https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

The World's (less than second) Hardest Language Practice Challenge

picture of the cover of a book. Book's title is "Bunny loves to read" by Peter Bently,  Deborah Melmon (Illustrator). The image on the book is of an illustrated, tan colored bunny hugging a book.

Some of you may remember the "Worlds Hardest Language Practice Challenge".

This isn't that challenge. But, it does involve recording yourself reading.

It can be hard speaking another language and having an audience. New languages can feel like a tongue twister, especially under pressure. The challenge? Find a book or poem in the language you're learning. Record yourself reading a passage from it and post here.

Go to https://clyp.it and record yourself. (Please don't use real name for your Clyp account.)

Bloopers followed by laughter encouraged!

I chose to read a few pages from "Ningún beso para mamá".
Aka "No kisses for mama."
This is a cute book about a curious and unrully kitten who is prone to getting angry and acting out.

Click here to listen. I read it in Spanish and then roughly translated it into English. I was definitely nervous but I had a lot of fun. I had to record new versions several times (Technical difficulties and also realizing I didn't know what some words were.) I wanted to be able to do the English translations from memory, so, it took some practice. I definitely picked up some new vocab along the way. :D

PS Some of y'all are shy. I get that. Me too. My challenges are usually really flexible. The main thing I want to achieve with them is for people to be motivated to push themselves just a little bit so they can build confidence and advance their language learning.

So, I've got the same proposal for you as I had for 04Amanita: What if you recorded yourself reading, and didn't post your recording? You can delete it right after you record it. Then come back here and let us know you did it and the title of the book you read out loud to yourself? Would you feel comfortable doing that?

May 22, 2018

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davidvdb

This is me reading the poem Me Gustas Cuando Callas by Pablo Neruda. I hope my pronunciation is clear enough. :)

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Davidvdb, such an intense poem! Pablo Neruda writes such emotionally evocative poems. He is truly gifted in his use of metaphors.

I like that you laughed while recording and kept going. :D

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chilotin

Your Spanish is very good, not perfect, but it is completely understandable and well pronounced, except the contrast between r and rr. How much time have you been studying Spanish? Felicitaciones por tu trabajo para llegar hasta ese nivel y gracias por compartirlo.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Chilotin, gracias a ti tambien! Your feedback is much appreciated. ^_^ I have not studied it steadily so, I'm not sure. Mostly, I just repeat the Duolingo course each year. Though, I think it escaped me last year to do so. I feel very rusty. Yes, those double R's are tricky. There was a time in the past when I was much better with them. I have a friend who grew up bilingual. We would hang out several days a week and practice until my accent was pretty good. It's been in decline since she moved 3.5 (?) years ago.

A side note, it appears I have forgotten how to make my Spanish keyboard generate diacritical marks. A search through google has not helped. I use the ctrl + ' and it just opens a new tab with page markup. :(

Update: I found the solution! https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27384256

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lernejano

If you're on PC I think you just press the ' button before any vowel to get the mark. The button left of the "enter" button. At least that's how it works for me.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chilotin

Por nada, es un gusto. I use a Spanish keyboard and acute accents are made with ´ before the vowel. I've read there are codes for all vowels, (like Alt + 160 for á), but it doesn't work here. Good luck.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/04Amanita

Thanks for your post! I'm too shy to speak out loud, so posts like yours are inspiring. Maybe I'll have the guts to try doing the same now :)

As for the diacritical marks, I use ESP keyboard on Windows, I hope this what you're looking for: 1) ñ is beside L. 2) The accents á é ó (etc) are made by pressing the key beside P (the accent key) then the character you want to accent. 3) To make ü hold down shift key, press the accent key, then type the letter u.

Spanish 411 used to have a printable keyboard layout for Latin American Keyboards but I can't find it now! I use printouts to learn to touch-type in other languages, and help me out when I forget where a character is on a new keyboard, very helpful!

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Hi 04Amanita, I really like your profile picture!

I can be pretty shy too. My challenges are usually really flexible. The main thing I want to achieve with them is for people to be motivated to push themselves just a little bit so they can build confidence and advance their language learning.

So, I've got a proposal for you. What if you recorded yourself reading, and didn't post your recording? You can delete it right after you record it. Then come back here and let us know you did it and the title of the book you read out loud to yourself? Would you feel comfortable doing that?

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/04Amanita

Hmmm...well that is very good suggestion. I can't really get out of that one, can I? I will make that a project for myself and try to do it within the next month. Record myself...yikes! Thanks for starting this post though, it's a good learning exercise I think, and a good way to keep pushing through plateaus.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Yay! I'm glad that you are even contemplating. It means you have imagined it. Even that is progress towards learning a language. :)

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyflakes95

Great idea!

Me reading El Futuro by Julio Cortázar: https://clyp.it/wu3gttib

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Skyflakes, having previously lost a long-term partner myself, I identify so much with this poem. Acknowledging the loss of a loved one. Everywhere are reminders of shared experiences, and learning how to experience them alone. The anger that can come with grief, the solitude, and hopefully with time the relief of the sharp feelings beginning to dull when the memories move further from reach. Though, simultaneously the fear of that forgetting too.

Thank you for sharing your reading with us. It is good practice for listening comprehension. :)

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trycja_

Spanish native over here, ¡me encantó tu lectura! Tu pronunciación es increíble, y además le pusiste mucho entusiasmo y toda la onda.

I couldn't not get behind such a fun idea! Here is my very, very lame and sleepy attempt at reading in English and French. I tried to add German, too, at the end... but... it was a complete disaster. Noope, non, nein.

That's not to say the French bit isn't a dishonor on my family and cow! But it was fun! Hahaha

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"

Alice commençait à se sentir très lasse de rester assise à côté de sa sœur, sur le talus, et de n’avoir rien à faire : une fois ou deux, elle avait jeté un coup d’œil sur le livre que lisait sa sœur ; mais il ne contenait ni images ni dialogues : « Et, pensait Alice, à quoi peut bien servir un livre où il n’y a ni images ni dialogues ? »

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qwl8143

Your French is pretty good and your English is even better :)

The most notable advice I can give you in your French pronunciation was the way you pronounce "que." It sounded as though you pronounced "cul" instead, and that is something very different ;) "Que" is pronounced like a 'k' + a sharp 'e' sound (the sound 'e' makes when stating the alphabet). Otherwise, your French is great and your English is near Flawless. Keep up thegood work :)

(I might have a recording up here sooner or later in which I say "que," so keep your eyes peeled.) Happy learning!

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trycja_

BAHAHA I just knew I would end up saying something either insulting, or inappropriate, oh dear. I can't thank you enough! The French e is my nemesis, so really, thank you so much for the tips! I'll be listening to your recording as soon as I leave class.

As for your words on my English, that means the world to me! My problem with it is that I keep mixing, like, so many different accents. I had to rerecord a few times because I ended up saying sistahh instead of sister, hahaha. But I also think I give it a much bigger importance than others would, so it eases my worrying to read that you think my pronunciation is going well :')

Happy learning for you too! Merci beaucoup! x

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qwl8143

My French reading:

https://clyp.it/g5oql2dm

There is a link in the description to a site that has the transcript and English translations :)

Same link: https://www.thefrenchexperiment.com/stories/uglyduckling

I don't have any bloopers, but I can tell you that I had to restart at "piaulerent." Passe simple threw me for a loop for a moment ^^

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vabelie

You're excellent (French here)! Just two tiny remarks: you don't pronounce the final "d" of "nid" (nest), or the "d" of "grand-mère" (modern writing), or it becomes "grande mère", "big mother", instead of "grandmother". But sincerely, a few more months training, and you could sound native :)

May 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qwl8143

Merci pour vos mots gentils. Malheureusement j'ai remarqué qu'il faut ne pas prononcer le D après l'enregistrement... Je suppose que je croyais que "nid" était un de ces mots rare où la dernière lettre se prononce alors que ce n'est pas le cas. Sinon pour grand-mère, je ne savais pas lequel voulait dire l'histoire parce qu'on a écrit "grand'mère," et je ne l'ai jamais vu écrit de cette façon. Bref, merci pour les corrections et (du moins) votre écriture en anglais est parfaite aussi :)

P.S. Je commencerai mes études universitaires en France dans quelques mois, donc je compte fortifier ma maîtrise du français au fil de cinq ans d'études en France. En espérant que mon niveau sera bien pareil aux français naturels à la fin ;)

May 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lernejano

I love your bunny picture.

(Sorry, I know that's unrelated.)

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Thanks! :D

Will you read a short passage for us?

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lernejano

I'll consider it. I can't say that I will for sure.

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

HonorableKnight, I've just added an alternative option to this challenge. I hope you'll scroll up and check it out. :)

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rhabarberbarbara

Great idea! I will definitely join later today. I think I have some suitable books lying around...

The first Swedish entry is from a cute book by Ina Haller (originally in German). The second is from one of my favourites by Astrid Lindgren. The Spanish entry is from a book pretty much everyone I know has read (originally in English).

Entry 1 in Swedish

Entry 2 in Swedish

Entry 1 in Spanish

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

Now THIS I can do. Reading passages out loud is my specialty.

Edit: I forgot to do it, and I likely won't be able to do it until tomorrow. RIP

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

OmegaGmaster, it is tomorrow. Huzzah! :D

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OmegaGmaster

I actually edited my post a day after posting it, meaning I will do it Thursday (in EST).

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteffiBookworm

Oh, the little bookworm in me is still asking: "Are you sure you want to post this?"
https://vocaroo.com/i/s0nccGi8kwuH
It's supposed to be French, an extract of Les Miserables / Victor Hugo.
I want to read it when I find the time.

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bookrabbit

Supposed to be French? It most certainly is French:) I have been meaning to read that too.

May 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteffiBookworm

Thank you!

June 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vabelie

You certainly didn't choose the easiest possible book! Your rythm is on point, the music of the language is already there. Bravo ! And I so love this novel…

May 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteffiBookworm

Thank you! Yes, it is a very good novel, I hope to find the time to read it and bot only some extracts.

June 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonutEggRoll

I stumbled across this very simple Korean poem meant for beginners. I may have gotten a bit too into it. Source by jhopethrusts.

Here is my recording: https://clyp.it/lkxjdfpc

Korean transcript:

남자가 걸어요

남자가 걸어요.

해는 노란색 공이에요. 남자가 걸어요.

풀이 노란색이에요. 나무가 없어요.

꽃이 없어요. 물이없어요.

남자가 걸어요. 걸어요. 걸어요.

남자는 차가 없어요. 남자는 말이 없어요.

남자가 걸어요. 걸어요. 걸어요.

지금은 해가 빨간색 공이에요.

남자가 걸어요.

물! 물이 있어요. 남자가 달려요.

남자가 물을 마셔요. 마셔요. 마셔요.

달은 흰색 공이에요.

물이 있어요. 남자가 자요.

Here is my own German translation, there may be errors:

Der Mann geht

Der Mann geht.

Die Sonne ist eine gelbe Kugel. Der Mann geht.

Das Gras ist grün. Es gibt keine Bäume.

Es gibt keine Blumen. Es gibt kein Wasser.

Der Mann geht. Geht. Geht.

Der Mann hat kein Auto. Der Man ist still.

Der Mann geht. Geht. Geht.

Jetzt ist die Sonne eine rote Kugel.

Der Mann geht.

Wasser! Es gibt Wasser. Der Mann rennt.

Der Mann trinkt das Wasser. Trinkt. Trinkt.

Der Mond ist eine weiße Kugel.

Es gibt Wasser. Der Mann schläft.

The English translation can be found in the source above!

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bookrabbit

This is a brilliant idea! I needed a prod to do something like this. Here are my attempts at reading the children's stories from the frenchexperiment site and the sister sites. I can't be bothered to try and polish my performance so never mind all the mistakes, this is a good way to improve I am sure.

they are here: https://clyp.it/user/kw3x20pe

I haven't bothered to translate them as everyone knows those stories,

I just added a couple of poems, which are much more interesting reading. I have always loved reading aloud and should do it more often and in more languages. They are by Gabriella Mistral and I read them in Spanish and English.

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NtateNarin

This sounds fun! I recorded myself speaking the first large French passage from my French book, Easy French Step-By-Step. It is called La Maison de Jean-Pierre. After I read the passage, I translate it the best I can (it is not translated in the book, so I may be off).

Anyways, here is my clip: clyp.it/zgyq5iq5?token=eb4cb6dfdacd89401b4e0b577d09eea1.

Merci beaucoup! :-)

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vabelie

Really, really good :) Just one thing, we pronounce "marine" (bleu marine, navy blue), pretty much like "a US marine" :)

May 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

UsagiBoy7....You are my voice twin!! Even your singing voice. Multiple people who have heard me speak and sing from here have told me that I sound like you. Maybe the internet just brings out all of the "twinning..." I don't know.))) But, this is a great post, you did a great job, and I enjoyed it. So, kudos! Best to you--

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

https://clyp.it/s1mh022o

Still twinsies? xD

PS I just went in search of your story/poem clip here and I'm not finding it. You gonna read for us?

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

I think so :)))

Well, I like to watch, but I am super shy online and didn't want to reveal myself, ahahah....I hope it's okay!

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

Of course it's ok. :)

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurianaB

Thanks, be lingotted:)

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Said985765

I could read something in German, if I wasn't that busy lately. But great idea of yours!

May 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LibertyPen4

i did something similar... i posted a video of me learning it on youtube.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Eh1YkzmRY

May 24, 2018
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