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https://www.duolingo.com/Jordy_P

Today I tried taking an order in Spanish at the restaurant where I work... and it went really well!

Jordy_P
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When I'm home from college in the summer I work at Chick-fil-A, a fast food restaurant in most of the U.S. My area has a large Hispanic population, many of which speak zero or very little English. What usually happens in this situation is the cashier taking the order points at the menu, drink options, etc. and hope the order comes out correct. Today I had the opportunity to serve a Hispanic family that spoke very little English, and I decided to put my Spanish to the test.

As I heard them discussing in Spanish what they intended to order, I decided to start ringing it up as they discussed it. When they began to order, I told them that I am learning Spanish, and I had already completed their order. I read it back to them, and they told me it was all correct.

Before they left we had the opportunity to talk longer, and we talked about where they were from, where I go to college, and a little bit about how I had been learning Spanish. They asked where I had been taking classes, and how much it cost, and I told them that I had been learning for free online. I even pointed them towards Duolingo to work on their English!

It was really awesome to see that my work has been paying off, and to see the looks on the faces of the family when they saw the effort I made to speak with them in their language. I could see that it was the highlight of their day, and it was definitely the highlight of mine as well.

I just thought I would post this as an encouragement to stick with it, because using Duolingo you will definitely see results. I should be finishing my tree within the next few days, and I look forward to continuing to improve and learn with Duolingo!

Update, 7/21/14: I just finished my tree! I still need to strengthen everything to gold, but I'm really excited to have reached my goal. To those who have continued to use Duolingo after completing their tree, what are your thoughts on doing a reverse tree? I plan on doing one, but I don't completely understand how it works or if it is worth my while.

4 years ago

85 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/makiminami
makiminami
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Really awesome! I really wish someday, I could speak with someone who knows very little English and help them. Every success story inspires me to work even harder on my Spanish!

10 lingots for you! :)

EDIT: Congrats on finishing your tree! You should try out the reverse tree for a few lessons. I think it will help you lots with your Spanish!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mike.pilliod

Happens all the time with us...I moved my family to Panama (the country) to work in an English speaking school, and we interact with people all the time around town that do not speak English...I like to say that I'm fluent in restaurant Spanish and grocery store Spanish...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordy_P
Jordy_P
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Thank you! Just look all around you, with a little bit of knowledge in multiple languages (as evidenced by your Duolingo levels listed) you are bound to have the opportunity someday! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nathanhleung

Do you ever get confused between Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian? They seem very similar to me.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/makiminami
makiminami
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No. They have very similar grammar rules and related words, but they do have differences.

Example sentence: "She is a woman."

Spanish/Español: "Ella es una mujer."

Italian/Italiano: "Lei é una donna."

Portuguese/Português: "Ela é uma mulher."

Example sentence 2: "I write a book."

Spanish/Español: "Yo escribo un libro."

Italian/Italiano: "Io scrivo un libro."

Portuguese/Português: "Eu escrevo um livro."

I'll say Portuguese is most similar to Spanish. I think the more languages you study, the easier it is to learn another language, especially if it's closer to the language itself.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BlueJelloElf

One of my classmates in high school Spanish was Portuguese and spoke the language at home. She said that when she was taking a test in Spanish class (wiriting an essay or something), she would sometimes get so focused that she would accidentally switch to Portuguese without realizing it, because the languages were juuuust similar enough.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kittycat_anna

thats kind of cool

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sialso
Sialso
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Both idioms are originated from the latin, but they still have a lot of differences. I am from Brazil and I still struggle sometimes to finish my Duolingo lessons. By now I have made something around 70% of the tree and I still need to improve a lot. Damn, I use a lot of "still"... gotta improve my English vocabulary also. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kittycat_anna

thats interesting. the words for "write" are very similiar too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RowaidaEzzat

I agree with you

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobotQT1

"the more languages you study, the easier it is to learn another language, especially if it's closer to the language itself." This is so true. French made it really easy for me to learn Spanish. When I worked for Jack in the Box and one of my coworkers would tell us "lave los manos!" I immediately knew she was telling us to wash our hands because in French it's "lave les mains!" (or something like that, it's been a few years since I've studied French)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/makiminami
makiminami
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I think it's because they're both Romance languages. Whenever I see that in the bathroom, I also remember "lave les mains"!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kittycat_anna

what does that mean? and what language is it in?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/makiminami
makiminami
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"Lave les mains" is French for "wash your hands". In Spanish that is "Lave los manos". Romance languages come from the ancient language of the Romans, Latin (I think?).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ReidHT
ReidHT
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I have found that Spanish and French are easy to connect in your mind. When I am all done with them, I have a goal of learning Portuguese, Romanian and Italian, and probably Catalan too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/makiminami
makiminami
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I agree. I found it slightly easier for me to learn Spanish after studying French for a while on Duolingo.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobotQT1

At first I mistook the languages for each other. When I first heard some Portuguese spoken in Master and Commander I at first thought it was Spanish, but that's because I didn't know what Portuguese sounded like and I hadn't started learning Spanish yet. As for Italian, I mistook it for French! I was taking French in high school when I first started listening to Lacuna Coil, a rock band from Italy. One of their songs was in Italian so at first I thought it was French, but it was just different enough for me to realize it wasn't French. Then I thought it was Spanish. It only took a couple seconds for me to realize it wasn't Spanish. Basically, yes, they initially sound like each other but at the same time they don't sound alike at all.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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THis is really inspirational and motivating. I'm waiting for the right opportunity to put my spanish to the test. Keep up the good work and continue on the path to fluency Adios =)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emily_886

Awesome!! This really encourages me to continue my language learning :) One day I would love to have a conversation with someone who understands very little English - thought foreigners in the languages I am learning/try to learn (Spanish, Dutch, French, German) are pretty rare in my area. Congrats on the achievement though :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordy_P
Jordy_P
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If you get the opportunity to practice, don't be afraid to take it. Even if you don't feel very confident it will give you a huge confidence boost and the person you're speaking with will be impressed at your effort no matter how it goes :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/guylandon

Ask for help! If you need, ill learn you a bit Dutch it is my native language :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kittycat_anna

cool!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
Mod
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There are no foreigners in my area, either. Verbling is a great place to speak with groups of people from all over the world. I have spoken Spanish with people from the USA, Spain, Morocco, Algiers, Chile, Peru, Colombia, England...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BenKlingensmith

I don't have many lingots yet but you get some just for that streak.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DavionMead

What are other sites like verbling?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gringaerin
gringaerin
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I did this when I worked at Chick-fil-a too. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordy_P
Jordy_P
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It's a great place to work and practice!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gidi2

That's so terrific! You should be really proud of your hard work.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cric2014

¡¡Bravo, Jordy!!! Así se hace, no es poca cosa, hay que tener valor. Yo estoy con el inglés y sí, el curso inverso sí sirve, yo lo estoy haciendo después de terminar mi árbol de inglés. Te regalo un lingot.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MatthewNeitz

If you dont want to do a Reverse Tree, another good idea that isnt quite as boring i doing a nother language from spanish. Like the german or french Tree

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordy_P
Jordy_P
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I definitely plan on doing this when I learn German or French, but that won't be in the near future probably. Thanks for the advice!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-Katrina.-
-Katrina.-
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That is awesome and inspiring! Great job! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sparrow2015

This is great! I work in a clothing store in New England and in the few short weeks I've been there I've heard French, Spanish, Chinese, Indonesian (possibly), and another language I wasn't even sure of! Pretty cool.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kristibob

Congratulations!! Life always presents us with ways to use what we learn, and you're doing a great job! Well done!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/said.
said.
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This is brilliant! I recommend Duolingo especially to native Spanish speakers that are struggling with English. I tell sell them on the fun game factor and in lieu of Candy Crush. If they're going to be playing games, they may as well be playing on Duolingo. You have my respect.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pamp212

VERY inspiring! Using your new skills to help someone else is the best reason to learn - in my opinion! Way to go!! And have a few lingots too!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AviAdventure
AviAdventure
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That is awesome and encouraging. Gracias for sharing. Do you plan to learn any other languages on here?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordy_P
Jordy_P
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Long term, yes I plan to learn either French or German (or both) with Duolingo. However, right now I am just sticking with Spanish. My goal is to reach B2 in Spanish by next June because I may have the chance to live in Guatemala and teach English in an orphanage next summer. But I want to shoot for being at least trilingual in the next five years, so you'll definitely see my around for a long time to come!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AviAdventure
AviAdventure
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That is pretty cool. I wish you the best of luck. When you do start to learn French and German make sure you memorize the articles with the words. They have masculine and feminine words but there seems to be no rhyme or reason to why they are the way they are.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordy_P
Jordy_P
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Thanks for the advice, I will definitely keep that in mind. So of the three languages you're studying on Duolingo, which has been your favorite so far?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AviAdventure
AviAdventure
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I love Spanish. I have always loved Spanish but I am kind of frustrated with the object pronoun section right now, specifically with sentences where se is added. So I find myself not going to my Spanish lessons as much as I'd like to. German is a lot easier than I thought so I am enjoying that. French can be hard because I'm not used to the sounds but it is getting better and I enjoy it. Spanish is still in the front though.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/anm54475
anm54475
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Object Pronouns was the most difficult lesson for me, so far. I would do an easier earlier lesson each day, to keep my streak, but then go over the Object Pronouns with a notebook and pen, to keep notes. Eventually, I got through it. Keep up the good work!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Corgs19

Awesome! The most I've done in Spanish so far is ask someone if they want water. Close enough, right? :) Way to go.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Danimal67

I am glad to hear that you got to experience what I experience every day. Por ejemplo, el setenta y cinco por ciento son mis clientes en mi trabajo hablan Espanol. Ellos aprecian siempre cuando hablo con ellos en español. Esto los hace sentir más cómodos y nos ayudamos unos a otros a aprender! Todo el mundo sabe que estoy aprendiendo ahora y todos ellos como para ver mi progreso! It is the most rewarding feeling I have ever had at any job. They are always shocked because I am white! lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AviAdventure
AviAdventure
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@Danimal67 Some Latinos are white just like some are black. Latino is not a race.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Danimal67

Neither is white.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laskiblue

That's fantastic, Jordy! Keep up the good work.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Robin_H

Really amazing!! I'm so happy for you :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StellaJorgensen

good for you!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RowaidaEzzat

Awesome! This really encouraged me to keep learning Spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/stevie.

Oh that was really good ,I promise you, they will come back for your service again.Good job Jordy

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsaiahGardner_

thats funny! I also work at chick-fil-a, and i love getting the opportunity to be able to speak with the spanish speaking people, it's probably my favorite part of the job! haha

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobotQT1

Hey, that's awesome! I originally started learning Spanish for the same reason, except I worked at Jack in the Box at the time (I now work in a neighborhood library). I started learning with books, then took some Spanish classes in college. The same happened to me at Jack in the Box, then later, once I was in school and working at a clothing store, at the register. My coworker passed his Spanish-speaking customer on to me. Just the day before, I skipped ahead in my textbook to the shopping vocab! Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in your language-learning journey!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joshua6261

you got lucky that you skipped ahead in the textbook. otherwise, you would've been screwed!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RobotQT1

Hahaha yeah! Half the conversation would've been "¿Como se dice...?"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Julie_B

That is really cool!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SummerThea

AWESOME!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Chick-fil-A doesn`t have Spanish menus? McDonalds does. But, good work, Jordy.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/No_Control

this is really encouraging and the more you know a language the more opportunities to discover other cultures and meet new people and actually talk with them and discuss things and ideas instead of just missing some great opportunities. one more thing, i believe that learning another language nowadays especially Spanish is going to help you with your personal and professional life. Good luck and thanks for this awesome share

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ReidHT
ReidHT
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Oh my goodness gracious, that is amazing! I am excited to hear more posts from you about your accomplishments, and I really do hope I get similar results, although where I live it is better to know Spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ellistea

Wow - I am very encouraged by reading this. I live in the Los Angeles area with lots of Spanish speakers and am too early in the process to do what you did, but am looking forward to feeling confident enough to strike up a conversation in Spanish. Good job!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/djr8369

Awesome story dude, be proud!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/swappy07

Really amazing bro, keep it up. I wish I could test my spanish too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mightingale

Very motivating! Thanks for sharing the experience with us!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adlitam1
adlitam1
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Thank you for the encouragement!! How long have you been studying with Duolingo?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jordy_P
Jordy_P
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I have been on Duolingo for about a year, but have only been really dedicated to it for the past few months. I started learning the basics of Spanish last summer, but I did most of the tree this year. I was on a 60+ day streak, but I lost it when I missed a day to be in a wedding.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/agalvez2

I've managed to stay with it daily for 317 days. I've found I have to do it first thing in the morning or I lose my chance usually. Of course there are some days when the brain is not functioning at 5am, then I catch it later.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AviAdventure
AviAdventure
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That is dedication. I aim to be on here as much as possible myself but I don't really aim for streaks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlejandroM654851

Wow glad you were able to speak. I still get very nervous and forget many spanish words when i try to speak. I will need more lessons to get my confidence up..

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AviAdventure
AviAdventure
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The best thing is to not only practice but practice with someone you can be comfortable with that knows the language. Check this vid out it make help. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNEWdn0&list=WL&index=8

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlejandroM654851

Got it thanks... I am 33, and i have not been able to make the language stick. Doing the lesson seems to work better than formal class room

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AviAdventure
AviAdventure
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Practice makes perfect. Keep at it and I'm sure it will get better. Everyone has their own learning style. You know what works best for you.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rrunasanchez

inportante

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/defiantoli

Numero dos com un Coca Cola

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iuyo0

retret

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/007woofwoof

Jordy, love your story…of hard work, discipline, kindness and encouragement. When I visited Germany, the natives were so patient with me…helping me in stores, counting back my change. The good will goes a long way. You were able to treat those people as you would wish to be treated. Makes the world a better place. Rock on. .

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KayKei0

Good job!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joshua6261

what is a reverse tree???

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sialso
Sialso
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It's when you do the same course, but with the reverse idioms, For example, when you finish to study Spanish from English and then decide to study English from Spanish. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joshua6261

oh. that's not a bad idea!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sialso
Sialso
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Yeah. People say it helps. :) When I get good in Spanish i want to try to study French from Spanish. But for now that is just a dream.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/joshua6261

don't give up

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chooley.

omg well done!x

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RebecaGuti4

exellent darling, go ahead! es muy importante el español

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EriktheSwede

Gratz, keep studying

4 years ago