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How do you keep yourself motivated?

Sometimes it is very hard to keep motivated but I try to find fun ways to learn my languages.

This Christmas for me was one of the worst, my grandma got taken to the hospital and put in the ICU the 21st, I spent Christmas dinner in the hospital cafeteria and by the 27th she was looking better but then everything went south and she passed away yesterday. She was my last grandparent. So as you can imagine, I have had to take a break completely from everything. But I am trying to motivate myself to get back into it because it helps me cope.

So what are some fun ways you learn and what do you do when difficult situations arise that make it hard to keep motivated?

December 30, 2017



I am so sorry about your grandmother.

There are many ways to keep motivated, but it sounds to me like you are in the middle of grieving and need comfort. My condolences, and kind thoughts with you in these difficult days.

Practicing on Duolingo is a nice relief, I think, but do not be hard on yourself.


Thank you, it has been a hard few weeks. In all honesty I have taken her death fairly well because she lived a long and full life. It's just the fact that she was my last grandparent took a toll on me.

I sometimes get bored with Duolingo or at least doing French because I know French really well and it gets harder and harder for me to find good resources that keep me learning.


Thank you so much for these resources! I will definitely check them out.


I am so sorry for your loss.

Things have their own rhythm. Even without such a major issue as an illness or death in the family, it can be hard to maintain motivation. Don’t be hard on yourself, and know it’s ok to take a break. I’ve taken many breaks from Italian on and off over the years, but I always enjoy returning to it. No one requires you to stay on a treadmill forever. Stop, rest, and return.


Thank you, I guess for me I use language learning as a way to cope with the loss. I'm not necessarily hard on myself, it is often what keeps me moving. It's just for French it's becoming harder to find resources that are at my level so I feel like I'm not improving so it's getting harder to keep myself motivated. I have taken a break for a few days already and that makes it harder for me to cope. When I'm doing languages I handle loss better than I do without them.


I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you are getting that a lot, but I truly mean it. I lost two loved ones this month. One, we thought he had died years ago, but somehow, he was just in hiding. But, then we got the news that he actually passed this month. The other one ended their own life, so then there's the guilt to deal with. Even more, the anniversary of my sister's death was yesterday, so it has been a mournful December and Christmas. I'm sorry you have to endure the same thing with your grandmother. My grandmother also died this year, so I understand your pain.

As for motivation...? Well, whatever is left in me, it is still going strong, I guess. Sometimes, I write poetry in different languages as a way to release the pain and actively practice my target languages. So, that makes me want to learn even more. Listening to music or watching videos in my target languages always helps. It encourages me to actually reach some level of fluency.

But, do you know what really helps? Sitting alone in my room and just... Contemplating. On my goals, on my life. My future. This can be bad because I have a tendency to wallow in despair (which is a habit I hate of myself) when I think about the future. However, if you try to find the joys in your goals, the path that led you to where you are now, and possibly where you want to be... You may find motivation through your ordeals.

Not exactly a "fun" method, but if you're an introvert like me, it's simply bliss~

I hope you find peace, my friend. ^ ^


Don't hate that habit, meditate!!


I don't really meditate, I just... Think. I sit in my room and stare off into nothingness. I detach myself at will, allowing my thoughts to encompass the space of my environment. I push out the sounds and objects of my surroundings until I am simply lost and alone with my thoughts. Actually, if you saw me in this process, you would think I was crazy!

I only hate it when my dark thoughts take over, but every now and then, I can find a glimmer of hope through the sorrow. ^ ^

(Now that I think about it, I suppose that is mediating... But, it feels different, somehow...)


writing poetry in the language you are studying is a wonderful idea!


Thank you, I am so sorry for your losses as well. It is always easier for me to handle my grandparents than to handle suicides. All of my grandparents lived a fairly long and happy life. One of them died when I was really young so I barely remember him and another lost the ability to speak when I was young but lived until I was well into high school. And the grandma I just lost, had a good life. I accept that it was her time. I think it just hit home to realize she was the last one.

And I may try these, thank you! I've been having a hard time finding resources that challenge my French abilities because I am so advanced, I have a tendency to get bored with the easier stuff. But I also know that language learning is what helps me cope.

And you aren't alone on the contemplating/thinking, I do that too. It is like meditation. Annnd I have had the habit of wallowing in despair too. But sometimes it is good to think about why you are upset and face it.

I am a complete introvert so I understand.


Acceptance is good. The healing is sure to come next, but just give it time. It's good that you keep your grandparents alive by seeing value in their lives. I'm sure they would appreciate how you keep them in your thoughts. ^ ^

And wow, we have so much in common, it's crazy!


I know, I keep reading your posts and going, "Do I have a long lost sibling that I was never told about?" xD


So sorry for your loss Lieuyaven.

You never "get over" the loss of a loved one, you just adjust to it.

Be kind to yourself at this difficult time.

I understand how a "gentle" learning routine on Duolingo may perhaps help to soothe your sorrow.

But then, again your grieving might take you on another road...

Best wishes.

Bonne continuation avec vos études!


Merci beaucoup Marie, my grandmother lived a good life and she fully enjoyed it. I accept that it was her time. I think it just hit home because she was my last grandparent. I have had to learn to cope with loss before, and for me it just helps to learn languages.


I am sorry about lost. Grieving takes time and energy, do what you can but take care of yourself first.


I like to have different types of activities for different motivation levels. When I'm not feeling that interested in doing language study, I do the easy stuff. For example, I can watch movies with English subtitles even when I don't feel like studying languages. I'm still learning, but it's fun. I use the Chrome extension Flip Word to review Japanese while I'm browsing in English. That doesn't feel like study at all. That's just there. I can do as much or as little as I like. I might not want to do anything, but I'm always tempted to answer one question or look at one word. Sometimes, in order to get started, I will start a Duolingo lesson that I know really well. After that , I often feel like doing something more challenging.

Sometimes you just need to take a break. You don't need to study all the time. As long as your break is not too long, you won't forget what you have learned. In fact, I have found that taking a break can sometimes improve my learning. Set a time limit for your break, and then allow yourself the time to grieve. I hope that you will soon feel like studying your languages again.


This was super helpful, thank you so much for posting this. I have rarely had to take very many days off from language learning because it helps me cope with my grief.


Just before, I'd just like to say that I'm sorry for your loss. I've lost all my grandparents too so I know how it feels and I know how hard it is to deal with.

To be honest, I know people have different ways of coping but if you can't feel motivated enough to practise language learning it's probably best that you take a short break from it. With this type of situation you eventually do begin to start coping, I became really depression after my nan died but I eventually managed to start coping and trust me - eventually you do start to handle it.If I were you I'd probably take a break from language learning and try and stay close to your family.

But if you really do want to continue doing some Duolingo I'd recommend just continue your language learning as normal. A good source of motivation I have is listening to natives, getting to like the sound of the language and eventually you'll think "Damn, one day I'd like to speak like that."


Thank you, I am sorry about your nan. For me, I have accepted that she lived a long, happy life. It just hit home that she was my last grandparent. I lost my best friend to suicide and that hurt me more than any of my family members ever did. I learned a lot about how I cope with grief after his passing. For me it just happens to be through language learning.


Hi , I am so sorry to hear of your loss at this time of year and can understand your loss of interest. I am sure your grandma will be proud of you for your progress and would want you to carry on. It will be a new year in a few days so give yourself a goal to continue and not waste all your good efforts. Your post has encouraged me not to give up as I too have lost interest as upon reaching 40 Percent fluent I am finding it difficult and feeling somewhat despondent. However as my gran used to say onwards and upwards..... keep going


Thank you so much, I think I will try to set some language related goals for the new year that might help me. I wish you luck with your language endeavors as well.


Grief is the price we pay for love.
For motivation, I do other programs as well. Try Lingvist and Memrise. Both have native speakers at the end of some lessons. Truly makes you speak better and practice speaking well. Also, free!! Bonne chance.


Merci beaucoup, I had bad luck with Memrise when it was first coming out I need to try it again. I have had a hard time finding resources that challenge me enough in French.


Wow now we can be grandparentsless twins. Sry about ur loss.


Learning Irish for me is a wonderful exploration of where I came from. That keeps me going.

Etymology is a rabbit hole that stirs the imagination. For example, why is the meaning and pronunciation of my very own name (sean- 'old' or 'ancient') the same in Irish, Hebrew, and Sanskrit? Those seemingly unrelated languages share many other words. Studying our past foretells our future.

I also enjoy working out silly Irish proverbs and finding strange untranslated books in Irish to test myself. Economically, Irish is pretty useless. But it definitely enriches my life.


This made me smile, thank you for posting this. I have always had that same sort of wonder for languages, I just tend to get lost in everything and forget.

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