Tell Me Your Story!
Hello everyone! So, what I mean by "tell me your story" is what made you start learning a language? I'm pretty sure everyone has a story to tell and that is what we'll be talking about in this discussion!
Here is my story:
First of all I would like to say that my story isn't fancy shmancy but anyways. Throughout my life I never even thought about learning a language because I honestly didn't care about it! It was when I was high school, the school district required everyone to have one year to learn a language as an elective. (By the way, I was a homeschooler which means I attended an online school) I honestly thought that that was a stupid rule because I was more of an art guy and I wanted to take art classes each year of high school. So, I decided that I might as well do it now than later, so me and my sister had choose between French or Spanish. Now, you would think that we would choose Spanish because in California, Spanish is like the second language of the state but, we chose French because we thought it sound prettier and you know we didn't really know anything about languages so we just chose French. So, the semester started and I learned the alphabet in French and a couple of basic phrases and basically I heard French for the first time. I thought it sounded cool until I tried to pronounce the words! My gosh it was weird at first I was like really? They required us to record ourselves through a microphone to hear how we sound and I assure you that I did not sound like a frenchman. Anyways, it was really hard especially in the beginning but what I found the most difficult was the grammar. Since, I only spoke English, French grammar confused me with all the gender rules and what I found weird was why would french have four ways of saying the word "the" I mean seriously? As I grew more into the course of learning this language I notice my pronunciation was better however I wasn't able to have a conversation with anybody. My French teacher would make us watch French films and I would be there watching without knowing anything they were saying. I found it fun speaking French because I would speak basic phrases around the house like "ou est ___" and stuff like that but it would annoy my family. My sister and I even made a short film in French (with horrible pronunciation) but it was a lot of fun to make, at least we got 100% on that project for school. Once the year passed my French was better but it never really intrigued me that much to learn another language. So, I'm done with that year of school and I progressively started to forget the French that've learnt. I didn't want to forget so I began to look online for some courses and a lot of the courses I found costed money, A LOT of money. Until, I stumbled upon Duolingo this course was perfect! It was fun and easy to learn, it helped me discover new languages, and it opened me up to a new world of language learning. I love how Duolingo is not only a course but a community. You can talk to people, have fun speaking in other languages, and make new friends. Duolingo is what started it all for me! Now, I love talking about the subject of languages and it gave me the passion to learning new languages. I know that I'm not done with this journey and I hope to continue on this path with Duolingo!!!
That is my story!!! What I want you to do, is write down in the comments what engaged you or how you started this journey of language learning? Was there a certain point in your life that made you want to learn a language. Was there a passion for language learning, are you trying to become a polyglot? Whatever your story is tell us in great detail from the beginning to now!
My native language is Spanish, and I learned English as a kid. I always wanted to learn other language, so I tried with French on school, but I really did not like it. After some years later, I found out I was attracted to guys. Yeah, you know what I mean. Then, I wanted to try to look for... a Portuguese. So basically I'm learning Portuguese because I want to get to know with a Portuguese guy and see what could happen. I'm learning Catalan because for me it's somehow easy, and Japanese because I love their culture. I'm not trying to become a Polyglot, but surely I want to speak some languages, not all fluently but at leasts some basics.
I love sharing and reading these stories, because everybody is so different.
I'm a native Spanish speaker, but I wouldn't say I'm fluent anymore. I grew up speaking Spanish first, and I learned English from watching Spongebob a lot. I was always better at Spanish than English, until school started. As school started, my vocabulary increased A LOT in English. Meanwhile, as I didn't speak Spanish as often anymore, my vocabulary didn't increase as fast. Also, I never learned to read or write in Spanish, so there's that (I taught myself though, since Spanish is very phonetic and easy). So while English is my dominant language, and I'm proficient in Spanish, I would only say I'm fluent in English simply in terms of vocabulary. And I still sometimes learn random Spanish words that I've never had to use before. Today I learned that slaves in Spanish is esclavos.
When I was...maybe six? I used to be super interested in Mandarin, though I never wanted to learn it. Maybe I'll do that someday. Then when I was eight I knew a lot of Arabic speakers, so I used to be kind of interested in that. I may also dabble in that someday.
When I was eleven I wanted to learn French. No reason why, just wanted to. But my approach was TERRIBLE. I used Duolingo, and I used to always try to test out of things I didn't know and never practiced, only learned. So I learned for a little bit and then I thought French was too hard (It wasn't, I was just terrible at language learning).
Skip forward another year, and I'm learning Portuguese. I actually had a reason to, I really liked Brazilian culture. And it was very easy. I don't remember why I gave up. I think I was just bored of it.
Skip forward a little more, I meet a German girl. She didn't speak German, but she was born there. I thought I would impress her by learning German. I also became super interested in German culture while I did that. But eventually I stopped caring for German, and I stopped.
Now I'm learning French the right way, and I'm actually interested in the language. :)
Awesome story SamuelCristea!
My story (not very interesting):
I was always a bit interested in learning languages, and before I discovered Duolingo, I tried to teach myself Spanish, German, and French with very little success. I gave up. But fast forward a few years later, when I was watching my sister translate sentences. I asked her what she was doing, and she told me about this awesome website. The next day I created an account and started to learn French, and along the way I added Spanish and Vietnamese. However, back then I was not very interested in any of those languages and I stopped going on here. After a while, the most I ever did on duolingo was log on occasionally, do a lesson, then leave. This continued until July, when I decided I wanted to learn Spanish. I remembered this and restarted the Spanish course, adding Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Greek, Italian, Swedish, Czech, Russian, Turkish, and Catalan along the way. I also discovered the forums, which I had little interest in when I first started, and now I spend half my time on duolingo. It's been like this for 102 days. Duolingo is the best website ever.
Hey Woof.! I like your story!! I feel the same way you do, spending half my time on Duolingo and the forums. Duolingo is the best!!
Btw, you can call me Sam or Sammy or Samuel; you don't have to write my full name. :)
Here's my story
My family is Mexican and my dad and nana are fluent in Spanish. I can under stand more than i can speak and so i wanted to become more able to speak with all of my family in Spanish.
(not a great story)
I had taken a year of college Spanish, somewhat interested in it. I had a very basic level when I was going to go to Cuba. I started reviewing a bit and trying to practice what I had learned after spending a summer and around 2 months not using Spanish, and I found I had retained a good amount, all things considering. I get to Cuba, and when me and my group were walking around in the calles, I just started talking with people and asking them stuff. I had a bunch of peculiar long conversations with different kids of people. I found the proccess to be really fun and interesting trying to comunicate what I wanted to say I used what Spanish I new REALLLy well, figuring out how to combine verbs with infinitives to more effectively communicate and whole string of communocation strategies which were very effective. I really liked the challenge, and there was a part of me that I felt like I could communicate what I felt better in Spanish than in english. I was enamored by this, and kept talking with people. By the end of the week, I was able participate in the debrief for my group with the Spanish spekers, citing data on the different income levels of different proffessions in Cuba, in Spanish of course. It was cool. And I continued. And I still feel that there is a part of me that communicates what I feel better in Spanish, which has been a huge motivator to how I have developed such a high capacity in the language. I went from basic working profficiency in Spanish to Full proffessional profficiency, bordering on being fluent in a year. A lot of that is due to feeling better in how I communicated in Spanish, and then there are all the details that come after.
If you REALLLY want to know till now, there is going to be a lot more details. Ihave lived in Spain, traveled alone in Colombia, found all the Spanish speakers in Israel, Gone to costa rica and traveled in the rural regions, taken Spanish classes on rainforest biology, anthropology, politics, traveled the north of Span, and all that are just words of the surface. There is a unique value I find in Spanish, and that is why I learnd it and have the fluent proffieciency I have today. And remember, I went from a basic profficiency to full working profficiency in a year. I don't even have a minor in Spanish from my university, and I am probably more fluent than a lot of the majors. And to put this in perspective, Even people who take the third and 4th year spanish language classes, and even beyond that, not all of them are fluent. I am, so get wrecked people who have gone to some of these places with me, and learned so little, and I am here. That is a bit of my story.
I had studied Spanish at a college for a year, because I somewhat got interested on it, I had a very basic level on it when I went to Cuba. So because I didn't used Spanish for a summer and aproximately two months I started reviewing a bit and trying to practice what I had learned and I realised that I had retained a good level. I arrived to Cuba, and when me and my group were walking around on the streets, I just started talking with people, and asking them stuff. I had a bunch of peculiar long conversations with different kinds of people. I found the process really funny and interesting. To try to communicate what I wanted to say I used my Spanish knowledge I learned really well, figuring out how to say verbs and infinitives to communicate more effectively and other communication strategies which were very effective. I really liked the challenge, and there was a part of me that felt, that I could communicate what I felt better in Spanish than in English. I was in love with this, and I kept talking with people. By the end of the week, I could participate at a meeting for my group with Spanish speakers, citing data in Spanish on different income levels of different proffessions in Cuba. It were cool so I continued. And I still feel that there is a part of me that communicates what I feel better in Spanish, which has been a big motivation, for which I have achieved such a high Spanish level. I went from basic working profficiency to full proffessional profficiency, getting fluency in a year. A lot of that is for the reasons explained before and for the following reasons, I will give you all the details.
If you really want to know till now, there is going to be still a lot of more details: I had lived in Spain; I traveled alone to Colombia; I found all the Spanish speakers of Israel. I went to Costa Rica and traveled to the rural regions; I took Spanish classes about rainforest biology, anthropology, politics; I traveled to the North of Spain. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I find in Spanish a unique value, that's the why i learned it and I have fluency on it. And I remember, I went from basic working p. to full proffessional p. in a year, I do even am a minor in my university of Spanish, and I am probably more fluent than a lot of the majors. And to put this in perspective, even people who take the third and fourth year Spanish class, and even beyond that, not all of them are fluent, I am, so I get wrecked people who went on some trips with me, and learned a very little bit. And I am here.
(I will tell the rest of the story): I don't like Modern Standard Arabic. So I prefer learning a dialect, especifically the Levantine Arabic one. And although I don't like Modern Standard Arabic I am taking classes of that, and I even going to study it once it is released as Beta on Duolingo. As I am a big fan of laddering I have got all my golden owls doing that. Finally I travel around the world practicing all languages I can.
PS: You probably never will read this but although you were mean and rude with me, I wish you luck. Actually you need to improve a lot in Spanish, English and the rest of your languages.
I was in middle school when duolingo was released, and I was in sort of an "advanced learners" club thing that my school did, and we always did like puzzles, or math, brain teasers, chess, and basically stuff to keep the brain going. So my teacher told us about duolingo when it first came out, I think it only had like spanish german and french, maybe portuguese also, but I'm not sure.
So I tried learning, but I always would forget that duolingo even existed, and I'd go months without doing it.
Then, At the very beginning of my freshman year, I got bored over the weekend, and I remembered duolingo, and Thought, I might as well try it! So I chose to do french, and I spent hours that day, and got all the way to level six. It was the furthest I've ever gotten on duolingo, and I did it in just one day, so I was super happy about it, and started doing it every day!
Eventually I added other languages, like German, Norwegian, Hungarian, etc, and Now I LOVE learning languages more than anything!!
Well, I'm Hungarian, and I live in Romania. I learned English from 1st grade. In primary I took English lessons for almost two years. I had a very good, kind teacher. But after that she did not have more time. She recommended us an other teacher, but whom I did not like very much. But that teacher taught me one thing: how I have to question a sentence or a part of a sentence. But she became sick and she couldn't teach me anymore. Then, in 6th grade found my mother Duolingo. I did not use it much though at first. Only in 8th grade I began again learning seriously English. And because I was homeschooling but in a school in Hungary, I needed to participate on Skype in the most of the lessons. However we spoke with the English that I shouldn't participate on Skype in the English lessons. Then in one week I finished my English school book.
A half a year before this we acquainted with a family who wanted to try homeschooling, because their daughter was a Christian(in the true meaning of the word) and she wanted to learn Japanese and her classmates mocked him because of this. They tried out several schools, among which was a Christian and bilingual, too. But she was mocked everywhere, and then they decided to go for homeschooling. And as the mother spoke well English, and she offered that she would learn with me English. At first we have only read books, but then we got some materials from my first English teacher.
In that time I decided to learn German, because I had cousins who have lived in Germany for several years, and when they came home they always spoke among themselves in German. And I wanted to understand them. After that I took up French, but I did not understand the Duolingo audio, so I quit the course, and now I only learn French on Memrise. Then, I wanted to learn Spanish, because last year, when we visited our grandparents at Hunedoara, we also visited the castle of Corvinians, and there I heard also some Spanish tourists, and I liked the sound of it. I just fell in love with it! Later on I wanted to learn Greek and Hebrew, two of the original languages of the Bible. But as I find the Hebrew script quite difficult, I also learn it on Memrise, because there I can learn the script and the words more easily. When that will go relatively well, I will learn Hebrew mostly here. Then I tried out Turkish partly because it is similar to Hungarian and Romanian, and partly because it is from an other language family. Because of this reason I started also Polish. And I started also Japanese, because one of my friends learns it, and I tried it out, and liked it. Oh, and Danish! I like Denmark, and actually I started learning it, after I made a presentation last year about Denmark.
So, this is my simple story briefly. Sorry for being so long....
English, in Romanian I can converse only about general topics, though I understand everything, and now I'll take a German course, to help me in speaking.
Good luck with your Romanian, SamuelCristea!
I want to learn to read German because I have a collection of German books from my grandfather. One is an old fashioned family Bible, but It is not the bible that I am interested in reading primarily because it is in German text. It is one thing to learn the language, and it is another achievement to be able to read German text. I can read the King James version or the New Catholic edition to become familiar with the Gospel.
There are 4 books in the collection that deal with how-to-do subjects. My grandfather was a carpenter at a time when not many people had power tools, so the books are well illustrated in how to use a planer, how to saw, how to solder, and many additional topics. BTW, being an illustrator most of my career, I particularly enjoy the thoroughness of the German artists as the illustrations are well done in composition and rendering. Makes me proud to call myself German although I have never made it to the homeland, but have traveled much in southern Europe mainly France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, and a few countries in the mid east.
I am Scot-Irish on my mother's side so that makes me a true Yank being German--Irish. Trivia is a favored past time so I read more than the average.
When I'm at my drawing board or easel or work bench I become so focused with a one-track mindset that the house could burn down and I may not notice it . . . except for the excess perspiration. I do believe in commitment. If one is going to accomplish any task set before them, they cannot be content with mediocrity and just get by.
I will make the 2nd run on my German Tree, but it is a real challenge due to the loss of hearing. I do have problems with the audio only. That brings up a question; why does Duolingo not have male voices in the lessons? Possibly I learned English from my mother and grandmother who both had higher pitched voices than the men in the family. Maybe children can relate more readily to the female voice. I'm no longer a young boy, and have been around a wide range of dialects and accents in the U.S.A..
Well, I do have some chores to get done so i'll bring this to a close. You take care and stay the course. Over and out. Viardi10
In my first high school, they taught 6 weeks of German, followed by 6 weeks of Spanish, and 6 weeks of French. I transferred schools after 8 weeks, and that school taught Spanish the whole time. I had 2 weeks, everyone else had 8, and it was such a disaster that it turned me off of languages for years.
A while back, I discovered Esperanto on the web. It caught my interest, but I didn't stick with it. Recently, it caught my interest again, and I also found Duolingo, and I'm giving it another try.
Same, at first I picked Latin but that was just hard and useless so I switched to spanish. I started like 4 days ago and I am 36% fluent
Well I am a Spanish speaker, and I live in Mexico. The English began to interest me when I was a child and I was watching a TV programme called "Alvin and the chipmunks", there they were speaking in Spanish but when they sing, they did it in English. That was my first experience with spoken English.
Later, because of the school they sent me to take an English course(Not free). So I went by my own will because I wanted to improve my English and interact with other English speakers, but when I finished that course. I felt like I wasn't good enough in the pronunciation and the listening aspects. So I decided to improve in those aspects.
When I discovered Duolingo I was not sure of using it, I didn't know it. But eventually I stayed here studying English and keeping my streak since then. So to improve in the pronunciation aspect, I studied the English pnonology, through Wikipedia, and I am memorizing the pronunciation of every word I learn here.
One day I discovered this game https://mope.io . And there I discovered that there were a lot of people speaking differents languages. (The most frequents that I saw were: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese). So now I am currently studying 14 languages to speak with those people. With the exceptions of Esperanto, German, Italian and Japanese. I have never found people speaking in those languages there. I am learning Japanese to read manga and watch anime.
HA. That is a weird game. What do all those language tag you wrote stand for?
So, I was about to start HS, and my mom said I needed to learn a foreign language because it was in the requirements for me to graduate (I am also homeschooled, by the way :)). At first, I wanted to learn ASL (American Sign Language) because my best friend was learning it, so I thought it would be fun to learn it so we could have conversations when we got together and no one would know what on earth we were saying lol. Well, back then, I wanted to go to college. I was set on going to college (even though probably a year before that I would have said I wasn't going to college). But my mom said that some colleges don't accept ASL as a foreign language, so I had to pick something else (its kinda funny cuz I actually could have taken ASL since I've decided not to go to college anymore lolol I'm so indecisive lol). So, I decided that I wanted to learn one of the original languages of the Bible. We did some research online to see what the original languages would have been, and three came up. Greek was in the list, as well as a language that I can't remember, and Hebrew. I wanted to learn the language that wasn't Greek or Hebrew, since ya know, it probably wasn't very common. But my mom said it would probably be very hard to find a curriculum that could teach that language. So, since Greek seemed so.....so....so known, I chose Hebrew. So we bought the curriculum and I started learning Hebrew from a book (a few books actually). At first, I was kinda learning. I could say some words, but couldn't understand any of the text! Then after a while, I just stopped retaining it. I did it for 2-3 years, and only made it halfway through the curriculum and could hardly say a sentence or remember more than basic words from when I first started. So, I guess it was because of that that my mom looked for an alternative (which I didn't know she was doing). So when the school year came back around again, she told me that instead of doing Hebrew from the books, I was to do Hebrew on Duolingo. So, day 1 came around, and I did a couple exercises on Duo, and guess what?! I was actually learning!!! And I still am!!! I can actually read the text now!! Not a whole lot yet cuz I'm not really that far, but I'm actually learning! I'm so so so thankful for Duolingo! It feels so good when you know you're actually learning something, especially when you spent years trying to learn it, but couldn't retain it. Duo makes it fun. Its not easy, but its fun, and I'm finally beginning to understand what I'm learning. It feels amazing!