https://www.duolingo.com/DeTato

I'm struggling to learn Spanish

I've been attempting to learn Spanish for months now and I feel like I'm getting nowhere. I have a Spanish 1 class I attend on top of using Duolingo, watching shows in Spanish, and listening to the radio. Does anyone have any tips or pointers that might spark something in my pea-brain?

1 month ago

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Chilotin
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Tell us about your problems. Are you struggling to remember words, to understand grammar, to imitate pronunciation, to understand spoken language or anything else?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeTato

Basically everything you listed. Like I'll know the words one week then the next they've escaped me. Perhaps it is because I'm not spending enough time on certain things even though I'm proceeding slowly. I struggle the most with the grammar.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/catankitty
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honestly, I think it helps repetitively speaking out loud to yourself or someone else. I had to do this in spanish and it really helped. what part are you struggling with though?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_DragonFyre_

There is (usually) a point, where a language "clicks".
What I mean by that, is you suddenly understand. It took me a while (around 3 years of class) before Spanish "clicked" for me.

Just, keep trying, it will work one day.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tusiperu
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Yeah, You're right. For me the moment has been these days: french has "clicked" for me! And it's great!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eetu_Kupila

What I'm doing is I handwrite all the tips/hints that every lesson has on the skill tree (on an actual notebook with a pen). Seems like I remember everything better when I carefully write it down. I'm old school, I know, haha!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wcoles
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I second this suggestion. I have found that keeping an old school handwritten notebook (in conjunction with software like duolingo) has really helped me with getting vocabulary and grammar points into my long-term memory. There is something to physically writing things down to make them stick better.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lizreynolds

Something that really helped me when I started learning spanish was to think to myself in spanish and translate things i was hearing in my head! Say a friend is telling you a story, it really gets you thinking if you try and mentally-translate chunks of what you hear. Or in class if you can afford to zone out a little just focus on what the teacher is saying and see if you can translate some of what theyre saying into Spanish! translating the little thoughts that you have throughout the day can also really help and it doesnt have to be anything crazy! Thinking to yourself things like "Yo quiero un café...tengo que llamar mi amigo... me encanta ese perro" etc are great ways to just practice what you know and keep you thinking :) buenas suerte!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hjh414399

Hola DeTato: My advice is "Don't give up!!!" I have now set my daily goal at 10 (change in "Settings") so that I don't pressure myself. Most days I do more than 10--today 516--but once I get started on the "10" I often just keep going. Remeber you didn't learn your fist language in a week either! Have a look at the light bulbs on each lesson for grammar tips. If you can learn 10 words a day that would be 70 in a week! So poco a poco (little by little....Tenacity is the first requirement in language learning. Some days are good, some bad, or very bad, but every day do you 10 XP or whatever you decide. You will feel proud of accomplished the self discipline to "do" Spanish every day...and it does get better, I promise. I've finished the golden owl but then the programme changed so now I've started at the beginning and I'm doing the whole thing again! When a sentence appears I play it over and over to learn the intonation/stress/pronunciation. It takes longer but I think it is worth it. I follow the Discussion groups as there as many interesting and excellent ideas there. Mostly, be kind to yourself! You could spend time just sitting in a corner but you have choosen to learn another language!! Good on you. I'm sending you 20 lingots so you can buy Streak Protection--it s good thing! Go to Home, then click on "Store" to find Streak Protection. It will cost you 10 Lingots and it is worth it!!!! :-)).

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeTato

Thank you for the lingots and very good advice :) much ramen for you

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SweenCat

I feel your pain, DeTato. I try not to look at how far I have to go but how far I've come. I find myself reading labels on things that are printed in Spanish and I can understand them! I talk to myself in Spanish to reinforce the words and sentence structure I've learned. I tried partnering with a native Spanish speaker, but decided I need to learn more words and phrases before I'm ready for that. I also use Memrise to help me keep current on what I've already covered. Keep the faith!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ngarrang
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It helped me to think of Spanish as street Latin. I was then able to know Spanish words that DL has never taught just because so many of the words are used in English, as well.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_DragonFyre_

Street Latin... I like that.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MemeMcQueen116

"Street Latin" that's amazing lol

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bruce768614

Buck up!
You've already won the first battle in learning a foreign language by taking these first steps!
Most Americans don't know and don't care to know any foreign languages.
So, try not to get discouraged. Some days will be harder than others. BUT there will be good days too.

One of the best ways to nail down the basics is to speak to native speakers. It is especially nice to travel to different countries if you can. That way you become surrounded by the language and the culture. Personally, I was very lucky. After 2 years of studying Spanish in Junior High I spent the summer in Oaxaca, México.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Louise718762

I just read an interesting article. It said to learn a language one should devote an hour a day and it usually takes a year or longer to become fluente. It made am feel better about the difficulties I am having. I believe the solution is tenacity - to keep at it.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lunatik10

i think you are expecting a lot / too much considering you only reached level 12 in this 'months'

get 1 or 2 crowns in several skills and then return regulary to the starter skills to get those to a higher level.... you'll be suprised how 'easy ' those starter skills seem when you return to those after one or 2 weeks , and how things that seemed strange before are 'of course it's that way'

duolingo doesn't give much explanations, but it works more by grabbing the feel of it by repetition

the stories and the tiny cards that go with it help a lot too

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeTato

Yeah now that I think about it, I think I am. Thank you for your advice :)

1 month ago

[deactivated user]

    Take your time

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Aquawyrm

    Try keeping a journal in Spanish. Even if you just jot down random sentences in it, writing something in Spanish every day can help cement it in your head.

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/AshDan143
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    What part of learning in particular is the easiest for you?

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaKnight46096

    Maybe what you can do is write down the word in english and then what it is in spanish.

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Cappucciino

    I'm a new learner as well, and don't have any great tips, but you can do it!

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Tiffany689929

    You need to speak Spanish! I speak Spanish with anyone I come across who is a native speaker and willing to tolerate my butchering their language. At Starbucks and several lunch places I frequent around my job there are ladies who know I'm learning and deliberately speak to me in only Spanish. I'm eternally grateful for their patience and it has helped immensely. The problem with classes and duolingo is you become very good at reading/writing a language, but you need to speak with others if you want to really become comfortable.

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Rebeca481318

    It helps if you try to read the packaging labels in Spanish first, and then translating it in your head. Afterward, you can look at the instructions that are in English (or your native language) and see what they really say.

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Koolest
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    Maybe you should try to get some Spanish textbooks? Sorry I couldn't be of more help :(

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/bernardo59
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    I know how it feels, I'm struggling too. I sometimes look at news on rtve.es or rtvc.es and I don't understand everything. But if I start doing something else, like preparing a meal or something, my brain seems to relax and starting to establish phrases and words in my memory.

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/ESK_22

    Tell us what you are struggling with, and what you are learning in your class and on Duolingo

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/Willow868

    I really struggled in the beginning as well. The verb conjugations and sentence structure were (are ha) difficult. If I have a question, it is helpful to google it and find a youtube video. There is a free resource called Language Transfer (for spanish). I downloaded the course and listen via google play. It has helped me understand a few wonky things.

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/the_lerxst

    Flash cards. Hand-written (the physical act of hand-writing helps you remember it). And include the article (el or la) to help you memorize the gender of the word.

    Keep doing a few DL lessons every day. I recommend finishing the tree on level 1, then starting back on level 2, etc. In the higher levels you get some more advanced grammar which you might not be ready for at first. But others have had success working each lesson through to level 5 before moving on to the next one, so you have to decide which way works best for you.

    Keep listening to Spanish radio. You may not understand much (or any) of it yet but as you keep doing DL you'll start to notice words here and there, and then more and more words.

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaKnight46096

    So one thing to know about adjectives and most objects in spanish is they are usually either feminine or masculine. If an adjective or an object (this works most of the time) ends with an "a", it's feminine. If it ends with an "o" it's masculine. If it ends with an "e" it can be both. I hope this helps!!

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/tusiperu
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    Not really. It could be a tendency, but far from a rule!

    1 month ago

    https://www.duolingo.com/uzuaperkinson
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    Hello .... Spanish is fun and easy for pronunciation DO NOT listen to the radio... it is confusing, difficult to understand .... and it does not help much,,,

    1 month ago
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