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

After a while, do you eventually 'just get it'?

If you put in a lot of effort into learning a language with immersion, exposure, etc... Will you eventually 'just get it'? Or is there more to it than that? If so, what is there? What does it take for one to 'just get it' when it comes to a foreign language or several?

October 4, 2019

47 Comments


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

You 'just get' one word at a time and one grammar rule at a time. It takes lots of studying, repetition, work.

Work hard and you will succeed at any goal you set!

October 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janet240859

You do just "get it". But the "it" you get will only be the start of things to come.

If you are new to language learning overall, you will probably find you "get it" faster by sticking to just one language until it starts to make sense, and then adding in more as they do too.

Don't take the skills right up to gold to start - you will forget things. But do try something every day. After a while, a few weeks is best, go back to earlier skills - and don't worry that everything seems to have gone out of your brain. By the time you have left a gap and gone back weeks later a couple of times you will suddenly think - Hey, I do know that!

Good luck - you will feel great when you get there

October 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwbrand1

If you are new to language learning overall, you will probably find you "get it" faster by sticking to just one language until it starts to make sense, and then adding in more as they do too.

This is excellent advice. Far too many people start out by trying to learn to many languages at once and quickly become overwhelmed.

October 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

As Bob says, work hard and one day when you can ask where the supermarket is, without thinking, you've just got it ;-)

October 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LordEragon05

Specifically the supermarket???

October 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

LordE. I though it was less controversial than the "wine bar" ;-)

October 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LordEragon05

Though I would much rather have the Winebar :P (I'm joking.)

October 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

LordE. Anch'io.

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilla-danesa

yes, you do "just get it". And then you forget parts, or feel like learning isn't going anywhere, but the way you are doing it - immersion, exposure, practice, effort - you are going to learn well. One thing: Keep you mind open, allow yourself to make mistakes without being hard on yourself, but when you make mistakes, be curious and learn the right stuff, and why it is right. Never think you are dumb for making a mistake. Be bold and patient and use your ears. I also like to keep a notepad and do little sketches of what I'm learning. It helps me remember to see it visually.

October 4, 2019

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

It depends on what you mean by "just getting it".

I remember a moment - a few months into my German study - when I looked at the teacher and realized that there was a series of sounds coming out of his mouth, and I understood ... had been understanding ... every word - and that if I had heard these sounds just a few months before, they would have sounded like gibberish. So, I didn't "just get it" - but there was a clear moment where I realized I had been getting it.

But that was just one moment on a very long journey.

By the way, it depends a lot on the kind of input and instruction you get. Working hard isn't enough. It's best to put yourself into situations where you're using the language for real communication.

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Judit294350

Time. Practice. Good tuition. Talent. All are important (although if you have enough talent you can get by without the good tuition).

You have picked some really hard languages. To make progress I suggest you concentrate on one. Put in at least an hour a day for a few months and see how it goes.

Here's my story. Spoke Hungarian as a small child. Switched to 100% English when I went to school at 5 years old. Played with reviving it over many years (books, more books, tapes, CDs, Pimsleur) - while actually spending more time on other languages. Spent 3 months full immersion at one point but only got frustrated. Got myself a good grammar book and worked through it (this took a very long time!). Turned up at a language school and tested out at high A2. Started school. 4.5-6 hours a day (plus homework), 5 days a week for 4 weeks. At the end of this I was getting a glimmering. Repeat. It took me 5 months of this to get to the point where I can take part in a conversation - understanding maybe 80% and being able to also speak a little. After the 6th repeat I could describe myself as "chatting" (and in one kept it up for 5 hours).

So, time, practice, good tuition, talent. It will come.

October 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cori290047

Learning becomes easier and harder as you advance in a skill. One day, things you've learned will "click" and you seemingly "just get it." After that point, I think the learning part gets easier and the work harder, but you're then able to achieve that hard stuff.

October 4, 2019

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

Eventually. You know you "get it" when you are actually understanding and thinking in a language rather than translating it back into your native language.

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bryan543597

Yep, when you go to the store and see a nice display of bright, red fruit and think,"りんご", rather than "Apples, in Japanese that's りんご ". (Yes, I'm on the Food lessons)

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilla-danesa

that's cool! :-)

October 8, 2019

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

I always have "I get it" moments! But there are always more new rules and vocabulary to learn.

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwbrand1

I found the following YouTube video very helpful for setting appropriate expectations: WHY 95% OF PEOPLE FAIL AT LEARNING LANGUAGES

October 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ngraner42

Yes. I think it is all about exposure. When I first listened to French it was incomprhensible noise, now I hear French and simply understand a lot of it. Casual speach is still really hard but I have been listening to things like the news and documetaries. It is almost like majic, but it is really slow going.

October 5, 2019

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

Level fifteen was when I noticed I was making fewer mistakes and getting my grammar right on my first try more often than not. Stick with it.

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bryan543597

I think there are more than one, just get it, moments when you are learning a new language. The first one is when you're listening to something in the language you're studying and you catch that first word you can understand. For me it was listening to a Japanese song and hearing the word, "natsu". I thought, "Wait...I know that word...It means, summer." I didn't understand any other words in that song but I caught one. There are other moments, like when you finally get how sentence structure and grammar work, but I think the biggest, I get it, moment is when you finally stop translating words you hear or speak from one language to another, in your head. At least, that's when I'll know I finally get it. You'll have a lot of small breakthroughs while learning. Enjoy each one as it comes.

October 5, 2019

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

For me, speaking Spanish is like turning on an old style fluorescent light - the kind that needs to warm up before it is really bright. Yes, eventually you'll just get it, everything comes together easily, but if you aren't exposed for a while, you may find you have to take a few minutes to get back in the groove when you try again.

October 5, 2019

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

Nice analogy. I definitely know what you mean!

October 6, 2019

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

Yes. Eventually, if you give it enough time and work, you will eventually realize that you have learned enough of the language to communicate effectively. That point is exciting, and you will feel great, but from then on there will still be vocabulary, colloquialisms, idioms, and accents to work on forever. But that's true for your native language as well, right? :)

October 5, 2019

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

One more little story. I'm not sure if this will help, but it's my own experience.

I took three years of French in high school and a couple years in college before going to live there in my junior year. Being immersed in the language was very hard at first, and very tiring, but about a month or two in, I really felt like things started to get better - kind of all at once, but really, as many people have said, it was really the result of a lot of hard work. Still, it did happen, and ever since then, I think I could consider myself fluent in French, even though I still don't know all the vocabulary.

That was a long time ago. Fast-forward to now, when I've been trying to learn Dutch. I went through the whole tree on Duo and I've been reviewing over and over, I visited the Netherlands a handful of times, but only for a week or so at a time, and I've been trying to read children's books and watch TV shows with subtitles. It's been about three years of this kind of thing, and I can get through a simple store transaction in Dutch (when I know what words to expect, which always makes it easier), and I can struggle through headlines and simple stories in Dutch newspapers, but "that moment" is still a long way off, I think. Without a period of immersion, at least for me, it is much more difficult to attain fluency.

October 6, 2019

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

Just this morning, I felt like - I'm Getting It. I had listened to a couple of Duo's spanish podcasts early on and was lost. This morning, I revisited them and was amazed at how much I understood! (great stories by the way) I am newly motivated and excited to see more progress in another few short months. : )

October 4, 2019

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

Your brain does a lot of preprocessing to turn the stream of garbled sounds coming into your ears into words that you "hear". With a new language, it will take some time before it kicks in, but when it does you start hearing words instead of sounds, and you "get it". Same with going from decyphering strings of words to just transparently hearing/reading the meaning of phrases, with all of the grammar processing becoming automatic and subconscious.

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shellita4

You will get it, and it will come gradually. If you're an absolute newbie, let yourself listen to the language without trying to translate it, to simply get used to the sounds. Start with simple stories, if they're available. Also, if you can watch subtitled videos or films, you'll start to associate meanings with words, and eventually they will stick. These are all less structured ways to delve into a language; coupled with the studying you are doing, you'll progressively become more comfortable with the sounds and eventually the language. Some of the most important things in learning a language are time, patience (with yourself), immersion and repetition. Think of the way a baby learns language...

October 5, 2019

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

Depends from person to person and also how difficult the language is to learn for you. If you were monolingual you're likely to struggle quite some time before really starting to get it, but if you're from a place where multilingualism is the norm, you'll likely be quick to get a general understanding. And it also depends on what you mean by "just get it" :P. Chinese might still be Chinese to you after learning many words while a language closer to your native language might make sense in general terms very, very quickly. But yeah, with any language you should eventually just get it :P.

October 5, 2019

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

Considering that learning a language is a very gradual process, "to just get it" sounds too abrupt.

After hours of of immersion, lots of conversations, and effort, do you "eventually get the hang of it"?

Yes. Absolutely.

October 6, 2019

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

Hopefully, yeah; things will click sooner or later with most people. But everyone's different.

October 4, 2019

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

Yeah you'll eventually just get it. What helps the most for me is exposing myself to as much native French as possible. Watching videos in French such as makeup tutorials and creepypastas, playing Pokemon, listening to French music. Even if one doesn't understand much, it still makes the language feel less foreign in time and trains us to pick up which parts we do understand.

October 4, 2019

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

Yeah, you just put in all your hard work. It makes your brain focus more and remember everything.

October 5, 2019

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

Yes it just takes persistence :)

October 5, 2019

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

I think the biggest thing for me is finding stuff I'm interested in on its own terms, and not just because it's good practice. The languages I've done best in so far are the ones that let me unlock fabulous bonus content.

October 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelvin401862

OK, I'll be the Devil's advocate on this one.

No, you will never "just get it."

You will have to work continuously all the rest of your life, reading, writing, listening to and speaking what ever language you want to read, write, listen to, and speak.

Even in my native language, the tongue of my mother, I have to work everyday to understand what these kids are talking about. Not to mention the words the old wise people use, like sesquipedalian.

So get up early everyday, drink a few cups of coffee, and crack open those dictionaries, and other references. Fire up Doulingo (or the App of choice) and do a lesson or two.

October 6, 2019

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

Actually there are a lot of Devils in this thread advocating for hard work and gradual improvement over time - including me when I clarified my own "getting it" moment for German:

But that was just one moment on a very long journey.

October 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelvin401862

Yeah it really depends on a persons goals. Some of the languages I study, I just want to be conversational. Others I want to be able to give a marketing presentation in, so "getting it" means different things to different people.

And you are right many others pointed that out.

October 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bluebird894571

My a personal point of view I hope we do just get it. I have been trying to learn German and am really struggling to put the vocab into sentences. But will never give up, just waiting for the penny to drop :)

October 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Keith64311

I think if there was a definition of "just get it", it means that when you are having basic conversations, you are not translating every word in your head to your primary language. You will have accepted that everything doesn't translate in the same way your primary language does and not think about that. I'm not even close to that and I'm level 23, but despite that, I am starting to pick out more and more words when people speak which gets me excited because I know I'm making progress. One day, we will both just get it:-).

October 6, 2019

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

practice, patience, studying grammar rules day by day, practice communicating and do it over again like everyone says will eventually help you understand a language. :) Also watching tv's and listening to the radio helps boost some language skills. Sometimes we all have to find ways to make learning language a click.

October 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/belstar128

Yes but it takes years.

October 5, 2019

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

I disagree. It depends a lot on the kind of exposure you get.

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilla-danesa

it's great that you are doing live events in Esperanto! If I lived closer I'd stop by! :-) Un saludo

October 5, 2019

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

Interesting comment in this context. Are you referring to something I mentioned elsewhere? By the way, if you're not close enough to the US, "stop by" somewhere else. :-)

October 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Camilla-danesa

thanks! I saw it in your profile, which I went to look at because your comments here were so spot on.

October 6, 2019

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

You're welcome ... literally ... as in, you would be welcome. I also have a YouTube channel called Esperanto Variety Show. (And a less active channel about language learning called Salivanto)

It's amazing to me what draws downvotes. Thanks for the kind words. I thought for a minute you were talking about my comments about Esperanto, but I see you're not learning Esperanto, so maybe you're talking about this thread.

October 7, 2019

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

You do. It's not really "that" hard.

October 5, 2019
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