myself, love to see others blossom in this beautiful langauge too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iustitia
iustitia
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Thank you for your answer. I see you put a lot of efforts and time in writing it :) I've never thought about reading bilingual quotes and it is awesome idea since I like to keep in mind or write down interesting quote.

I am not much into playing games to probably it is not for me. I have this nice opportunity that my city has many foreigners - either exchange students or working people. I need to search for someone for regular meetings. And I also like Noir Desir!

And yes - that is true. We can have many good resources for learning language and immerse ourselves into it whenever we want :)

Well - I am not very advanced after those two years. I am on A2 level and I guess it is standard university time for learning a language. I am definitely a tortoise about French. I had a passion for it at first and I was learning it like a crazy, but now I know it was not just romance, but love for a longer time ;) Or at least good friendship with often meetings. And Spanish is completely living its own life with doing just a little bit every day, much more practicing than new lessons. I hope it is right approach for busy life :)

Good luck with learning!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/inkybaba
inkybaba
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I too yearn for this kind of empowerment. I came here only a few days ago and have learned so much. Even though I have nobody to talk it to, I someday hope to travel to Germany and see if i can talk to somebody. My only fear is that they will talk to fast for me, or that I will mess up something in my speech. Anyways, I congratulate you on your accomplishment and wish you good luck on your further language practice. Thanks for sharing!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pablobaytart
pablobaytart
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Every German would feel most honored to hear someone speaking un their language and do ehatever could be done to hell you! The worst thing that coukd happen tonyou is that the German starts to speak english, because Hermans think it is very polite to adress someone in bis native tongue.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
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That's the worst part for any language learner: when the person you're addressing switches to English upon seeing you having trouble speaking their language. Come on, man, I'm trying to learn here... ;-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ljeanxo

Woooo love reading stuff like this!! Good luck!! You'll do great :)

4 years ago