https://www.duolingo.com/hejmsdz

90 days ago I didn't know a single word in Spanish

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... and today I've finished my tree!

My adventure with Spanish started when I applied for a school exchange with Valencia. I thought it would be nice if I could say something more than "good morning", "thank you", "please", "sorry" and "goodbye" and because some time ago my friend told me about Duolingo, I decided to check it out.
I started learning and soon realized that the way DL teaches really works. Because I was made to translate in both directions and listen, I quickly learned basic words and started forming simple sentences.
We went to Spain when my Spanish was six weeks old. I could ask simple questions and sometimes even managed to understand the answers. When talking to the local people, I liked to use English with introducing Spanish palabras in the middle of the sentence. Because I had access to a computer, I kept practising on Duolingo as well.
After returning, I got really excited. I sped up significantly and scored about 100 experience points every day. In fact, I cared about it more than about my school assignments. More or less on the 60th day I realized I could read any text in Spanish and clearly understand what it is generally about. To keep up the momentum I started listening to some podcasts and chatting with my exchange friends in Spanish. It was great fun, even though I had to use a dictionary and conjugation tables a lot.
As the grammar topics became harder, I had to find another resource with explanations. Information at http://studyspanish.com/ were extremely helpful. I also recorded some difficult/irregular conjugations in a notebook. Maintaining the streak was really important to me and even if I was busy one day, I did at least one task of timed practice (this marks the day as done) and caught up the other day.
Now I can say I'm really suprised how much it's possible to learn when you want to and don't have to. Surely, I'm far from fluency, but I feel I can talk about many things and keep studying Spanish independently, using the available sources. Learning at Duo has been an great experience and I would like to thank the whole DL team, course contributors and extremely helpful people at the discussion. Your work is invalueable.

Now I would like to give some feedback: Duolingo itself is perfect, from the idea of crowdsourcing, through beautiful design, to the motivation system (streaks, lingots). However, I think that the vocabulary tab is really necessary, even though it was already gone when I signed up.
In the English-Spanish course I would definitely introduce the numbers earlier. I also think that more subjunctive practice should be added. Besides, it's great.
He escrito más que yo esperaba. Gracias por leer y buena suerte con vuestros cursos. ¡Es muy bueno saber los idiomas y con ayuda de Duolingo esto es realmente posible!

April 22, 2014

57 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SomaBognar

I am so inspired by your story! I totally agree, this site is amazingly addictive! I've used it just for a couple of days, but I do feel the urge to log in and improve my Spanish skills at least two times a day. I wish I was half as successful as you! Fingers crossed.

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Santi_Minstrel

As we say in Spain: "La fe mueve montañas" Faith moves mountains. Keep up the good work! ¡Sigue así!

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hejmsdz
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This appears to come from the Bible, Mark 11:23 or Matt 17:20.

April 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MystyrNile
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I think i've heard something like that over here in the USA, too. I wonder how old that saying is!

April 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/intermerda

I always like when people post detailed stories like this. "How far can I go with Duolingo?" is one of the most common questions and this answers it very well.

Well done and keep learning!

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Yoctogram

I've only started to learn basic Spanish today, and I love it. Your story creates an inspiration within me, I feel need to continue studying and using this website. I've always wanted to learn another language, and this website is proving to be what I've looked for all along.

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Heather_MLB

Wow, you were fast! good job:D

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Eey91
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Congratulations, three months is just the beginning but you are on good track, it is always motivating to read this kind of stories, you will never see a post of someone saying he didn't learn anything here, it is indeed great. Felicitaciones por tu español, siempre se siente muy agradable saber que alguien mas se interesa por conocer tu propio idioma!

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Stacia77

Awesome ! Your story is very inspiring to me and makes me want to just keep on going which is easy to do as it is an addicting site!

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/letsgofriday
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What a great story. I've avoided learning Spanish for years, preferring to focus solely on my French but I gave it after realising that I wanted to visit the home stadium for my favourite team, Real Madrid, and that I should at least learn some words. I'm really enjoying it so far, it's much easier than I was expecting! (Definitely easier than German, probably because of my base in French however.)

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hejmsdz
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I've never studied French, but the resemblance between Romance languages is really evident. Keep going :)

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/APDiedrich

thats so coolios for youlios

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/theharperfamily

it seems like you did a great job but I will catch up to you

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/BaconAddict
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Congrats and good luck with future learning

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MystyrNile
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Desire is the best incentive to learn.

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ZheGreatest

wow now that is truly amazing!! keep up the good work!

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lphoenix

Great story! I agree we need the vocabulary section. Does anyone know why it was stopped? I've ended up physically looking up words in my big dictionary, which is excellent but time-consuming.

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Karina_Sol

Este es un buen espacio para que practiques lo que has aprendido de Espanol, felicidades por haber terminado tu arbol... todos los dias se aprende algo nuevo :)

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kriskross4
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Cool story bro!

April 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KattyGirl13

Great job!

April 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/JazzBlues
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Inspiring!

April 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MurrayJonathan

Good for u.

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/callista6

wow ..... this is great very inspiring

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SIRWLT
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Congrats, and continue learning! =D

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SpaceMichael
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¡Woah! ¡Felicitaciones!

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Senordunn
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Going to read this to my class. What an inspiration! ;-)

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Valeska777

Thanks. This is very inspiring to hear. I sometimes feel that DL makes me practice sentences that I will never use in my lifetime. I do enjoy using DL too. So much fun. Your story gives me the feedback I needed to hear that I actually can speak Spanish with just DL in the beginning. :-)

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hejmsdz
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Yeah, that's true. I even started collecting the funniest sentences from Duo. "Los gatos beben cualquier cosa, desde leche hasta cerveza." is my favourite :)

April 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Gangrelito

soy un pinguino!!! ftw!

April 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/FLchick
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Me gusta "los patos beben la leche".

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/fmonette

The reason for this is simple, you translate a non lesson-related text. That is how duolingo makes money, and the reason why they can provide their language learning service for free. The detailed explanation, taken from the "about" page : Somebody who needs a webpage translated uploads it to Duolingo. That document then gets presented to Duolingo students who can translate it in order to practice the language they are learning. When the document is fully translated, Duolingo returns it to the original content owner who, depending on the type of document they uploaded, pays for the translation.

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/radpowers
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i don't mind braggadocio when it is that well stated. I work a lot harder.

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Katy_Beauty

your story is really inspired me. thank you for sharing.

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/creativeri
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Ah I hope I can say the same thing. So beautiful, if you really want to, you can learn anything!

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielAnsp

i myself just started and i'm only on level 3

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Blokay

that's sad

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Larissa3535

Thanks for sharing!

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AsaAL

The same (almost) with me except in German!

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom.Fung

i know spanish a lot know

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLittleWitch

Hope I will be able to do this as well.

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/IshyV

Thanks for this inspiring post! I am curious -- you said you did at least one session each day, but how long do you think you spent on an average day studying?

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hejmsdz
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I have no idea. I didn't count time, but the material. When I was near the end of a section, I tried to finish it; when I came across a short one, I tried to do it in one sitting. On average (because I didn't keep the 100xp/day pace so long) I could count five or six lessons a day.

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/sacredcello

Thank you for sharing your story of successful learning. Very motivating!

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cymmm1
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muy biene. i thing in life that is more valuable than gold is being able to speak a new language

April 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/_Zorzal

Congratulations! Great encouragement for us all. :D

April 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CaitlinS.

WOW!! This is amazing! Great job! I wish I had that kind of motivation. Hey, if I send you a friend request will you help me with my Spanish? I always work better and learn faster when someone helps me out. Thanks! :)

April 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kate_griffin

Amazing!!!! That is soooo cool!! : )

April 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kate_griffin

cool

April 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/s_owla

That's amazing! Well done! :D

April 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/horsecrazedgirl

That's very inspiring.❤

April 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/marcusscott67

Wow, you are doing great! I started today---hope to follow your example.

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/eenaleh

How wonderful! You are an inspiration!

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/lelia.1

its great to read how other people are progressing. today is my second and i have to say the course is very addictive! i have been to spanish classes before but for some reason i could never get my head round it so i gave up. with DL i can go back and repeat as many times as i like, something you cant do in a class of people. the verbs are already beginning to make some sense!

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/alices79

Completely agree about the subjunctive--that is something that has tripped me up in every Spanish class I've ever had. You can never have enough practice with the subjunctive or with prepositions in my opinion!

April 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/a4oconnell

Thank you for your comments and the study spanish link.

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Redstone329

Duolingo is truly an amazing site. It helps to bridge the gap between all the grammar in class and real Spanish. I have only completed half my tree from what I can test out of, but doing immersion is what really helps my Spanish. Good luck to you!

April 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Aswini.K.P.

I am not even a native English speaker. But when started learning Spanish, I realized how interesting the process of learning a foreign language is. It helps me improve my language skills. I think learning a new language is learning a new way to know the world better. Good luck for all learners and friends!

April 27, 2014
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