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Language Learning Shameful Acts: What are Yours?

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My two youngest siblings like to watch shows like the Good Night Show, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go!, etc. The partial goal of each of those example shows is to teach little kids some Spanish words. And whenever they come on, you can count that I am usually in the same room, casually hiding the fact that I am listening very carefully. Also, like in AlexisLinguist's discussion post here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5900073 , I have eavesdropped on Spanish conversations multiple times while inside of various grocery stores. Technically, except for maybe that last one, none of those are wrong -- but they are kind of embarrassing.

So what have you done in a rather embarrassing attempt to hone your skills?

3 years ago

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/het_aapje
het_aapje
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I had a conversation about my day in French... to my hedgehog

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wildfood
wildfood
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I'm 52 and one time I was in the doctors office reading on my Kindle when the nurse asked me what I was reading. I answered, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". She said, "Oh", and didn't ask any more questions. I didn't tell her I was reading it in French for practice.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Deliciae
Deliciae
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Talked to my cats.

In Spanish. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TatianaBoshenka

I totally do that too! They seem to understand.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Deliciae
Deliciae
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Hehe, crazy language learning cat ladies unite!

Mine looked at me like I'd lost my marbles for the first day or so. I think it must've been the unfamiliar tone of voice that had them puzzled. Now they're happily learning Spanish with me though!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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cool!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/StephenRawr
StephenRawr
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I may probably kind of sort of try to eavesdrop on every conversation I hear that isn't in English. First to see if I can figure out what language it is and second, to pick up as much of it as I can.

Once, during one such occasion when I was at work during my college years, they were even talking about me. It was a group of girls and one had mentioned to another that she thought I was cute in German. Alas! If only I were more confident in my German and/or just more confident around women in general at the time, I could have responded with something totally suave. Or I could have responded with something. Instead, I acted like I didn't hear her.

I'm happily spoken for today so I guess it all worked out, but oh to be young(er) and awkward(er) again...

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheLdawg

I watch a lot of bob the builder en español... ¡Bob el constructor! I'm actually not ashamed of it though.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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No shame in that. I also watch Peppa Pig.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vcel10
vcel10
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  • During my commute to and from work, I will pull out a book for children or young adults. Once in a while, some one will give me that look. It's the look that says "Why is that man smiling and reading a freaking kids book?"
  • By appearances, no one would think that I'm from Mexico, but I get looks when I'm reading El Diario on the NYC subways. One person asked me if I was from Mexico.

I'm not ashamed at all.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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I have heard (not related to my language learning): "He speaks Mexican". faceplam

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sjodni
Sjodni
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that made me laugh out loud. Hah, Mexican!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mandyturtle

I randomly talk to my nine yr old in Spanish because while I'm doing routine things around the house I try to think of what I'm doing in Spanish. so today for example he asked me, what are you making for lunch? and I answered , estoy haciendo ensalada y sopa, casi estan listas. I got a moooooooom and an eyeroll, & he told me , I speak English!, remember?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/susanstory
susanstory
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The other day instead of saying "Excuse me" to my dog, I said "Entschuldigung".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galletarodeanda
galletarodeanda
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:D. And did he understand you?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/susanstory
susanstory
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I don't think so. He understands "Excuse me". I think if I said "Entschuldigung" enough times, maybe he'd understand it. You can say anything to dogs.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gjnelson
gjnelsonPlus
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At the Wal-Mart self-checkout, I sometimes select Spanish as the language.

Gracias por comprar en Wal-Mart!

(Along those lines, at Home Depot, one can even choose French!)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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I like to do that at my library as well (self-check out for books). My third option is Kreyol there. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Eh, I don't recall doing anything embarrassing to hone my skills, unless you count listening to the painters outside my home and discovering they were speaking Portuguese. I was proud of that, though. ;)

Ahem, that is AlexisLinguist. :P

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_-C1-_
_-C1-_
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Ooh, fixed that lol xDD

That is something to be proud of, in my opinion!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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I wouldn't call eavesdropping embarrassing, unless you really are going out of your way to do so. We eavesdrop on people who speak our native language everyday, usually unintentionally, so I don't see the difference. I'll walk through a store and hear more than several Spanish conversations, but I won't decide I need a jug of milk two feet from them to listen in. ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_-C1-_
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True. I never do that, just listen and try to see if I can mentally translate any of the words of a native speaker.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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I think a good way is not to try to translate the word back to English, but just to learn the meaning behind it. Zapato is zapato, I don't automatically think it's shoe. I know the object behind it, but I ignore the English meaning, if that makes sense. It helps to detach English from everything, and just think in terms of Spanish. This is especially helpful if you plan on learning more languages and not necessarily laddering (L2 -> L3, L3->L5), because you aren't confused by all the strings tying back to English. :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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There is a YouTube channel with really sappy French love songs on it, and whoever does the channel does an amazing job of making Harlequin Romance type slideshows, complete with lyrics, to accompany the songs. It absolutely oozes smarm but I'm a devoted fan.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6WT7CMPQvP2QpxSZyr4r6A

Enjoy, all you lusty French fans!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/theaussie93

I watch Pocoyo in Spanish and send Snapchats to friends that they don't understand because I wrote those in the new Spanish words I am learning from Pocoyo. I also watch it in English class, (whoops, wrong language)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/galletarodeanda
galletarodeanda
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hm, I once was trying to learn the proper Spanish r. But to learn this you have to practice it, and this means you have to run around the whole day and practice it. I guess my neighbours were thinking Im completely nuts and I didnt feel well at all doing it even if I was at home. So, finally: no proper r. I stick to having a German pronounciation :D.

3 years ago