Keeping my mind active at age 66
I am studying German and French to exercise my mind. At 66 I worry about the possibility of dementia and other diseases of the mind that affect the elderly. I have studied German before so it is easier for me, but French is difficult for me. I will probably never speak it very well but I enjoy the challenge of learning the words and grammar.
I am 70 and completely agree with you.
Like Cheryl1 I am a life long learner and languages are one way of widening my knowledge of other cultures. It has been a lifelong ambition of mine to be able to speak another language but usually it has enabled me to ask some simple questions like asking for a coffee or where the station is while not understanding answers given.
15 years ago I spent 2 years at night school learning Spanish followed by 2 weeks at a language school in Spain. I learned more in that two weeks than 2 years at night school but I was still only at level A1. I was beginning to think that my brain was just not constructed for languages.
Duo has given me the opportunity (and the confidence) to get over that mental block and I hope that in the next 12 months I shall be at B1 or B2 level. Thanks Duo.
I know where you're coming from Pete as my age and experience is similar to yours. Based on my experience in reaching the B2 level, I do not believe DL alone will get you to there.
I'd suggest trying the free course by Catus Language offered by The Independent to move your skill level up a notch.
The huge age range of Duolingo is awesome! One tip: never stop! I always keep in mind that if I'm better than yesterday, I succeeded. Anyways, good luck with your studies!
At 69, I'm with you! I've been a life long learner and I can't imagine life without learning something in it!
If you don't have it already, download the Chrome browser. Go to the free Chrome app site and get Langauge Immersion.
Language Immersion sits in the browser tool bar and translates web pages for you automatically. When you open a web page you invoke the app or just leave it off. You can adjust the difficulty and thus the proportion of the words selected for translation, into any one of hundreds of languages. Each translated word is lightly highlighted and can be toggled back and forth between your chosen and default languages on the fly. Or if you want, you can toggle the whole page back and forth between the languages.
The level of difficulty that I have chosen results in about half of the content on individual web pages that I apply it to, being translated into French. At that level I read it quite naturally. Only occasionally do I have to toggle an individual word back to English. I could set the level higher but then I would be using it as a way to learn vocabulary and there are better methods than that. I started out at a much lower level and as my French has progressed, I moved the scale upward.
It is quite satisfying to read complex material half in French and half in English and do so without difficulty.
Today is my 72nd birthday.Also, I just finished the French tree today.
Bonne anniversaire (un peut tard) et congratulations on finishing your French tree! AND on such an amazing streak. I'm not quite half through the French tree, myself. Some days I hate it and curse it but usually I love it. French just sounds beautiful to me. The Language Immersion app sounds really fun. Thanks for posting about it.
I'm only in my mid-thirties, but keeping future mental health issues at bay is one of the top reasons why I am learning other languages.
Keep at it!
I'm happy for you. I've tried convincing older folk in my family of this benefit, but my advice wasn't taken—even though alzheimer's sort of runs in our family. Keep your learning interesting, and don't tell yourself that you'll never speak well; challenge yourself a little bit. :)
Félicitations! I am on here for the same reason, but have only had the courage for French so far. But I am 74 and have just (today) finished my French tree. Someone said a recipe for a happy life is "Something to do, someone (or something) to love, and something to hope for" I find Duo is providing me with a lot of that!
I'm thirteen and part of the reason I'm trying to learn Spanish is so I can avoid mental illness that haunts older people. Good for you. :)
Being only 15, I don't have to worry about things like dementia just yet, but I just LOVE learning languages! I guess I won't have to deal with Alzheimer's or anything like that when I get older, just an added bonus
I thank you all for your comments and encouragement. I'll keep plugging away.
That's terrific - great job! Even if you never speak French well, you'll certainly know more French than you knew before doing Duolingo!