Lessons learned at 700 days!
Hi all! Just wanted to share some insight on the language learning process over the last 700 days...
Slow and steady wins the race. I know there are people out there who plan on spending 3 hours a day studying languages when they first start studying a new language. Maybe it was a resolution? Motivation comes and goes from day to day and from week to week. It's great to be motivated to get 1000 points of study on duo. If you feel like studying that much that is super. But don't make that your daily goal. Make 10 points your daily goal, and do the minimum in such a manner that it isn't even a major part of your day. I often tell people to do a lesson when they wake up each morning and another before going to bed. I take my phone into the bathroom and do a lesson or two while indisposed. You can punch out a lesson while on break at work or smoking a cigarette. If you're eating alone, get another lesson. We can all find regular times every day to get enough practice in even when we don't feel super motivated. And when you feel like really putting the pedal to the metal, you won't feel like you've been away too long.
You need to love (or at least like) the language you're learning. If you haven't found something to like or a reason that resonates with you for learning a language then you will be less likely to become fluent in that language. We can all talk ourselves out of a language, but staying on course requires the right mindset. If you plan on too much too fast like in #1 or just don't like what you're doing you'll make yourself miserable. So learn for the right reason.
Duo is a great first step! Don't let it be the only one you take! I am grateful always for duolingo and how awesome it is! And it's free! Can't say enough how awesome duo is. But if you want to speak a language, you need to grow out of duo and start talking to natives! There are apps out there for just this purpose! There might also be local groups that you can attend and practice face-to-face conversation. Nothing makes your mind work overtime mastering a language like a person talking to you that expects a response from you!
Don't be afraid of making mistakes! Most of us are adults or at least teens. One thing we hate is making a mistake and get called on it! Most of us would rather shrivel up and die than to face being corrected for making a simple language error. And yet children get corrected regularly, barely care, and master a language. So instead of being afraid of mistakes, boldly make them! Learn using the best methods of speaking boldly like a child with the study habits of an adult.
Don't ever believe you can't learn a language or it's too hard or you don't have a knack for it. You learned your mother tongue didn't you? Keep in mind that if your language acquisition doesn't seem to be working, maybe you should work on your methods and find what works before giving up. What works for me might not work for you. Change up your routines until you find what works for you.
Have fun! Language learning (like most types of learning) works best when you enjoy what you're doing. So don't forget to have fun. Enjoy the challenge, enjoy the insights learning another language gives you into your own language. See movies and listen to music in other languages. Watch videos on YouTube. These are sneaky ways of enjoying learning so make sure you avail yourself of media in your target language.
You can take over the world with lingots! Ok I don't have enough yet, obviously, or you would all be doing my bidding! Mwahahahaha! Send me lingots or else! Ok just kidding.
Just some things off the top of my head I wanted to share. Please share your tips as well. I look forward to hearing from you also!
That's one righteous streak you've got going there yourself Ms Katrina! So resources outside of duo in no particular order:
Conversationexchange.com - great for long-term language partners.
WhatsApp/Skype - common choices of connection used by conversationexchange members.
HelloTalk - awesome app matches you with native speakers of your target language. You're also the native speaker of another's target language.
Meetup - both website and app. Great resource if language groups are available in your area.
HiNative - just for asking language related questions.
Google translate - great app to have on tap.
Memrise - flash card app with an awesome selection of courses available in so many languages!
Dictionaries - several out there so I won't name a specific one. As long as it can show full conjugation tables it's golden!
Lyricstranslate.com - user driven community with translations of THOUSANDS of songs in dozens of languages. Superb resource for finding out the lyrics of that foreign song you just found and LOVE! But OMG what are they saying?
YouTube - this one's obvious but I'll list anyways. So much great content in so many languages! Including songs that you'll need lyricstranslate.com for!
Radio FM - Internet radio feeds from around the world grouped by country.
While I don't use every resource every day, I have used each of these at different times. There's more out there too!
(As for taking over the world we'll have to discuss that in private ;)