https://www.duolingo.com/ClassicSteven

You do you on Duo!

People are here for many different reasons. Some are preparing to work overseas. Some are dreaming of a spectacular vacation. Some find themselves trying to survive in a foreign place. Some are filling a course requirement. Some are trying to keep the mind active in old age. Some are addicted to word games. Some are interested in language more broadly. Some are in love with a specific country and its people. Some want to have a cool new skill at the Con. Some like the game aspects of Duo and learning something about a language is just a bonus. Some just like to improve themselves.

For this reason, I rather dislike some of the "people are not doing it right" posts in the forum. There is no "right" way to do Duolingo. Everyone on here who is active is getting SOMETHING out of it. It may not always be the same thing. And, probably, nobody is becoming completely fluent without some actual immersion in the language. But let's face it, we're all learning.

My best advice on Duo is You Do You!

January 12, 2019

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

I don't know what posts you are referring to. But generally, I agree with you: Everyone should do Duolingo in the way that suits them best.

The good thing is that we can always modify our approach. Someone who started out as a gamer may find that they want to become really fluent in the language, and change their behavior accordingly. Duo will always remember what we've done so far, and we can always continue at our own pace.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ClassicSteven

Fabulous point! Yes the motives can change!

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/compsognathus

Love the positivity! It is much needed. The thing that makes Duo so wonderful is the community formed by the shared interest of learning a language, no matter the reason.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/HorseCrazyGal

love your profile picture! :)

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Paige388814

I agree! Conformity is a problem in life, and I've noticed that everyone dislikes it when somebody is doing it differently than how they would do it. For example, you are watching your friend load the dishwasher with dirty dishes, and you are irked because he or she isn't arranging the dishes how you would do it. You argue with them, not realizing that either way gets the dished clean just as efficiently. It becomes a problem.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Giovanni0604

Unless you have OCD like me, and if the dishes are not stacked properly it will bother you so immensely it will then affect your future dishwashing performance.

January 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Bucky_Barnes1917

Preach

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ClassicSteven

Yes dishwashers are the perfect metaphor!

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/HimbeereMaus

I honestly don't understand why people feel the need to negatively comment on how someone is learning a language, just because the methods don't work for them does not mean that they won't for others. If someone is asking for advice then it is nice to comment with your own techniques and tips but to blatantly state that someone is learning wrong is a little unnecessary. - However, I have not actually seen anyone in the discussions doing this. Personally, we all have our reasons and learning methods and as long as it is making us happy and we are learning, I don't believe anything else really matters.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7

If, by chance, you're referring to my post, it does not contradict you. But, people seem to be reading the title and not the post itself, and thus missing the point. With that clarified, I agree with you. :)

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/A.A.A.246

I completely agree! I am doing Duolingo because I just love learning languages and its so cool! I can travel places and just talk to anybody! I take a Spanish class at my school but it sucks because people never take anything seriously and all we do is learn things that are based on the current season. Duolingo is so much better!

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judy_Blue_Eyes

I personally don't care if I ever become fluent. I just like learning. Here's a lingot for you.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessert-Rose

That's best!
You will get to fluency eventually, but meanwhile you enjoy the learning, and the end results will make you happy too, so it's win-win. :D

January 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judy_Blue_Eyes

Thanks!

January 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ving813

I love learning too

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

That said, when people ask advice on how to learn languages better or faster, then there are some general guidelines which work for most people.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Lightt.

I kindly disagree. Everyone learns differently. For some Duolingo is just exposure to a language, and for others it has content they'll review over and over again. Some are just trying to get the vocabulary down, and then will practice it on another site that works for them. Some already have experience with a language. One size does not fit all, and Duolingo gives the learner freedom to choose their own size.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

when people ask advice on how to learn languages better or faster

And I did say "most people". The science is there.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/gaykpopper

Thank you so much for posting this! I definitely agree, especially when it comes to people disagreeing about testing out and so on.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

especially when it comes to people disagreeing about testing out and so on.

I haven't read all the posts in the forum; I remember only one post that discusses "testing out" in a somewhat cautionary way.

And I agree with that post because it basically says that if you completely test out of a skill, you should be aware that you may not have learned everything that there is to learn in that skill. My own approach is "test out only to level 4 max", taking into account a thought along those same lines. And in my new languages (Hungarian and Norwegian) I don't test out at all.

As far as I can see, that post does not "disagree with testing out", but rather suggests taking a moderate approach to testing out if you want to learn the language. And this is totally OK -- these are discussion forums, and discussions live because there are different approaches, insights and opinions.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/gaykpopper

Thank you for taking the time to reply! I was simply referring to how some people just seem to have the general opinion that testing out always means you are on DuoLingo just for XP or something similar. I may be wrong, that is just my interpretation. Thank you for your feedback as well. I totally get what you are saying and I do agree for the most part.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145

some people just seem to have the general opinion that testing out always means you are on DuoLingo just for XP or something similar.

I see, and I understand your point. This kind of sweeping generalisation is certainly not adequate. I test out a lot in Spanish and French; these are languages that I'm already quite familiar with. If my test-out fails, I take the individual lessons. I just want to move on to the really challenging stuff; I'm not interested in XP or other sources of fame. ;-) And I think the same is true of many, many other people who test out a lot.

But what I also see: People who seem to have achieved a lot (based on their XP count), but who don't understand some of the basics of the language they are learning. I have wondered about this observation, and I suspect that this may be due to excessive testing-out. This is OK, no problem with that -- they treat Duolingo as a game. But I'm really miffed if those people then blame Duolingo for their ignorance.

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/gaykpopper

You are very much correct on this. And just to clarify-- I do not have a problem with testing out. I test out a lot in Spanish as well. Thank you for the conversion!

EDIT: *conversation oops...

January 12, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/1Tareeko

I saw a post earlier about how to use Duolingo properly and it made me chuckle a bit. I totally agree and endorse your message. Take a lingot, good sir!

January 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/HorseCrazyGal

Very positive- Very true:)

Agreed- We're all learning.

January 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB

This is definitely something that I'm surprised isn't universally known. Thank you!

January 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ritterworld

I agree completely! One thing that gets a lot of hate on here is when someone picks up several languages and isn't >level 20 in most of them. The thing is, Duolingo won't get you close to fluent in any of those languages, it will just give you a general understanding of them/basis to build off of if you want to. Not everyone is here to master a language, and no one is going to master a language by achieving level 25 on duolingo! People should be able to have fun and get a taste of many languages if they want to without being ridiculed for it. It's good for your brain and it certainly feels like an accomplishment if you see a random Russian comment and can figure out what is being spelled out, even if you don't understand most of the words.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

One thing that gets a lot of hate on here is when someone picks up several languages and isn't >level 20 in most of them.

As someone who is interested in language, I am interested in the current use of the word "hate". Seems if someone isn't 100% supportive and cuddly they are tagged as "haters". Seems to undermine a word that has a lot of emotion attached to it. What do people these days use to describe what used to be called "hate" - that is an ugly, negative, powerful emotion filled with passion and irrationality?

Personally all I have seen is people (including me) pointing out you do not know a language at level 3 or 4 - which is all many proud self-identified "polyglots" have achieved. They are merely on the first steps of a long journey. They have started - and that is great but if they really think they know 10 languages they are self delusional and that might stop them from completing their journey.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ritterworld

I think that people sometimes put too much weight into the word "hate". Context changes the severity and meaning of this word, and the difference between "I hate you" and "I hate walking slowly" is immense. I don't think this was always the case, but it has definitely taken on a colloquial meaning to describe anything from a deeply negative emotion to a mild annoyance. It's enough that I can use it in this context without a second thought.

I agree that it is annoying when someone proudly claims that they know a language after completing a few lessons on duolingo, or when they start a bunch of languages and claim to be a polyglot. I have noticed that the simple act of touching upon many languages is often brought up and criticized by many users as problematic. And while there is no way these users are actually learning all of these languages, who's to say that that is what they are going for? They might be going for the initial excitement that comes with a new language or, like I said, just trying to work out their brain by exposing it to a lot of new content.

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Oddball_Anne

Thanks! I really appreciate the positivity ^-^

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LMand5SOS

I applaud you and I 100% second this

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mikaella_OwO21

That is so sweet it made my day!

January 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ampharos64

Thank you! I find it baffling how often academic use doesn't seem to be considered, or viewed negatively. Academics and interested amateurs can have a lot of use for a language, and some things are impossible to do without one. I appreciate wanting to talk to live French people might sound 'nicer' to some than wanting to learn more about long-dead ones and their writing, but honestly, that provides far more chance for me to actually use the language than a hypothetical brief holiday in France would! I'm an introvert, too, people who want to get out there and talk to people in a foreign language are welcome to, I'd rather stay in and read a book in it.

January 17, 2019
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