https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Goodbye Duolingo! 365 day streak

Today is my 365th day of learning Spanish with Duolingo. I've started from scratch but I was highly motivated (and still I am!). I was doing slow progress further down my tree, practicing, reviewing, progressing every single day and some time ago I've finished the tree. Then I was just polishing the shining-golden tree but it was obvious that my time with Duolingo is going to end. Duo taught me a lot but it is time to move on and face new challenges.

And here I must confess, that I did not gave a lot back to Duo - translations/immersion was too boring for me, and I could not stick with it. Sometimes Duolingo irritated me with changes on the site, but then I was trying to focus on learning and these things were not so important. One thing I must say - Duo community is great and discussions on forum and under the lessons are valuable and pleasant.

So, what now? Well, Duolingo was only one of my wide range of tools in my language learner's toolbox. I will stay with rest of my tools as long as they are useful and help me reach my goals. And they are (in case if you would be interested):

  • fluencia - paid, but great supplement to Duolingo. Teaches grammar, cultural aspects of language, has native speakers saying sentences and SRS
  • fluentu - paid, but I am using it for free - their free content is sufficient for me. They have real-life videos and SRS too
  • lingua.ly, readlang - free, and they help me reading more advanced texts with their integrated diccionaries
  • rtve.es - I watch news from Spain and download their radio programs (mp3 podcasts) and listen to them in my car
  • memrise - where I learn words and sentences. I do not use courses prepared by other users only my own
  • conversations - once a week I have an hour conversation with my teacher from Spain/Galicia

And some others that I will probably use:

  • openlanguage.com - paid, but VERY professional. What is really great it contains materials for uppermediate and advanced students (like discussions about poetry of Pablo Neruda etc). It is in fact the only one site that I think have good content for advanced learners.
  • itaki,verbling - although I am pretty happy with my conversations with my native spanish teacher maybe I will use these sities. But to be honest the idea of talking to total strangers about random things does not seem very interesting to me.
  • reading books. I am not ath this point yet, because my vocabulary is too limited to read interesting books and reading books for children is too boring.

One of the most important things I've learnt while learning a new language - if some concept/material is too hard for me I just move on. I know that after some time this concept will be natural and easy. Our brains are fantastic devices but they work at their own pace, you cannot rush them. Give your brain a time and magic will happen. I can look back and see how I was struggling with basic things like "Mi vida loca" and "Extr@". Now I am struggling listening to real natives who do not pronounce well, mumble, speak fast and fuzzily. But it does not worry me at all - I just enjoy the melody of their speech. I know that eventually I will get it.

And to sum this up - will I be missing Duolingo? I think yes - for some time. Maybe sometime I will log-in here to see how the site is changing and my golden tree is slowly covered with rust...

Best Regards and good luck to you all!

November 19, 2014

66 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1
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Interesting post- thanks! I'm contemplating the eventual end of my journey here as well (after Italian, or perhaps Turkish if it starts soon-ish) and it's nice to read your farewell. I have wondered too about why there isn't a stronger mechanism to keep the long term users "sticky" to the site. Somehow Immersion hasn't worked for me either so far. Translation is a whole other language skill (beyond listening, reading, writing, and speaking) and not one I am used to learning while working on languages honestly. I've mostly been able to be in Immersion classroom environments which I think gets me best to where I want to be and have something to show for the efforts. (I also think if it wasn't so easy for random people to downvote/spam your efforts I might do at least some.) I really wish there was another way to give back. It's hard not to be super grateful for such a handy, free resource! :) Best wishes with your language learning!!!

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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Totally agree with you and the OP. I have tried Immersion a few times, but the benefit it brings Duolingo (none, I think, for the directions I am doing) or me (in terms of learning and practicing), are negligible compared to the incredible annoyance of someone repeatedly changing my correct translations into wrong ones with no good explanation given. So I steer clear of Immersion and instead try to contribute in other ways (such as helping people on the discussion forum).

For someone like me, who doesn't just want to learn a particular language but likes languages in general, the lasting attraction of the site is the growing number of courses and the incredible knowledge and helpfulness of the community.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

It's great that you contribute in other ways, I did it to. And I've sent a counless "my answer should be accepted" reports, and my sugestions were accepted. This way I have also given something back to Duolingo :)

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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So long, and thanks for all the lingots!

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1
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I didn't even try after the (perfectly interesting) article itself got so many down votes and no explanation as to why. Had to assume that was spam, but still...it was a huge disincentive. I admittedly don't quite understand how it all works, but...Well, if this was my website I'd hate to so easily lose active, engaged, intelligent learners with a sense of wanting to give back. I think I'd focus more on such learners and do what it took to keep them around. But that is the disadvantage/advantage of the crowd. You want to let everyone in the tent, but if some are just breaking things...then what?

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ampdot

Finish the tree and get bragging rights. Other than that... congratulations!

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

I totally agree with your statement that immersion is hard and requires great fluency. To be honest I am still amazed that "croud of beginners" can produce professional translation :)

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1
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Me too!

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Subalzero
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It becomes easier if you practice.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Have some lingots :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/maltu
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interesting, and I enjoyed the review of other resources. Have you tried the BBC ones? They appear to have cut the department now, but the material is all still available on the website. I feel the same as you and many others about immersion. I'd like to give back something to duolingo, but that part of the site does not really work for me. I prefer to read articles from "El Pais" and BBC Mundo, the latter often having an English version of the same news item. I do find duolingo useful for the constant practice and repetition, which would become so boring otherwise. The best of luck for your continued learning.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Thank you for good words. From BBC I've learned a lot from "Mi vida loca" which is a great course. Sometimes I watch BBC Mundo but i prefer Castellano from Spain, so RTVE.ES is my first program to watch. I like learning with videos, so fluentu and yabla are places that I appreciate the most (although yabla could not be used for free).

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/maltu
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Thank you so much. I haven't watched BBC Mundo - I do a sort of immersion with reading one of the articles on there or in El Pais most days. I do like RTVE too, I developed a kind of addiction to Los Misterios de Laura, although it's above my understanding just now. My teacher recommends Cuentame, which I'll try later. They have Spanish subtitles. Finding enough time is the only issue really. Language learning is so different now, we are very lucky in the resources available for free or cheap, there's no substitute for listening to native speakers. Good luck with your future progress. Many thanks for the lingots, I feel quite excited to see my new total.

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Have some lingots :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mvel4u
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Good luck with your journey of language learning my friend !!

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Have some lingots for your adventure with Duolingo!

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mvel4u
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Muchas gracias amigo (y) !!

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AbraxunsIllusion

We'll miss you :(

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Have some lingots and buy yourself something nice :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/AbraxunsIllusion

HAHA, I read that wrong, and thought you said "Have some lingots and buy yourself some rice :)" I was like, okay, I will ^^

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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This is the place for combining rice and language learning: freerice.com :-)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/OnesimusUnbound

One question: does watching and listening to news helped you train your hearing aspect in Spanish?

Anyway, mejores deseos con tu viaje en aprendizaje del español lengua.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

I really cannot say for sure but I think that it helped a lot. I was watching and listening to the news from the very beginning, understanding close to nothing. Sometimes I felt that it was pointless (and probably at the beginning it was) but with time I was understanding more, and more. But without learning/memrozing a lot of vocabulary, learning grammar etc, it would be pointless. So now I think that you should listen/watch when you gain some vocabulary, so you could understand something :)

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/OnesimusUnbound

Thanks, I guess I'll start with it. Everyday I take public transpo to travel to and from work and I want to utilize my travel time for something productive.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Correcty me if I am wrong, but I think it should be "aprendizaje de la lengua española" :)

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/OnesimusUnbound

Yeah, I think you're correct. I tend to confuse when to use 'de' and when to treat a word as adjective.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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I know you asked the OP, but I'll give you my two cents anyway: I think the news are actually an excellent thing to listen to. Although they talk fast and the language is quite formal, you can normally understand at least something because the topics and context of (international) news is already familiar to you and many key words in economics and politics are pretty international, too.

Some people even listen to the radio in the language they want to learn in the background, even without trying to understand, to get used to the sounds and the rhythm of the language.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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"Some people even listen to the radio in the language they want to learn in the background, even without trying to understand, to get used to the sounds and the rhythm of the language." I do it this way ;-)

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wj677
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Me too. Far easier to understand news broadcasters using formal language.

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/NancyMihalich
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I set my social networking sites to Italian (because that's what I want to learn). If I can't figure something out, I switch it to English temporarily. Then, it goes back to the foreign language I want to learn!

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/OnesimusUnbound

Hmm, makes sense. Currently, I can understand most of what I read on the news in Spanish, checking the dictionary for words that are too frequent.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Isrianth
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You're right. I like to listen to the radio in English and German.

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
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Thanks for all the website, I will us them as well to improve my spanish skills !

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Some lingots for you, buy yoursel something nice :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
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Wow thanks, it is actually a lot :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Darchy77

No te limites a ver solo las noticias, en youtube hay cientos de canales que puedes ver, y cuyo vocabulario es distinto (más comun) que el de las noticias. Prueba también a ver películas, series... diferentes situaciones dan diferentes vocabularios. Para leer, para mi lo mejor es comenzar con tebeos (comics). Y para terminar, te dejo una canción bastante divertida sobre los distintos tipos de español que hay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyp7xt-ygy0
no se si la entenderás, pero si no, guarda en enlace y revisitala dentro de un tiempo ;) Enhorabuena por tu "finalización" y suerte!

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

¡Gracias por tus consejos amigo! Tienes razon que las noticias tienen sus limitaciones, pero por otro lado son construidas de frases correctas, sin errores. Me gusta la idea de leer los tebeos (por cierto: no conocía esa palabra). Cuando yo era más jovén los leía muchísimo - quizás ahora es el buen tiempo para volver a esa actividad y divertirme un poco :)

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Toma un poco de dinero y compra algo :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Darchy77

:O muchas gracias jurekcy1 :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/carlissa904

I've only been here 11 days, but your post has given me hope that I can learn Spanish! I've tried before and haven't gotten very far. I hope I can stick with Duolingo for a year like you have!

¡Buena suerte con tus estudios!

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Do not give up. When I was doing my tree, I've also struggled on some points. But as I wrote - do not rush it, take tame and eventually it all will just "click" in your brain :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Have fun and buy some stuff :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/carlissa904

¡muchas gracias por los lingotes!

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DPScanlan

Maybe you can try french now :( Anyway, farewell, may your life be wonderful!

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Unlike many people here I do not have need to "collect" languages. Rather than poorly speaking five languages I prefer to speak two but easily and correctly. Felicidades y adelante! :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/DPScanlan

Great answer, thank you very much!

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLdawg

Felicidades señor, have you tried the reverse tree yet? Also i completely agree about letting your brain pick things up naturally. It sounds strange but i very rarely "try" to learn something, i just keep practicing and putting myself around the problem and in time i naturally figure it out. I heard that trying really hard to memorize things can sometimes be counter-productive.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Yes, I've tried doing the reverse tree but I did not like it. It was just too easy and boring

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Some lingots for you :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLdawg

Muchas gracias señor, me gustan lingots mucho. If ya ever get the urge to come back, try and tackle that reverse tree.

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Clarissa_Kennedy

365 day streak! that is impressive the most I have gotten was a 3 day streak

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Have some lingots and buy yourself some nice things :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Clarissa_Kennedy

oh my goodness thank you so much : D. there has been something I have been trying to get for quite a bit

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/beccca7590

Thank you for your insight and advice. I am working on my tree, and I think it will take me a LONG time to fill it.

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Do your tree at your own pace, do not rush it. Poco a poco hacia adelante :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Have some lingots for your adventure with Duolingo :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Ranchilada

wow

November 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/minAndreas

Thank you for all the great learning tips:) I'm giving you a lingot although you don't need it as you're moving on. Buen suerte!!

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jurekcy1

Thanks, have some lingots too as a good bye gift :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1
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You are very cool! I was wondering where those 50 lingots came from & I just figured it out! I really appreciate it because I've been posting error reports the last week for the system saying it's rewarding me lingots for my efforts, but not really givin' em to me! :) Gracias mi amigo! :)

November 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/NancyMihalich
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Congratulations on your 365 Day Streak and Level 25 of Spanish! You accomplished a lot and have a great work ethic by staying with it for a year! You've got some great ideas to continue your language learning pursuit! We'll miss you! Check in with us every once in a while, jurekcy1!

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CaptainKhan

Good luck with your language learning adventure and thanks for the resources !!

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bebekesasar
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Farewell! My journey will still be long. It is kinda sad to remember that I will also end my journey in Duolingo someday. Anyway, good luck in your language learning!

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LilsM
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How long did you practice Spanish every day on Duolingo and the other sides? At which point where you able to hold a conversation?

Thank you for the links :) if I can motivate myself to continue with Spanish I will totally check them out :D

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Soupcatcher_Ogre

Duolingo is a great starting point but as most know you will have to untie the apron strings and venture into the real world. Watching movies has been a help for me, especially if the subtitles and the audio match. Your hour long conversations are probably the most interesting out of the bunch.

Good luck!

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/jfGor
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I always like reading the posts about people finishing their tree. Sometimes I just get into a rut, and it is helpful when I see others have finished. It gives hope me that I can do it too. Thanks for the information you gave us.

November 22, 2014

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