https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB

I Stopped Writing "Translations" in My Notes: Here's Why

LaurianaB
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For the years I was studying Spanish daily, I would write the Spanish words and their translations in English on the lines of my work notebook. Doesn't everyone do this? Write the word in your target language, then a colon or dash, and the translation into your native language....over and over. So soon, you see a word like "mesa" and say to yourself, "mesa means table." Isn't that just lovely?


Well, not eventually. I did this for 5 years in Spanish before I realized that it was actually hindering me, past the point that I was a beginner. For every time I saw or heard a Spanish word, my brain put it in English! When I read books or watched movies, my brain was translating over and over. When someone spoke to me in Spanish, there was a delay in when I could respond. "They said buenas noches....Good night..." Make it stop! This was not fluency! I hated that delay and supposed that I would be stuck with it forever.

Well, this that I describe above is definitely not fluency at all. And here is why:

As you likely guessed, or remembered, native speakers read the words in their native/fluent language and understand the word itself. They do not have to translate!

So, instead of looking at a dog and thinking, "dog, perro," I looked at the dog and saw....perro. And that was all I saw. When a dog quit being "dog," when "table" became mesa...this is when I started to see progress.

If I am thinking in Russian, I see "окно." In my brain at that moment, there is not a thing called window. This is the biggest part of fluency....being able to stop using your native language as a crutch.


All this leads me to the main topic here, and that is that I stopped writing (for the most part) English or Spanish translations in my learning notebooks. I don't want to see "лошадь" and think of a horse. I want to think of "лошадь."

Disclaimer: I have what is called a semi-photographic memory. If I write something down and see it on paper, I do not forget it.

The other day, I wrote about 50 phrases in Serbo-Croatian (some of them familiar to me because of my Serbian and Croat friends) without English translations. And guess what? 3 days later, I can tell you all of them. And to me, they mean what they mean. "Molim" is just "molim" to me. If someone asked me, I could tell them that it means "please." But until then...I am thinking of it as a native/fluent speaker.


(Please note: this discussion is mainly aimed at intermediate and advanced learners. Methods that work for non-beginners may not be as effective or rewarding for someone who has yet to know anything in their target language.)

I hope that following this process in your learning is as helpful to you as it is and was to me! Best of luck... всегда удачи :)

1 week ago

79 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Peter594672
Peter594672
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Yes, basically, what you are doing is you are expanding your array of synonyms. It is a great thing to do and the right way to go, I think.

For this reason it is a good practice to switch to monolingual dictionaries as soon as you can and stick to them as much as you can. Of course, you can't do it right in the beginning because then it looks like a bunch of weird characters followed by more of such bunches, none of which tell you a single thing... :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Большое спасибо за комментарий, Peter. И это, конечно, отличная идея!

I think I will hunt up a monolingual dictionary soon enough for my other languages...this should be fun.... :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells
MissSpells
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Lauriana, I completely agree. When I create my personal tinycards decks.. I try to make them completely visual instead of translation based, as much as possible.. so I will have 'perro' on one side and a picture of a dog on another and in this way there is no need to include to the English translation. Sites like babadum.com and visual dictionaries are also great because you associate the word with an image rather than a translation.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Silvia, that is completely right! That's a wonderful idea. Thank you for reading and for your support, as always. <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

How do you handle abstract concepts or complex verbs?

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells
MissSpells
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I try to be creative and make the images personal, sometimes the pics themselves are more abstract references. The more personal the reference the better I tend to remember it. For example for the verb to be I have a picture of a cartoon bee sitting in lotus and meditating, to have: a picture of a monopoly board. Fun is a pic of the carousel from Mary Poppins. Often the pictures I use are from movies or illustrations from books. If I really can't think of something I will include the english definition, for my Ancient Greek deck I still have the English definition as well as a pic.. but for my personal Irish deck it only Irish on one side and an image on the other. I haven't created too many of these decks yet and they are still works in progress, the Irish one is mostly just for extra vocab, from cartoons, music and such, I encounter outside of duo. I do spend quite a bit of time googling for the perfect image.. but it is fun.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Wow! That must take forever. I'm trying to imagine it for over 30 words a day (the normal load on the intensive). I don't think I have that much imagination.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells
MissSpells
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Well, it does take me a long time which is why I do not do it for the entire course. Definately would take me hours if I tried to add thirty words a day, I usually just add a few words a week. I still use the premade duolingo and memrise decks and other flashcard programs, but for the decks I make myself this is my approach. For Ancient Greek a friend is teaching me slowly, so I make flashcards after each lesson... but so far I am only up to fifty words. Finding the perfect image somehow helps me remember the word better. However, I am very picky and really enjoy finding the perfect pic, it is the fun part for me. Usually if I enter the word as a google image search something comes up. Or enter the word you want plus 'illustration' if you want something pretty. I would say it usually takes me about 5 minutes to find the perfect pic, but sometimes I spend half an hour choosing. I guess it requires a bit of creativity. I think if I was less picky it would only take me a minute ir so to make a card. If you are a visual learner you might want to check out Babadum as well, they have thousands of words illustrated (and they have Hungarian too!). Drops is also a nice app which uses illustrations instead of translation and you can choose to turn the translations off and just have pictures, though it is mostly basic nouns and a few verbs. I suppose I realized that I learn better when I have a strong visual to connect with and I have much more fun making pretty flashcards than boring ones.

This is my Irish deck: https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/7ZJ9kqXS/gaeilge. I made it temporarily public just in case anyone wants to see to get ideas of how to make a more visual flashcard deck. I don't know if the pictures and associations would make sense for anyone else (hence, I generally set my decks private) but they work for me. Still doesn't have many words yet.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bridget-river

I was a teacher of students with learning disabilities. I made flash cards with them for vocabulary. The concept cards were the most fun to make. I had to find sample images for them to pick from because a google image search could be risky in the classroom. It really helped them personalize their learning. Explaining their image choice helped them understand words like heroic, alone vs lonely, content, ...

Funny. I hadn't thought of doing them for myself.

I'm at about 450 words now and most of my notes are all in Spanish. But if I take a few phrases from SpanishDict.com I add the English if there are nuances. And usage notes are in English.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Yep, you need to do it at the start but then you have to stop. First year I did a Hungarian intensive things were pretty relaxed. The following year the teacher rarely spoke English. The next she didn't and we weren't allowed to in class. Then no non-Hungarian in class or on the campus. And yes, at some point, no margin notes in English - all words, grammar, notes and examples in Hungarian only. Couldn't have done it the first year but there comes a time when you have to step up (I admit I do occasionally check my dictionary to ensure I did get it exactly right)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thanks for your comment, Judit! You seem to be a very interesting lady. Best of luck to you with Hungarian....you are brave. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_Wesley
Thomas_Wesley
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This is a really great insight. I think it's nice to have your native tongue for those "in case of emergency - break glass" kind of situations, but this is definitely something I'm going to have to consider applying more diligently to my own learning. Thank you!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thomas_Wesley, thank you very much! I am glad to have helped. Best of luck. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Einat162
Einat162
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Wow.

Each one has his or her's own preferred method - it's wonderful that you manage to find yours!

I can't quite relate to your story, but here is mine: Sometimes when I need to write an Email in English (not native, but pretty flaunt) I sometimes confuse and type in Welsh :-) For example "Siop" instead of "Shop", "gath" instead of "cat".... When the words are more different they pop up in my head and I realise that is not English before starting to type.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Einat162,

That's an interesting phenomenon...good luck with your English, and thank you for your comment! :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Einat162
Einat162
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*Welsh

(I consider myself pretty flaunt in English, from a young age)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Ah, I misread! And yes, you are very fluent in English :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Willy304501

This is a really good point. I'm doing Duolingo as a supplement to my high school German II course, and I'm starting to get to a point with the language where I might say some thing like "The Kaufhaus is down the street" instead of "The department store is down the street" when translating from German. I guess this means that I'm getting better, because I'm not needing to translate some of those words, its just "Kaufhaus", and that makes sense in my head. Great article :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you very much for your comment, Willy! I am glad this could help you. And you seem to be making great progress in German...my friends say that when I am angry I spit out random words in other languages....or maybe even just out-of-the-blue. Sometimes I point to something and say "oh, look at __" and do not realize that I said it in another language! Viel Glück :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chaos_Hawk

Well said. Great job explaining and good point with the disclaimer. This was a good reminder for me, so as thanks have a Lingot :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you very much, Chaos_Hawk!!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carbsrule
carbsrule
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I tried doing this but quickly gave up because finding good pictures that represent words adequately - for me, at least - is more time and effort than it's worth.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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carbsrule, do you need pictures though? They are not necessary..if your brain is able to remember 10-15 words without visual aide, you're on a great track...not everyone can do it, but it's worth a try. :)Thank you for reading!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/carbsrule
carbsrule
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No, I don't. I find putting unknown words into sentences of known words helps contextualise them. Otherwise I try and create mnemonics.

1 week ago

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

Great post Lauriana I have a hard time remembering that a jeruk isn't an "orange" but a round citrus fruit

1 week ago

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

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/A_riri22
A_riri22
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I have just experienced this yesterday! I was on youtube, and i wanted to watch some content in spanish to improve my listening comprehension. I found my self switching between trying to translate and actually understanding. Since the creater was speaking so fast, this caused me to miss some of what she was saying. It wasn't until i stopped, and tried to think in spanish that I was able to understand much more of what she was saying. Of course since she was using some colloquial terms I havent learned i still had spanish subtitles on. But there truly is a difference, and I highly recommend everyone tries to emerse themselves in thir language if they really want to keep up. Buena suerte!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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A_riri22, that's excellent! Keep it up...I love these small epiphanies. :) Best to you in your studies!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverPheonix

I guess that true. This deserves a lingot or three!!!(I have a lot of lingots and I don't ever plan on spending them, so I'm just kinda giving them away.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you very much, SilverPheonix!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexSmith452900

I mean that makes the most sense. That is why i dont write in my

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cat4343

This is very interesting. I am just a beginner in Spanish, but I got pretty far along in the Swedish course using another account. I ended up dropping the language eventually because I couldn't seem to achieve an actual fluency. I'm wondering if this may have been because I would make sure to write any new Swedish words down along with their English translation, just like you describe doing. I think this may have been one of the reasons that I failed to achieve fluency, and I will be mindful of how I do this in the future so that I can do it in a more effective way. Thanks for your insight!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Cat4343,

As someone who is learning....Serbo-Croatian, I know what it's like to not have many native speakers around at all (and definitely not irl, thank God for the internet and my friends), and to have very little learning resources....you aren't alone in your Swedish adventure. I'm not sure where you live, but if you don't have many resources or native speakers to help you, and you still really want it.....there are ways, regardless! You can learn anything you set your mind to, even minority languages...definitely Swedish is not out of your reach at all. So, if you want to do it, carpe diem!

My tip for writing words without translations...when you write them, use the mnemonic technique...find something your brain associates (this could even be a Spanish word) that triggers your memory to its meaning until you really pick up speed. Also, visualize in your head over and over as you write it what it is. Capture that image and you're set (or at least, this works for me!).

Above all, thank you very much for reading and for your comment...best of luck! Buena suerte!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cat4343

Thanks for the encouragement with Swedish! Maybe I will pick it back up again. Also, I like your method for learning new vocabulary. You have been very helpful. Thank you! :D

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Of course. :) And thank you for sharing your enthusiasm with me!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheBookKeeper06
TheBookKeeper06
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Yes, I agree with you! I grew up learning Spanish at school, but I use Duolingo for alternate languages and take notes. Usually, I try to tab household items with the names, which helps me get used to seeing and thinking. Another problem with taking notes is that is creates blocky sentences, as you can't really go into grammar.

However, writing down the words helps you study when you don't have access to a device and helps you memorize them. Eventually, with practice, you should be able to see and think!

I still write words down on whatever loose sheet of paper I can find, but maybe one day we can find a way to learn a language that sticks in your brain with no disadvantages!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you for reading and for your comment, TheBookKeeper06! You are on a great track. Best of luck to you!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Michael989395

very good thoughts! thank you!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you for reading, Michael!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

For me it's a half way house. I write the Spanish and try to translate in my head when rereading. It must be fantastic to have a photographic memory.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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uphilldweller, With most of my strategies, I have to remember that everyone needs to alter it a bit to work for them...you are doing well! :)

It must be fantastic to have a photographic memory.

Some have it far worse than me, but I would say it is a superpower and also a curse. I remember every horrific thing I see as if it was yesterday (this is why I tend to stay away from horror films), and yet I can memorize a word list in a jiffy or remember what I was wearing and what everyone else wore to an event 3 years ago...I also am nearly unable to forget names and eye colors of people I met. :) Each of us have our strengths and weaknesses.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

Crumbs LaurianaB I never want to remember 'every horrific thing' yet ironically retain the worst in (what I think is called) flashbulb memory.

Not having a 'superpower memory' means resorting to old fashioned repetition and revision as a means to 'normalise' a new language. Luckily Duo caters for this method of learning.

Oh and 'Each of us have our strengths and weaknesses' is both nicely put and true. Good luck with your studies.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you, uphilldweller. :)

(Also, are you fluent in Spanish? I have "been" for a long time and yet feel myself too lazy to repeat enough things and "earn" my level 25...I'll save it for a rainy day.)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/uphilldweller

Thank you LaurianaB. I am not fluent in Spanish. My Spanish ambition has always been to be able to read in that language. Duo provides a foundation, that in my case, always has to be shored up with repetition and revision.

Now equipped with some working knowledge and shared words with English I am enjoying reading about what interests me in Spanish. A new world opens up. For sure a computer could instantly translate an article - though where's the fun in that?

Spanish for the puzzle. Sudoku that opens doors.

LaurianaB never worry that you might be 'too lazy to repeat enough things and "earn" my level 25'. You'll put the effort in and more when you want to. That's not laziness, it's having other interests, and that's allowed!

All the best.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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uphilldweller,

Have you ever tried Clozemaster? It is free, with tons of real-life reading exercises, and context-centered drills you can customize. I think you would find it very useful to you. :)

And you're right...at this point, I'm already a Spanish speaker and repeating "the teacher gives the duck an apple" or something like that does not appeal to me at all...I'd rather go watch a Spanish film or voice-chat with a Russian friend, learn German Christmas carols....anything else! Haha....

Well, thank you, and I wish you the best in everything you pursue as well. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmilyVBR

I've stopped writing translations in my Korean notebooks as well over the last year. Since then I've felt like my language aquisition has been happening in a more natural way, similar to how babies and children learn, without that translation gap. It's the first time I've tried this--I used to rely solely on translations when I was learning other languages--and so far I'm liking this way much better.

Edit: I just remembered I used Rosetta Stone in high school to learn Greek (as a complete beginner). It never used translations, only pictures to define each word or sentence. I remember being very frustrated by this at first, because I often had to guess what the picture was trying to portray. But with time I got used to it and it was actually a helpful way to learn. I would like to study more languages with Rosetta Stone now, if it wasn't so expensive.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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EmilyVBR,

Great to see you around again! I hope your Korean studies continue to go well. And see...Rosetta Stone had the code cracked in Italian for my friend...maybe this "non-translation" model really does work for so many. I think that most of all, variety is key...thanks for your comment! :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-LiamAnderson-
-LiamAnderson-
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This is what I have always tried to convince others as the meaning of fluency but never had the words to do it. Thank you!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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-LiamAnderson- De nada! Thanks for reading. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MariaN117773

Thank you for sharing this. I'm studying french and I will from now on follow your advice.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you for your support, Maria! I hope it works as well for you as it does for me. I appreciate your giving this a read. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SashaSolov1

Very interesting and useful observation, Lauriana, thank you for the "warning"! I write words/translations like that for myself sometimes, when I need a little extra effort (besides Duo lessons) to internalize the new vocabulary, but that's more of an exception, not a rule for me.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you, SashaSolov1! I appreciate your support. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DUwVpF4o

i found this helpful but while speaking three germanic languages and romanian, when learning a language it translate from all of them at once...that becomes a living HEL! advies?bedankt!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Hi! I suggest that maybe you choose one language (whichever is your first) to use in learning the others. This will keep everything from getting shuffled about...though, if you remember the word in your target languages, who cares to which it is "translated" in your head? As long as you understand it, it's a success. Good luck!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchDipp

Gracias for this! I am much more of a visual learner as well, although I am intermediate, I am going to try this!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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FrenchDipp,

Gracias por su comentario...buena suerte! Estoy feliz que haya disfrutado. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rachelpowers643

This seems really helpful, I tend to do that as well. "They said mesa, so that means table." I'm going to stop writing the English translations and look at words for what they really mean in their native language.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Rachel,

That's great! I'm sure you'll see a ton of progress as time goes on. Best!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/visagucciboi

i tried learning Portuguese got pretty far along the course but drop it because the only word i remember is abacaxi , means pineapple, every time i see a pineapple i'm yelling abacaxi

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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I found myself doing this as well! Thanks for sharing the strategy!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Sure thing, Usagiboy7! Good to see you again. I hope all of your studies and pursuits are going well. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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I started Dutch when I needed it and wow! I would have started learning this language as soon as it hatched if I had known it would be this cute and fun. I can't help reading 90% of the sentences with sarcastic or incredulous inflection. xD

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Usagi,

I am glad to see you so enthusiastic and excited about Dutch! Best of luck in that... I am on German right now, but it's on my long-term list. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dusk_Malice
Dusk_Malice
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I agree with everything here and try to do similar things myself, but with all due respect, there's no such thing as any kind of photographic memory and eidetic memory is (for some reason) only present in some children, but not any adults (the trait is apparently lost by aging). You probably just have a better than average memory. I only mention this because some people might get discouraged if they don't think they have a special kind of memory. Otherwise, cheers to your learning successes!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Photographic memory, if taken literally may not exist. (Lack of proof however isn't guarantee of lack of existence. It's just lack of proof. So, literally having a photographic memory may or may not exist. We don't know with 100% certainty). What does exist is people with amazing memories that, while not literally photographic, can still recall whole books, page by page, at will. I had a friend in university who could do that. He'd read a book once and tests were a breeze. He may not have a "photographic memory" in the absolute literal sense, but he has a photographic memory, in the sense that his recall is phenomenal, even if he cannot recall exactly every small deviation of ink from the press on the paper.

As for eidetic memory, it is present in some adults. I have a friend, mid 20s (also met them in university) who has an amazingly eidetic memory.

I heard growing up that color blindness only happens in males. But, it turns out that isn't true. It's just much more prevalent.

We don't know everything there is to know yet about people and brains. Blanket statements about people are tricky. Bodies and brains aren't static. Every person born could be the first person to exhibit something truly unique to our species. Or, we could discover something we didn't previously have the technology or understanding or focus to discover that has existed for a long while already. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Yes, I worked with a woman who could reproduce quite complex circuit diagrams. Very handy on site when we'd forgotten to bring them with us.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dusk_Malice
Dusk_Malice
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That's all well and true, but then we shouldn't call it "photographic" or "eidetic" memory. I'm not trying to prove people wrong or necessarily nail them on terminology, but neither of those things exist in the way people talk of them. These people simply have very good (in the case of photographic, visual) memory. These special memory types absolutely could exist, but it's not scientifically sound to give people the benefit of the doubt when they claim that they have traits for which there is literally no evidence or by allowing them to use colloquial terms to describe (and thus confuse) what they really experience. My point is that we should call a spade a spade is all.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Usagiboy7
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Dusk_Malice, words are not things, they represent things based on how people use them, and so plenty of usage is non-literal.

For example, "toe" does not represent an exact toe unless that is made clear in the context of usage. "This toe" [Points at a specific toe]. There is not an ideal, singular toe.

Language is symbolic representation of objects and phenomenon. People decide via social processes what words refer to. Words do not exist without this process of negotiation. The letters p.h.o.t.o.g.r.a.p.h.i.c have no inherent meaning by themselves, people must give them permission to mean something. The same applies to their sounds. People decided they/we would use these letters and sounds to represent one or more things and so the letters did. In this sense, all language is constructed. (And yet, people have chosen to use the term "constructed language" to refer only to some language phenomenon, rather than all language phenomenon. Language is messy like that.) Language does not avail itself to neat boxes, because it does not avail itself to anything. Rather, people have not used language in necessarily tidy ways and so it is not always tidy.

Here is another example, the lowest part of a cliff isn't a literal toe, but people use the word toe to represent it. Thus, the lowest part of the cliff became the toe of the cliff. This is how language works.

The word "photographic memory" can represent more than one phenomenon or concept. My friend has a photographic memory in one sense of the word, but not another.

Edit: Tone can be hard to gauge via text. And in a debate online, it can be easily misread. My intended tone is just that I am seeking to provide information about the mechanics of language usage. I am not frustrated or upset or making a judgement on your capacity for intelligence. Language is just a field of study that I have some experience in. And, I am seeking to share some aspects of it that you might not be aware simply because you have not encountered the information before. I am not always good at knowing how best to relay information. So, if my comment comes off as redundant or like I am talking down to you, I very much didn't intend it to.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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That's very well written of you, Usagi....it's a talent. Have a lingot; you explained this perfectly! :)

(And of course, I don't want to pick on anyone; I don't think it's so much of a debate really, as a difference in viewpoint and maybe some skewed verbal interpretations. Everything is fine!)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dusk_Malice
Dusk_Malice
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To both of you, especially Usagiboy7, that was the point I was making from the very beginning. As I said, I accept that Lauriana has a very good visual memory that is similar to recalling snapshots, as "photographic memory" often means. I don't doubt that that is what Lauriana experiences. I trust them in their claim. I'm merely saying that the specific phenomenon that most people know it as doesn't exist, therefore no one can claim to have actually (i.e. literally) photographic memory. Thanks for understanding.

1 week ago

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

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Thank you for your comment, Dusk_Malice.

...but with all due respect, there's no such thing as any kind of photographic memory...

Pardon? I think in pictures and I recall things in pictures. I can recall an entire page of words in Serbian that I wrote after one look, recall outfits my friends wore to events from which there are no photos...it most definitely does exist. If it did not, there would not be studies on it, people using it, and people like savants who have it as a near-disability. I will stop here and just reference what Usagi said...might want to do a bit of research. I'm not judging you, just stating that you're off-track here, IMHO.

I only mention this because some people might get discouraged if they don't think they have a special kind of memory.

That's really sincere, and I appreciate that...but I'm not going to deny that I and quite a few (more than you would think, some have not realized or used it yet) people have this built-in tool and can use it to our advantages. I don't think it's a straight-up "superpower" that makes everyone around me feel bad...my friends can forget car wrecks or other gruesome things they saw, and it won't let go of me. And as I said, we all have our strengths and weaknesses... I could feel bad that I don't have some "advantage" that someone else has, or I could just use my own and be happy with it. It's always a choice!

..cheers to your learning successes!

Thank you very much! I appreciate it. Same to you. <3

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dusk_Malice
Dusk_Malice
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I'd love to see the research then, because it has proven the opposite. I'm not saying that your memory is any less capable than what you claim. It--like most people's--probably resembles what we think of as being photographic memory, but the definition of photographic memory (perfect visual recall of "snapshots") has never been scientifically proven to exist. Your memory is probably uncommonly good at visualizing, but this does not necessarily mean that it's photographic. I appreciate your consideration of these articles.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/i-developed-what-appears-to-be-a-ph/

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2006/04/kaavya_syndrome.single.html

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Dusk_Malice,

Alright, those are interesting pieces. I suppose the issue here is that you are debating the word usage about it, not its existence? Until they come up with something to call it, I'll be waiting I guess...I was not aiming at "exactness" perhaps but using the only words I know to describe it as an aim at an idea that was not in any way central to my article and not much so on how it applies to the learning of others...that's all. However, from the first comment of yours here, all I could think was that it is dangerous to start making across-the-board statements, especially about things that only the holder can see. We could pick up a discussion about perceived existence of pain and actual pain here and go on for hours...

Thank you for being gracious and objective in this comment. It is not common..

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dusk_Malice
Dusk_Malice
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Yes, language is part of what I was getting at, although I maintain that true photographic memory is an unproven claim. Things similar to it seem likely, as you probably experience something of the sort. And you're right that the language around it can be confusing because people use certain words and terms so much that their meanings become varied and/or vague. And I didn't mean to make a blanket statement because I was never denying what you experienced, just that it might not line up with the specific scientific definition. I know it seems like I was nitpicking or arguing semantics, but (besides the fact that I just love phasing out common misconceptions eheheh), like I said, it can be discouraging for some people to hear about how others have special traits and they have none. I see it happen to too many people and it's very sad. If you need a term to describe your memory, you could really just say that it's "nearly photographic" (reminding them of the truth about the term!) or that you have "very good visual memory."

No hard feelings! And thank you for understanding!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Dusk_Malice,

I must say that I really appreciate you being able to state observations and disagree with people without acting aggressive or hurling insults...it is sadly all too uncommon. So, I wanted you to know that I appreciate that about you. You seem to be very smart and well-spoken type. Thank you for expanding on your original comment...I hope we can be friends. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dusk_Malice
Dusk_Malice
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LaurianaB, I'm not able to properly reply to your latest comment because of the interface, but I thank you for your kind words as I do try to be sympathetic and civil at all times! Of course we can be friends! :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

My excellent memory was damaged by an injury - however even I can still learn. Just takes a little longer and more repetitions.

1 week ago
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