Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/aukejw

Surprised at how well I could understand Spanish.

aukejw
  • 15
  • 5
  • 2

I befriended a Mexican guy a few weeks back, and we had a few conversations in English. For some reason, it didn't occur to me that we could have a Spanish conversation as well. Then, a week ago, I ran into him again, and he was speaking in (Mexican, probably) Spanish..

I could understand nearly everything he said! This surprised me. I have audio excercises enabled, but I'd always thought that I'd become good at reading/translating, and that my conversational skills would be lacking. Of course, they still are lacking, and I should practice more. Pero puedo te comprender si hablas lentamente. (Is this sentence correct? sure hope so. EDIT: go for comprenderte/te puedo comprender instead).

Moral of the story: If you know someone who speaks the language you want to learn, ask him/her to speak in this language. If you know the basics, you might just understand more than you think you will.

P.S. Finished my tree today! Hurra!

4 years ago

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/quefaselbotch

Pero si hablas lentamente TE puedo comprender. Pero TE puedo comprender si hablas lentamente. The pronoun has to go before the first verb, if not then you will have to conjugate the second verb, with the write pronoun, and sentence. puedo comprenderTE, at the end, or TE puedo comprender, but never in the middle of two verbs. I think the best word for the sentence is ENTENDER = understand, COMPRENDER = comprehend, very little difference, but is there.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aukejw
aukejw
  • 15
  • 5
  • 2

Thanks, good to know! And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm still learning.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittySch

I'm fairly positive the subjunctive and conditional need to be used in the if clause sentence: Pero si hables/hablaras lentamente, te podria comprender. Or with the DO after the comprender infinitive: Pero si hables/hablaras lentamente, podria comprenderte. I really, really think the sentence should be constructed such as one of the ones I just wrote out because it's an if clause, it needs subjunctive!

Does no one else see this error?? You guys are making me think I'm crazy, but I know it's right.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
DeanG6
  • 21
  • 12
  • 9
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 228

It depends on what the speaker wants to say. The present tense in this case sounds fine to me. It isn't hypothetical; it's a simple if-then statement. -- Pero te puedo entender si hablas lentamente. -- But I am able to understand you if you speak slowly. -- Pero si hablas lentamente te puedo entender. -- But if you speak slowly I can understand you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jnwhitmer

Hi ! So you have two choices: "si hablaras lentamente, te podria comprender" : if you spoke (were to speak) slowly, I could understand you. Or " si hablas lentamente, te puedo entender" : if you speak slowly, I can understand you. The first suggests that the speaker currently does not/ is not speaking slowly. The second suggests that perhaps the speaker has spoken slowly at some other time, and the listener does understand or has understood the speaker in the past. Btw, not all " if clauses " use the subjunctive, and the present subjunctive is never used in an if clause. Hope this helps!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittySch

Yes, very helpful. I was for some reason under the impression that all if clauses used subjunctive. Is how you explained it the same in english as well?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Persikov

Obviously, English doesn't have much of a subjunctive left, but yes, the languages paralell each other completely.

Cuando hablas en húngaro, no te entiendo. When you speak Hungarian, I don't understand you.

Si hablas en húngaro, no te entenderé / voy a entender. If you speak Hungarian, I won't understand you.

Si hablaras en húngaro, no te entendería. If you spoke / were to speak in Hungarian, I wouldn't understand you.

Si hubieras/ses hablado en húngaro, no te habría/hubiera entendido. If you had spoken in Hungarian, I wouldn't have understood you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pauline22_2

Congrats! I think that your sentence is correct but I would have said "comprenderte"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
Eey91Plus
  • 25
  • 25
  • 25
  • 22
  • 19
  • 9
  • 2
  • 63

Congratulations. Hope you can continue to improve each day, the only thing you cannot stop doing is practicing every time you can. Felicitaciones por tu arbol, un saludo desde Colombia.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RayWoods

Le o Te. Could you say?: Pero si habla lentamente puedo comprenderle.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittySch

NO, close but if you're using usted instead of tu form (formal instead of informal) you would use lo or la depending on if usted is a female or male because lo and la are direct object pronouns which take the place of direct objects where as le is an indirect object pronoun and can only take the place of an indirect object such as in english we use whom for indirect object so le can only take the place where whom would fit. Also, I mentioned this just now at top, but in an if clause you have to use the a subjunctive form and then the conditional form. So, if you were to talk to used instead of tu, you would say: Pero si hable/hablara lentamente, lo/la podria comprender (a usted). Or you could say: Pero si hable/hablara lentamente, (a usted) podria comprenderlo/comprenderla. Either of those would be correct.

That was a really good question though!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/k9whspr

My boyfriend is a natural speaker. We are heading for Mexico this weekend for 4 days and I've asked him to speak to me in Spanish as much as possible. Wish me luck! Thanks for the tip.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/catcampion

I started having my (Central American) cleaning woman speak (mostly) Spanish with me. It's helping a lot, we are growing closer (we already adore each other), and I'm getting more bang for my buck - cleaning + language practice! Also, the three houses closest to mine, in Hollywood, are all occupied by people who immigrated from Mexico. The more I attempt Spanish with them, the more neighborly they become. Win-win!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/catcampion

Ha - someone down-voted my efforts to learn Spanish with the native Spanish-speakers in my life!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittySch

That seems like an odd thing to vote down! I feel it's good to practice with anyone that speaks the language you're working on, always helps to really speak someone!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bertadee

Congratulations!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LavenderLove

Congratulations!! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karina_Sol

Felicidades, Spanish is a wonderful language .. i am trying to improve my English taking the course Spanish from English..

Yo soy de Mexico pero vivo en Texas, i think my Mexican Spanish is great! lol

Tu de donde eres?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittySch

I'm fairly positive the question should read: "De donde eres tu?" In spanish the subject goes after the verb in a question!

Pero, soy de Texas tambien, aunque he vivido en Nuevo Mexico por los seis anos. Sin embargo, voy a regresar a mi estado, Texas este proximo domingo!! Whoohoo!!! Pues, de donde eres tu en Texas? He vivido en muchos lugares en Texas (y en Nuevo Mexico tambien), pero mi hogar es ATX. Es la unica ciudad que es padre en Texas, IMO!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karina_Sol

Talves si cuando alguien domina un idioma comete muchas faltas de ortografia y creo que eso me pasa tambien como ustedes el ingles lo hablan aveces no correctamente o al escribirlo tambien escriben erroneo, lo bueno es que se comprendio :) yo vivo en la frontera con Mexico talves y no conozcas la Cuidad por que es muy chica, se llama Eagle Pass

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittySch

En realidad, yo tenia un amigo de Eagle Pass muchos anos atras, Mark Benevides, pero no se que lo pasa a el. Pero yo no nunca he estado alli. Yo he vivido en Austin tx,, League City tx que esta un poco sur de houston en Galveston County, Longview tx aproximadamente una hora este de dallas, Nixon tx un chicitito pueblo casi una media hora sur de san antonio cerca de seguin, Huntsville tx (donde yo naci y vivia como un bebe), Socorro NM, Belen NM, y ahorita estoy en Albuquerque NM. Entonces siempre habia podido practicar mi espanol con mexicanos en todos de estes lugares. Y ahora estoy saliendo con un chicano quien no sabe nada espanol! Voy a ensenarle a el espanol, porque sus padres hablan espanol pero el, nada!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittySch

Y si, acabo de hacer un error en ingles que yo se la manera correcta escribirlo pero solamente lo hago por accidente!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittySch

No puedo esperar para mi vuelta a tx y especialmente a atx! Me falta mucho mi hogar de atx! Pero primero, tengo que poner mis cosas en muchas cajas y tambien tengo que limpiar esta casa muy bien.... Es una pesadilla! Pero en una semana, estare en atx, ahhhh!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Karina_Sol

Asi pasa aveces, y te gusta haber vivivo en muchos lugares? lo bueno es que conoces mucha gente, y tambien conozco personas que sus hablas son hispanohablantes y ellos no saben nada de espanol, algunas veces por que se averguenzan del idioma y de su cultura.. es lo que yo he visto en esas personas que conozco

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KittySch

Si, a veces me gusta haber vivido en muchos lugares, pero estoy lista para estar en mi hogar otra vez, a menor por un rato. Y luego, no se adonde irei. Queiro vivir en un otro pais, como Brasil o en un alguno otro pais en America del Sur o Centroamerica, pero tendria que ahorrar mucho dinero para esto. Quizzas un dia! Y si conozco mucha gente especialimente en atx, pero aqui en albuquerque no conozco mucha gente. Tengo unos pocos amigos aqui. Es un razon que yo quiero regresar a atx tanto! Me faltan mis amigos alli!! Y mi familia tambien! Mi novio dice que no quiere aprender espanol, pero el sabe que es importante a mi y entonces es importante a el. El es tan amable!! Y el debe querer aprender espanol para hablar con la familia de el!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TiffanyMarie12

Congrats! Your going to be a fantastic Spanish speaker!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PERCE_NEIGE
PERCE_NEIGE
  • 22
  • 19
  • 13
  • 9
  • 9
  • 6
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2

Congrats! You learned "passively"!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mrmandias

Te felicito.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/johaquila
johaquila
  • 16
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 10
  • 8

This seems to depend on the language. For some languages, such as Spanish, Italian, Hungarian and I believe also Mandarin this works very well. For others, such as French or Catalan, you need a lot of practice before you can understand real people.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/juliestarling

Congrats!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cinpidipi

yo hablo español como hago para regresar a mi cuenta a la normalidad

4 years ago