https://www.duolingo.com/queendeeny

I have 3 days to become fluent in Spanish.

I want to share my personal challenge with my fellow Duolinguists. I lost my job recently. I have just been called about a new position that sounds great but they require fluency in Spanish. I told the recruiter I had a basic knowledge but was not fluent. I'm only at the level where I can get the gist of most spoken Spanish but not really catch most of the words. And my own speech is halting. I can communicate most simple things but with circumlocutions to work around words that are missing from my vocabulary. She set up an interview for me on Thursday in 3 days. The interviewer will speak to me in Spanish. I finished my Spanish tree at level 12 or 13 and now I am at level 18. Do you think I can jump to being fluent in a few days? Send me ideas. I am 63 years old, way past the window of easy language learning.

4 years ago

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/queendeeny

You guys are all giving me good advice. One thing to my advantage is that Spanish is spoken more than English in my town. In the last hour I have asked two of my neighbors to only speak Spanish with me. I talked with my neighbor who lives behind me about repairing the fence between our properties and I dropped in on a friend down the street and we spoke in Spanish about various topics. We're going for a walk tomorrow and talk only in Spanish. I've already increased my vocab by a few words. I'm excited to see what I can do in 3 days.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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You're doing great! Please let us know about your interview after it's over!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

Oh, well then, it sounds like you will easily get by in your job interview! Your opening post kinda downplayed your abilities IMO. Good luck!:)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Focus on your work place.

If I needed to speak spanish to work as an auto mechanic, and I didn't have a lot of time, I would focus on learning Spanish that related to my workplace, the tools, parts of a car, sounds that cars make (onomatopoeia for sure!), money (if I'm going to be handling any of it), and if I'll need to fill out forms or have others fill out forms, I would get copies and make sure I understood the vocabulary on them.

Buena suerte!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/queendeeny

Thanks. I'm pretty good with the technical words as I've picked up a lot over the years and a good portion are English cognates. The forms are okay because thanks to Duolingo I can now read pretty well. My main challenge is verbal communication.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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Um... buena suerte?

But seriously though, from the sound of it, you already know enough to scrape by. Remember to excuse yourself and politely ask the interviewer to talk slowly, unless you are going to be appearing on tv, people can be more forgiving than you might expect :). The only other concrete piece of advice I can give, is between now and thursday, don't even allow yourself a single thought or a single second in English! Go to a spanish chatroom right this instant and blend like you have never blended before!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Spanish and English chat room that I use from time to time: http://espanglishchat.com/

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chilvence
chilvence
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And now, in my worst version of every language:

drumroll

Wir haben so viele mitglieder.. warum haben wir keine duolingo chatroom?

Tenemos tanto miembros... por que no tenemos un lugar para hablar con las personas que utilizan duolingo ?

Nous avons membres de plusieurs pays... por quoi n'avons nous pas un forum de discussion pour parler avec les gens de autre pays, qui utilisent duolingo aussi?

Abbiamo tanti membri... perche non abbiamo una 'chatroom' duolingo?

Temos tantos pessoas... por que no podemos ter uma sala de chat, so para duolingo?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/desi.bomb

Good luck! Personally, I wouldn't focus on learning new vocab as you don't have enough time for more than a few new words to sink in. Maybe just learn some vocab related to the job you applied for. If you have someone fluent who you can practice with, I would spend as much time conversing with them as possible. Try to have them ask you questions that the interviewer may ask and prepare answers to them. If not, I would focus on two things:

  1. Listening to Spanish speech from a tv show or radio broadcast or something to hopefully subconsciously improve your flow and structure and such.
  2. The "Practice weakest words" on the vocab page is probably the best way to refresh everything you've learned from Duolingo. Although your tree is all gold so you're presumably refreshed :)
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sebasm90
sebasm90
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My advise, noting how i didn't become fluent in french in 3 days but I kind of did (still do some mistakes from time to time though) become fluent in a few months, immerse yourself in the language as much as you can, read in spanish, listen to stuff in spanish, try to speak spanish to yourself, thinking in spanish instead of english as much as you can, remember the names of everything in spanish before you use it, look at what you're eating and try to point out each name in spanish, this might sound a bit extreme but if you manage to do it it will be a good help, regardless of age. :) Also, huge respect.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ferrobattuto
ferrobattuto
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Buenas suerte. Keep the TV on Univision, and please let us know how it turns out. I think that if the interviewer sees that you are willing to keep improving your Spanish, this will earn you points. I am rooting for you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Portofan
Portofan
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That's quite interesting, and I think something can happen in 3 days, if you speak, hear and literally breathe the foreign language 24 hours a day. What I'd do would be to imagine a possible conversation, write it down and practice to speak it, as many sentences as possible. This will give you some confidence at least in those topics you have practiced.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lilygilder
lilygilder
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Yes, and if you are going to write conversations down get them checked by a native speaker to eliminate mistakes. If you don't know anyone head over to www.lang-8.com - the guys over there are very fast and helpful with these things. And it's for free!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NickM98
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You definitely won't manage to become fluent in three days. But if you want to do your best, you shouldn't stick to Duolingo. Use Memrise for vocabulary, look for the topics you think you should know and practise them until you feel you will never forget them. Look for movies and music and that stuff in Spanish, and pay attention to it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zach1337

I'm sorry, but that just isn't possible. It takes years to reach fluency in a language. Keep studying and you will become fluent eventually though!:)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EvelynK.
EvelynK.
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I think that's too much of a challenge in too short time... but good luck anyway!!! + RESPECT !! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JessieKaye

That isn't possible, but I admire your wanting to learn so desperately ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/benjaib

It's impossible to be fluent in 3 days. However, I would recommend that you spend your time learning work-related vocabulary. I don't know what you're applying for, but let's say if you were applying for a work as a designer, then I would recommend you learned vocabulary such as "colour" and "textile" in Spanish. Anything that might come up during the interview. Good luck :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/queendeeny

I'm so touched by everyone's interest, advice, and good wishes.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NaeShelle

I feel your pain! I've been in a similar circumstance (vocationally wise) and can say - focus on your work related vocabulary! You sound as if you know quite a bit of Spanish already, so, just make sure you have a few pleasantries down (standard answers, so as to come off as polite and respectful) and then focus on what you'll do.

Do you know what kind of questions you'll be asked? Do you know what's required of you on the job? Learn how to describe your simple tasks, listen to native Spanish speakers and conversational fillers they use - try to apply them yourself (for effect) and come up with a clever way (or two) of deflecting answers; general lines that can be used to ask for clarification/steer the conversation back to a topic/vocabulary you know.

Best of luck! Hope you'll do great. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
jaye16
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And with all of us pulling for you you'll rock it. Best of luck, Happy New Year and New Job.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/queendeeny

Thanks, all of this support makes me feel like Duolingo really is a community. I've wrangled an invitation to a New Year's party tonight from my neighbor who is Puerto Rican and her Cuban husband so mostly Spanish will be spoken.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/olimo
olimo
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You know, I believe if your interviewer knew how much effort you put into improving your Spanish and how much progress you are making in just 3 days, they would hire you without doubt even if you still have a lot to learn. With such determination, you'll soon become a perfect employee.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
jaye16
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What olimo has written is so true.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anfermarsan

they say listening-reading metod works for that

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ruidoblanco
ruidoblanco
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Mi primera recomendación es que ni siquiera aquí en los foros de discusión de Duolingo hables en inglés. Háblanos en español! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/queendeeny

Un buen idea! However, I have to reply to everyone that I received an e-mail from the recruiter canceling my interview. As I told all of you, I had told her that I had a basic knowledge of Spanish but wasn't fluent. She had said she would leave it to the hiring manager to decide at the interview But anyway the e-mail said that the manager said they only wanted someone with 100% fluency so they cancelled the interview. I feel positive about all the great ideas that have been generated by this whole discussion. Because I was speaking Spanish to my neighbors they invited me to their New Year's party. Every one there except me spoke Spanish as their first language. It was a lot of fun. I made a new friend . And it was excellent practice. I will continue to speak Spanish with my friends and neighbors who speak it as their first language. I have also been repeating out loud all the Duolingo sentences in the excercises and the same with the sentences I translate in immersion and continue to watch Spanish TV and movies.
All the ideas people came up with for my 3 day Blitz we can all apply to some extent to become more proficient in the languages we're learning. Happy New Year!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
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I was so sorry to hear your interview was cancelled due to the level of your Spanish. That manager doesn't know how hard you tried and what an asset you would have been to his business. Here's hoping that something comes along soon-maybe even better. In the meantime stay positive and determined as you are now.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/queendeeny

Thanks, I'm sure it will all work out!

4 years ago
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