Duo was the candle that lit the darkness!

I have hit a 500 day streak on Duo today and am very happy with my progress. When I first moved to my neighborhood, it was predominantly Polish and I didn't understand anything being said around me on the bus, in the park, stores, etc. I so wish I had realized the existence of Duolingo then!

The neighborhood has become mostly Spanish-speaking over the years and presented the same problem. But once I realized that I could learn Spanish using the computer and found Duolingo, I jumped on board. It has been an exhilarating experience and proven very successful.

I am by no means fluent in Spanish, but I can now understand some very basic conversations and make myself understood sufficiently when I'm speaking to neighbors, store-keepers, etc. that don't speak English. They appreciate my effort and it makes me feel happy and encourages me to continue studying.

I have added newspapers, and children's books to my studies and have progressed even better with reading comprehension. I'm also adding movies and t.v. programs in Spanish to increase my listening comprehension at normal speaking speed so that I can eventually reduce the need to translate in my head.

Thank you Duolingo and thank you to all of you in the Duo community who have made this venture and adventure possible.

November 2, 2019


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That is so cool! It's a wonderful feeling when you get to put your new skills to use. It really opens doors.

Thanks for sharing that with us; I find stories like this to be highly motivating.

Thank you! I'm enjoying Duolingo very much and am looking forward to my next 500 days.


An inspiring dedication,
accompanied by your great story.
Keep it up!

I love stories like this! :) When I got to use my french, I called France for Cd's of music for my sister and the guy that answered didn't know much English. He said I should wait for the manager as he spoke English, I told him I spoke some french and we managed to put the order through! He said my french was REALLY good and that I did a great job! I haven't done anything like it since BUT, my sister was happy she got her CD's and I got to use my french! I told my french teacher at the time and she was ELATED for me! :) It's QUITE an accomplishment when you can use your language you're learning even if it's just once to see how far you have come! :) Congratulations! Keep up the GREAT work! :)

Thank you! And you keep it up, too!

Oui, c'est magnifique, Tracy! J'apprends le francais maintenant, et je l'utilise beaucoup dans les restaurants francais - mais je suis sur mon francais n'est pas aussi bon que le votre. :)

Merci beaucoup BonjourLeMonde! :) "Laissez les bons temps rouler" (Let the good Times roll) :) I'm going to be going on to get more one on one lessons to become more "fluent" and to practice speaking it. :) Merci for your kind words! :) Good luck to you on your learning journey with french! :) I will be taking Italina the beginning of next year with a tutor. I'm already learnin Sicilian on Memrise so, learning these 2 languages together will be great! :) Good luck with Italian too! :)

Wow! You've done an amazing job, it's so inspiring!

Thank you. I really hope it helps anyone feeling defeated in their studies.

Good job! Thanks for sharing!

Cool, but where in the world did a place of predominantly Polish speaking people become a place of mainly Spanish speaking people!? Nonetheless, it's nice to hear that Duolingo helped you.

It's probably some state in the Northern/North-Eastern part of the USA.

Yes, that's exactly right!

Hi, JAndrzej..hope your day is going very smoothly. I'm not sure where you live or how often you get around... I'm from Scranton, Pa. The heart of NEPA..born and raised. Over the last 50 years, EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED RIGHT HERE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD. I wont take your comment as an insult, I would prefer to believe you are not up on the news, don't get around much or just believe this is where it's at...I'm here to tell you a FACT, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT..It's a whole new time, era, a whole new world. I won't get into any debate, I am open to your reply I actually welcome it. If I may, let me ask you this...what brings you to DUOLINGO? As I understand you, the comment above you and below yours dont understand multiple nationalities in a neighbor, your opinion/belief is that it's only in NEPA...WRONG, ITS BECOME PART OF THE USA AS A WHOLE. FACT. I am on DUOLINGO, my neighbors are becoming more and more Spanish, I welcome them fully...I am willing to be open to educating myself so I can be helpful and friendly (neighborly) to the best of my, again, what brings you here? I know you have a reason to want to learn another am positive you are fluent in your native!! Judgement is's a huge reason the world is backsliding and becoming more ignorant and dangerous as opposed to be open, friendly and willing to accept. Have a fantastic day and the hours ahead of you bring many blessings.

Umm- I don't think they were trying to be insulting. I've lived in Chicago, and in Toronto, in areas with large numbers of immigrants, and it took me a moment to realize the probable scenario. Neighborhoods do change. In some areas, poor neighborhoods tend to stay poor, and successive waves of immigrants move in and out. In others, neighborhoods are more stable in terms of the population, and as immigrants get richer they stay where they are and just improve the neighborhood. But unless you've lived in an area with tons of ethnic neighborhoods with huge concentrations of people from just one area, you just don't quite get it. A simple explanation rather than an accusation of prejudice would have been - nicer. I grew up in Denver. It's not a small city, but it has very few ethnic neighborhoods, and those are pretty stable - they've been mostly Hispanic for the last 70 years. The old Italian neighborhoods now have Italian restaurants, but no Italian speakers, and have been like that for at least 50 years. If you grew up there, and never lived elsewhere - you don't know.

Ty for your reply...I gave a "like" as I understand what you explained and I agree. I'm not sorry that your perception of what I said was an accusation of prejudice, in fact, I did my absolute best to only share the experience I have based on facts I know about NEPA. You're perception is your reality, I cannot change that. I will welcome what you said and be more aware of the way I can work on sending my message across more clearly Thank you for your input and for raising my self awareness. I never want anyone to feel negative by my words. I don't like when my feelings are hurt and certainly never intend to do such. Have a wonderful day!!

no need to judge JAndrzej for his comment :)

Come on people, please....I clearly said Judgement is wrong. That did not say "You are being judgmental!" I already explained that if it was perceived that way, thats how you read it. It does not mean I matter of factly judged anyone. I simply shared my experience in my community. Things change. For example and please let it go...change is happening everywhere. If you think about it we are all here through our families coming from other places....I don't know...Ancestry possibly? I feel a judgemental comment would be "poor areas tend to stay poor" opinion? Judgement? Fact? "You've never been other places so you don't know." Again, the same. I replied that I am willing to look at how I worded what I wrote and be more aware....I'm open and willing to change if need be. I clearly stated I was not seeking to judge as its wrong, I clearly stated I was not out to put anyone down or create hurt feelings, I don't like when it happens to me. I was just saying I know it's not only NEPA Where neighborhoods have changed drastically over the last 50 years. Its a new time....things are different everywhere. Understand, truly, if my post came across differently than I intended it to be, I am open to make myself more clear. I actually feel saddened this thread happened in such a positive, uplifting, inspiring post that originated all of this. I cant and wont say anymore about it, I know my intent was not negative or judgemental or at least not meant to be read as such in any way, shape, form or fashion. Thank you, have a pleasant night. Goodnight and sweet dreams to all!!

wait if you live in scranton please say hi to dwight schrute for me

Lol...I would do that if possible.... I can drive over to 1725 Slough Road and get all the paper I would like, unfortunately, It's not gonna be at Dunder Mifflin...sorry. Have a great day! If u r being serious and follow the show (I don't) here's a fun fact I just found out thanks to u posting what u did...Dunder Mifflin is on Slough Road in the show which is actually Pennsylvania Paper and Supply Company on Vine Street. I've been there a plethora of times in my life for copies, supllies, etc...never associated it with "The Office" thank you for perking my curiosity and helping me find out some info I never knew! *I used the internet because I had no clue so if I am mistaken by all means please correct me. P.s. I did want Kate Flannery to win DWTS...

That's the case in a number of parts of Chicago.

Hi ANTROPGERMANIA!! I want to say thank you for sharing you experience and passing on knowledge as "KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!"

Right? I was just like, wait... what?

Great title. Great post. ;)

Congratulations! Duo 28

Well done! Great post. Thanks for sharing this.

You're very welcome!

You can always follow a Spanish soap opera. Themes are usually the same and so are many phrases. They also end unlike American ones.

Yes, I've been checking out a few to see which one I'd like to follow.

Nice! And you have a very interesting title!

A welcome and inspiring post on this forum!

Thank you, Linda. I've always appreciated your kind, caring, and informative posts.

That is great! It is never too late to start learning Polish as well.

No, it isn't! But I sure wished I knew it back then. I'm very impressed by the number of languages you're studying.

[deactivated user]

    Yes PRINCE_ it is interesting! I only have a tiny knowledge of Spanish and was deciding whether to buy a product on eBay. I was unsure, so I opted to look at the reviews. For some reason they were mostly in Spanish. I was totally amazed to find I was actually understanding them! They described the product as "mal." "estupido," y "horrendo!" I didn't buy it.

    I've had similar experiences. Very useful to know another language. Of course, there is cut and paste into a translator program, but it is so much more satisfying to read and understand :)

    Hi PRINCE, I did not realize I was able to reply to you on another person's I know, thanks for the indirect help! I wrote a reply to you earlier...if you would like to read it, you will find it under my comment to the post "DUO WAS THE CANDLE THAT LIT THE DARKNESS" I wasn't sure at the time how to reply to, you will find it under the comment...starting with, *sidenote for PRINCE" HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!

    These small victories are what motivate us to not give up. ¬°Buen Trabajo! Where do you live? Im Quite curious how could a neighboorhood with polish speakers turn into spanish speakers.

    I live in the northeastern part of the USA where there are many neighborhoods of different cultures. Over the years, neighborhoods change as different people move in and out. This is not unusual in this part of the country where there are many large cities. It is wonderful in that there are so many different languages, foods, and music as you travel between neighborhoods and cities. It's like traveling abroad without really leaving home. I love it! I only wish I could speak all the languages.

    I, too, am right here in NEPA and over the last 50 years so much has changed...I love your open mind and willingness...especially your acceptance and interest of being a part of and helping people feel they can be a part of! This happens here, there and everywhere, maybe here more than nonetheless I love your positivity. Thanks so much I truly embrace what you post.

    This is so beautiful!!! Congratulations on your success! You've created an opportunity to engage in your community and create friendships that may eventually lead to fluency. Way to go!!

    I'll bet that you're from New Britain, Connecticut.

    Congratulations on the streak and keep on studying!

    And the one who burns your family to death if you don't complete the daily goals every day...

    Thank you for sharing such a good story. Duo is really awesome.

    Yes, Duo is awesome and I will be forever grateful for having it!

    What an amazing post.

    I am happy for you.

    Glad to see that you can learn

    sorry out of contest, but is the past of the verb light, lit or lighted?

    Both lighted and lit are correct.

    Personally, I use lit.

    Great post! Much continued success.

    Wow, that's impressive! I hope I can do as much with Duolingo too :)

    Hi, 893tQMne It is nice to hear how you are working hard to support and trying talk to the members of your community. It sounds like you are very motivated and I wish I had your enthusiasm! Keep up with the great work in your community. I bet it is making many people's day. I wish you all luck in your language and whatever you are hoping to do with it, good luck and I hope to see you out there.

    Getting to a 500-day streak is so inspiring! Thanks for showing it can be done!

    Thank you for such an informative post, I am very much so in the beginning stages and loving it. Sometimes,however, I feel like "I"ll never get this, why bother?!" Posts like yours encourage me to keep moving forward...thank you tons for the positive encouragement and Congratulations on your continued willingness and selflessness for sharing positivity!

    Yes, some days it can be very frustrating, full of errors, confusion, and disillusion. But hang in there, please. When the pieces start falling into place, the experience is truly rewarding and worth the effort. Perseverance is the key!

    *Sidenote for PRINCE... Not sure if you intentionally spelled Interesting incorrectly or not. Allow me to say this, please. I do and always have excelled in Spelling, I still make mistakes-either my not paying attention when typing, just being in a hurry...whatever the case may be. I applaude you for commenting on a wonderful post, (most people these days don't bother to spell things out with text language being used.) Example: My children- Ya ma hbu? Me: What the heck does this say? (Along with when I was growing up I would never say "Ya Ma" to my mother..and I was capable of writing out "How about you? So, I am saying this, #1 Good for you to taking the time to comment on a post not matter how much you said or spelled it-it says you take time to read other people posts (my perception, my reality)

    <h1>2 It's clear you felt that the original post is INTERESTING...Agreed, it definitely is!!</h1> <h1>3 I'm not sure if any other comments to you were meant to be negative, positive, helpful or informative (I know my perception which is my reality, and I am about being helpful, understanding and building people up not tearing down. (The world we live in today cannot afford it-be kind, always...that's my mantra.)</h1>

    4# I don't know you to know what your native language is, regardless, your point is felt it was an INTERESTING POST!!! Enough said!

    Last but not least, if it was just a grammatical error or whatever the case..can I ask if you have spell check and if not maybe suggest turning it on, it may help you. It helps me when I get "stuck" like I said, I can spell well, I do still make errors and as I've graduated over 30 years ago, I sometimes need help in refreshing my spelling memory. I hope you take this as a 100% positive comment as it come from my heart exactly why I took the time to write to you. Thank you for reminding me as I start my day today to stick to my mantra! Have a great day and Best to you, always. Take care.

    Weldone to you! I hope to reach that milestone as you did. Thank you for sharing!

    Hello, darkness my old friend. Get it?

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