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https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

Duolingo surprises from a Newbie.

I'm a guy that was seriously doing Rosetta Stone, three plus years, solid. It's a good program, but not close to this. I just hit a certain level or knowledge level in Duolingo and up pops a window that says "You can now read 21.2% of a Spanish newspaper. Would you like to try?" I am paraphrasing a bit. I did it and felt like a little kid that just got his diploma. I have a PhD in Business law and was more excited about this. What a super surprise. Thanks,

Jesse

4 years ago

54 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JCMcGee
JCMcGee
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Yeah! I got my 1st one of those messages yesterday!

All night i felt like KING OF THE LANGUAGE LEARNERS!!!

It was a good feeling....I actually got off my ass and achieved something...and something that gives me over 200 million new people to talk to!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/seelian
seelian
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Mine one said i am able to read about 17.XX% of spanish and guide me to immersion. xD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skirkk
skirkk
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I've been on Duolingo forever, (procrastinating, my failing memory, etc etc,) and it says I can read 95.2% of all Spanish articles.. which may not be completely accurate as there are still many idioms/phrases/non-literal translations I still have to pick up yet, but I agree Duolingo is greatly encouraging and it is a fantastic feeling. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drplasma64
drplasma64
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Even though you may not be able to do a complete word for word translation perfectly, I bet you can comprehend almost all the articles. It always amazes me when I can translate part of an article on a subject I know nothing about (like motocross!).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/856pm

I have been told that I can read 50% of French articles. I can barely understand them... I can get the idea, but to me, Duo overestimates me...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

At the levels you have achieved you must have tried it when you were tired.No way you are doing just 50%. I make that mistake all the time. I get on this and am having such a good time I forget it's actually studying. I look at the clock and I've been Duolingoing for three hours. Just a suggestion, take a nap and hit it again. It's 11p here, my wife is laying next to me watching a great movie and I'm doing the Duolingo thing. I'm missing the movie, she may leave me, but I'll be fluent in Spanish. (Just joking about the leaving) :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

I found a little something that's helping me keep some hearts; When I am asked to translate from English to Spanish, whether I'm right or wrong, I spell check the Spanish words anyway. If it's correct, I right click on it and "save" it to my dictionary which is an English dictionary but it doesn't matter. If it's incorrect, I correct it and then "save" it. Then when a lesson comes along later and that word is there it spell checks itself.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chookitarocky

Yeah I keep losing hearts because of some auto correct and spelling issues!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skywisej
skywisej
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I got my first one of those today too in German! It felt good :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EWHPTthe4th
EWHPTthe4th
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try out immersion. it lets you translate articles. good practice.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

Thank you, I'll start today!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/D_O_M_O
D_O_M_O
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erhmagerd we have the same profile pic i will give you a lingot for twinning pics :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kristinemc

Congrats! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ayePete
ayePete
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¡Bueno! ¡Fecilitades!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adamyoung97
adamyoung97
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"¡Felicidades!" May be what you meant

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samsta
Samsta
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Or "¡Felicitaciones!"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ayePete
ayePete
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Gracias!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drplasma64
drplasma64
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congrats...i'm giving you a lingot! I know how you feel!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

Wow, Thank you. The ability to check in with others in Duolingo for help, explanations etc. really is super. I notice you are at level 18. You must be enjoying all kinds of goodies/surprises.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/drplasma64
drplasma64
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I took French in high school a long time ago, so this is not too hard. I'm really enjoying the immersion section. I also started German from absolutely ZERO knowledge (under a different user name) and am slowly making progress...I haven't yet gotten one of those "congratulations you can now translate..." messages, and I'm eagerly looking forward to it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jklingen
jklingen
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I've been using Rosetta Stone and this in tandem. Rosetta Stone has a lot more options for language and the use of photographs is very important. I have found that Duolingo makes me an excellent translator but not so much an excellent speaker, although Rosetta stone isn't perfect for that either. I think practice is the only thing for it. But Duolingo has kept me much more motivated than rosetta stone ever did...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

It's the behind the scenes stuff that makes all the difference to me. Duolingo has it where we can do what we are doing now. Try asking a question thru Rosetta or anywhere for that matter. We have folks doing the exact same thing, at various levels from all over the planet. All wanting to help. Amazing and makes it fun. And it works. It may be fun, but the bottom line is does it work... Yep, yes and C (that would have cost me a heart) :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jklingen
jklingen
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That's true, the forum system is very helpful.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dankabass3

Wow, I reached that message today and I thought that I must be crazy feeling like a child who managed to make a first step. Now I know that I am not the only one. Thank you guys for sharing the same experience with learning the new language. I started learning Spanish 2 weeks ago and love duolingo.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skirkk
skirkk
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You are at level 10 and you only started learning 2 weeks ago! Wow, bravo! Take a lingot :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dankabass3

Thank you epichedgehog; I wanted to learn Spanish for ages as I travel to Spain at least once a year for few days but I never really sat down and began. In January while searching for Spanish courses in London I actually discovered duolingo and started. I am a busy mum of two and work full time but I try at least once a day to log in and do some practice. I love this site and the fact I can do the exercises whenever it suits me. I am determined to carry on as another trip to Spain is booked in few months time.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chookitarocky

Yeah I made a suggestion for Duolingo to use more visual queues because I am a visual learner but not only that everybody learns by association... so even if the picture is just in the background of the flashcard in each lesson you will subliminally take that in!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoyceMann
JoyceMann
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In addition to duolingo, I think every foreign-language student should make the attempt to study the language of their choice in an immersion in the country their new language is spoken. I have an idea in mind for a possible discussion topic along these lines. joyce

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

What's the idea? Anything that helps would be great.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoyceMann
JoyceMann
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My idea is to start a thread where we can recommend immersion programs abroad -- an honor system where the person posting has to vouch for the school, or the private tutor or whatever. (If someone beats me to it and wants to start a thread, go for it) I don't know where you live, Ranchers1, but I live along the east coast of the U.S. Three years ago I traveled to Merida, Yucatan, Mexico for a two-week immersion program. ( A short flight from the east coast to Cancun) I lived w/ a Mexican family. Took the bus to the school everyday. Had a 3 hour, private session w/ a trained teacher in the mornings and in the afternoon I walked around town w/ a "guia", a guide, visiting museums, etc. and always speaking Spanish. Even had to sign a contract to speak only Spanish. After the first week I was on the beach at Progreso and struck up a conversation w/ an elderly lady. She thought I was a Mexican native!! Since then my conversational skills have plummeted (a lot of tragic family stuff going on) but I'm confident I can regain my lost ground. Unfortunately, the specific school I went to has shut down, but I can recommend the city and the friendliness of its people. Another way to improve your Spanish? If you have access to cable TV in the states, I suggest watching the Spanish-language telenovelas (soaps) I also watch them w/ the closed captioning set to Spanish. They are plot driven, the body language is easy to read, and each episode ends w/ a cliffhanger so that you want to know "what happens next?" Anyway, hope some of this helps.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

I don't know if this post hit so I'll try to post this thought again;

Thank you, I watch Spanish news since it's a lot clearer than most of the movies. The play by play in sports is way past me at this time. I'll know I have "got it" when I can follow that. Again, speaking of movies, I find it hilarious when I know they are swearing, using words that would get censored here, USA, clean up the English captioning and I am thinking "that's not even close to what he said." I must be farther along than I give myself credit for since I am realizing the difference:)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jones_Rick
Jones_Rick
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That is good. You are the only person that I have ever heard of who has a PhD in Business Law. When I studied Business Law my prof was a lawyer with a JD.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

I'm also married to one and my son just got his Masters.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jones_Rick
Jones_Rick
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It seems to me that Duolingo is great for a beginner to master the basics of a new language. I am only 30% the way through but it appears to me that it covers the material that a two semester course in college would attempt. Does anyone know how much vocabulary is totally involved by the end of the course ?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paper-airplane
paper-airplane
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it depends on the language that you are learning, but the total number of words covered in each course is somewhere around 1500-1900 words

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jones_Rick
Jones_Rick
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Thanks

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paddjon

I was hopeless at languages at school, but, by a bizarre route, ended up at university as a mature student studying an Asian language. I couldn't cope with it and quickly switched to another subject. I have believed ever since that I simply lack the talent to learn another language. As I'm approaching 60, I certainly had no plans to try again, but I stumbled on Duolingo whilst browsing on Facebook and signed up for the Spanish course. Just eight days on I have already contributed a couple of paragraphs of translation (on subjects I knew nothing about) and am amazed and thoroughly chuffed by the rapid progress I've made. Can't praise or thank Duolingo enough.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

Me too. I was just looking to update the languages in Rosetta Stone and I was searching via Google on how to apply the upgrades. I was getting no help from the Rosetta web site and stumbled upon someone out there that was using both and loved Duolingo. And they said it was not only much better, but it was free. I dug deeper and found a ton of folks saying the same thing. I figured if I'm paying a bunch of money, it has to be better than something that's free, right? I found out how they are compensated and why it's free to us. And it made perfect sense. So I jumped in. And I now join a whole bunch of others that are happy they did. And they are all happy to help. Amazing.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoyceMann
JoyceMann
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Good for you, Jesse. I've been studying Spanish off and on since the 1960s. It made me feel good when last week a message popped up telling me I can read 96.2% of anything written in Spanish. I just started German w/ duolingo. I can't wait to get to the point in German where you are in Spanish. Great program. I douldn't be happier. joyce

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

You are at Level 9. You are way past where I am. The last little Pop Up said I was at 29.2% I think. I don't remember. It's way less than your 96.2% though. But what is so great about this is that's it's not a race. Everybody is helping everybody. I also think Duolingo understates where we really are. Whether on purpose or not, I don't know. But what is cool is when they say"You can read 25%, try it" and you can actually can read darn near all of it. That is one super surprise.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoyceMann
JoyceMann
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My daughter and I started duolingo the same time as I did...about 2 or 3 weeks ago. There definitely is a discrepancy between level and leaves on the tree. My daughter studied German in high school and college. Her German tree has a vast majority of the leaves filled in; meanwhile, I only have two leaves of the tree filled in in German, yet we're both German six. I keep doing the basics over and over and over to make sure they stick, and therefore the points eventually add up to my earning Level 6 in German. In all honesty, I think my Spanish reading ability is closer to 100%. In college (early 1970s) I read a ton of original Spanish works including a big chunk of Don Quixote in the Spanish of the period (17th century or something like that). But I recall the first time I set foot in Mexico in 1972, I could barely say a word and I understood next to nothing!!! It was a wake-up call that textbook knowledge and conversational skills on the streets of a Spanish-speaking country are two different things. (Also, I developed a lot of bad habits in Spanish over the years, and duolingo , by its very nature, forces me to get things perfect before I can move on.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nateVONgreat
nateVONgreat
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I love it when it says how much I know, but I think it is lying, it says I know 92% of all german, but when I listen to my german friends I understand nothing..... ;(

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

The key thing you said is true for me also when you mentioned listening. It's much easier to look at words, being able to take our time to figure them and their meanings out. However, listening to someone, speaking at a natural pace is a whole different matter. 50% success at that is outstanding. Congrats! :) I'm wondering if this would work for me "¿Lo siento, mi español es malo, podría por favor repetir un poco más lento"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nateVONgreat
nateVONgreat
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Duo lingo never told me I can SPEAK (or write) 92% either......

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

I have a question; I heard Spanish doesn't allow you to "love" something that can't love you back i.e. "I love my car" "Yo amo mi coche" doesn't work. But Yo te amo" works since the love is directed at a person that can love you back. Even the McDonalds commercials say "me encante" for "I'm loving it". I think if it can't love you back, it can "enchant" you or "bewitch" you. Is this accurate or am I way off base?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nateVONgreat
nateVONgreat
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you are asking me?! I don't know any spanish.... But If McDonalds says it, It MUST be true!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chookitarocky

Oh that is hilarious I'm gonna ask my Mexican amigos! :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BarbaraMorris
BarbaraMorris
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The first time I saw that, it said "You can now read 0.1% of Spanish articles". I think it was probably a bug in the system that I got it so early in the tree, but I remember being surprised and thrilled. I also remember that it took me at least an hour to translate my first little sentence, since I hardly knew any of the words.

And I remember the time, around "You can now read 25%" when I suddenly realized that I could read some of the sentences without help. I think that for me, Immersion has been a brilliant way to learn. And as a bonus, to learn about some interesting things, too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chookitarocky

I completely agree Ranchers1 :) I felt a billion more tingles 3 days into Duolingo than I felt at the end of 3 years of postgraduate study ha ha ha!!! :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/haylz007

I didn't know Duolingo did this! Can't wait till I get my first ! :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JackedTortoise

Mine popped up a few weeks ago... but i don't feel ready to translate texts yet. For sure when I'll finish the tree I'll start translating, but not yet...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Shanigans
Shanigans
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I got my first message (for Italian) a couple of days ago and like you I didn't feel I could start translating from Italian yet but I had a look at the text that was proposed and in fact I could read a lot of it. You can press the "looks good to me" button if you just want to read and check.... you don't need to plunge into the translation straight away.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchers1

Give it a shot. It's just practicing and no one is keeping score. You will truly be amazed at how far along you are without even knowing it. Talk about feeling super!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nateVONgreat
nateVONgreat
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I WAS learning with Rosetta stone, about 2 years ago, it was great, because it gave me the basics for German. I agree that Duolingo is great! but you cant start from 0 with it, rosetta stone let me do that. Also, rosetta stone is good for adults that really want to learn, because it is so boring, that any kid that his parents make him use it, will be so bored and not stay focused. I have lots of experience using it and giving kids it to use. Duo is much better!

4 years ago