https://www.duolingo.com/DelverMont

How long does it take to understand the language you are learning when spoken?

I'm learning Indonesian, and I can read, write, and speak (with an accent) it fine, but I can barely understand it when it is spoken. Natives speak it at lightning fast speed, I swear even faster than someone speed reading in english. I can't even make out one word. Even when watching children's movies, I can only make out basic words and my limited vocabulary does not give me a good sense of what is happening.

1 year ago

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
annika_a
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It really, really depends on the language, the person, and what practice they've had.

I've learned French for years, and lived in a partly French speaking community, and still, I understand more of Spanish when I listen to it on the radio (although I can read books in French but not in Spanish). Spanish is usually pretty fast, but it's so much easier for me to make out the words than it is in French.

The good news for you is that you seem to already know a lot of words, so it's "just" a question of getting your ear used to the avalanche of words and speed up the rate at which your brain recognizes them. I'd suggest spending as much time as you can getting exposure to the spoken language, for example through listening to the radio. Don't worry about having to pay attention to it all the time, just keep it on in the background when you're doing something else, and you should soon notice that you understand more than before, even without trying. Just make sure it's a channel where they speak as much as possible, rather than play music. Another method is of course to listen to content you already know, such as dubbed kids' movies you've already watched or international news (if you already know the international news stories of the day).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GetItDunn
GetItDunn
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To agree with what annika_a said, I've learned a couple of languages and listening is always the hardest thing, I studied abroad in Germany and I could comfortably navigate daily life there but if I watch German TV, I need subtitles. The thing is we imagine words in our accent so when we listen to people, we're listening for words that we recognise but the way a native pronounces these words, links sentences together and the speed that they speak at will be nothing like how we know these words and that can make it difficult to recognise words, even the ones that we know well.

My advice would be to watch TV or films in your target language with subtitles in your target language so that you're seeing the words as your hear them, alternatively listen to music while reading the lyrics, that way you'll start to recognise more and more words and it might help your pronunciation.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ErikRabbit

I have found news reports, songs, audiobooks, films and especially kids tv good for helping with listening practice. Kids tv is good, nice and short. I find films tiring as they are long.

I particularly like listening to music and audio books in the target language because I have a long commute (driving) and I'm now able to utilise a couple of hours of what was previously dead time.

I agree with the poster above though, listen, even if you aren't understanding. It will help your brain process the rhythm of the language.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/danarst

That's usual when you're learning a new language. When you're new, it seems they speak so fast. And when you try to have a conversation, your brain isn't able to recall the words fast enough so you can quickly express your thoughts.

Don't be discouraged. It just shows you need more listening practice.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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Might be a bit beneath your level, but maybe this will give you a vote of confidence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2Q-J-3zIUY Maybe you can just listen to it a first time to see if you understand, then only use the subtitles if you need. BookBox is pretty good for this general issue; unfortunately, it's super limited for Indonesian.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BonBonChat
BonBonChat
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It depends what you put into it, if you surround yourself with the language via immersion everyday for a long time, you will improve soon

1 year ago
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