https://www.duolingo.com/bmann2k3

How I'm Learning Celsius Practically (Without Any Math) & How it Relates to Language Learning

I've been used to understanding temperature in Fareinheight because with the exception of a total of about a month, I've lived in the US all my life.

To understand Celsius, I've recently changed the thermometer in my phone to Celsius, and I just changed my car's thermometer reading to Celsius as well. When I see the Celsius reading on my car or phone, and then I go outside, I get a practical understanding of what different temperatures in Celsius actually mean.

I get to understand Celsius in the context of Celsius instead of trying to convert a temperature from Fareinheight to Celsius.

This is basically the same way I try to understand Spanish. As much as possible, I try to understand Spanish in the context of Spanish through a real world, immersive environment. The more I have real world associations with Spanish through reading and listening to materials created for native Spanish speakers, the easier it becomes for me to understand Spanish outside of any English context.

I talk more about this philosophy in a simple video I did here: https://youtu.be/M8X9fBLgUuQ

April 15, 2019

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MikeNolan6

Just remember this poem:

Thirty is warm

Twenty is nice

Ten is cold

And zero is ice.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/blurflux

My addition:

At thirty five open air sauna

At twenty five a walk at the marina

At fifteen comfy to stay inside

At five if in the pool hypothermia

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JuriyaSan

How about the same for F? The system is extremely confusing. Although I think Im gonna try the way shown in the topic, it works for languages I guess it'll work for temperatures too

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

Exactly! Translating back and forward doesn't give you the feel of the temperature.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/James24601

It does, you just need to turn the heating on while you do it.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Andu444

It's spelled Fahrenheit. :)
Funnily enough Fahrenheit was German/Polish living in the Netherlands, but all those countries use Celcius. :)

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/HeyMarlana

It's spelled Celsius. ;)

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Andu444

So it is, oops. :)

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

That temperature thing is a perfect analogy for "thinking" in another language.

Another example could be something like petrol/gasoline. In the U.K., petrol is now priced per litre, but when thinking about fuel consumption, most people still "think" in miles per gallon.

I wonder how people from countries where litres have been the norm for them for longer/forever think about fuel consumption in their head? Would it be km/l or something like that? I've bought fuel abroad, but never considered this.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Andu444

Germany has always used litres and l/100 km, ie litres per 100 kilometer. :)

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

Got it, thanks Andu :)

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/scilling

In the U.K., petrol is now priced per litre, but when thinking about fuel consumption, most people still "think" in miles per gallon.

And the Imperial gallon of petrol is approximately 20% larger in volume than the US gallon of gasoline.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

I didn't know that, either. Potentially handy to know, cheers

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

In NZ it is litres/100km. (Which makes it easier to work out how much it takes to get anywhere)

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

Well, I'm learning stuff tonight. I always thought NZ was all "like British"
(I have no idea why I had that impression.)

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Judit294350

We speak UK English (with mostly UK spelling) and generally prefer UK humour, but we have been metric for a long time.

April 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DKP629394

Here in Japan, it's km/L but most countries with the metric probably use L/100km.

April 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

The Math is really simple though. If it doesn’t need to be exact it is just (x-32)/2 to convert from F to C. And for the reverse it is (x*2)+32.

Or as a scale :
0 C = 32 F
10 = 50
20 = 70
30 = 90
40 = 110

The above math is not exact. It is a rough estimate, but just for quick reference. Once you get to higher or lower temperatures, the math gets way wrong without using the actual formula. But keeping 0-40 in C in mind can be helpful.

I do have a math brain though, so I may be more of the mind to look at the raw numbers and know.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bmann2k3

Thanks alpha for the math calculations because I actually didn't know what they were.

Personally, I don't do any calculations in my head when I think of a Fareinheight temperature. I basically know what cold and hot is through my practical experience with Fareinheight over the years. If I can have a similar experience with Celsius, I'll be able to bypass that math formula and still understand temperatures in a real world context.

Amazingly, "back in the day", I actually got a B in Calculus I, but math wasn't/isn't my thing for the most part (as you probably can tell). I do like math in things related to personal finance or business though...

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

No worries. Good on you. We are all different so we all learn different. The actual equation for F to C is (x - 32) * (5/9) and the actual equation for C to F is (x * 1.8) + 32. i just simplify to 2 for the partial numbers since it gets you within a few degrees, and therefore have an understanding of what the temperature is. Not meant to be exact. Just a „it says this, I understand this“ number.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JuriyaSan

Interesting. As I don't have any math friends, Id really appreciate an answer on how you learn languages. Do you prefer learning theory first? It seems an obvious way for someone who's mind works on exact data.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/exp271828

I suppose I have what you'd call a "math brain" but the truth is, I never understood math in high school and didn't start to figure it out until after I started to look at it as a language. I was an engineer for several years (decades), and now that I'm retired I teach math and statistics at a local community college. Re my learning style, I like immersion with simple sentences first, and building on that, instead of learning theory. Theory is much easier to understand if you have lots of examples you can hang onto it. But everybody is different - do what works best for you!

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alpha3099

I actually look at sentences like math problems. Everything is a variable. There are only so many equations that you can come up with. [noun phrase - verb - noun phrase] = sentence for example. From there I know I can make any sentence with that structure I want „the chicken rides the bus“ is the exact same sentence as „the man from the second floor of that building buys a red convertible at the Ford dealership.“. And then I learn a new sentence structure. The order the words go in are the same thing as order of operations for me.

The on are I have a lot of trouble with is vocabulary. It takes me forever to learn new words. Some click, most I need flash cards and a lot of practice with. I actually do pick up more vocab by reading newspapers. Since I can see the word in context I can figure out the words purpose and from there develop meaning from context, but I still look it up and flash card it until it doesn’t go away.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Eric392367

Sorry I didn't read this before posting. I do the exact same thing you do, except, just add or subtract 30 instead of 32. It'll get you close enough.. and is a little bit easier for the non math inclined.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Atypicalcarl

Good for you! Step outside of your comfort zone, and see a whole new world!

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/doceteme

Was watching StarTalk one day and this was mentioned:

-40° C = -40° F

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Eric392367

It doesn't work perfectly, but it will get you close enough to know whether you need a jacket or not. 1) If you have deg C, just multiply by 2 and add 30 to get F. (30deg C = (2*30+30) approx 90deg F).
2) If you have deg F, Just subtract 30 and divide by 2. 80deg F = (80-30)/2 = 25deg C.
It takes away the "complex" math of 9/5th and 32, and makes it something you can do in your head really quickly. I used it when I first moved to Japan years ago. Eventually you will just know what temperatures C are, the same way you know F temperatures.

April 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JuriyaSan

Absolutely! Always works for me.

April 15, 2019
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