It's hard to learn a language with just Duolingo. Do you agree/disagree? What else do you need?
Trying to pick up Spanish, wondering the best compliment to using this app :) What else should I be doing, or is using the app going to be enough?
Well, Duolingo is the main helper in learning a language. After completing Duolingo, you could start using the language. You can do that by reading, writing, speaking and listening in Spanish. Every so often, come back to Duolingo and practice the words that you might need to work on. Keep using the language so you don't forget it.
One on one with a native speaker and immersion is the ideal. If you could move to Mexico, Spain or another Spanish speaking locale and had access to a patient native speaker, you could be fluent in a few months if you truly immersed yourself!
I think that making a habit of listening to real Spanish (or whatever language you are working with) a bit every day is a smart thing to do. Music, radio, TV shows, youtube videos or whatever you want. And don't focus on trying to understand anything to begin with. It's just for the sake of becoming used to hearing the language used in a natural, authentic and (more or less) correct manner. After a while, as you progress, you will of course start understanding more of what you hear. As that starts to happen, you could begin focusing more on trying to understand it, make it part of practising the language.
Music is the greatest option in my opinion, given you can find something you really enjoy listening to, and that has real and good lyrics. I've found that on a more advanced level, it's really fun to try and challenge myself to keep up with rap lyrics, even though I don't really like to listen to rap. It's just that (good) rap goes pretty fast, and has a lot of cool slang and creative language that is fun to pick up and use. Have to mind that it might be rather obscene though, depending on the artist.
Well, what I'm suggesting here is a way to immerse though. It's not the same as situating yourself in a Spanish-speaking area or community, sure, but if that's not possible, using media can go a long way. This is something I believe you can and should do from day one of learning the language.
Real conversations are of course extremely helpful and valuable, more so than pretty much anything else. However, in order to have an actual, productive conversation going you need to have learned at least a good deal of vocab and basic grammar, in addition to pronounciation and listening skills. Having gotten a solid amount of good audio input will come in extremely handy then.
I'm not a fan of 'jumping right in' with a less than 100-word vocab and no listening practise. Making a bazillion mistakes, and failing to understand 90% of the what people say to you is just awkward and painful for everyone involved. Some people can make that work for themselves, though. Perhaps that has more to do with personality than anything else. If you laugh and smile a lot, you're talking a language everyone knows, you know...
Well, that's what I think at least!
My favorite Spanish resources other than Duolingo:
SpanishDict.com's free video lessons https://www.spanishdict.com/learn/courses
Extr@ en Espanol (on YouTube)
Some folks like "Destinos" but I never got into it
News in Slow Spanish podcast https://www.newsinslowspanish.com/
Spanish Radio Canal 5 on rtve.es http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/live_radio_PopUp.shtml
The unofficial Wiki has a ton of additional resources:
To me, it makes sense to start with Duolingo and the SpanishDict video lessons. Duolingo makes repetition fun, while SpanishDict is great at explaining the grammar. They complement each other well.
After learning some basic vocabulary, maybe around the time you start learning past tense, I would start looking for conversation partners. IMO there's not a lot you can converse about until you know some basic verbs and nouns.
It's at this time that I would also start listening to the radio or watching my favorite movie with the Spanish soundtrack enabled. You won't understand a lot, but you'll begin to be able to pick out familiar words here and there. Spanish is a phonetic language, which means you can write and pronounce words even if you don't know what they mean. You could start using the LyricsTraining website about now. You could try Extr@ en Espanol now, too. If it's too hard, wait a while. Oh, and definitely check out Destinos. I didn't care for it because I waited too long and found it boring but most folks love it.
Keep progressing through Duolingo and SpanishDict. When you lose motivation, change things up by working with practice partners, listening to radio/video, or doing LyricsTraining, Extr@, and Destinos.
When you've completed the course, branch out and read some books, watch some YouTube videos, visit websites (especially ones with short video clips, like news websites). Keep listening to the radio, and watch more movies. Try a TV show online.
how would you suggest getting a conversation partner? somone else who is trying to learn the same language as me and we're similar levels? or try and speak with native speakers?
Surely, it's hard to learn any language just with "anything". It doesn't matter if it's Duolingo or any other stuff (or activity), a language is a process. We're always learning, so we never learn The Language with just one material, course, travel, etc. Never, we're always learning with everything! And of course, there's the problem itsefl of what really is "learning a language"
At the beginning I only used duolingo. Now, I listen to podcasts as well, and wish I had started doing so earlier in my learning. I highly recommend Notes in Spanish, Inspired beginners, and also Coffee Break Spanish. I also watch alot of kids shows. Plaza Sesamo (spanish Sesame street) and Pokoyo are my favourites, as they have a educational focus. I also recommend bookmarking a few sites such as thoughtco.com and www.lawlessspanish.com as sometimes the duolingo notes can be a bit sparse, and it is nice to have some more in depth grammer explanations. Tiny cards is nice for vocabulary review. Personally, I like using a variety of resources.
I have not tried to have any in person conversations so I can’t say. My main goal is just to read books in Spanish, so being conversational is not high on my personal priority list. I try to immerse myself by reading Spanish, listening to spanish music, doing activities I might normally do in english (like yoga) in Spanish. I don’t think I could have a conversation in spanish, with someone speaking at a normal pace, but I have never tried. However, if you do want to speak, I have heard people have alot of success through language exchange apps.. or meetups if your town has them. Good luck!
It’s easy to learn using Duolingo, what’s hard is figuring out what to do with that knowledge.
After Duolingo simple phrases won’t be hard, and grammar will be relatively easy, but more demanding situations that need advanced vocabulary and rarer grammar will require more study. Duolingo’s goal is a B1 (lower intermediate) fluency level in their languages.
Unless your memory of grammar from high school grammar is pretty solid, you will probably need to supplement Duolingo with resources that cover any grammar points that are confusing you.
The Duo app? No.
You better use the (full desktop) web portal = typing on a computer
read the "tips and notes" (which you can not on the mobile app!).
Tapping makes 0,0 sense to strengthen skills and review words (3rd party flashcards like Memrise, AnkiSRS). Neither does multiple-choice.
Tapping gives way too many hints...
Thomas, you are most likely right about the App, BUT it is very handy to fill in a few minutes while you wait somewhere or have five minutes with a coffee.
As long as you have good WiFi access though, you can use a phone even to access DL on the web, my cheap Android smartphone does well at that and I find I use the App less and less each week!
And the full website portal more and more :-)
how much do you like the touchscreen on-screen keyboards?
Do they work good enough for having to type sentences?
Such a shame that Blackberry OS and phones went downhill.
I still have this BB9780 with the smaller screen, no-touch but cute little hardware keyboard (no slider, perfect feel, used it in RC forums and writing longer texts).
I can hold the phone pretty good in my hand without any CG problems (e.g two hands).
But it's based on the old Blackberry OS 6 or 7 hybrid (Java) where almost no apps, especially language apps, have been developed for a longer time since IOS and Android dominates the market since years.
I think the phone display would need to be a little bit bigger....and the (unsupported) BB OS and browser should not crash (but it does because of a very nasty bug which is not fixed).
I know there have been bigger smartphone devices with some hardware keywords around, or Android phones for landscape mode and a hardware keyboard on the 2nd flippable bottom panel....
Looks like those available smarthone phones with a hardware keywords are end of life (EOL), not up-to-date hardware (e.g Octa CPU, lot's of RAM).....
This is really sad.
I think I could make a really good use for a good smarthone (nice CG) with a hardware keyboard...preferably in the landscape mode.
Good, that makes it much easier. Any type of exposure will be good. Listening comprehension is going to be your biggest challenge. Watch Spanish TV programs and use Netflix. There are a bunch of programs where you can use Spanish audio with either English or Spanish subtitles. Duolingo will take you a long ways in reading and writing Spanish.
i am living in spain and i am studing spain language with duolingo. Before to start with duolingo i have studied spain language by a grammar and then with duolingo. I had complete the tree in one mounth . I think that it is impossible to learn without a minimum of grammar mainly with a language with verbs that need to be coniugated. Anyway i am using also busuu that give you a minimum of grammar and the spain people said that i speak well.
Ah, i think you have a great set up to learn. You learn with these apps, and then you are immersed for the rest of the day. very cool! how much do you think being immersed helps?
To be immersed help me for the pronuntation and it give me a sort of push in order to force myself to learn but anyway without grammar would be been imposible to speak correctly.Consider that i am italian and duolingo for study spanish is in english, this help me to study two language in the same time and also for english i need section of grammar to improve my knowledge. I think that Duo is the best in order to fix vocabulary and words and it help a lot for excercise .
I've probably said this about 50,000 times, but the best source I have found for learning how to speak a language is Pimsleur CDs. You can buy them on Amazon or Ebay or borrow them from your local library. I used Memrise a lot to reinforce the vocabulary I have used on Duolingo. They have a lot of free courses that will even add considerably to your vocabulary including some with as many as 5,000 words in Spanish and specific vocabulary such as Medical Spanish.
Our library used to have a subscription to Mango Languages. I agree, it's very good!
L4L, DuoLingo is very useful as a tool to help build a reasonable vocabulary, and grasp some of the basic structure in Spanish. There is no doubt though, that face to face interaction with a real native speaker is one of the best ways to improve your confidence, pronounciation and understanding of any language.
Depending on where you are located, try a Google on "Spanish English language Exchange" and see what comes up near you, find out more and go along. We have a DL exchange here in Edinburgh most Sunday mornings for two hours on a "drop-in" basis where a group of English speakers learning Spanish, and Spanish speakers learning English meet for a coffee and try to talk about various subjects in their "opposite" languages as well as their native languages.
It's a fun way to practice and make friends - - there is also a list of these on the duolingo.com/events pages on a worldwide basis, you may be lucky and find one near you, but any Language Exchange for the two languages would be a help, there are three different ones in Edinburgh.
I reommend these to anyone!
Duolingo I think is good to build a foundation, to brush up or to keep from getting rusty. Like I am learning French to mainly just keep up the usage so I don't get sloppy.
However I feel like using only Duolingo isn't good enough. It's good to try and apply what you've learned here to the real world. Start listening to some broadcasts in your target language, or maybe read the news or articles.
Sometimes even watching kids shows in the language works, mainly because they speak simpler and slower so it helps you to train yourself.
Once you reach the highest level and complete your tree you're by no means fluent but now you have a lot of skills to use at your disposal. Plus it's a nice place to come back and relearn a skill that maybe you're unsure of how it actually works. I'm constantly relearning stuff in the language I've already learned so it's nice in that regard.