https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Things Language Learners Like

I found this list of things language learners like, and it's the best thing since canned bread. I relate to....all of them, to be quite honest. Number ten is definitely my favorite. There is nothing like using the subjunctive correctly. Absolutamente nada. Can you think of any others?

  • Being able to understand more languages than you have actually studied because of lexical similarities.

  • Reading the Spanish and French instruction manuals on the washing machine like a boss.

December 11, 2014

96 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

When your linguistic abilities keep you from getting hopelessly lost in a foreign country. If I didn't speak German, I might have missed my flight home and had to live as a hobo in Köln.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeniusJack

Ah, but if you were a hobo in Köln right now you could be at one of their fantastic Christmas markets.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

Without the proper clothes for the season.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeniusJack

True, and I suppose it wouldn't be much fun there without any German skills.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wonderboy6

speaking of the majority most Germans speak good English but dwindles in the elderly generation

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

When I was in Germany I found that only a little over half the people speak good English. A lot in the cities, very few in the hinterland.

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Best one so far, ha ha!

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/writchie4

Reading the Spanish and French instruction manuals on the washing machine like a boss.

I'm ridiculously good at reading Spanish instructions immediately after I've read the same instructions in English. It's a real ego-boost.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeniusJack

I enjoy reading the Italian instructions for my pasta maker, and the German instructions for my coffee maker. It makes me feel so powerful.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Try reading them beforehand. :P

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/writchie4

I've tried that method before. Trust me, it goes much more smoothly in the other direction.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Forget it, just forget it all.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amuzulo

Noooo, try Spanish, English, then Spanish again! Trust me on this one. :)

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G0108

I can only read them because I speak Portuguese :P

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gomos

Oh no, I don't learn slang. I prefer to speak aristocratically and be rightfully condescending towards the overly colloquial language of the natives.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilmarien

The autocorrect on your tablet correcting your English into Spanish gibberish.

(#5 made me sarcastic, because every single time I go to a foreign language page, my stupid tablet needs to be reminded not to translate.)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Or just gibberish in my case, I've typed in way too many languages on my English keyboard. It's an absolute wreck at the moment.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilmarien

Hehehe, I can believe it. My English autocorrect inexplicably corrects my Spanish to Portuguese, and... I'm not sure I've ever used actually Portuguese on the thing, so I really don't know why it's doing that!

I had fun on my PC when the keyboard layouts kept on switching back and forth. I finally installed the international English one, which I've been very happy with, but my attempts to get a head start on the Russian course were cut woefully short, because SURPRISE CYRILLIC when you're trying to type gets old verrrry quickly.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

"because SURPRISE CYRILLIC when you're trying to type gets old verrrry quickly."

Cough me and my Chinese keyboard cough. Such a pain, ha ha.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SethFriday

"SURPRISE CYRILLIC" is exactly how i felt during my attempt of the Ukrainian->English course. I had the layout open, but the going was still painful.

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ValeryWell

another tricky part is doing timed practice in eng-rus or ger-rus

December 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilmarien

Hahaha, I can just imagine. Just another reason why that thing needs a pause button!

December 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Samsta

Yes, the autocorrect is so annoying! Some downloadable keyboards let you use two languages at once.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilmarien

Ooh, do you know if you can get them on Android? I didn't see any downloadable keyboards options at all and was just changing the whole machine over from one language to the other, but I never actually looked at the app store, if that's where they are.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cherub721

Swiftkey is good. It gives you up to 3 at a time.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilmarien

Grazie! I'll need to check it out tomorrow. :D

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayway223

I use Swiftkey on my tablet. It is wonderful. :)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0liwia

... Unfortunately only 3 ;-)

I use it too, but switching languages is a pain, so I often find myself having to correct the auto-correct.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pont

My Android phone (Sony Xperia Sola) lets me switch between as many keyboards as I like*, but I think Sony replace the standard Android keyboard with their own. However, this article seems to indicate that the standard Android keyboard can also do it.

*I've only tried it up to 5 keyboards so far but I don't think there would be a problem adding more :-).

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rewjeo
  • 1603

In the settings on my Android I was at some point able to set up my keyboard to have a little button in the bottom left that says EN when I'm in English and then, if I hit it, it switches to JA and I'm typing in Japanese. I don't know if this only works for languages with actual separate alphabets, though.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilmarien

Without downloading any sort of app first? I swear, I've been up and down settings to no avail, but also I'm pretty good at missing obvious things...

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ValeryWell

I can say that in Ukraine we have android devices with en and rus/ukr keyboard just from store, so I suppose that every device supports several layouts at once

December 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilmarien

Yeah, I finally did figure out how to switch back and forth when typing without installing anything. It was not immediately clear how to do it, though.

December 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeniusJack

"Having multilingual conversations… with yourself." Yeah, I do that. Lots. I speak in Dutch, and then me responds in German, or Italian. Or I mix French and Spanish.

BTW, what is canned bread?

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Albrechtion

Presumably it's bread in a can

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anthgrl

Exactly! It's a New England thing. :-)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

It's a reference to an episode from Spongebob (Squidville), actually, but I like the way you all have taken it. ;)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ME2300

Wow.. Spongebob.. xD

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wifeofbath3

Wow, the things I learn on Duolingo!

December 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jin_R.

Setting my cellphone language to German, just because I can.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheBryce

I put my tablet in Japanese and whenever someone saw me using it they'd be like, "Why do you have your tablet in Asian?" -_-

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0liwia

I like this one ! I live in France, my phone is in German, and I have apps in all of the languages I know. No one can actually use my phone, except myself.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eey91

Foreign slang!!! haha, I just had a compliment from an English guy some days ago for some idiomatic expressions I nailed. It felt good... =P

This is so true btw, you achieve some of them when you have an advance level but they pretty much describe me hehe.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayway223

Well what did you expect? Your English is wonderful! ;D

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eey91

Blushing... =P

Thank you!

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cherub721

There's nothing like finding a version of a song you like or a youtube clip of your favorite show dubbed into the lanuage you're studying.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

YES.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ME2300

Oh yeah :DDD Best. Thing. Ever...

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DogePamyuPamyu

UGH OMG I POSSESS A DIFFERENT PERSONALITY IN ENGLISH / GERMAN / DUTCH.

My German speaking voice is extremely creepy I find, but my friend says it's cute. XD

My Dutch voice is more like my English voice and a lot more enthusiastic. I listed to a lot of carnival songs so I think I became all peppy and funny... It's over-exaggerated in a peppy tone and I pronounce the G extremely hard.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tariqnisarahmed

At one multilingual work site, I was getting coffee while two gossips were there, too, going full tilt. One of them looks at me and casually tells the other one that I did not understand anything they had said. The expression on their faces when I fluently told them I had understood every word.

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gwylfai

ohhh yes , I had two german girls at my school , and the exact same thing happened :D

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

*Reading through all the alternate names of IKEA products

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diogo.D

.......all on list are good! But, number 3 is the more interesting...

@_@ haha..

13 - Meet the GIRL your dreams and be able speaking her language.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnIsAPandah
  • Being able to speak a language in front of your parents, and them not understanding what you just said :P (That to me, is an awesome prank)
December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayway223

When my mom found out that I was learning Portuguese, she forbid me to talk to her in Portuguese. :P

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnIsAPandah

Then speak Swedish :P

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayway223

That won't help. She'll end up banning every other language, but English. ;)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ME2300

YES!! I love doing that!!! :D You can say ANYTHING....

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan..G

This is potentially the greatest discussion thread I've ever seen here! Although I'm not as good as I'd like to be; I can still relate to a lot of these, and in the future I'm hoping to relate to all of them!

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OnesimusUnbound

Mixing your native language with expressions of greetings, 'Yes', 'No' and farewells in another language.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Albrechtion

I have one friend whom I always greet in Russian, because we both know a (very) small amount.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pskully

I am much more polite, soft-spoken and "feminine" when I'm speaking Korean..It's like I'm a different person.

I write all my notes in Korean at work (I work at an English school in Japan) so that nobody can read them.

I can follow along with the meetings and conversations at work despite not having studied Japanese as much as I should have, just because of the similarities with Korean.

One thing though.. I was in Tokyo this past weekend, and I didn't realize I had booked accommodation in the Koreatown there. I was so confused because I could read everything, but it took me a long while to realize why.. (漢字は難しいです。)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vedney

My mom bought me a new safe and couldn't figure out how to open it until I read the instructions... In Spanish

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araparseghian

Subconsciously selecting "Empezar" instead of "Start" at the grocery checkout.

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/madprogrammer
  • having alternative words to express the same meaning
  • being able to accurately hit the meaning of what I'm trying to say without writing a poem, using untranslatable words together in their mother language and the accent that goes with it, and not just using English then borrowing them (ex: instead of saying "I feel suadades for you" I can say "Eu sinto suadades")
  • that feeling when you've unlocked a part of the world that used to be inaccessible, thus getting more perspective
  • knowing that there are alternative pronunciations to a word, though this could be annoying as I tend to over-analyze
  • knowing the origin of the name and the name's original meaning
  • yeah, the washing machine thing
  • let's admit it, feeling smart
December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayway223

I love 6, 8, 10, and 11. Thanks Lexi, had a nice laugh. :)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
Mod
  • 2254

number 11! so much number 11! and 8 obviously.

But I think I like canned bread better. But I am German, I just love bread.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayway223

I can't wait until 6, 10, and 11 become reality for me... Such a nice picture of the future, no? ;) I would love to have them all though.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FrankySka
Mod
  • 2254

I definitely have 6 for English…but mainly because I cannot quite swear creatively enough …. and I loooove doing it. Swearing: really, the only thing my mother tongue excels in. I am definitely more polite in English. XD

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jayway223

XD I can be neither mean or nice in Portuguese. I'm just a foreign boy from America trying to learn a language and sounds stupid when he tries to speak it. :P

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/G0108

I always wondered how people sound when the try to learn Portuguese. I never meet people learning Portuguese. Anyways, my tips if you want to get good with pronunciation is that you shouldn't trust the TTS. It is bad.

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eey91

Haha it has its magic right? but it is never as satisfying as in your mother tongue though.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

Ha ha, the reference took on another meaning there for ya! ;)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisLinguist

No problem, 11 is a great one, too, ha ha. ;)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/makiminami

Writing something absolutely nonsensical in another language...and then getting away with it because no one knows what you're saying.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TusindFarver

I love that. I say nonsensical things to my friends all the time, and tell them it means something completely different.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vrexu

To be honest, the number 3 could had been the sole reason and I would still learn them. I'm such a creep.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/0liwia

I love eavesdropping, I do have different personalities depending on the language I speak, I don't put subtitles, and I laugh at translation fails.

But sometimes, I feel alone, because I'm the only one to get it. I mean, you're with a group of friends, you eavesdrop, you laugh, but no one heard/understood, you feel stupid. Same goes for translation fails, you get all excited, you want to show it to your friends, but no one gets it.

Last summer, I had a tennis teacher who couldn't really speak anything but English, but knew a few words, and was trying really hard. They let him teach foreign classes, and he had sometimes up to 4 different nationalities in the same class. What he was saying made absolutely no sense... It was hilarious, but I was almost the only one to understand him; others were simply looking at him wondering what the hell is happening ! I was almost sad not to be able to have someone to laugh with.

E.g. : We do le coup droit on the rechts, then la marteau prise a la izquierda. (with a super heavy American accent.)

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iron_bun

I found it's not just the lexical similarities that help me understand, it's just expectation.

Previously there was English which I could understand, and foreign which I couldn't. Then I started learning German with serious intent and had to bash my brain a bit. "It's foreign, I can't do this!" says brain but I insist and push through the headaches, etc.

Now I expect to be able to read things, so I'll unconsciously have a go at writing I don't understand and I'll often get some of the meaning.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jktsmith

I love it when I can understand the few sentences that NPR sometimes plays at the beginning of an interview with a French or Italian speaker (before the English translator takes over). Even understanding some of it is ridiculously thrilling. And if anything relating to electric grills, various island dimensions, or who is at the zoo and when it is open becomes newsworthy, I am ready.

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_-C1-_

"Eavesdropping on conversations in another language."

Guilty.

This list is hilarious and so true. xDD

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kplife

Number 12 gets me... :-O

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margaritaguese

STORY of my life... I think you´ve got me beat tho!

December 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YouGoBez

I change the language of my Facebook and my Spotify. Got a bit confusing when Facebook then changed their entire Terms & Conditions and I had to put it back to English (before sadly noticing that they had not, in fact, published these in 'Pirate').

December 13, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adina_atl

Saying "Gracias" to a coworker and having her respond "De rien." (We're both native English speakers, though her French is a lot better than my Spanish.)

My Spanish is still at the level where I look at a lot of oddly phrased Spanish signs in the US and ask myself "Is that idiomatic or idiotic?"

December 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bibliobibulous

9 is a gift.

The sole problem with otherwise perfectly suited German profanity: cognates. :P

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TitusTheTraveler

This is awesome. My favorite is the the last one #12: Attempting multiple languages at the same time, so me. I am trying 4 extras and I am barely comfortable with French conversational level yet.

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TusindFarver

Number 3 is so me. It is a shame when it happens though, because no one shares my excitement. I am guilty of always eavesdropping on conversations in ASL (American sign language) when I come across them, I just can not help but be curious. Plus it feels amazing to know what they are saying all the way through

December 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALoUSyUseRnaME

I love 3 and 11, totally!

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/truelefty

5, 7, 11, xDDDDD

December 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ayePete
  • Being able to communicate with a new acquaintance in his native language, especially in a setting where that is not the common language.

This has not happened to me yet, but I'm anticipating the day it will! No. 3 is also somewhat my favourite, and I LOVE 5 too, because I have done it! ¡Gracias, Alexis, este es un bueno post verdad!

PS: I use Swiftkey too, and it's really great. I think there's a place where you can switch languages on it, but I hardly need to do that, since the autocorrect works simultaneously in all three languages!

December 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArchitOjha

That awkward moment when you demand the ball in football training in German language from a team mate;

When the opposition surrenders possession you scream "Danke" unconsciously.

And your coach telling you "Just because Germany won the World Cup, you don't have to turn the whole locker room speaking atmosphere to German" [What he means is : I think you are making a secret joke on me in that language].

December 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FlyGirlJada

so true

May 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Parker_Xenon_Eve

This is kind of like #3. When I'm in a public place, eventually I end up trying to get as close to a group of people as possible because I'm not sure if they're speaking a language I understand or not.

August 13, 2019
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