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https://www.duolingo.com/Cloudster

I just finished my Spanish tree

Cloudster
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My memory is not very good due to high stress levels. Nonetheless, I never gave up. Duolingo is like a fun addicting game so I never got bored. Although everything is still gold, I'm still unable to to have simple conversations in Spanish. It's like there is a hole in my head and every time I turn around, the words fall out.

How long does it usually take with daily repetition before the words become committed to long term memory?

3 years ago

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mjaumjaupurr
mjaumjaupurr
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Congratulations! >^..^<

In terms of improving your ability to use Spanish, I think the most important thing to do is to use it. Going over exercises in the tree can be useful, but the most important thing is to start making sentences on your own. You can use the duolingo word list as a starting point. Duolingo is really great for drilling basic grammar and sentence patterns, but they won't become part of your brain until you use them to come up with original sentences.

Here are a few internet resources I have found useful: memrise.com for building vocabulary (it has a number of flashcard courses for Spanish); fluentu.com for listening comprehension (it's a bunch of videos from novice to advanced levels); and lang-8.com for writing (you post entries in your target language and they get corrected by native speakers; the catch is that you have to correct other entries in your own native language so it can be time consuming).

If you don't have much time, I think that even writing 3-5 sentences in Spanish a day, and listening to a few minutes of Spanish language (there are so many good youtube videos for beginners) would be a great help.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLdawg

I never thought to write out my own sentences, sounds like a solid idea.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toussaintlou
toussaintlou
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There have been many studies that show that language occurs in many different areas of the brain, so writing a language helps your brain network the process.

I got to the point after I finished my French tree, of not excepting the fact that I could read and write French...so I started taking Duolingo Spanish for French speakers (I took Spanish in HS, so it wasn't a huge leap). This strategy helps me not translate Spanish into English, in my head first, but rather except the French translation, since that's what I speak.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JackieBenchman

Dude, that's actually a great idea!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLdawg

Thanks for the answer, yep i did the same, i was learning spanish then decided to learn portuguese from spanish. I'm trying to keep away from english, leaning on spanish as my safety net even though im still learning that too. Basically trying to always take myself out of my comfort zone in hopes that spanish eventually becomes my comfort zone.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Damoncito

I'm a little more towards conversational, but I also have trouble remembering words and recognizing them, especially when spoken by a native speaker in a conversation. That's why I started DL. Thanks for these tips and resources! Have a lingot!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mercutio

Get michel Thomas or Paul noble audio

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jcragun

Conversation is a skill, and you have way more than enough Spanish to be conversant. Try to find some sympathetic partners to practice with (I am using mylanguageexchange at the moment), and maybe try text chat first, because you can look up things you don't recognize later. When you do, here are a few tips:

  • Focus on conveying meaning, not saying the exact thing you would in English. Simplify your sentence structures and start basic. This is where a lot of people get stuck. You may not know the word you WANT, but do you have a similar word or phrase that can do in a pinch? Use it.

  • Don't expect to have the same conversations in Spanish that you would have with a college-educated adult. Keep it simple, and focus on learning. This can be hard at first, because it can feel like you are talking like a child. But you need to talk like a child before you advance to talking like an adult, and you need to practice.

  • You are practicing, so focus on keeping conversation moving, not on relating every piece of information you might normally when asked a question. Keep it simple, stay relaxed.

-Learn a few basic phrases to get you out of the tough spots and to ask for help when you need it. 'No entiendo', 'repitalo por favor?', 'que significa la palabra ', and 'como te dices/se dice '

Most of all, relax, have fun, and focus on learning. Conversation is a different skill than reading and writing, but learning it is a lot of fun, and can be a way to make new friends!

Good luck and keep at it!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BlakeMagnu

This is what is working for me and I hope it may work for you also!

<h1>1 Stay optimistic, confident, and driven! Know that you can do this, and reward yourself for every bit of progress you make and never beat yourself up for any mistake. The goal here is to grow, and if you grow even a little bit each day, you will some day probably this year be very conversational in Spanish-near fluent.</h1> <h1>2</h1>

Don't be afraid to use it! My girlfriend and I go to a Mexican grocery store in Denver to do all of our grocery shopping. That might not work if you live in a big city, but if you like to eat out try going to a Mexican restaurant and attempting some self-created sentences on your own. If you feel like you do not remember enough words to do this, don't forget to use the super handy practice part of the app to go over what you've learned. I try to make my study regiment 50% new works 50% practice on the app itself. I find that most of the latin american immigrant community has been very receptive to me learning Spanish and are very excited to help me practice. They also love it because they can practice their English.

I work at a paint store, and over half of our customers are native Spanish speakers, so I may have that unfair advantage in that I am able to practice doing my job in Spanish all the time. Again though, they are all very excited and encourage me day after to day to keep practicing.

If you are introverted and all of this seems like a tall order, make the effort to find spanish speaking friends that you can become comfortable with practicing. Practice is 100% necessary.

<h1>3</h1>

Grow your vocab outside of the app! Translate songs, put masking tape on things in your house with the Spanish on them, always try to translate all of the Spanish signs you see on everything here in the U.S., and try start growing your vocab related to your daily activitiy and things you talk about the most. For example, I work at a paint store so I know several of my industry specific spanish translations for things we sell. That lets you start making sentences faster that are actually relevant to your life.

<h1>4</h1>

Make it relevant! Have a mission of what you want to say, have a reason of why you want to say it in Spanish. Without purpose, we will naturally not work as hard. I'm sure you have a reason you want to speak this beautiful language, just make it clear and focus on it!

I hope this helps! I believe in you!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SoyHenry
SoyHenry
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Felicidades!! =)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cloudster
Cloudster
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Thank you everyone for your advice and encouragement. I will definitely try the suggestions. At present, I watch Spanish TV for about an hour per day and try to make at least 100xp per day on Duolingo. I did have a spanish tutor, but I lost interest when the lessons became too difficult and the tutor became frustrated. At least my iPad apps don't think I'm stupid. I've tried: SpanishTT, Memrise, Spanish Verb Conjugator with audio, English-Spanish Reference Dictionary, Learn Spanish with speech recognition, Lingo Arcade, Flashcard Spanish, Mind Snacks and Brainscape as well as several translator apps.

I like the idea of creating sentences.

Voy a poner mi cabra a la cama despu├ęs de que yo le doy helado.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Laura_Martino

I am a Spanish and French teacher and somewhere in my studies is reading that a word doesn't stick until you've said it (correctly!) 50 times. That's why I have my students sing a lot: they learn it without getting bored.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Beta-Tron
Beta-Tron
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haha. well done

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kai_Guy

Don't feel bad, my head is a colandar (i.e. full of holes). I started out thinking this would be easy. Boy was I wrong! All you can do is keep hammering at it and eventually, on your own timeline, things will slowly stick. I would guess that the younger you are, the faster you will learn. By that measure, it will take me forever.

Felicitaciones

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wildfood
wildfood
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Congrats!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kennis1

Congratulations! I'm not very good at talking in Spanish either! Good Luck!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EmilPro4sc

Try starting translating the sentences in immersion and you will memorize and be better at spanish

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/littlemissshade

good job nina!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_smiles_

I am lucky that I am falling for a beautiful women from Mexico, so I get to practice my Spanish regularly on her. Moreover, I've found simply trying to write and think up silly sentences and stories can improve my communication skills. I've also picked up a few dual-language books that I will begin reading as well.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ruthiegirl1177

The best thing is after you study - actually as you study, to get them in your long-term memory you would benefit by getting together with other Spanish speakers. when you hear them talk it will help you gel your own Spanish learning, and you can start to think in Spanish.... (My mother was raised in Cuba) There are Spanish meetups at meetups.com you can join

3 years ago