Letting go of my streak
It has been nearly a week since I last logged into Duolingo and my 1100+ day streak is gone. I chose to do this as I initially wanted to achieve 1000 days and I had done so but, more importantly, I had noticed that my use of Duo was less to do with learning Norwegian and more to maintaining my streak. So I let it go....
Duolingo is a great resource to practise and develop skills in another language. It has aided me in being able to translate from Norwegian to English, but it has not assisted me in speaking Norwegian; this is partly my fault because, at some point, I lost sight of the language learning and started focusing on maintaining a "learning" streak (in my case this is an oxymoron). I didn't really realize this until yesterday.
If you have a large learning streak is it benefiting your fluency with the language you are learning? If not, perhaps you should consider letting it go and re-embracing the language. This is my intention.
I actually felt relieved when I lost mine. I'd kept it up for ages (including once being so frustrated when I'd practiced in offline mode only to discover it didn't count, I bought it back... very unlike me!).
It was my New Year's resolution last year, a few days into January when I first discovered and installed Duolingo. I had a great time but finally lost my streak on Christmas Day 2018, having spent a wonderful day with family I don't see often enough, and the thought of picking up any internet-enabled device had never even crossed my mind once. Which is consistent with how I want to feel about life.
This was the first New Year's resolution of my life that I've not only enjoyed, but kept for (almost!) the whole year. I still do languages every day, but sometimes it's not on Duolingo. That's OK. I'm not a slave to my streak any more, I just want to learn languages. Right now I'm trying to get my Breton from 'competent' to 'fluent', and this isn't the platform for that.
I really like your phrase; 'I'm not a slave to my streak'
I think I had been without realizing it. The benefit of a streak is to have some contact with a language, but in my case it wasn't always beneficial. I may have small 10 or 20 day streaks in the future, but I think my 100+ streaks are over.
Best of luck at your goal of fluency with Breton.
I've never felt like a slave to my streak, even though there was a period of 2-3 months when I was kind of keeping it up mostly to maintain the streak. I'm glad I kept it up though because I still got to keep working on my Norwegian and at least maintaining my skills in the language somewhat. If it weren't for the streak, I might have stopped using Duolingo for months at a time after losing it, and then I might not have started working again on my Chinese. I've tried so many times to learn Chinese and now I finally feel like I'm really making progress. I'm hoping to go to Taiwan, my mom's homeland, in the next couple of years so this is important.
I may give the streak up after 365 days though because I'll be traveling to France for 3 weeks at that point and my French is good enough that I don't really need to use the app when I'm there... then again, maybe I will use it for French when I'm there since I'm already on a long streak. We'll see.
You are right that a streak can maintain some level of contact with the language which is something I am grateful for as well. I now wish for my language contact to be effective and progressing my endeavour to master the language. It will be a challenge but I hope not to mindlessly pursue a streak any longer which is what I had been doing for some time, I suspect.
Hei. Just out of curiosity, how much (average) did you do on each of those days to reach Level 10. D.
Hei Daniel. It is confusing but I reached level 20 something at least twice and then reset my tree and started again. Resetting the tree wipes out all XP and levels for the language. It is interesting to test your abilities though. Lykke til!
As I am right on the verge of an important milestone, the idea of letting go of my streak has crossed my mind as well. But then, for the kind of learner that I am, I am worried that I might altogether stop learning if there is no hinge that I can attach myself to with regards to language learning. So, streak is, in a way, like that friend that you can't stand after some time but can't do without either, if that makes any sense at all!
It makes perfect sense!
My approach from now on will be to maintain a small streak and then let it go for a day or two. A day's break is not really breaking a learning streak if the learning is effective; if anything it is allowing a consolidation much like a rest day when exercising. As I said previously, my learning of Norwegian was stunted somewhat by my focus on a 'learning streak'. Some people can maintain awesome learning streaks and have them be effective. I, sadly, am not one of them.
Lykke til med norsken din!
Do read this when you can. https://www.fluentin3months.com/fluent-in-3-years/
Thank you for the article. I actually do a lot of what is suggested. I read Harry Potter in Norwegian. I listen to audio books of varying genre almost daily.
You may have noticed I started doing both Swedish and Danish here. This was to adapt my ear to the varying sounds to note similarities and differences; I'm not actually trying to learn these languages. A bonus for me was reading the Tips & Hints for these as the grammar is similar to Norwegian but the explanations often have a different focus which has strengthened my understanding of Norwegian.
Unfortunately, Glossika only has a nynorsk programme. Although great from a listening perspective I believe it should have utilized a bokmål approach as most other courses do. Bokmål, I know is not a spoken dialect per se, but it is the most frequent non-native speech form, which is why I think it should have been used. It would also dovetail quite well with any other course a person was taking to learn Norwegian.
Lastly, if your native language is English, then finding a Norwegian speaker for a language exchange is virtually impossible as English has no currency for them as they learn it at school and are quite fluent.
I'm currently in the process of working out a system that will work for me, it will include Duolingo and other things.
I wish you the very best in finding an approach that suits you best :)
To be exact Nynorsk, like Bokmål, is a written form of Norwegian and not a spoken dialect as such. The Oslo dialect is similar to Bokmål in its stress patterns and word choices, whereas other dialects can stress pronunciation quite differently.
For reading purposes Glossika may be fantastic for you. Depending on the dialect they have chosen as their base the spoken lessons may create a challenge.
Thank you @Lizzyblob. It was an exciting day yesterday. Now I somehow feel I am heading towards that long episode of plateaued learning (hopefully not).
My plan is to reach my goal each day of the week. I use the streak indicator to confirm that I’ve reached my daily minimum. It’s the little grey check-mark that I look for, not the number. If I miss a day, I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the check-mark not that I lost the streak. D
Interesting. Gamification can be a double-edged sword. The game becomes more important than the content. I am soon rounding German and Italian fifth time around, maxxing those trees. And soon-ish reaching 1000 days streak. I see that I am neglecting my Russian because of focus on easy 30 points without bothering to study grammar. I might drop the streak on 1000 days. On the subject of unhealthy gamification: Have you tried untappd? :)
why did you restart your tree?
It's been 2 months since I started learning Norsk from 0. I am really struggling to understand the natives speak in a normal speed and have problems too when trying to speak . Yet I am quite decent at texting with people or at reading.
I had completed the entire tree twice (only one Golden Owl though) and was starting my third time through when I wondered what would happen if... I found out I lost all XP, levels and the Owl. I also discovered I was treated like a brand new learner and could do a 'placement' test (for want of a better description). I did this and gained level 6 immediately, which I was very pleased with. Since then I have reset the tree at least one other time but haven't worried about the initial test.
Duo will definitely improve your translating abilities from Norwegian to English. I recommend watching Norwegian movies or TV shows (without subtitles), you may not understand much but it will improve your listening ability and force you to use other cues to interpret the message. You will make progress.
Hei, Ja of course the streak thing is addictive :) but it helps the continuation of the learning course. And when it means that much then we have the opportunity to equip us by using some lingots for both weekends and other days. We earn the lingots to use them :)
It helped me tremendously, sorry to hear. I put in a lot of time in a fairly short span though. In the first 3 months I used duolingo nearly an hour a day and slowly transitioned to media. Now I can read news and watch norwegian TV and such after 6 months. I'll probably be fluent in another 6, duolingo is nice just to maintain a vocab base imo.
I think I would use it more if the vocab was constantly updated - an option to take a "daily vocab burst" for instance, with mostly familiar sentences including a new noun/verb. There are so many random nouns I come across in the news that I never see on duo for instance.
I actually started learning Norwegian 3-ish days ago, and have only a 2 day streak. I don't use electronics on Sundays, so I knew I wasn't going to have a streak. But go you for letting go of it when it was obviously important to you!
If you have lingots you can equip your self for weekends to keep the streak and even for week days also but then you have to earn enough lingots though. Good luck with the language learning
Thank you! It was important to not be a slave to the streak which I felt I had become. I could've used lingots to buy a streak freeze but that would have been cheating in my mind.
All the best with your Norwegian journey.