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https://www.duolingo.com/jcragun

Finished my Spanish tree- where I came from, where I am going...

I have spoken a bit of Spanish my entire life, but never enough to be useful as anything more than a tourist. I had some basic classes in grade school, and one year in high school. About seven years ago, my wife and I decided that we would be going to Spain for our honeymoon, and we started taking classes. After the honeymoon, I kept taking classes. I worked my way up to Intermediate 2. Unfortunately, my hectic schedule meant I couldn't take classes one after another. I was lucky to take one a year, and my skills didn't build quickly.

Then I discovered Duolingo, and it has been a fantastic tool for learning and practicing my skills. I studied Latin extensively in high school and college, and the classes I had taken gave me a pretty good understanding of the important language concepts like ser vs estar, the personal a, the subjunctive. I'm not sure how well you would learn those with just Duolingo- I am assuming some supplementation with a site like Learn Spanish would be necessary.

But for me, this site has been amazing. I've been lining up 'next steps' as I approached the end of my tree. Thanks to the discussions in these forums, I've been given some great ideas on what to do next. Here's some of my approaches:

  • I have been exploring Spanish-language music. I listen to it while I am at work, all day. Sometime I stop to figure out the lyrics. Most of the time I just listen and understand what I can.

  • I picked up a Kindle copy of the first Harry Potter book and have started to read it.

  • I am taking several MemRise courses (Harry Potter Spanish, Top 5000 Spanish Words) to improve my vocabulary

  • I am using mylanguageexcchange.com to find partners to video and text chat with to practice my spoken Spanish

And obviously, I will stay around here, golden up my tree and explore immersion. Anything else (short of travel) I should be considering? I've been mostly a forum lurker here, but these forums have been the source of a lot of helpful ideas for me!

3 years ago

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/inguhzee

Congratulations! Do you mind sharing some of your favorite Spanish-singing artists?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jcragun

I like hip-hop, so I've been exploring some Spanish language hip hop artists such as Control Machete. I dig some of the stuff coming out of Monterey such as Plastalina Mosh, Jumbo, and Kinky. I've always been a fan of the Gipsy Kings, and while I have trouble getting into Mano Chao, I like his first band Mano Negra. Los Tres, Soda Stereo, Vetusta Morla are a couple more that I've been listening to lately. My tastes run indie/alternative/urban/eclectic. I'm just getting a feel for the genres at this point, so any recommendations would be welcome!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1
tnel1
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Just curious...do you speak Spanish to any degree? It's funny, as I was learning German I started finding German showing up in my Spanish, but not in my English! When I try to speak Spanish, German words would pop up. Now that I am further along in German this seems to happen less, but I really wanna set aside some time to "fix" my Spanish. I think it would be pretty easy, I actually understand it quite well and can speak it at the intermediate level whenever I need to, but my grammar has some holes since I haven't paid attention to it in ages. Anyway...be proud of all your hard work - it all adds up! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jcragun

I've been conversant in Spanish for a long time. My family helped some refugees when I was a kid and we hosted a few people which forced me to figure out how to speak with a limited vocabulary. I speak a little French, and when I was learning French I had the same problem that I would occasionally let some Spanish slip in. I didn't have that problem with my Swedish (which is VERY basic) though, presumably because they are so different.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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Great question. I appreciated the background information. I'm not sure if I can help you out but I'll just borrow Benny's idea as my own. Define clear goals. Ask yourself what do you want to be able to do?

Here's Benny (an entertaining polygot) explaining and outlining his idea for your next step: #9 Create SMART goals

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jcragun

My goal is to reach a C2 level eventually. I would like to easily understand most non-technical, non-academic spoken and written Spanish and discuss most topics without asking for help. I would like basic understanding of non-standard colloquial usage in Mexico and Spain. I realize that all is a lot, so that's the stretch goal. I do like the idea of setting interim, measurable goals. Perhaps having a 5000 word vocab should be my next...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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Some times defining the goal is difficult. I need to reduce and simply my goals.

  1. Read and enjoy comics en español (Garfield, Calvin Hobbes, the Walking Dead and Mexican comics like almas perdidas, vaqueros, etc.) They're basically my vocabulary list.
  2. At minimum, watch and enjoy children programming (tv, film) with 75-80% level understanding.

I have to work on outlining a specific timeline, setting specific goals for grammar, vocabulary, etc. Some times it is frustrating but I'm getting better at it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarshaClarke

With Latin based languages such as Spanish as French I found it quite easy to learn to read as English is my mother tongue, (except for those pesky faux amis!). Oral comprehension was another story. With Spanish, the following site helps me. I listen to the clips, then try to answer the questions. I also watch movies in Spanish with Spanish subtitles - that way I hear and see the usage.

As today is my "French" day, I will wish you Bonne Chance!

http://www.ver-taal.com/index.htm

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jcragun

Thanks! I like the shorter clips. I will give it a try.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mapgej

¡Hola! ¿Sabes cómo se traduce al ingles la palabra: se? For example: El niño se calló desde la terrasa.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/--J--jr.

I have found a local group using "meet up" where native Spanish speakers who are learning English meet with native English speakers who are learning Spanish. I've found it to be very helpful. Nothing beats practice with a live coach.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scottonevilleo

There is a "language exchange" in Nottingham that I used to go to before moving to Cuba, it was great! We all met in a bar had a few drinks and practiced our language skills. Back in the day there was Turkish, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Polish and Portuguese all around one (big) table! Perhaps set up your own Language Exchange, make new friends, and help people practice their English and Spanish?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jcragun

There was a group in town that did an 'intercambio' with native Spanish speakers looking to learn English, but that group is no longer around, and the exchange no longer happens. I've been doing the same thing online, though, using skype, and it is really helpful. It helps that if someone is also learning, they will be patient and understanding. I'm also planning to throw some parties at my house for Spanish speaking friends where no English is allowed...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Nix8
Nix8
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Hola actualmente estudio ingles, mi idioma nativo es español... me gustaría intercambiar idioma.

si estas de acuerdo escribeme gracias :) l..l

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lyza486374

That's awesome!! I'm about 1/2 way... i'd like to take classes once I finish​ the tree to actually talk aloud with people..

1 month ago