https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14

This is why you should NEVER give up on learning the language(s) you want to

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Hey, everybody!

We have all kind of students here on Duolingo (beginners, intermediate, advanced and even fluent ones). It doesn't matter what is your current level. You probably have faced, is facing or will face one of those hard days where it seems that it's not working, you're feeling that you are wasting your time and you even think you'll never learn your target language.

A lot of people believe that they need to live in another country, they need to purchase some paid lessons, they are "too old for this" etc.

DON'T BELIEVE IN THOSE LIES! YOU ARE ABLE TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE YOU WANT TO REGARDLESS YOUR AGE, WHERE YOU LIVE OR ANY PAID LESSONS.

What really makes the difference is DISCIPLINE, WILLINGNESS AND PERSISTENCE TO RESIST THOSE "BAD DAYS". JUST BE PATIENT!

Some of you might know me from my thread of when I reached 1000 days here on Duolingo (That's the thread I'm talking about).

But for those who don't know me, I am 100% self-taught, everything I've ever learned in English was for free using Duolingo and some other resources along the way.

After a couple of years of true WILLINGNESS today I am able to say: I CAN SPEAK AND UNDERSTAND ENGLISH! I don't consider myself as FLUENT yet, but I'm sure I'm on the right way towards fluency and that's just a matter of time.

I made a new video and it is 100% in English (which is not my native language) just to show you that IT IS POSSIBLE!

In this video, I talk a little bit about how you can change your MINDSET to stop feeling "stuck" during the process of language learning. It was made for you to keep believing in your potential.

I probably made some grammatical mistakes and I'm aware that I have some accent. But the most important thing is: I KNOW THAT MY CURRENT LEVEL ALLOWS ME TO BE UNDERSTOOD BY NATIVES! And this is what you should be looking for. More than perfection, comprehension/understanding. And THIS IS PERFECTLY POSSIBLE! Be an example of success! KEEP STUDYING AND NEVER GIVE UP! You are going to be rewarded.

Here's the video in case you're interested: https://bit.ly/2ISGqQC

7 months ago

120 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ruel-Stroud

One simple phrase:

"If one wants to be everything will end up being nothing."

In real life we need to make choices for the best or we will end up trying everything and achieving nothing.

I know it is possible but I gave up learning Japanese because I think that it requires a time that I don't have and the sistem of Duolingo don't helps so much, learning a third language put me in a situation were I was decreasing my level of english to keep working with Japanese and the understanding that Japanese would take years perhaps gave me the will to dropout. My focus now is to get proficiency in english I want to be able to write an entire book in it.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Your comment was really helpful and I completely agree with you. The same happens to me because I want to be a polyglot and someday I hope I can be able to speak up to 5 languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, and Italian). However, currently I am just able to speak Portuguese and English and I don't feel confident enough to start learning Spanish because I think I must "master" English first. Once I get pretty confident that English is definitely internalized in my brain, then I'll start to learn a new language. In case of Japanese, I think it's even harder because it is COMPLETELY different from languages like Portuguese, English, Spanish etc. You gotta learn an entire alphabet once again. I understand your concerns and I can't say that you are wrong. But I intend to study Spanish from English in the future and I think this might help me to learn a third language without risking to "forget" the second one. Perhaps you can give it a try. And be patient. It can took years but we must try it if we really want to.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ruel-Stroud

The alphabet is the easy part, believe in me, it sounds like our own language and in one day is possible to learn by heart hiragana.

Spanish is manageable but Japanese requires a lot of input and a constant fight against reason, you learn a Kanji forget 3, You try to understand and apply the grammar rules and discovers that there is no common sense about grammar despite the government opinion, each source that I get gives me other way to write the same sentence.

Anyway, the Nihongo isn't in question here so... Good luck with your studies.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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I understand. Some languages are really hard to learn because they work in a very different way than we are used to. I am aware of languages with more than 10 different forms to call someone "you" and it kinda changes the meaning depending on who are you referring to. Personally, I am not interested in learning Japanese but I, don't know, this may change in the future. But now I'm aware that I'm gonna face some troubles if I decide to do this. hahaha

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GesaFlif

Your English seems amazing to me. Go for it.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LorettaPresley

Your avatar!! Omg it just made me laugh so hard.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/The_iCONer
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I think his name is Donod Trurt, Presiserp of the Unitinu, and our successeccus to Barab Obabo.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oruga_fantasma
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I know your goal is achievable because I had a coworker who spoke the same five languages you want to learn! In fact, he was so comfortable speaking Spanish it didn't dawn on me for awhile that it was probably his second language. His advice to me when I told him I was interested in learning (Latin American) Spanish was to get hooked on a telenovela. Very best wishes for your polyglot future.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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That's great! I truly hope one day I'll be able to speak these five. I think it's possible because they are really similar to Portuguese (especially Spanish and Italian). Perhaps I won't be fluent in all of them, but if I could be able to be fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish I'd be more than satisfied.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/oruga_fantasma
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I agree. The strong Latin base of these languages with your even stronger desire to learn will serve you well!

In my earliest days of Spanish on Duolingo I sometimes thought of a French word instead. I learned some French in school (when dinosaurs roamed the planet) and apparently have not completely forgotten everything.

That said, the two days I was in Portugal I very quickly learned that Portuguese is not the same as Spanish at all (ouch)!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Hahahaha definitely not the same. I can't understand fast speaking Spanish at all. But perhaps someday I will! :D

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Guzzler829
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Thank you for the motivation. By the way, your written English is very nice. I didn't realize you weren't a native speaker.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you! I'm really glad you liked and I appreciate your compliments. Now I gotta work on my speaking skills! hahaha

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Saved_by_Christ
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Inspiring post! KEEP STUDYING AND NEVER GIVE UP! Thank you for posting this!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you! I know we can face some frustrating moments during the process of language learning but it happens to all of us and only those who can overcome those frustrations are going to succeed. Thanks for commenting here! :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alex-Trelanei

I took French with a 80 year old lady (She was a student). Absolutely , there's no age for learning. I will be 80 and I will be learning some obscure language because I love this stuff

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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That's REALLY amazing and inspiring!!! Definitely a great example of dedication and willingness. I hope I can be this way too when I'm 80 (I hope to get there of course hahaha)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myrrael
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Thank you. I, today, was told I'm too old to learn a new language. So this helped a lot. My day just became that much brighter.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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You're never "too old" to learn a new language. Don't ever let someone tell you that! :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myrrael
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Thank you. It made me angry, so I guess the fire of fight is still in me! :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Benjamen89

I would say you are fluent. Your accent is great, it doesn't get in the way of understanding you whatsoever. Yes, you have some grammar issues but again it has no effect on interoperability. Good work! I hope to get there one day with German. I have found that more and more things phrases come naturally without having to think about the rules. It's just repetition, the brain will find shortcuts for anything it thinks is important, and the best way to do that is by challenging yourself everyday. It is easy to lose faith that one is making progress but hopefully I'll be where you are at in a few years.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you, Benjamen! That was really nice of you!

And that's exactly what happens to me. Through immersion, my brain kinda "knows" what to say without thinking too much about it, just like in my native language. I just heard and read real English sentences so many times that I'm used to the right way to say something when I need to work on some "output" skill. Yeah, I still make some grammatical mistakes, but I think this is natural and "expected" because it's not what I prioritized during the process. If you notice, we don't usually STUDY our native language before we start speaking it (I mean grammar, rules, exercises etc. those things come after). When we were babies, we just listened. Listened, listened, listened, listened, listened... We listened so many times that it came a time where we started speaking a little bit and people around us encouraged us to give it a try! "Voilà"!!! Of course, grammar is super helpful and it will help you to understand the rules and WHY we say something this way and why if we say in another way it is likely to be wrong. It will even help you to avoid making common mistakes and things like that. But you'll only be able to ACTUALLY COMMUNICATE and express your thoughts if you train your brain to get used to the language in a natural way. You won't have time to think about all the rules and the grammar you learned when you get to speak. Immersion and repetition. Immersion and repetition. Use the language as much as you can and you'll see that the progress will happen.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Celica2898
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Congratulations for your 1000 Day streak (I know I am late). Your post was really what I needed since I just gave up on Russian and traded it for Chinese. Maybe I'll find the willpower to restart Russian one day. Thank you ^^

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Better late than never, right? hahahaha Thank you so much!

I'm glad that it inspired you a little bit to rethink about learning Russian. I know sometimes it seems that it's just "too hard" to accomplish, but language learning is a process and it requires patience and, mainly, consistency. I truly hope someday you'll be able to speak Russian (and Chinese as well, why not?).

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Celica2898
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It is ironic because a language being hard doesn't usually scare me (I at least try before I give up). At least I made some really good progress with Chinese in the time I could have continued failing at Russian. And I still have French and Spanish waiting on the side lines, so I'll be busy either way. I also wanted to tell you that your English is amazing! Your work has really paid off!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you! Appreciate your compliments.

And that's ok. I think we should always have a pretty good reason to pick a language before we start learning it. This way we can stick to it regardless of any difficulty we may face during the process. I'm glad you're making progress with Chinese. And I hope Spanish and French can be useful for you and you succeed after all. It's really inspiring when we see someone who is able to speak 3, 4 languages.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GedG150
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Thank you for inspiration.

Currently I am having one of those bad days where it feels like I am just spinning my wheels. However, when I look back 6 months when I started learning Dutch I have made HUGE progress. I have already read 2 books and I currently read the other 2. Back then I didn't even know a single word.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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That's amazing. Great job! It's pretty common to not realize the progress we've been making when we reach an intermediate level because it's the longest one. It took me more than two years to finally "break" this barrier. When we are beginners every progress is pretty noticeable. Every new word or sentence learned can make a huge difference. But once you get to a level where you can understand pretty much everything of basic content but still struggle to understand something more complex it's when our progress is not that clear anymore. Some content we are totally able to handle. But sometimes it seems that we are not even close to something satisfactory. That's exactly when most people give up when they shouldn't. They are progressing. They just don't feel it. So every time you have one of those bad days you gotta remember that: "I'm still progressing. I just have to be patient". =)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WinterSoldier.

You ARE fluent! I could detect no mistakes in you're english!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/betsys2003
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Ironically, there's a major mistake in yours. "Your" is the possessive word. "You're" is a conjunction of "you are" and is incorrect here.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WinterSoldier.

Well ok! people make mistakes! Keyboards can be tricky! And typing fast can lead to minor mistakes!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/WinterSoldier.

And it isn't a major mistake!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohnnyAtkins
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And we knew exactly what you meant, which is the primary purpose of any language :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thanks, my friend! It makes me really glad seeing comments like this one! I feel that I'm really close to getting totally satisfied with my conversational skills. And that's why I want to help people. I know I can inspire them with my story and, mainly, show them that they can achieve their goals so one day they can have this kind of satisfaction I'm having right now! :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheKingGeorge

Thats awesome bro. Your English is quite excellent I will say. What resources did you use after Doulingo and how did you use the crown system? Keep up the excellent work.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you! I've been using a lot of tools/apps actually. I don't usually recommend anything specific other than Duolingo and Clozemaster (for vocabulary) because what works for some people might don't work for others. Instead, I usually say something like: "try as much variation as you can until you feel that you are comfortable with what you chose but still can make progress by challenging yourself constantly". Personally, I've used some apps and websites like Memrise, ABA English, EngVid, Vocabulary.com etc. but I could only stick to Duolingo and Clozemaster as something with that purpose. But that's my case. I know some people who were really able to take a lot from those resources. What really worked FOR ME was immersion. I just enjoy spending my free time doing things in English. YouTube videos, Netflix, music, TedTalks, articles from Medium, Pocket's recommendations, newspapers, 9gag, reddit etc. I don't live in an English speaking country but I can consume as much English as I want thanks to the internet. :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judy_Blue_Eyes
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Learning keeps the mind sharp. Never stop.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Definitely! :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NtateNarin
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I totally agree with resisting the bad days. There are days in which I would study so much, then the next day forget almost everything I studied. It would frustrate me, but I wouldn't give up. I would ask myself... "Did I study too much?" "Is this just a bad day?" "Is my mind too occupied with things?"

I know that learning a language takes time. Some words (or phrases) can take days or weeks to learn, but that's okay! As you practice each day, you will eventually have the words in your head. If I have a "bad day," I just shrug it off and know I will be better tomorrow!

Anyways, thank you for the motivational post, RafaLeon14! Your English is amazing!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you! Really helpful comment. I completely agree with you and I have nothing more to add to it. I'm glad you think this way because it is definitely going to make the difference throughout your journey! =D

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LorettaPresley

Thank you for the inspirational post.

I remember being soo frustrated with the "Questions" lessons on the French Duo tree. I thought I'd never learn it. I stepped away from it for a while, practiced questions another way and when I tried today, it was easy. Sometimes when something feels too hard, maybe you need to learn it another way or you just need to go back and review other things for a while. Just keep going because that's the most important thing.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Exactly! Thank you for your comment. It helps a lot to show people that sometimes it's just a matter of patience or perspective.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dogomolo

Nice to see you posting finally as Insider!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you! It's an honor to me and I'm really glad for this kind of appreciation. It definitely means a lot. I'm really grateful for this platform and for all the friends here.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Excellent post, and you should be proud of your English!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you! I really appreciate your support! :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/YTguy
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:) amazing

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thanks! :D

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rewanxoxo

Wow !! so much inspiration ... Keep it up , man :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. I will! :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cass954412

I just watched your video and was so impressed! I am a native English speaker and I consider you to be fluent. The few minor errors in grammar seem to always be there with non native English speakers and your accent is adorable. You have just the right amount of expression with speaking. Don't worry about minor errors, as native speakers make similar mistakes also. I studied French and Spanish in school and only have memory of a few words. I thought I could not possibly learn another language until I found Duolingo a few weeks ago. I am now studying Italian. Even though I don't know whether I will ever reach the point you have; I am enjoying it. I already understand so much more than I ever thought possible. It really is a matter of immersing yourself in the learning and not giving up.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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That's great! Thank you for such amazing comment. I really appreciate it. I was aware of some of my mistakes already when I published this video because it was a bit "old" (I recorded it about two or three months ago). And it's amazing how I've progressed from then because I kept on practicing after that and now I can notice: "Hm... that was wrong", "hmm... should have said in a different way". But it was all edited already and I thought: "The most important thing here is the message and some of these mistakes are important to show people that I'm not afraid of making them in order to REALLY learn the language". And the feedback I've been receiving since then has been amazing. Comments like yours supporting my message and congratulating me on my speaking skills show me that I was right: we don't need to seek PERFECTION. We need to MAKE OURSELVES CLEAR! We need to speak in a way that people UNDERSTAND what we are thinking. And I'm REALLY grateful for your support. It means a lot and encourages me to keep learning, keep practicing and keep recording things in English so I can motivate people to keep believing in their potential. By the way, I truly hope you succeed in your journey of learning Italian. It is definitely a beautiful language and it makes me really glad knowing that you've been making progress. Keep up! :)

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mwbrand1
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RafaLeon14, great post and YouTube video. Even though I am learning German, I found your video uplifting and inspiring. As a native English speaker, I am very impressed with your English language skills. I hope that I can become as skillful in German as you are English. Well done my friend!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Thank you! I really appreciate your compliments. It's thrilling when a native speaker congratulates me like you did. It's been really tough because as I said in this thread I'm 100% self-taught (not by choice) and it took me years of dedication to get here. Seriously, thank you! And I truly hope you succeed!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vascotuga251

Parabéns! ;) Eu como sou nativo a Português e Inglês nunca senti aquele problema de "aprender" uma língua mas agora que estou virado para Espanhol e Russo... Estou a começar a ver os problemas reais xD Espero que consigas atingir os teus objetivos porque neste mundo é importante saber Inglês (e agora parece que o Espanhol também está a querer aparecer).

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Obrigado! Você é uma grande inspiração para mim porque são poucas as pessoas com tamanho conhecimento e dedicação ao ensinamento de idiomas. Seu tópico sobre as diferenças entre o Português do Brasil e o de Portugal até hoje me impressiona. E, sim, tenho grande interesse em aprender Espanhol (assim que me sentir 100% confiante de que o inglês está "internalizado" definitivamente). A propósito, já que você está estudando espanhol, qual tem sido sua maior dificuldade como falante de português para aprender espanhol? Não sei porque, mas sinto que não é tão fácil quanto parece, mesmo as duas línguas sendo muito parecidas. Tanto que se eu tentar cantar "Despacito" terá partes em que vou me enrolar todinho! hahahaha

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vascotuga251

A gramática Portuguesa e a Espanhola é praticamente a mesma, há frases que nem preciso estudar Espanhol para compreendê-las e às vezes há frases que embora não saiba uma palavra ou outra, consigo entender a ideia geral da frase. Mas o que complica são as diferenças de como se escreve, por exemplo, o verbo "estudar" é igual em Espanhol: "estudar", mas o gerúndio já é diferente, "estudando" em Português mas "estudiando" em Espanhol. Também tem casos em que nós temos de nos habituar, por exemplo: o verbo auxiliar em Português normalmente é o "ter" mas em Espanhol é "haber (haver)" e acrescentar a preposição "a" quando nos referimos a pessoas, por exemplo: "levar os meninos" fica "llevar a los niños" (nós só adicionamos esta preposição quando nos referimos a Deus) e há mais diferenças mas só com o tempo é que chegas lá! Por enquanto foca-te no Inglês porque acreditando ou não, és uma inspiração para mim para com a língua Russa e para muitas pessoas neste momento também!

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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Pior que sua resposta agora me deu ainda mais vontade de aprender espanhol! hahahaha

Eu percebo que as duas línguas são muito parecidas. E fico impressionado como as vezes consigo pegar um texto em espanhol e entender MUITA coisa do que está escrita. Mesmo palavras que são diferentes, como "niños" que você usou no exemplo, eu já tenho uma boa noção. Usted, yo, pero, perro, goma, vacaciones, tengo, nosotros etc. Eu tenho um conhecimento basiquinho de vocabulário já. Mas morro de medo de me enrolar com os falsos cognatos. E é interessante que se eu ouvir alguém falando em espanhol rapidamente eu não consigo entender nada. Reproduzir muito menos. Teria que trabalhar muito exercícios de audição e fala pra poder me comunicar decentemente em espanhol. Mas a vontade existe! O que tu acha de tentar aprender espanhol a partir do inglês? Talvez seja uma boa opção para aprender mais uma língua sem correr o risco de abandonar a outra.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vascotuga251

Não sei.. Eu já ando a estudar espanhol há uns anos e já me sinto mais ou menos confortável ao ponto de querer passar para Russo mas isso sou eu, há pessoas e pessoas. Podes ser, porventura, uma pessoa que não se dá bem com duas línguas. Para mim eu acho que já chegaste a um nível espetacular de Inglês mas isso agora é contigo!

7 months ago

[deactivated user]

    This inspires me a lot. Your writing in your second language is amazing. I aspire to be that good in Japanese one day. Though sometimes, I don't feel like doing anything. I push through anyway somehow.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! My intention is to really inspire people that discipline and willingness can definitely pay off. And, of course, if we can do it in a more "amusing" way, that's even better.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/albaduine
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    Well done, Rafael! You have created an inspiring video showing what is possible with daily practice and persistence. Your message and your speech are full of eloquence and passion, and most importantly, the truth. Any of us who really want to learn a new language can do it, if we keep at every day. This is an important message no matter what language you want to learn, and every person studying a language here on Duolingo who understands English, should see this video. Many thanks!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! I loved your comment because comments like this make me feel that it was worth all the effort I put into that video regardless of any number of views or possible subscribers to my channel. I want to help PEOPLE and every time I see that someone got inspired by my message I feel that my wish was fulfilled. This gives me the energy to keep doing these videos. :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/faithfulcourage

    Congratulations on all of your hard work! Your English is really good! I would love to get to your level of fluency in another language. Thank you for the inspiration! I needed to read this today!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed and it helped you! And thanks for your kind words. :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/redneckray

    Language is the tool of communication.

    Can you use a can opener, an oscilloscope, a torque wrench or even laplace transforms?

    Probably only if you need to know.

    Rafa recognized his need to know and followed it.

    Doesn't make it any easier just makes him accept the difficulty.

    How you end up doesn't matter where you start but how hard you are willing to go to follow your heart.

    He's a lucky guy.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thanks! That was beautiful. I used a "tool" analogy as well in my video. That's pretty much it! Find your needs, set goals and a strategy, stick to it, change plans if necessary and persist until you finally master it.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Filipinacionista

    BRAVO AMIGO MIO! You have earned my dearest respect, man. I thank you for this!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! I really appreciate that! =)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/LillyLawliet

    yes thanks for this post. my original language is english so its been kinda difficult learning Japanese but ive been learning since september and i can write most of the symbols now and understand a lot of their words. i have had days in the past when i first started, about me giving up on the language because i wasn't learning fast enough, but i'm glad i didn't because, i want to keep on going and get extremely fluent someday in the language. sometimes i do feel as though im not learning as fast as i should, but then i remind myself everyone learns at their own pace.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Yes, definitely. You shouldn't rush. Learning a language is a process and the time that it's going to take really depends on many circumstances. The student, the method, how many hours you spend on a daily basis... All of those things would directly impact the speed of your learning. You gotta be patient. Some people say things like: "I became fluent in three months" but I don't trust them. The definition of fluency varies from one person to another but I think it's impossible to be REALLY proficient that fast, especially if you don't live in a country where you need to use that language 24/7.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/BartleyMeinke

    AWESOME Video. I'm a bilingual teacher, French and English, and am learning German here. You have such a great attitude! One that I try to teach to my students! (One of these days maybe I'll try Portuguese. :) Such a beautiful language. My knowledge of French and Latin helps me understand Spanish, but I understand nothing from Portuguese. One day. :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! It's thrilling when I receive this kind of feedback from natives and/or teachers. It means a lot. Yeah, maybe one day we could be here talking a little bit in Portuguese. Who knows? :D

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/cristoforoooo

    Seen your vid days back. Gave it a thumbs up and commented. wish I could give it more thumbs up. Well done Sir. Hard work pays off

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! Your support is more than enough to make me happy! I really appreciate your comment here and there. :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/crlight
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    As someone who gets told I speak fluently but doesn't consider himself fluent in his second language, let me just say: You seem fluent in English by my standards.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    I've heard sometimes that I should give myself more credit but I don't know, I guess I'm just too afraid of thinking something like: "I'm too good, I don't need to study anymore". lol We can always improve, you know? So I try to still think like a student and stay humble because I know there is a lot to be learned yet. Anyway, I really appreciate compliments like yours and I'm grateful for them. :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/cModesty

    Primeiro de tudo, obrigado querido senhor! Eu assisti seu vídeo do YouTube e acho que você é uma pessoa inspiradora. O único comentário crítico, e preciso fazer isso com você, é que você revise seu vídeo. Considere tirar a parte sobre a aprendizagem de línguas como uma "arma". Isso pode sugerir que o aprendizado de idiomas se destina a permitir que uma pessoa machuque outra e sei que essa não é a sua mensagem! Pense nisso, especialmente nesta era de ódio que Trump introduziu.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Muito obrigado pelos seus elogios e também pelo conselho. Realmente, penso que eu poderia ter utilizado uma analogia melhor do que uma arma porque isso pode proporcionar interpretações equivocadas. Você tem razão! No entanto, penso que armas não necessariamente sejam armas de fogo (pistolas, metralhadoras, fuzis etc.). Armas também podem ser instrumentos essenciais para a sobrevivência. Armas são indispensáveis para caçar, sobreviver contra animais selvagens ou mesmo resguardar seu território. Quando pensei nesta analogia, era a esse tipo de arma que me referia. Acredito que a interpretação neste caso cabe a cada um. Mas fico feliz que você tenha entendido corretamente a intenção inicial do vídeo. E agradeço mais uma vez pelo conselho. Serei mais cuidadoso em vídeos futuros! Obrigado!!!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/--Narcisz--
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    Thank you very much for your post, it is really inspiring! A time ago I have had felt quite stuck in my progress German. But I didn't give it up, fortunately :-) And thus last week I read out my first real book in German. It is so true that you have to persist in learning a language. And at the end you will succeed!
    For me reading and writing helped a lot to speak. I have made a lot of grammatical mistakes, when I was writing, which now seem quite obvious to me. But this shows that I have improved since then. My opinion is that if you read and listen to music, radio, TV, then in time grammar will become more natural to you. And speak as much as you can, every time you can! Only thus can we improve in speaking. Aside from this, it seems to me, that your English is really good. It's a great accomplishment, that you have achieved this alone. Congratulations on this.
    And thank you again for your encouragement, to not to give up. It is so motivating to see posts like yours :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! I totally agree with you! That's exactly the path towards fluency. You know, this video is a little bit "old" (I recorded two months ago) and that's exactly what happened to me. I kept on practicing every day from that date and now I realize some "minor" mistakes that I wouldn't make if I recorded it today. I even thought about recording it again but then I realized: "you know, that's a natural process of language learning. I don't need to seek perfection, I need to be understood". Of course, we should always want to improve over time but I don't need to be afraid of making mistakes because it is not my first language and I'm still learning. I'm gonna show my progress in future videos and those mistakes were FUNDAMENTAL for me to learn the RIGHT WAY to say or to write something. And, of course, the feedback I've been receiving is a proof that sometimes we fear to make mistakes and then be judged because of them but it turns out that it is much more likely for us to find a lot of supporting people who don't care that much and, instead, they get really impressed by your proficiency level.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/ClarkStephen
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    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/The_iCONer
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    That post is as good as finding the hidden Rosetta Stone by accident. About my struggle with patience, when in 2014 I saw my brother playing an online game with French-speaking people (he is not fluent in that language; he just happened to find an English server with speakers of French), my thought was, "What if I spoke like them as well?", so I chose Duolingo as a free and good-enough alternative to other applications like the expensive Rosetta Stone. My first pick was German, because I figured that English had numerous roots to German, and though I was right, just by the looks of it, they are no more than somewhat similar. It then came about that I slowly stopped due to my fallen interest, and it was not until 2016 that I continued from that long hiatus to learn German.

    When I resumed, it was mostly because I was interested again, and the streaks are the reason that I could not stop. Other reasons possibly include better understanding English and communicating with foreigners when gaming. After doing the German tree for a while, I became bored of just that, and when I got the opportunity to study Hebrew and Greek, I considered yes for Hebrew and eventually Greek since Evangelicalism is my religion and Greek influenced language forever.

    More alternatives meant less repetition, and once again, I became bored of doing just that. When I considered more languages, I was focused on languages most frequently used in gaming and online, since I intend to become an entrepreneur in the fields of gaming, films, and hardware. I slowly picked Russian because it seems that Russia cannot live without every of its citizen on a computer with games installed. When the Japanese course came out, I would choose that because then I could play numerous console games in Japanese only, as well as decent anime in cases where the English dub is garbage. It seems from that point on that I no longer practiced Duolingo because of the fear of interrupting the streak; rather, I happened to include the practicing in my daily routine, and it naturally happens.

    As I progressed, I then went on to also study French, Italian, Korean, and Swedish for an even total of 10 languages including English, since all of those languages are important online, in gaming, and in the media in general and one of them (Italian) is closest to Latin and fairly close to Spanish. And in retrospect, I am glad that I chose German because it is also a frequently used language in the media.

    Admittedly, I still struggle with occasional procrastination, where progressing in my trees puts me off and I focus on strengthening my previous lessons. One thing for sure, however: I am no quitter. After all, I have gotten this far, and because of this application, never before had I understood English so well. When I do struggle, I just prioritize which languages I really want to learn and then complete or strengthen skills for their trees, which reduces the stress. All of this is amazing for a high school graduate, and knowing 10 prominent or once prominent languages could make for a very decisive entrepreneur that can truly "reach out" to other people.

    And that is why I use Duolingo.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    That's amazing. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Really inspiring and I truly hope that all the energy you've been putting into learning those languages pays off. It's interesting how you explained the reason behind every language you chose because that's exactly what I constantly recommend people: you must have a REASON (and it's better to be a pretty good reason) for you to want to learn a language. Otherwise, you're likely to give up in a matter of weeks/months. But I'm very happy that you're not a quitter and this is helping you to get even better at English itself. That's amazing. I can say that I've got better at Portuguese as well since I started learning English. And I intend to learn other languages in the future too. Anyway, I hope you succeed on your goals and, once again, thank you for commenting here and sharing your story with us. :D

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/EminaSakura

    Wow, I seriously thought you're a native speaker of English the second I read this. Congrats and thanks for your inspiring message. :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! Comments like yours make me really happy! :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/John712579

    Thanks for this. As a one-language learner in middle age this was nice to hear. Now it's time to believe it...

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    That's for sure! Believing is the fuel that gives us the energy to seek our goals! Never run out of it.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Zuvium
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    A lot of people say Japanese isn't hard but I believe otherwise. Learning this language might take many years but in the end, I think it will be worth it. Thank you for your wise words.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    I think there is no language that it's really EASY to learn at all. As a native Portuguese speaker, I think Spanish is REALLY similar and this could help me a lot to learn the language. But I think that if I ever consider that it'll be EASY I would be fooling myself. A language is a very complexed and structured way to transmit IDEAS and in order to work properly, you must know a ton of vocabulary and grammar structures (and to learn "everything" about it isn't simple at all. No wonder I still make mistakes even today). Depending on your dedication, willingness and, of course, the methods you can get better and faster results but it is definitely something we all need to work really hard to achieve. I hope this motivates you to keep believing!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Shay9194

    Your English is amazing. You're a huge inspiration! :-)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! I really appreciate that! =D

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Dasi_
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    Thank you so much, this is an inspiration for anyone out there trying to learn another language. Your post/video is for all. My mind replaced the word “English” in your video with any language (I’m learning a few, lol) & was so moving. Puts all my excuses to shame & at the same time reminds me to put that shame where it belongs, in the past, forgotten & to move forward daily on the path to success.

    English is my native language yet still watching preschoolers try to unpack the sense of words like wind (a breeze), that is also wind (what you do to a clock) with no changes in spelling or why “come” is not pronounced ”comb” (although it has a silent e ) yet a silent “b” makes the letter “o” say it’s name in comb, for example—showed me exactly how difficult learning & understanding English can be.

    A few years ago had the longest streak I’ve ever had on Duolingo, lost internet due to an outage & was so upset by not having my long streak anymore, lost that fire for daily consistency & got lazy with it— extremely silly reason not to come on every day to practice. Don’t get me wrong I still practiced the languages...just kind of lost my flow. Unconsciously my busy life, kids, etc, however became my “excuse” for not getting back on track :).

    Reflecting, I think of how far would be now with those 30 minutes a day...but as you inferred in your video that kind of thinking is just another mind obstacle to progressing daily now & has no place if I wish to excel. I didn’t think about how often that mindset could get in the way until now. Internet outages happen all the time here so & I've learn not to pay attention so much to the streak on the page but to keep my learning “streak” going daily on or off Duo. I still keep it when I can but don’t let the one day fool you xD ;).

    Wish you success to you and everyone out there embracing the many languages & cultures this world has to offer.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you SO MUCH for this comment! One of the best feedback I've ever received since I started posting my videos. That's exactly what motivates me to help people. Knowing that my message could help you a little bit to keep believing and pursuing your dreams makes me really glad. I feel that all the effort and energy I have put into that video was worth it regardless any view counts or subscribers on my channel, you know? That's why I'm here. I want to help people and comments like these make me feel that I made a difference in someone's life. This is truly rewarding for me! Thank you! And KEEP BELIEVING! The mistakes are in the past! Let's keep it on because we've got a life to master! =D

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/HeyItsOcarina
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    Most people (at least I think) have a motivating factor about why they want to learn [language X]. It's a great thing to have, and to set smaller goals to reach your big "main" goal, much like learning how to play a sport if you want to be good as [insert athlete here] through practicing and setting little goals. [Top tip: DON'T GIVE UP, NO MATTER WHAT :D]

    I made a thread on this last night asking people what their motivating factor is, and if I may ask this question RafaLeon, but what is yours? :)

    This is the thread in question btw: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27857919

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/AishaPace

    I highly appreciate your inspiring message. What sparked your curiosity to learn another language? :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thanks! I wanted to learn English because I always had a dream to travel the world and always wanted to be able to communicate with people no matter what country I was. And one of my biggest dreams is to be able to inspire people and spread valuable messages to as many people as possible. In order to do that, English was required. I think we should always think big and pursue our dreams. So that's what I'm trying to do and that's a mindset I want to spread. Every time someone tells me that they needed to hear what I've said or that something I've written inspired them to keep believing, this gives me more and more energy to keep doing that! Knowing that you made a difference in someone's life is truly rewarding. And at the end of the day, I knew that even if I fail, many doors could open if I could speak English. So what did I have to lose, right? :)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/moesayed89
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    It is always inspiring to read about someone who made it and broke all the boundaries or limitations which we face daily, limitations like the idea of giving up, reaching a dead-end, or feeling like it is useless to go on.

    Every Language learner needs to set a goal or some sort of a reason for why he or she is learning this language, I'm not a native English speaker as well and I have decided since my high school years to be able to speak English well for plenty of reasons, finding a good job after college, discussing and sharing opinions with people all over the world and reading articles regarding any topic.

    Five years ago, I have started learning Italian and Spanish together at the same time just because I was planning for a Euro trip to Rome and Barcelona, I had to study both languages along side my job which was a challenging experience however I insisted on doing so because I had the passion, I imagined myself speaking with Natives in Italy and Spain even if it was slight and small conversations. Thankfully, by the time of my trip, I was able to use some survival phrases in Italian and Spanish.

    My point is that if you got the reason to learn a language, you would learn it, no matter what, so keep going and do it with passion.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you for such a helpful comment. I totally agree with you and that's exactly what I always recommend to people: if you want to learn a new language you MUST have a pretty good reason for that. Learning a language is not an easy task and it requires a lot of effort, energy, and willingness. Those bad days I mentioned before are kind of "inevitable" but only those who can see a greater good at the end of the road will surpass those barriers. Congratulations! Your English is really good!!!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/djduolingoad

    Well done!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thanks! =)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Nicole359448

    Hi! the post was very inspiring to me :D

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! That makes me really happy and motivates me to keep posting videos like this one.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/FattigJente
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    Yup. I became semi-fluent in French after 4 years and never visiting a French-speaking place. Still haven’t been and still semi-fluent 11 years later even though I don’t speak it much. Not sure how your English got so good because it is better than my French but anyway I know it’s possible to get fluent at least in languages with lots of resources, without visiting another country.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Practicing. We gotta be creative to find ways to practice our communicational skills. I got really surprised some months ago when I had my very first real conversation with a native English speaker and I still can't believe that I am able to hold entire conversations for 3/4 hours without much struggle. I wasn't expecting to be "that good" because I always felt that the lack of practicing in real life would make things really hard. But it turns out that some of my "techniques" for practicing my speaking helped me to be "prepared" after all. Oh, and, as you probably know, constantly listening to real conversations always help!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Mellanie666

    Thank you I feel more motivated than ever.. I've been studying both Portuguese and Japanese. I want to be fluent in a lot of languages it's just really fun and it makes me proud. I've never thought I could manage to speak 3 or more languages fluently and that's really a mind blowing thing! <3 Tenha um bom dia!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    That's great to know. Keep on going towards your fluency goals! I know you can do it! Quem sabe um dia poderemos conversar em português. ;)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Shaun_Hasting88.
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    Strong words for a wise man,good luck in the future (Dit is een sterke woorden voor een sterke man).

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thank you! You too! =)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Cumeon
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    Can't say that I agree completely.

    Knowing when to quit is part of being humble. Sometimes being too persistent is just ego. I know I won't ever learn Spanish, I do it in Duolingo for fun and I am learning some of it. I can understand from time to time, but if you don't live in the culture of certain language you foget it, it's just a fact of life.

    Language is a tool. Learning it and not living in a country where you are immersed in it is like having a mechanic garage for fixing cars and being equipped with gardening tools.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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    Hi Rafael,

    I saw you posting on the "Should I learn Portuguese" thread: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27824028$comment_id=27833257

    Quote RafaLeon14:

    "When it comes to language learning I always recommend that you should have a PRETTY GOOD REASON to want that target language. Learning a second/third/fourth language isn't easy and it is a process that is going to take a lot of time, effort, energy and dedication (and, sometimes, money). There will be days you won't want to study, you won't feel like it, you'll feel that you're not improving and you're wasting your time... It happens with all of us. In the beginning, it is pretty hard and a lot of people just give up because they are not patient. I'm not saying this to discourage you. On the contrary. I just want to WARN you that you need to have this goal set to always help you when those days finally come (and trust me, they will). That said, now ask yourself: "why do I want to learn a second language? What is my goal? What is going to change in my life after I succeed?". Take my case as an example: I am a native Portuguese speaker who wanted to learn English because this way I could understand and communicate with people from all around the world. I really wanted to spread my message and reach as many people as I could. In order to do that, I needed to learn English. It was unnegotiable. So, every time I didn't feel like studying I just reminded myself of my main goal and this was enough for me to sit my ass on the chair and practice English. So, now all you need to do is to ask yourself: "what would change in my life if I knew how to speak Portuguese? What would change in my life if I knew how to speak Spanish?". We can help you with pros and cons of both languages but the final decision is always yours! Good luck! :)"

    My reply comment: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27824028$comment_id=27835163

    Contains the one or other question to myself and you :-)

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Hey, Thomas. Just saw this! I've been following your interest with Portuguese for some time now and I intend to help you as much as I can. Perhaps my video can answer some of your questions already because it's about a related subject, but I promise I will give you a proper answer to your question directly on that thread.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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    @RafaLeon

    Hi Rafael,

    Perhaps my video can answer some of your questions already

    Now that I see your link, I can remember that I saw once your 1000 days thread and read across it when I was shorter in time.

    But I promise I will re-read it and I think it may also answer 1-2 of my questions...

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    Thomas, just for you to know, I've answered you in that thread. Sorry for the delay!

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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    Quite interesting what you wrote.

    I leave a direct link to your comment for all the hard work you put into writing it: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27824028$comment_id=27916610

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Lee_know_Minhoe

    i have alot of those days. i've been using duolingo for a cuple of months now and i learing korean, and before i begun i decided i wouldn't move on until i could understand everythign from that one section. i've been doing korean and for the last coupel onhs i haven't left the basic vowels and consonants because no matter how much i practice i always seem to never remember things. i remember not having this much trouble when i was doing japanese a couple years ago but i think it might be because i had a teacher. does anyone have any helpful tips or anything?

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/CaitlinErv

    Have you tried writing things down? When I feel stuck, or like I can't remember something I've repeated many times, I find the writing things down helps me a lot. Take all the time you need! You'll get there. :D

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/RafaLeon14
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    It's hard to give you specific tips because I haven't learned Korean and every language has its own difficulties. But if you are struggling to remember something you can try another approach. Some techniques work amazingly well for some people but not that well for other. I think that a good way to try remembering ourselves of something is when we relate that to pictures or feelings. When we make strong connections through feelings and visual situations we're likely to stick that in our brains. Sometimes just repetition pure and stricly doesn't work.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/mickymadfree

    I listen one minute audio for 10 - 30 times. It helps to remember grammar structures and to improve a listening skill. I try this for learning Japanese.

    7 months ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Harry156940

    Dude your English is IMPRESSIVE. I would not have picked up that wasn't your first language at all!! Nice work, congratulations on achieving so many of your goals!

    3 weeks ago
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