1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >



I am curious. Is it just me or can any of you can relate about freaking out when you see a native of the language you’re studying?

Earlier today, as I was about to go, I saw a bunch of Koreans in a shop I was in. This doesn’t happen all the time, so I kinda freaked out when I heard an older guy talked in Korean behind me, and when I turned around to look at them, there were (I think) almost 10 of them, and they talk so excitedly as they found that the goods are like in Busan, and things like that. I can understand some random things they said. Like, “I’ll buy it for you”, “this is my style” and “I have allergies”. And then one of them said (in a louder voice), “look here”, and I also turned around (coz you know, I understood what he said lol), and then I found out that he was trying to took a photo of them. So IDK what to do, and just turned around so I wouldn’t be included in the photo ㅋㅋㅋ.

As sort of an introvert kind of person, I was trying to look for an opportunity to talk to them but I just couldn’t dare. In the end, I only said ‘안녕하세요’ [an-nyeong-ha-se-yo] (hello) to the older lady, and she responded to that, as well. But then I left after that.

This isn’t the first time I encountered meeting some Koreans (in person), but last time I tried to talk, but nothing came out of my mouth, so atleast this time, something came out. ㅋㅋㅋ

Maybe some of you has this kind of experience, I would like to know how to overcome the ‘freaking out’ stage. lol

December 5, 2019



Just saying something, like you did, is an accomplishment. Congrats! For next time, you could learn a sentence in Korean such as "I'm studying Korean." And say that after you say Hello. (Probably also add "I can't say very much" or something to that effect.) People are usually very nice and they appreciate that you are trying to learn their language.

Don't worry that you have to say something complicated. I've found that people don't expect that; they understand that you are learning.

P.S. Being able to pick out words from what they said is also good practice. It shows that you ARE learning.


Hey, that's my thing! >:U

I have a list of I can't speak __ in 23 languages from natives & I'm currently learning how to pronounce them. I also have a list of 16 Do you speak English? (and some gave me both formal and informal :P)


Thanks, will do that next time (if given the chance lol)


I'm learning latin. There are no natives anymore. Anyways, gotta go back to summoning demons I guess.


Too poor to buy a time machine?Pleb


if someone asks me why i lern latin i say"so I can talk to south americans", but know one gets that joke. lol


Oh freaking out is the worst ;A;

My lv at the time was 6 months in, knowing present, past, future tenses & quite a bit of daily phrases.

I once heard a few Colombians where we were and I was all excited and jumpy and... when I explained my brother they spoke Spanish he kinda laughed smiled at me, understanding why his language-but-especially-spanish-obsessed-sister is acting like that.

But my dad didn't.

I didn't notice but he asked him what's going on and my brother told him. Not 5 seconds later and I hear my dad calling me from a bit away... standing with the Colombians.

I. Freaked. Out. I was so confused and excited... I understood them clearly but I couldn't find what to say... Later I thought about what just happened and just facepalmed "ugh, I used such basic sentences… I even forgot how to say What's your name!"

My dad was so proud though xD If only he could understand my chatting-through-typing level… :P


I can imagine the struggle XD


No kidding thats all i can do! Whenever Duo says say this, i always press cant speak now ( ͡° _ʖ ͡°)


Very common to freeze up (or "freak out") the first few times you have the opportunity to speak a language you've learned.

When I was first taught how to speak to a large audience at a lecture, my instructor said, "Don't be nervous. Just imagine none of them are wearing any clothes!"

It worked, but the technique needs to be different with much smaller groups!

Now... specially for you... the next time the opportunity arises, as you approach them, you see yourself sprinkling them with purple pixie dust that's been enchanted with a "talk to me!" enchantment.

Can't fail.


So funny, but yeah! Should try that next time lol


I almost downvoted because of your title alone. But after reading it, and then laughing hysterically, I can say that I know what you mean. Remember that you'll probably never see those people again, so just keep trying. We can learn every inch of a language course on here, but unless we are using it out loud in our daily lives, then we not going to get any better than just being able to read a few key words in a sentence.


Thanks for not downvoting. ^^


That sounds pretty exciting! And fun! I am currently studying Japanese.. And I've always been interested to hear anyone talking in a foreign language. Would it be on the street, subway, etc. Especially such east-Asian languages namely including Korean and Japanese. Your reaction is normal in my opinion. There's nothing bad to be excited; on the other hand I don't think anyone would ever have a problem with that. It just depends on the circumstances if you can talk to the person, or not. I myself have been in a situation talking to a native several times. I remember when visiting some hostel, there were two Japanese and I just talked to them. After that, we continued the conversation with things like how I study, what my interests are and so on. Judging by myself, the only thing I'd input is that it's good not to be obsessed. That doesn't mean not to have dreams though. Personally, I love listening to K-pop, and consider Korean a wonderful language as well! So your reaction is something close to how I'd react I believe! ( ^ω^ )


Wow! I envy your confidence. I hope I can go up to them next time and just say whatever I wanted to. ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.