200 Days, 3 Languages!
Duolingo is a fabulous support tool to keep language skills sharp, and there are some wonderful people in its online community.
Awesome!!! Keep up the great work! http://r9.fodey.com/2315/9768b96e913d4d07ba4de84b2169b105.0.gif
Thanks. I don't keep track of a daily XP rate, but I have about 20,000 lingots, and there are plenty of people who run up more XP than I do ... I try to read the daily newspapers (even some American ones, such as WSJ Latin America) in foreign languages whenever possible, and I normally translate one or two interesting articles or columns per day, because written translating requires closer attention and more precision than mere reading.
I'm learning the same three languages! I'm only at a 13 day streak so far but one day I'd like to hit 100... and then 200. Question about keeping the languages separate in your mind: do you usually focus on one language a day and cycle between them, or do you break them up morning/lunch/night? Congrats on your dedication and progress!
I deliberately alternate, because I think there's a useful comparison to body-building (different muscles, etc.) Using numbers to designate my languages from strongest to weakest: English is my 1L. The first language I practice any day is my 2L (Spanish, of which I knew zero a year ago but in which I'm now fluent). That means reading online newspapers. Then I go to my 4L (Italian, which I'm still learning), and for that I rely heavily on Duolingo. I never miss a day in 2L or 4L, because repetition is an absolutely crucial part of causing the stuff to get embedded in long-term memory, which in turn produces comfort and the ability to express new or complicated thoughts. Then I go back to 2L. My 3L is French and I don't think it needs as much attention, because I've been using that language on and off most of my life, because there is a lot of spillover among it and the other Romance languages, and because my travel preferences run more toward Spain and Latin America, so I hit that one a few times a week. With respect to languages I'm still learning, my technique is always to begin with review of stuff I'm already supposed to know, then take on some new things, then review again. I always spend more than half of the time reviewing rather than learning new things. Hope this helps.
Thanks for your detailed response! Coming from Canada I've been learning French in school for a long time, but the Spanish and Italian are completely new--I just think they sound nice. I've been practicing all three daily and doing them at different times of day to give my brain a chance to "reset" a bit. Thanks again!
One more thought: when I first started alternating, I made a lot of embarrassing mistakes. Such as thinking in French that the Spanish 'el' is feminine, or thinking in Spanish and pronouncing "fin" in a way no French person could understand. Over time, those errors just faded away. I think what happened is that the brain got trained to reorganize itself. It became better organized. I actually think language learning can increase IQ!!