https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Really understanding a language

Long story short, I was listening to a Spanish song today, and I realized that I was just listening. Not translating inside my head or out loud, but singing along in Spanish and understanding it. It still feels weird to not translate (It's almost like I feel I won't understand it if I don't translate to English), but it's getting easier everyday.

How about you? Have you experienced this yet?

June 1, 2014

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samsta

That's a very important step. Make sure you try to do the same thing when you read! That's why I'm not a big fan of Immersion -- I prefer to simply read a book, that way I don't have to use English at all.

I must say that your progress in Spanish is incredible. I've seen you writing in the Spanish forums and other places for a while, and I can definitely see your Spanish skills growing (very rapidly!). ¡Sigue así! :)

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

¡Gracias, Samsta! Sus palabras son dulces. :) Aún tengo que traducir unas palabras pero sé que aumentar mi conocimiento.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

I agree with Samsta. You are really brave about just jumping in and trying. You don't let fear of making a mistake stop you, and as a result you are progressing incredibly rapidly.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Thanks, Irtward. :) I really am a perfectionist in some things, but I'm trying to just write and get corrected (if need be). I usually hate being corrected, but I know it's for the best.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlmogL

I've been reading English (non-native) for so long, that sometimes when I read my native language - especially when I'm reading a book translated from English - I translate it back to English in my head. Particularly if the translation is not very good.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

That's interesting, would love to get to that sort of level in Spanish.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annaannaannaan

wow! in awe

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LikeSuchAs

That's interesting. What is your native language?

June 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlmogL

Hebrew.

June 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Agustin-

yup. Great feeling. It means you are getting there :)

June 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

That's good to know!

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TanagerMoonmist

Yes. I first experienced it when I was 8, while watching TV. It sounds kind of stupid, but the first thing I ever truly understood in English was the phrase - "What a cartoon!" (it was the name of a program on Cartoon Network).
I feel like that was really the breaking point - after that first time, I started learning the language exponentially faster, without actually studying. I got way ahead of my classmates (I was thoroughly average before that), went to national competitions, passed my Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2) with grade A at 16, and never really considered English a foreign language.

But I never experienced it with French and Italian, even though I studied them for a number of years...

June 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siebenundzwanzig

I won't lie, ... I'm jealous. xD I regret getting to German so much later in life, not that I would have stood much chance when I was a kid.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

It's not stupid...makes for a fun story. I remember realizing that I knew what Dora was saying whenever she said "Lo hicimos!" ;)

Awesome story! That's amazing!

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/quriousking

It's a great feeling.

Here's a challenge. It's a form of dual-tasking. Have someone, who speak outspokenly, engage you in your native language while you are trying to listen to a radio broadcast [lower the sound] in your foreign language. If you can shut down what that person is saying and listen only to the radio (and understand), then your brain can now official think in two languages.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

I'll have to try that. I have one certain person in mind...;)

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nya1998

I am still in the early stages of Spanish so it's not as easy, but I do recognize some things. Although, in Korean music, I have that feeling.

June 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Cool. :)

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Siebenundzwanzig

Yup.

June 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MirlaChaco

My experience have been very good I need Practice so much my Pronunciation, I want to Learn English Because I liket it the Lenguage.

Good Luck for you!!..

June 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Thank you!

June 3, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lemons111

I visited Mexico City recently, and I remember reading a sign and not even realizing it was in Spanish until I looked back at it again. I'm hoping to become fluent in three or even four languages someday.

June 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SarahHagai

Yes, with English (French being my native language). Even more, wometimes when I read or hear to something in English I don't notice that it's in English, and I even believe it's in French.... It's a really weird feeling :)

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Me too. That feeling is really cool, though. :)

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SarahHagai

Yes it is :)

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/milansent

I watched the news a few days ago, and I unknowingly left the TV set on TV5 Monde, I watched and listened to the news for 5 minutes without subtitles, when I found out I was wasn't watching the Dutch news. I just understood it! It felt great the moment I noticed it.

October 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

I remember dreaming in Russian, when I was actually living in Russia - that was a very cool moment. I'd like to get back to that level of fluency.

It's my experience that we don't tend to speak in X or Y language, we think in thoughts, and our surface thoughts are really the only ones that are in any given language. When expressing thoughts comes as naturally in the foreign language, that is a fantastic feeling!

January 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankKool

Same here. I've only reached this level in German, not in Spanish or French, but it's a liberating feeling when the words and the concepts are in a 1:1 relationship and there's no other language acting as a mediator.

July 23, 2015
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