2 Years and Random Thoughts
Wow, I wasn't doing a countdown or anything, so when I saw I was on a 729 streak, it hit me that I will hit 2 years! I'm so excited!! My next goal is leveling to 25 in French, then possibly finishing my Spanish tree. So, here are some random thoughts on Duolingo after 2 years. Please remember these are just MY opinions and observations, as different people may have different experiences:
Thanks to Duolingo, when French is written, I can translate most things into English. Because Duolingo doesn't give me much practice in writing French from English, I still have trouble writing and speaking French when the sentence gets complex, as I will sometimes mess up idioms, verb forms, leave out the "de," "de la," "du," "le," etc. And sometimes I will fumble with sentence order. But with basic phrases and small sentences, I'm okay with it! Haha, when I visited France and Québec, most people understood me, until I got into detailed sentences, then sometimes I got confused faces. I love Motréal as I found nice people to teach me French for free!
I recommend listening to a lot of French outside of Duolingo, as some phrases are pronounced incorrectly. For instance, a liaison incorrectly used, etc. That's why I love the comments section, as people usually point them out.
I see a lot of posts if learning a similar language is easier. For me, it isn't. I mix up Spanish with my French and sometimes English. Sometimes I will pronounce Spanish words with a French accent because they seem similar in my brain. The genders can be opposite (like the word for milk being masculine in French and feminine in Spanish). When I practice German or Japanese, that rarely happens as it is different enough (well, except maybe for the German 3 genders). But oh boy are they difficult languages in their own way! :-D
I also see a lot of posts on streaks (like the one you're reading) and other awards. While it's true that even if there is no streak, you're still learning, it does help to motivate me. I'm on other learning apps and books with no streak counts, and I still use them. I just like seeing the number rise, and I will be sad to see it go eventually. But yes, it's just a number, but a number that keeps me going. I have so many lingots now that I just give them to posts that make me happy. :-)
As for the "friend request" posts, I enjoy having friends on Duolingo. I get messages that someone beat me, which sometimes makes me work harder. I'm not competitive, but I enjoy the back and forth with me and other friends. Also, sometimes we will write nice messages to each other. Sometimes it's difficult for me to write back, as I accumulated quite a bit of friends. Also, if you want, go ahead and friend me and I'll friend you back. :0)
Besides Duolingo, I use the following free apps/websites: Memrise and Lingvist. I also used Rosetta Stone (it's a program you pay for), and a lot of different books. But Duolingo is my number 1 program I use.
Whew is Polish difficult! Haha, I'm slowly getting somewhere, as I have Polish friends I want to speak to in their native language. And Esperanto! Wow is it a breath of fresh air as it seems easier than all the languages I'm studying.
I have more thoughts, but maybe I'll save them for my French level 25 post. I just want to say I love the Duolingo community! Seriously! Everyone helps each other (instead of making fun of another person's language skills), makes each other laugh, motivates each other, etc. I love the people who volunteered to make this site possible!
Haha, I hope I'm making sense! I wrote this fast since I have some things to do. Happy language learning!
Don't take this in a negative way. But, why learn so many languages at the same time. I've notice several Duolingo users doing that. I was thinking if you've been studying French for that long, shouldn't you be fluent by now. I am learning Romanian, I practice like crazy, learning new vocabs and I also use other website to study as well as youtube. I plan on living there in the near future. English is my second language by the way. I know a little bit of French because my native tongue is basically broken French. So, right now my main focus is Romanian, I hope to be able to speak it very well in about a year. Cross my fingers.
No worries, I'm not taking it in a negative way. I just love learning different languages. I learned Italian because I took a trip there. I was pretty good in Italian, and now I don't need it much (but I still love it). I learned Sesotho because I lived in Lesotho for 2+ years, but now I don't need it. I love French, and I'm okay with it (as long as it's not too complex) as I proved to myself as I went to France. I have Spanish because I will be a teacher, and a lot of kids speak Spanish, so I feel it will be good to learn a little bit of it.
Anyways, as you can see, there are many reasons. Yeah, I should probably concentrate on one language, but I love learning so many of them. Good luck with your Romanian! :-)
please accept my congratulations.
I once read on a Polyglot blog (can't remember which) that a learner should try to reach the intermediate solidified level (was it B1/B2) and first should get better in listening + speaking before jumping onto other Romance languages.
They described a test with 2 (or more people) with the goal to speak X languages in Y years and both learners used different concepts.
It looks like that the person learning multiple languages in shorter time did not do that well (speaking fluently) compared to other person.
Maybe anyone of you had read that blog and the Polyglot story?
To be honest:
My French DP course CD is in my cupboard since 2008 (very short tested, you could say "installed once" ;)).....
....Spanish/Italian language courses are being tougt at VHS in my small city by natives/professionals (I would not have to travel ~30min. to Nuremberg ).....and at least two times I would have had the chance in the past weeks/months to speak Spanish, if I would have learned anything about it before. So funny.
So yeah, you can count the days that I can NOT wait to have reached the proper B1/B2 level (maybe A2 is my goal first), have not practiced enough listening and speaking in Portuguese but still would want to start other languages as well as because maybe the chances are much higher for me as a German to actually speak those other language in near future....
Will I visit Brazil or Portugal to continue learning kitesurfing in the near future? We will see ;)
So I am yet sure that I will be running some day exactly into your described scenario above :-)
Well, we will see where (in what country / city) I will be located in 1-3 years to find out, what language I should have started some years before ;)
Thank you for your kind words Thomas.Heiss!
I haven't heard of the story you described where it's good to reach an intermediate level before going on to another romance language. It makes sense. though, as it will lessen someone confusing words and genders together. I always wondered what level I am in. Those tests aren't free (if I remember correctly).
What a great motivator to learn Portuguese! If you do visit Brazil and/or Portugal, definitely post how your language skills helped you and how much fun it was to kitesurf! :-)
Anyways, I wish you the best with your language learning and where ever you plan on living in the next few years!
Danke Etopia2020! I appreciate your kind words and I wish you the best in Spanish, German, French and English! :-)
Wow, you put in a lot of thought into this! Congrats on the streak! Almost like having a birthday. #2years!!!!!!!!!
That is amazing! wow I feel like a lazy sack of potatoes now ha congrats! I have a question for you. do you like learning about the cultures of the languages like the tv shows, foods, traditions etc.?
Tbh Im kinda obsessed right now with learning all about france and their culture its amazing how different everything is.
Another question what are some tips for motivation because wow there are days where I need some.
Thanks for the kind words! Yes, I do love learning about the cultures of the languages I'm learning. Before I went to France, Italy, Lesotho, and other countries, I learned as much as I could before going there. Learning how they greet each other, etiquette, food, and other things that make their culture different. I miss using Italian gestures. :-)
France is amazing as you venture out. From beautiful Paris, to the amazing Versailles, the history of Normandy, going up Mont St. Michel (sorry about the spelling), the cute castles as you venture south, the Spanish then Italian influenced archetecture as you head east, the beaches, Alps, etc. There is so much! I need to go back and see the German-influenced architecture of the north-east.
As for motivation? One was planning a trip to France, which really got me going. I'll admit, I'm not always motivated. Sometimes I will just do one lesson (takes me less than a minute) and call it a day. Other days, I will do a bunch of lessons. A good tip is to not overwork yourself to the point of learning French not being fun. But overall, I love French, and that is what gets me going.
I wish you the best in your French learning! :-)
Wow! Congrats, amazing streak! I could never do that, my goal is to keep it for the rest of the year but realistically that probably wont happen haha.
I just wanted to give you all a big THANK YOU for your kind words. I appreciate it. :-)
Bravo Ntate ! You are an inspiration. I started following you about a year back; you had about 75 friends then. Due to your friendly and informative posts, which included some really interesting ones like 'difficult words in french', 'sharing your Lesotho experience', 'experimenting with multiple languages' and your propensity to help out new users with small troubleshooting on the site, you have gained lot many followers since then(totaling to 172 and counting). You may not be aware that since then I have been keeping a daily vigil on your scores competing with you and pushing myself further each day to keep up with you. Competing and learning along with you has been fun. Eagerly waiting for you to achieve your next target of 'Level 25' (especially without any immersion points) and your next post. with regards.
Thank you so much for your kind words SSB001! Haha, I wrote many forum posts that I almost forgot some of the ones you mentioned (I should start following my own discussions).
A few months ago, I did notice that I was going to get to a 2-year streak, and calculated how much XP I need daily to reach level 25 by then. Well, I tried getting all that XP daily, but it was time-consuming and felt like work, so I didn't bother with it. I know I'll get it eventually, like you with your French level 25!
With me using other apps, my XP levels are not as high as before, but I still use Duolingo a lot, and it's people like you that keep me on my toes.
Thank you SSB001 for being amazing, and I wish you the best on your level 25 in English! :-)