Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/porquepuedo

Tips for learning a language

porquepuedo
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Hello all Duolingoers, I hope you're enjoying your Christmas holidays and all the new gifts that the Duolingo team have kindly given to us! As my very small gift I would like to give away some tips that can be quite helpful when learning a language with Duolingo.

Changing between languages

Many people here have finished one skill tree and have moved onto another one. This is great, but it can cause problems.

If you need to goldify your skills on your completed tree, then do that. There's nothing stopping you from keeping your tree nice and shiny.

That's where the problem comes in. Let's say you've just made your Spanish skill tree golden and you're moving onto your half-finished German tree. Your mind is really still in Spanish mode and can't go straight into German immediately because, as your German is not very advanced yet, your mind will get confused.

To solve this problem, take a five minute break to do something you like doing, such as listening to your favourite song or playing a flash game online.

After you've done that, practice the skill that you are learning for an extra five minutes and this will kick-start your brain into the language that you want to learn.

Focusing

A huge barrier that ultimately stops users from remembering words is lack of focus. If you follow the previous rule and aren't too hungry (I promise, hunger is a very important factor), thirsty, tired or bored, then this can help you remember what is learnt.

If you are unfocused while learning, words (and longer ones in particular) will not stick in your mind, and you'll have to go over the words to remember them. It is more ideal to remember most of the words that you come across.

Also, long, long sessions of Duolingo can be productive but harmful. Spending over an hour practicing skills at one time can make you lose your focus. Take a short break and your mind will relax once again.

Worrying about things

It can be stressful when you forget a grammar rule or a word. The Duolingo community is always there with many native speakers who can help with problems. Not only can you look for help here, but the whole internet is full of language learners and people who need help. Questions just like yours are asked every day, and answered.

Another tip: do not use Google Translate or any other translator for translating complicated sentences. It is very accurate, although it is not perfect and if it is incorrect at any point then you might become confused. It's a great resource for picking up new words, by simply translating one word and using another source or yourself to remember it.

Duolingo is wonderful, but you can use other things too

I think Duolingo is the most powerful language learning resource that exists, and it probably is. But if you want to get more out of a language, then you can use other resources rather than sticking to Duolingo itself. Here are two excellent websites:

This one here gives a lot more words, but not grammar rules. If you've conquered the jist of the language and understand the grammar, then take a look here and learn much more vocabulary:

http://www.internetpolyglot.com/

This second one here is mainly for memorizing words that you have forgotten. You can add your own words and courses, and there are also pre-made courses that are created by the users.

http://www.memrise.com/

Finally...

Making silly sentences out of words you know can ultimately contribute to remembering words. Just make up a sentence, like the woman drinks the man or my penguin eats sandwiches every day.

That kind of thing.

I hope you benefit and use some of these suggestions. Thank you for reading, and please leave any other suggestions or comments below.

4 years ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Kplilly
Kplilly
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Thanks for the suggestions! Personally I love the suggestion about trying other resources in addition to Duolingo. Duolingo is my favorite language learning site but I think using other resources in addition to that is really beneficial. I like www.livemocha.com, Rosetta Stone, and Mango Languages. Mango Languages you can get free if you log into your local library's site and use it that way. Mango languages is more focused on useful expressions when you travel and the culture of the countries that speak that language. I also use Language Immersion for Google chrome which randomly translates words on the webpage to your target language (and you can click on the word for a translation if you don't know it).

I also like to watch movies and put subtitles on for the language I'm learning. If you're studying Spanish, most DVDs have that as an option for subtitles. Other languages may be a challenge to find. Another thing I like to do is find pictures in magazines and say those things in the language I'm learning. When I don't know how to say something in the target language, I look it up in my dictionary, cut out the picture and make a flash card. I go over the flashcards a few times a week and recycle the words when I feel I've learned them. I also get language learning CDs from the library so I can learn while I'm driving.

Of all the different things I do to study languages, however, Duolingo is still my favorite. Other language learning sites don't have as much content and you can't get to such an advanced level. I also love how you can interact with other users and ask when a grammatical word or vocabulary word is unclear. Thank you, Duolingo!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sjrb
sjrb
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I'll second Memrise as a great tool for learning vocabulary. I'm finding it particularly helpful for conjugations in Spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eszamp
eszamp
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This is great! I finished my Spanish tree pretty easily (I already speak it, just trying to improve spelling and grammar) but switching between Spanish and Portuguese (which I'm learning) is really difficult sometimes. Thank you for suggesting memrise especially, can't wait to check it out.

Post a comment or something so I can give you a lingot or two :P

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/porquepuedo
porquepuedo
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:D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Highlander16
Highlander16
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Felicidades por tu progreso amigo!, me da mucho gusto ver que más y más gente se interese por el idioma Español. Un hermoso y útil idioma.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Highlander16
Highlander16
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I'll personally recommend to daily practice some lessons in Duolingo and at least an audio lesson from Pimsleur. That's a very powerful method that actually put me on basic conversational german in about 3 weeks, knowing basic expressions and grammar though. Give it a try!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kplilly
Kplilly
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Is pimsleur free?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Highlander16
Highlander16
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Awfully it has a cost, but you can always figure out how to get it for free.

Take a look at the method: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSSoKyEzv8w It's available in most languages.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kplilly
Kplilly
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Thanks for the link! The way of teaching you reminds me a little of Mango Languages. It's free through the library but I don't think the material is quite as comprehensive. They give you a conversation then break it down word by word. They use a lot of repetition to help you absorb the info.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/moosebouse

I have purchased French and English versions of children's books with which I am already substantially familiar and found that to be useful as well. I find this to be really good for working on verb tenses and grammar, both of which there is not as much available out there for, at least not in French. Right now I am trying the first Harry Potter book, although I admit that's very ambitious and I have to check the English version frequently when I am reading it. Also, my vocabulary is becoming somewhat wizard-centric.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SnoozingOwl

Bonne chance lisez Harry Potter en le Français! (Good luck reading Harry Potter in French! ) Having some wizard vocabulary sounds pretty cool, I know how to speak mandarin, but I don't really know any wizard-y vocabulary so it makes describing some stuff really tedious...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cours_toujours

You meant Bonne chance pour lire Harry Potter en français!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sharilynward

Thank you for additional websites and hints. Any resources are helpful. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeninMage
GeninMage
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Mi pingüino come sándwiches todos los días!

That's vaugely something i'd expect from duolingo. Anyway, nice post and thanks for the polygot website or whatever. More vocab is always better. Have a lingot!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrealphus
Andrealphus
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Thanks for posting this.This all should have been obvious, but I hadn't really thought of a lot of it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BloodyMoose

Thank you for this.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/quintonishere
quintonishere
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Thanks mate

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/poooworld

thanks! this is very helpful.

2 years ago