https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB

Breaking the "True Fluency" Barrier...

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Hello all! After experiencing some discouragement from leaving the forums for a few months, and returning to find that all of my homemade post archive (which I have slowly begun to rebuild) is inaccessible, I have returned.

Why? Because I have experienced something in my language-learning journey that I very much wish to share...

On Tuesday, I watched a film from Netflix called "The Motive," recommended to me by a language-crazy friend (please note, if you are under about the age of 16, you do not need to see this, but it is up to your discretion and research). It is in the Spanish of Spain and an eccentric and absurd film, which I enjoyed considerably. But the main reason I wanted to see it was to see if I could understand the slang, idioms, and ever-twisting plot.

I have been able to "speak Spanish" fully for a long time, but I am studying European Spanish at the moment, and I thought this would be a good tool! It turned out that it was very much so. Since the volume was constantly changing, and the teacher in the film had very indistinguishable consonants, I eventually decided halfway through to switch on European Spanish subtitles. This made it far easier, as my reading skills are top-notch, and I didn't have to play with the remote the entire time.

My dad was watching it with me, as he sometimes has interest in foreign films, and asked me to translate what they were saying into English. I could fully understand, I was enjoying it, immersed....but I was understanding it from a Spanish point of view and thinking in Spanish. Otherwise, I would not have been able to keep up, understanding it one way, putting it into English, and then making it all sound sensible! I had a very hard time translating the most complex and emotionally-fraught sentences into English to where they actually sounded normal at a speed which matched the characters. This frustrated me! But I realized, this is actually a good thing...

Why is that? How is that good? Well, the difficulty of having to convert it to English means that I was not converting it to English in my head, and spitting it out. This takes a long time to first 1. hear it, 2. translate it, and 3. make it sound sensible, then 4. say it in your native language (and it is the stage which I am trying to escape in Russian). When you realize that you are thinking in another language, and no longer need to put it into your native to understand, you are reaching that ever-envied goal of breaking the "true fluency" barrier.

This makes me so excited! I will continue watching more films this way. It makes me happy to be constantly thinking and "stumbling" into actually speaking Spanish. It means I have "mentally immersed" for long enough for this to be a reality!!

Keep pushing, keep studying, and do not give up until you have reached your own goals! Buena suerte--

4 months ago

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ExSquaredOver2
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Makes perfect sense. Fluency is not when you accept "Hola" means "hello" in Spanish, but when "Hola" means "Hola."

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Exactly! This is the best and shortest explanation I have heard yet. Have a lingot, and thank you for reading!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ggarciat

This quote seems relevant:

"Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick." -- Bruce Lee

I have found myself thinking of that quote several times in many different domains. I love it!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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One of those times when you really mean an upvote!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Oh, my goodness! I did not expect to receive such a nice welcome back with this post. Even my complimentary hater has returned to wish me well and keep things real! I feel so loved.... Well, that's it. I think I will try for returning officially to these forums. And I love the input and postings from all of you. It truly made my day. ))

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ThomasBruc18

I learned Spanish ages ago and am rather fluent, but I couldn't agree more now that I've been studying Japanese for four years! I can say in English what I'm hearing in Spanish, but that would be impossible in Japanese. (In fact, I often find myself, knowing the grammar and knowing the words in Japanese unable to understand the meaning! One of the main reasons I'm here in Duolingo, incidentally.) Consider this sentence, word by word: "Ima, isogashii desu kara, chotto matte kudasai." = Now, busy is therefore little wait, please. Actually, it means, "I'm busy right now, so please wait a bit." Trying to 'move the pieces around' to make sense in English is almost impossible if speaking!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Thank you for your comment! I think it is something we all struggle with....as I say, "breaking the true fluency barrier." But we remember, that the hill only gets steeper when there is an easier path to come. So, never give up. :)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merkavar

Do you have any suggestions of videos or movies for the not so fluent. Maybe where they speak a bit slower?

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Hello! My favorite picks:

-El Internado (series)

-Peru: Hidden Treasure, Wild Magic of Colombia (documentaries)

The first is in Spain Spanish, the second ones are obviously of South American Spanish. All of them are on Netflix! And the filming of the documentaries is absolutely exquisite.

Best of luck!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Miintono
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Do these have subtitles?

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Miintono, Yes, they do! You can have your choice of subtitles on Netflix in the settings. The series is definitely a good one for these.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aridneia

El Internado is beautiful. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aesuarez
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There's a series called Money Heist, La Casa de Papel in Spanish, which is amazing!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Ah yes! I enjoy the latter. Thank you for remembering these;)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose
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Hi Lauriana! I have experienced this too!
I was reading a German book and someone asked me to translate as I go, and I had the same problem: You understand a concept and cannot put it into words though I understand it.

Thanks for putting it into words!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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That's so great! Keep up your German....you will not regret it. :) Best of luck and thank you for reading!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clayton_mc02

Great story! Keep up your studies in European Spanish and Russian!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Thank you!!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexanderN544080

Well, you found out what kind of a job it is to be a simultaneous interpreter :)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Ahhhahh, yes indeed....I translated a Russian film with subtitles in Polish a few months ago. I must admit that Spanish was an easier job, though I enjoyed both significantly. I enjoy sharing my new favorite films with my family this way, as otherwise they could not enjoy them!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A-positive-bean

Thank you for your story, it is so motivating to hear how well other people have come over time, eventually getting to the point of fluency. Have a lingot on my behalf, I wish you all the best :)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Thank you so much for your kind words! I am glad you enjoyed this. :)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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Hello LaurianaB, I wonder if this will help you with the links in homemade post archive that stopped working.

Change the beginning of the url to https://forum.duolingo.com
Next, where you would see = in a url, change that to %3d. For example:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7242951$comment_id=27149914
Becomes
https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/7242951$comment_id%3D27149914

I don't know if that will fix things for you. But, it was the only thing I could think of that has changed.
PS I know it is not hyperlinking properly here. But, if you make the changes, copy the new URL, and then paste them into the browser, I am hoping they will work for you.

Edit again: You might not even need to change the = to %3D. Duolingo might do that automatically, so long as you start your URLs with https://forum.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Thanks a million!! Glad to see you around and about. ;)

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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I was unable to be around as much for most of this year. But, I am currently back full swing again. ^_^ Good to see you too!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnIsAPandah

waves at both of you

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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squishes my sib

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_lusofono_
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This post marks out the ground I still have to cover as a speaker of Portuguese. I can rather faithfully translate what is said in PT-BR and correct errors in basic-to-intermediate level texts. But I still think in English and convert it to Portuguese in my head. Perhaps only living abroad for a long time will teach me to truly think in Portuguese.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ulysssses
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when hello is hola and hola hello and a punch a kick and a kick a punch ... it is just glorious!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mished_potatoes

thanks for motivating a lingot for you

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Thanks a million!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P-Code
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Welcome back to the forums, Lauri!! I am surprised there aren't more comments on here—this post is brilliant. So much, I don't know what else to say. :P

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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Thank you so much, P-Code! I appreciate it! Much love <3

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hollyleaf___

You know, I agree. The same thing happens to me in Spanish class when my teacher asks me to explain something. (Spanish 2) Like direct and indirect objects, I know what I'm talking about in my head, but I can't explain it and make a fool of myself. Same thing with German and Japanese. Well, I'm working on Japanese, but still!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
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You will get there! The more languages you learn the easier it will become, as well. Best of luck---

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hollyleaf___

danke!

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/._.ninjatrxye._.

100th upvote!!!

4 months ago
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