https://www.duolingo.com/Justin_David

Anyone else just start speaking Spanish to people out in the community?

This past week when I have come across native Spanish speakers working in various locations (the car wash, Supercuts, cafes) I just bit the bullet and said thanks in Spanish or somehow worked into conversation somehow that I am studying Spanish now and practiced with them.

So far the result has been overwhelmingly positive. I was worried that someone may think I was being rude and implying I don't think they can speak English well but I always make it clear that I am a student and thanked them for the extra practice. :)

I listened to an interview with the creator of Duolingo and he said one of the best indicators of someone really becoming fluent in a new language is not their smarts but their willingness to feel dumb and uncomfortable around strangers and I have to say.. I totally agree.

It feels very rewarding to actually communicate with someone and know that even if I make a million mistakes we were able to (for the most part at least!) connect! :)

2 years ago

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Elle_Bomb

Love this...I work in a department store where the opportunities are endless and I have just started speaking to people in spanish and they have been very kind

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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I have had mixed experience with this. I have run into speakers who don't want to speak Spanish with gringos. But I have had some positives as well. It may depend on where you live in the country. In California with its enormous hispanohablante population, there may be a different attitude.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Justin_David

I am here in the Boston area so I am sure attitudes would change depending on location and also approach. I do not just start blurting out things in Spanish to random people but I try a subtle approach to people I am interacting with anyway. :) Hopefully I continue to have positive experiences. I am really only learning Spanish for the challenge and to be able to connect with people in their native language and not for work or anything like that so if I never actually can speak it without feeling silly I guess there is not much point.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Justin_David

And I do not mean to imply you are doing anything wrong. I hope that is not how my comment reads - I am speaking in generalities.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pilgrim2k
pilgrim2k
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I started going to a Hispanic church. I first spoke to the minister and told him that I was learning Spanish and wanted his advice of what was the best thing for me to do now that I had completed my Spanish tree several times. he told me to just come to church and sit there and listen to help train my ear to hear. I was nervous but the following week I went and sat in the back of the church. It wasn't 10 minutes before a man came up to me and introduced himself in broken English and invited me to sit with him. I explained what I was doing and he is now a speaking partner with me and I sit with him very week. We speak a fair amount but I still do more listening. It is getting better with each week. I would suggest finding someplace that meets regularly and go if nothing more than just sitting there and listening.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Justin_David

Great idea. I actually thought of this as well. Most Catholic churches here have both an English and Spanish mass!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/APatyUribe
APatyUribe
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I speak Spanish, as my native language, and I am learning English. I went last year to Philadelfia and went to the Mass in English and it was hard for me with the answers but I can understand a little to the Priest. Now, one year after, I have a travel scheduled and there I will know if my English has improved or not. The way God helps me to improve my comprehension is listening EWTN in English almost all day. I watch a movie every day in English and when I don't understand I put on the captions in English and have my notebook to study it later. I hope soon I can be full bilingual!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pilgrim2k
pilgrim2k
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I think that it really helps, not much the first couple of weeks, but then you start picking up more words and phrases, because in churches they say a lot of the same things week after week. I now really look forward to Sundays and wish that they met more times a week. my next move is to see about inviting my Spanish speaking partner to meet once or twice a week for coffee or a lunch so that we can talk. Buena Suerte

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markit8dude

I was thinking about this post this weekend. I had 2 opportunities to speak spanish I just let slip by & felt a tinge of regret both times. I know this is what I need to do to get better. I just need to push past the awkwardness/shyness & do it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
Ilmarien
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Occasionally, though I can get very neurotic about it. I see red whenever anyone switches to English on me in Spain or France, so I feel hypocritical speaking Spanish in the States except with people I know who are okay with it. Or if someone approaches me in Spanish. Or if people are already speaking it in a public enough setting.

I really do need to get more comfortable with the language in service situations, though, since I think I give off a "deer in headlights" impression cuando me toca pedir o comprar algo. It's frustrating and makes me feel like a teenager again, haha.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Justin_David

:)))) I also work with a paid private tutor and force myself to try several times a week so I guess that helps with the whole getting used to feeling stupid thing ;)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilmarien
Ilmarien
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Oh, it's not a matter of feeling stupid for me. It's classic social awkwardness, which makes it harder to deal with. The fact that it tends to take 10 seconds for the fluency to kick in doesn't help with short exchanges. (Though at least the fluency does kick in, unlike wih my poor Portuguese, haha.)

I've learned to compensate (want to talk to Spaniards without making the first move? Wander through their city with the wrong soccer jersey on! Works better as a woman, of course, and do not try it in Argentina), but it's still frustrating.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChitChatty

I plan on getting a tutor when I complete my tree. Do you go to someone in person, or do you have an online tutor? If online, which site do you use? Thanks.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markrjones

If you want a tutor online give italki.com a try. There are professional teachers who charge but it is also possible to find speakers who will connect with you over Skype for language exchange. I went there for a pro but got in contact with 4 people I now chat with regularly.

2 years ago

[deactivated user]

    I used to have a Mexican family living in my neighborhood, but alas! They didn't really appreciate their language which made me extremely sad. But, fortunately, my father has spoken Spanish to me and my siblings since I was an infant. Also, I always knew my dad as Papi--- dad, daddy, father--- and I (and all my siblings) have called him that for all my life. So while I do not often get on Duolingo, my Spanish vocabulary increases almost every day.

    SPANISH FOREVER!!

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/John_Fitzmaurice

    I have spent years being a free english teacher for the world, I worked in over twenty countries. Pay back is a ❤❤❤❤❤, hahaha. Speak spanish even when the others are uncomfortable.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/ArianaWoods0

    I'm learning Spanish common phrases

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/eakter01

    This is so true. Very inspiring. Thanks for posting it!

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/iiMexicanii

    yes I have an people have treated me very kindly even though my spanish vocab isn't the best

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/4003Tom
    4003Tom
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    Yes, I occasionally speak to native speakers and it has been fun. They are encouraging.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Nickie509

    Hola amigos! I've recently started talking Spanish with some neighbors because I could not find any one else who wanted to do so. I'm willing to speak with anyone else who wants to speak spanish.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/879023

    hi i just started learning spanish. I am working on the animal part 2. I am 10 percent fluint is spanish.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/walter9999
    walter9999
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    Immerse yourself every chance you get !!! qué tenga un buen dia

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/AuntieJenny

    Starting..... slowly..... hesitantly...... and having to remind myself to just dive in and do it. I live in southern California with a huge hispanohablante population. I volunteer one afternoon a week in a very busy emergency room (ER) at a local hospital where I have opportunities every week to communicate simple things in Spanish, but either I forget or the words just don't come to the surface in time. However, when they do, I get the deer-in-the-headlights look that says "La Gringa habla español!" Last week I offered water to a woman who speaks no English (con la permisión de la enfermera, por supuesto!). Her daughter translated for her, she accepted my offer, and I spontaneously asked "con hielo?" (with ice?). Her face looked inquisitive as if she was trying to translate an English word from this Gringa, when suddenly she smiled and said "Sí!". I felt glad to say even that one word as it enabled me to speak directly to her, the patient. I began studying Spanish so I can communicate like this with the patients (Quiere una cobija?) and their visitors (Quiere un café?... Necesita ayuda?), but my long-term goal is to reach an advanced conversational level.

    2 years ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Maria_321-

    If you have a University or Community College nearby, call or email one of the Spanish professors. Ask them if they have an advanced level Spanish student or a graduate student who is a native Spanish speaker who would be willing to tutor you. I have started some great friendships that way. Or, if you have a MultiCultural Center in your area, ask if they have a weekly potluck for visiting scholars, and ask to connect with someone from a Spanish speaking country. Sometimes people studying here from abroad are willing to tutor you for free in exchange for practicing English with you. It is great fun and a wonderful way to find out how things are really pronounced, not just how it sounds on a CD, and to find out how things are really said, not just the formal ways taught in many books, online programs and CDs. Also, check out Fluent-Forever.com for lots more ideas.

    2 years ago
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