Tips to avoid getting burned out.

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering if ya'll had any tips to prevent language burn-out. I've been studying Portuguese for a little over two months and I find myself rushing through the lessons just so I can get it done and not practicing as hard as I used to, and I feel like I'm not learning as much. I want to study more intensively over the next month, but I'm kinda like blah. I need a motivation boost lol. So to anyone else who's experienced it how did you get passed it? Thanks.

June 10, 2018


Go outside and enjoy the sun. Play on the swings. Read a book. Walk the dog. Smoke a joint. Make your lover remember why he or she loves you. Lots of other things to do besides stare at a screen.

I know what you mean, though. It can be addictive. You're all like, "whoa, if I get 330 more points I'll be a level 12. I can do that tomorrow. hell, I can do that tonight." Next thing you know it's 3AM and you have to be at work in five hours.

If I start making lots of mistakes--I get the wrong "ding" sound and the bottom of the screen is red (instead of green) for several exercises in one lesson--then I know I'm tired. At that point I take a break.

You won't learn to speak or read or write proficiently in Portuguese in a few months. You must accept that. Give it at least a few minutes every day, but don't let it consume you. Just because you're burnt out on duolingo doesn't mean you're burnt out on Portuguese. Watch some videos instead. Look up a portuguese newspaper and try to read it. Just don't forget to do at least one lesson here each day.

June 10, 2018

I was doing it with myself, put a lot of pressure over me and it was frustrating me. Then i figure out that it was not working. Since that day, I started to reserving a time to learn and using another features. I'm better now than before. Maybe if you find some interesting contents in portuguese, like youtube videos, you can enjoy more the journey than rush yourself. Do a lot of exercicies doesn't mean that you are doing well. So take your time. I hope you can be better and please, if you need help, you only can ask (=

June 10, 2018

Ehh.. a bit same here, almost 100 days streak now, daily putting 1-4 hours into Portuguese. I’m reviewing easier parts here on Duo, and what I find motivating, is reading Portuguese and noticing the difference compared to month ago, the work has paid off.

Edit. I’m kind of having a light practice week, now after a few days I already feel rejuvenated in terms of language learning lol. Bad wording. I’m still keeping it light for the rest of the week.

Also noticing that while I watch something in Portuguese I can hear much better and register some or a lot of the meaning depending on how familiar vocab they use, and also recognize how they talk. Listening feels more natural now than before. That’s pretty cool! Slowly getting there!

June 10, 2018

Try to watch something in Portuguese, set the playback speed to .85-.90, there are extensions for web browsers (they work with youtube, netflix, etc.) or use VLC player if you have dvd’s or videos. Very chilling way to practice your listening while not ’’practicing.’’ =)

You can also learn simple N5 kanji and vocab from Portuguese using memrise for example. Or do the Lingodeer Japanese tree from Portuguese.

Do not completely abandon the language though, just catch a breath for a while.

While I talked about some ways to reduce the language load on your brain, I guess the best cure and pre-emptive defence is to have something else to do, too, different activities and any activity really. And to remember that in order to make progress, you just have to take one little baby step, and then the next one, one at a time. Try not to focus on the end goal too much.

June 10, 2018

The amount of time you are putting in is a lot. I can't even imagine doing something like that again; it sounds awful. Clearly it will help, and I think I have already wrote plenty on your posts about doing courses from Portuguese, but I can sure say you are investing a lot of time with it. Best of luck.

June 12, 2018

Yeah, it’s been pretty intensive for the past 3 months and while it can be tiring, at the same time it’s so awesome to notice how fast you can actually learn a language to solid basic level and have pretty good reading comprehension. The other abilities are still lagging a bit behind but they’ll pick up too in time.

Thanks btw for contributing here, you’ve given advice and inspired not only me but others as well I’m sure. I will do PT-EN tree here starting July and I’ve already started PT-JA (reviewing japanese basics) on LingoDeer. Finishing those two, I plan on doing other trees from portuguese here too and the goal is to learn/review more japanese from portuguese as I become better at it, not just the basics. Best of luck to you too! Cheers.

June 13, 2018

The speed I found to be interesting too (I had a similar experience). I think is incredible what just straight time dumps can do on here; like you can learn a lot really fast here. I haven't found anything this good for sentence structure and vocab. And what you say about some other skills lagging behind, I get it, I am on the same page, and I think I might have an idea for you.

You are totally welcome! I totally support you and others learning Portuguese; I wish you lots of success in your studies, and I am glad to hear the things I am writing are being read and are useful. What you say makes sense, good luck with your plan.

One thing I have just started doing, is talking with people on in Portuguese, and I have found some people I can talk with. (And I know you are not at the same level as me). In like a few weeks, I am getting close to C1, just talking with people. If you can connect with people there for writing, and even trying to go beyond that in finding someone who can help you speak (and there are tons of Brazilians who want help with English), it is a good way to make progress. Of course you are going to choose your own path, and the other resources you are using sound smart, and I think this has been a massive way of putting into practice what I have learned; I am doing it with French, Portuguese, and Arabic to great effect. And it is quite cool. That I would let you. And thanks for your comment.

June 13, 2018

Thanks for the suggestion and comment! So cool you’ve got so far already! That’s so inspiring! I have to add Speaky/iTalki/something similar to my resources for sure. Been thinking about it, and native "penpals" / online friends too. That really helped me with my English.

June 15, 2018

Yeah no, those things are good. Speaky is basically just writing, but I have liked asked people to Chat in Whatapp and stuff. Its great, and it all about finding people one likes. And wait, English isn't your native language? I think you may have said that in some other post somewhere a long time ago. Is it Dutch? Or what is it? I don't remember, but dutch would be my guess.

June 15, 2018

Yeah, true! Nah not Dutch, I’m Finnish though I really think Dutch sounds fun and some day I will conquer the tree here. I’ll try to find some pt-nl resources as well.

Right now I could only think of memrise’s pt-br - nl decks which I added to my courses. Though something like Duolingo (pt-nl) would really help learning as we need to build sentences. Use the grammar we have learned. Can’t get far with just flascards but it’s better than nothing. One solution would be to buy/get a textbook/workbook set but it’s not what I’m focusing on right now.

Oh and I guess you’re American then? I remember asking you here months ago if you were Brazilian hah.

June 16, 2018

[deactivated user]

    Where to begin?

    Your post mentions motivation and burning out. So I suppose we should start there...

    The first thing I suggest to people that are lacking motivation or wanting more motivation in the learning process is to remove or reduce motivation as a factor. How do you do that? First of all, change your minimum daily streak amount to 10 xp. When you wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed, you do a lesson. 2-5 minutes and you're already done! Do another at night when you lay down. A second lesson and you've exceeded the minimum! Make this a part of your day so that it requires zero, 0!, motivation.

    Now this doesn't mean that you can't do other lessons throughout the day. This is where your motivation and inspiration kick in. When you're on break at work or school, knock out another lesson or two. Don't plan on doing several hour long sessions daily because that makes language learning more like a JOB, and not FUN! That's why people burn out. Lessons here and there throughout the day are what duo's best for!

    Use other apps to chat with people now! I recommend Tandem or HelloTalk as they are both free and connect you with native speakers of your target language. This is like studying but it's decidedly more FUN! Take notes during your conversations as you need and you might find this works better than hours of dull drudgery-style studying. I sure do!

    I also recommend getting into music in your target language. Find music you like on YouTube and use to find the lyrics and translations to songs you like! Memorizing a song you like and its vocabulary is also easier than studying because it's fun so your mind never registers it as studying.

    You might never get the motivation to study for hours daily but slow and steady will get you much further over time. Slow and steady will give you a long streak so that when you have fits of tremendous inspiration, you won't feel like you've been away for so long that "what's the use??".. I hope this helps!

    June 10, 2018

    Yeah that's a good point. I bought a couple Magic Tree House eBooks which I loved reading as a kid in Portuguese and I translate it page by page. I've also tried using different apps than just Duolingo.

    June 17, 2018

    Maybe find some other language learning sources and websites, the more revision and study the better!

    June 10, 2018

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys. :)

    June 17, 2018

    Little by little, every day. That's how you learn a language.

    June 10, 2018
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