https://www.duolingo.com/Angry_Mongoose

I seem to be learning nothing...

I am usually a quick learner, but I couldn't tell you for the life of me how to say 'she got into her car' in Spanish. It may be Doulingo is not a good language teaching website, or it may be I just can't understand anything. Has anyone else had/having this issue too? I have tried other websites such as Rosetta Stone, but nothing has seem to help. My parents want me to learn Spanish and I understand why, but it is so difficult for me. Any advice on how to learn better?

1 year ago

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/RobinV.
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It isn't that you "just can't understand anything"; it just takes a while! Your example sentence is in the past tense, it involves possession and pronoun use; it isn't actually simple and you shouldn't be hard on yourself for not being able to just come up with that if you aren't at that point yet. Not expecting too much too soon would be a good point from which to start.

Sometimes taking notes can help, and certainly practicing in your daily life can be very useful. I think about the language I'm focusing on a lot during the day. For example, when I make dinner, I will run through food vocabulary as I grab ingredients or explain what I'm doing to my dog, in that language. Often I don't know how to say just what I want, so I have to improvise and think of another way. I do this a little bit throughout the day. It's good exercise.

Watching tv or movies in Spanish will help a lot, too. Pick something you know well, and watch with Spanish audio and Spanish subtitles. This way, you know what is happening story-wise and won't get frustrated by that. This kind of immersion will help you get used to the flow of the language, and you'll find you start picking more words and phrases out of what you hear the more you do this.

Don't give up, if speaking Spanish is something you are willing to work for, you CAN do it! Practice, repetition, work, patience. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michael855818

I've found that I learn more on Duolingo, when I'm learning on a computer versus a mobile device. Also, you need to be around native speakers, or else you'd find yourself only being able to type in Spanish, and not speak it

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StevenWath
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Duolingo is more concerned with teaching you the basics of the grammar, not how to have a conversation. Once you know the rules for verbs, nouns, etc it is a simple thing to learn new words and use them.

'she got into her car' is in the past tense - for English speakers even present tense in Spanish can be pretty confusing. You need to work your way up to more complex topics. It takes a lot of time and practice to get comfortable with how the language works. Give it time.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
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^ You've had some really sensible responses, but this is a great summary. It takes time to get to grips with a new language, and Duolingo is about giving you a good grounding in vocabulary and grammar, not a phrasebook.

With the best will in the world, you have a two day streak and 130 XP, which amounts to 13 lessons. Of course you haven't learned much yet!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

I think you need to trust the program a bit more. Also, remember how long it really takes to learn a language. If you assume a 2-year old child speaks his/her native language, bear in mind that the child has spent 2 years at it. 365 days X 2 years X 12 hours per day = 8760 hours. If you spend 2 hours per day working at learning Spanish, it will take you 12 years to get up to the same amount of time as a 2-year old child has spent on it. You ARE learning very fast, but there is a LOT to learn!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/redneckray

You are a prisoner of your expectations.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/karinaakhan

I understand your issue. Why do we have to learn to say pointless things like 'I am a horse'? I guess the best you can do is make the most out of the vocab you learn, who knows it might help.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/volisvid
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The sentence isn't pointless. You're learning how to arrange and conjugate your vocabulary in different ways. If you know how to say, 'I am a..." then you can put that with any other ending you want. You're not expected to only memorize a phrase but how the phrase works and is put together so you can make your own sentences later on. They give you puzzle pieces but it's your job to build the puzzle.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NtateNarin
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I agree. Also, because the sentences seem so random at times, it prevents people from "guessing" what the ending is. For instance, if someone sees "I am a..." they can guess the answer is "boy," "girl," etc. and they don't really use their language skills. But Duolingo keeps people on their toes by having "horse" as the answer.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinV.
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The weird sentences are pretty strange, but I don't think they're pointless. When you get one, you aren't able to simply memorize a sentence you might use later, instead you're learning vocabulary and grammar. Later you can substitute in whatever you need to say, knowing that the sentence structure is working correctly for you.

Some interesting sentences show up, for sure! See https://twitter.com/shitduosays for some doozies!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/medievalmaide715

Much agreed.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Angry_Mongoose

Thank you for your advice, it is appreciated :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/volisvid
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It sounds like the problem is not with the services you're using but with you. If your heart isn't really into it and you're doing it to make someone else happy, then it's going to be a lot harder for you. I wish you the best of luck.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlHut
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ella se subio a su auto.......haaaa, couldnt resist. Seriosly tho, I feel the same often. The DL club has been really good for my motivation, and is very fun with nice people sharing the same goal. (shout out) Veilen dank, alex...toller Gastgeber. The times I suprise myself , motivates me to continue. The punchline is , hang in there, your not alone .
Good luck Angry_Mongoose

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NtateNarin
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Don't worry too much as it happens to me as well. I think a good reason why this happens is because we constantly translate Spanish to English, instead of English to Spanish. Having to translate to Spanish is much harder, and sadly, it's not done as much.

I wish you the best in your Spanish, Angry_Mongoose!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tammythree

Oh, I can’t say much, but I can read at the b2 level. I’m building my vocabulary through reading. Later I will speak. There’s not much you can say at this point, but don’t be discouraged.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Liza80400
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I know how you feel, but the more time you put into it, the more you understand. You might not notice it, but you do learn. To be honest, Duolingo alone will not allow you to speak Spanish. Try flashcards on Quizlet, or Clozemaster, or fluentu. The one thing that really helped my Spanish improve was watching shows in Spanish. At first, I watched them with English audio and Spanish subtitles, and read the subtitles as I heard the English, but that stopped working for me after a while. I bought a notebook, and put the subtitles and audio in Spanish when I was watching a show on Netflix, and everytime there was a word I didn't know, I used google translate to translate the Spanish into the English, and wrote the words down. It was really slow at first, because you don't know much, but slowly I began to understand more, and I didn't need to google so many words anymore. I couldn't say anything in Spanish six months ago! It just takes time, and you'll get there soon enough. Good luck, your'e doing well. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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VLC media player is a cool video program which let's you search and auto download syncronized subtitle .SRT files

for native or syncronized target audio, e.g videos on the net ripped from DVDs/Bluerays but missing subtitle files.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/medievalmaide715

I suggest taking notes on past tense if you wish to remember better. Mine are here: https://imgur.com/wkRAPof

These helped me a lot with learning past tense conjugations.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PacquiaoLe1

I have just one word for you. Fsi-spanish-basic-course, made by the united states government

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sdunn03
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okay please listen to me, OP. I started seriously learning spanish one year ago. ONE YEAR. I have also been LIVING in spain since august. I am not nearly as fluent as people who started learning 4 months ago. It's extremely difficult, okay? But you are not incapable of learning Spanish. It might be insanely difficult, but you CAN do it.

Download the app called tandem. Make spanish speaking friend who don't know english and translate all of their messages and then translate yours back, forcing yourself to slowly learn. Listen to your favorite shows on Netflix but turn on Spanish audio or subtitles. I'm sorry i am typing so much but im just so passionate about it.

I'm not even fluent myself.. or close.. after learning for one year and living here for a year. Now that I think about it I dont even know how to say she got into the car. But it slowly comes. You are capable. If you want it, you can do it.

But please do not feel bad or dumb that it is so difficult for you, I have given up sooo many times because I feel like I learn Spanish slower than everyone else. I am also writing this to motivate myself. DO IT

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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Have you tried Lingvist for Spanish?

You could join my Lingvist "end of 2017 year challenge" for Spanish: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/25606961

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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To get DuoLingo's "big tree language picture", you need to be IMHO patient: I would say it takes you +-1 year.

DuoLingo won't teach you how to "speak and write" in Spanish in 90-180 days!
Not for your EN-SP forward tree at this time!

It will teach you reading Spanish and grammar and translation into English.

There are other courses like:

  • 100days "50 languages" www.50languages.com with some nice/longer sentences/phrases (also available on Memrise; but you need additional scripts to make use of it)

  • "Hacking Spanish in 90 days" (also available on Memrise)

  • or Mondly www.mondlylanguages.com with their many different themes (e.g restaurant, doctor, airport, etc.) which go the other route than DuoLingo

There are even Spanish online university courses which you can enroll...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/brandonyu
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For you to speak Spanish, you must practice speaking it. It can be to yourself or better if it is towards a learner (i.e. iTalki via Skype) or any Spanish speaker. It may be a short conversation or a long one and you might mix in some English or some body language and gestures but the main thing is you will start to use Spanish in conversation and not writing it on the computer. -- For those phrases you are wondering about, jot them down in a notebook and ask it to a Spanish speaker. Once you find someone who can answer that question, then you can tell them a story around it and how or why you would use it. This is to remember it better.

I've probably had to have the same introductory conversation one hundred times over three months before it started to come out with ease. Once I had that down, I could concentrate on other structures (or language situations).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
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How are you doing the lessons? If you have trouble remembering the Spanish and you do each lesson only once,, probably you have to do each lesson more than once. Duolingo is set up so that you're not taught the grammar, but rather you repeat similar sentences until your brain figures out the grammar and absorbs the words on its own. For most of us, this means plenty of repetition is necessary. You could try these methods to see if they work for you:

  • Write down (accurately) in a notebook every sentence you get wrong, and after a lesson, write out by hand each of these sentences 3 times each, saying them aloud as you do so. Then go back and try the lesson again. Later on in the day, or sometime the next day, try the lesson again, to see how much you have remembered after some time has passed, and practice the sentences you do not remember until you do.

  • do each skill (= group of lessons) by repeating each lesson until you get all the questions right, without using your mouse to peek, before you move on to a new lesson. It's kind of extreme and can be rather boring, but it does work. Then do the "Strengthen" exercises at the end until you can do that without mistakes. If that is just too boring or slow, try to get as close as possible to 100% right.

Both of these things probably will slow you down, at least at first. They can be somewhat boring. But as you continue with them, you'll begin to remember the Spanish and you'll also speed up, so that studying this way will be fairly easy.

There have been several other good suggestions. Keep trying things out until you find a method that works for you. Whatever you do, don't give up! You have learned English already, and there's no reason you can't learn Spanish. You just need to figure out what are the right learning techniques for you.

Good luck!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Murtaza798608

The most serious problem with translating something like "she got into her car" is that it would not be a literal translation many times.

I can understand "got" to mean received or got.

The verbs are simple... recibir > recibió conseguir > consiguió

However, "got" in this case doesn't mean that she received or acquired an item...

Quick ways that my brain would translate it: ella se entró en su coche. ella fue dentro/adentro de su coche.

What's going on here is that the sentence seems passive to me...

the object was ordered... they were killed... mistakes were made...

This is strictly for translation purposes (literal). First you must make sure that none of the words you're translating from are figurative or idiomatic...

We already know that "got into" is an idiomatic construction. It will get lost this way without a more intelligent translation. What you mean to say is she entered her car, she went inside her car, or something else like this...

The next step is to realize that you're translating from a passive voice.

You need a little se in your life when you're trying to make passive expressions in Spanish...

Finally, you're talking about past tense... you're talking about an abstract "got into" ... and you're talking about... a passive phraseology...

Almost nobody on here would produce a correct translation within 10 seconds... for the internet... far less in real conversation... UNLESS they knew an idiomatic expression by memory... or they had conquered an idiomatic way of expressing the idea...

Hacer, poner, meter, caer... too many idioms from these words... with much time and effort required to appreciate their uses...

1 year ago
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