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https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

what is your duolingo history?

there are so many users of duolingo, i thought it would be nice to know some of your backgrounds concerning this sight. for me, i joined up in the spring of this year. there is a complicated problem with my high school schedule next year, in which i am required to take spanish1 but have no room in the schedule. my mom found this sight and signed me up so i could be prepared for the test-out later this summer. combines with the book it is an excellent way of learning spanish. what's your story?

5 years ago

57 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
sakasiru
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I write a book in which one of the protagonists is Mexican. I thought I should be able to at least know some Spanish to pull it off. A webcomic outhor I follow mentioned lately that he learned some German through duolingo, so I gave it a try.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

u wrote a book? what is it called? i might read that--i welcome any creation from a fellow duolingo user :)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
sakasiru
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Well, It's not finished yet. And when it's finished, I'll have to find a publisher...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

ok, i am very interested in new book. i am into Clive Cussler now.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sakasiru
sakasiru
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When you complete a German tree, maybe you can read it, since I write in German. It's cyberpunk, so I guess it might meet your tastes ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

I'm moving from Vancouver to Montréal at the end of August. I took French in high school, but it's been over a decade and I never really tried very hard at the time and had since forgotten pretty much everything except the words on my food packaging. I would like to be able to speak to people in French when I'm in Montréal, and when I was looking around for apps or other free resources, a friend mentioned Duolingo. So I discovered it at the perfect time! I am still pretty terrible at listening and speaking, but I plan to actively rectify that once I've moved. I'm at a far higher level than I might have been before moving thanks to this site, though!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

just watch out--the french they speak in quebec has been altered from the original. there are some new vocab words and other small twists that might be surprising at first.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/curlyeric
curlyeric
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Actually the history of Quebec French is very interesting since it, essentially, broke off from a regional French dialect a few hundred years ago and developed from there. Parisian french should be understood, but I assume the dialect and slang take some time to get used to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Quebec_French

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

yeah, i say that b/c my mom knew traditional french, and was quite surprised at the difference when she went there. for instance, the word for ''yes'' in quebec is much more commonly oui oui. in france i am not sure how to spell it, but there are a lot of things like that.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/curlyeric
curlyeric
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It's probably not unlike someone learning "standard english" and then being immersed in the deep south or creole areas. It can sometimes be a challenge for native speakers, let alone someone new to the language.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

I think that's common enough. I have looked up trailers for French Canadian movies on YouTube and the (French) comments are often people being rude about the way the language is being spoken. Of course, YouTube is the best place to look if you want rude comments. ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

there are some discrepencies and prejudices in me family about the french canadian language. upon showing this discussion to my mom, there were some things said about the language that should not be repeated here so as not to offend anyone.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

They say "ouai" a lot, sort of like "yeah" in English I believe. I'm not sure I've heard that used in Parisian French. Anyway, I am looking forward to learning the oddities of Canadian French. Fortunately, my French in general is sufficiently poor that I'd be likely to find any form of spoken French equally difficult at this point!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chanie6
Chanie6
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We say "Ouais" or "Ouin". Also, you might want to get used to "Chus" used for "je suis", and to "a" for "elle". We are quite a band of quirky French speakers... ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/smearedink

I will do my best! I am planning to join a regular meet-up of people who want to practice conversation. Are you from Montréal in particular? I ask because I understand that the quirks of the language vary throughout Quebec (probably a lot more than English varies through most of Canada).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chanie6
Chanie6
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I don't live in Montréal right now, but I lived there for ten years. The quirks do vary throughout Québec. A native Quebecker can sometimes pinpoint the region a person comes from by the way some words are pronounced. For example, only in the region of Québec City do people say "un frite" instead of "une frite" when they talk about an order of fries. They say "une frite" for a single fry, but "un frite" for an order of fries. Although I've been living in Québec City for four years and I haven't heard it that much...

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/allydally

The french they speak in quebec is pretty much just the same as in france. Traditional french people just like to screw with people in quebec.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/curlyeric
curlyeric
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My story started several years ago when I decided to get healthy, bear with me there is a point. In 2010 I lost 1/3 of my weight through diet and cycling. 2011 I picked up running and in 2012 I completed 2 full marathons with my current personal record being 3:32 which was great, but I think I can do much better ( I have the speed to BQ, but not the endurance yet ). I also have a PR of 19:02 in the 5K. At this point I hover around 14% bodyfat and hope to drop that a little over the summer as I complete my half-marathon training.

Last fall I picked up quadcopters and am quite adept at flying and building ( you have to be after all those crashes ). Unfortunately RC in general is expensive and I felt it was pulling me further away from my family so I have put it on the back burner for now.

I decided to look more internal this year, I only have a half marathon planned for October and I wanted to refresh my mental skills as I'm approaching middle age. Long term I want to travel the world and see the sights, I figure I should know a language other than English, several in fact, so I poked around and figured I would try my hand at French since I not only had some experience in HS, but many people around me have at least some French experience.

I stumbled on DuoLingo about 2 months ago and just been rocketing my way through the tree. My goal is to have B2 proficiency in the next 2 years and use it in some travels ( Canada, Caribbean, and/or France ). In my very long term goal I want to learn at least 3 languages over the next 6 years including French, Spanish, and Mandarin. I might dabble in Russian or MSA after that, but I know my limits right now.

Not only languages, but I'm on Khan Academy, Udacity, and Coursera refresh and expand my math and computer skills. I'm actually thinking of taking a Stats course in French this fall through coursera to bolster my language skills.

BTW: It's amazing how much time you can invest in bettering yourself when you just give up on TV. :-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

really? i don't watch tv much. my friends think i am crazy, but in my oppinion, it is mostly garbage. i get my entertainment off of youtube. amazing story! keep at those marathons:)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/curlyeric
curlyeric
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Agreed. My wife and I go out once a month or so and the media in general is quite disappointing. I just have better things to do with my time.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ren_

I joined with the sole intention of hopefully mastering all the available languages in this site. My long term career goal is to become a diplomat so this resource is very valuable to me

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luzdelaluna
luzdelaluna
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What a nice discussion topic. Here is my story: I was going to live in Portugal for the coming fall semester by an exchange program. Instead of lazing during the summer break, I decided to improve my existent Portuguese. Because, I was going to take some business courses in Portuguese. I searched and consequently found this website and started using it. Then, a few weeks ago, there were some problems and I had to renounce going Portugal :/ Even if this is a sad story, I learnt Brazilian Portuguese here. I knew Portuguese of Portugal before using this website, so now I speak both, thanks to Duolingo =) Also the previous week, I decided to "resurrect" my German, which I learnt at high school and forgot most of it. Therefore, by Duolingo, I started a new adventure with an old friend, German :) Oh, about Portugal, yes I'm not going, but I am not upset. I believe the life takes an opportunity away and brings a new and better one. So beautiful days are about to come ;)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

that is great--if one chance is renounced, another s certain to take it's place. i am in southeastern michigan u.s and i just went to blue lake fine arts camp( i play saxophone) i was originally going to go to interlochen as well, an extremely high ranking music camp. however, i didn't make the scholarship audition, and had to abort. but now i am going to boston to stay with my aunt, and that would not have been possible if i had taken interlochen. it is amazing what similarities there are in these experiences.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chanie6
Chanie6
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I'm a translator, from English to French, and I've always had a passion for languages. I'd like to learn many, and fortunately, the ones I want to learn are on DL. In the last three years, I've made my way through the Spanish courses in my university in Québec and I've started German last year. I found DL through Benny from Fluent in Three Months, I think, or Lifehacker. I started using it for German, to refresh the basics before I start the Elementary II class in September, then I decided to use it also for Spanish, even though I can probably get to the end of the tree without much problems. Since I'm still a beginner in German, I'm waiting a bit before starting Portuguese or Italian.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MBAustin

Retired and looking for ways to keep brain engaged in useful ways. Living in Texas, always wanted to get basic familiarity with Spanish so when I read about Duolingo in TidBits newsletter recently, thought I'd give it a try. It's addicting! So I also started the German tree to brush up on what I learned when we lived in Germany in the late '90s. I'd also like to brush up on my very pathetic high school French, but don't want to start on that until I get more comfortable in Spanish so I don't get too confused.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

yeah, keeping occupied after retirement can be a challenge. i just hope that my up-coming high-school spanish will work well.keep at those languages!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bswigart

I live in the sunshine drenched state of Arizona, which, shares a border with Mexico. A huge number of people I daily come into contact with speak Spanish as their 1st language. So I want to be able to converse with these people in their native tongue, as well as use it as a tool to teach English. It is really fun to help someone learn English, while they help me learn Spanish. And it really is a good trade-off, and what we, as friendly/neighborly human beings should do.

In addition, I am in training to be a teacher, and will be English and Science certified, and want to someday teach Spanish, or ESL classes.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Belboz99
Belboz99
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I've been doing a lot of genealogy on my ancestors, and many of my "walls" trying to discover new info involves language barriers.

I started here with Spanish because it's very common around here (USA) and considered an "easy" 2nd language, but I discovered much like Benny the Polyglot that if I wasn't fully into the language I just wasn't going to learn it.

Don't get me wrong, I learned Spanish quite well up to a point. That point was where I needed to start immersing more, but no matter how hard I tried to immerse, there's some odd mental barrier that I can't get over. Spanish just doesn't feel like "me", or something I identify with. And I've been interested in German since visiting Germany around 10 years ago.

So, now I'm starting on German, partly because I identify with it more, and partly because I'm at least 1/4 German. Most of the ancestral records that I'm having language barriers with are German, because I'm 1/4 Irish and the remaining 50% goes back to Colonial days. The only other language that would be helpful in that regard would be Latin for all the old Latin Church records.

Dan O.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roena

Belboz99, that is exactly how I feel about spanish to. I am mostly scotch-irish and I have some german in me to. two of my great grandmothers were full blood german.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GlenfordNunez
GlenfordNunez
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My last name is Nunez but I did not speak any Spanish. My father is from Belize.

Sometimes if I go into a Spanish speaking restaurant or store and pay with my credit card, people will start speaking to me in Spanish if they see the name. Shame on me they always say when they realize that I have no clue what they are saying.

Learning a different language It has been a long term goal of mine. I have attempted to learn Spanish through various stages of my life but then I stop for one reason or another. Duolingo has helped me stick with Spanish for the longest time of any point in my life. I have been doing my Spanish lessons consistently for about three months. Paired with music, movies and 1 Spanish speaking friend, I feel that Duolingo has helped my Spanish tremendously.

I am so impressed with Duolingo that I am now studying Portuguese.

I am a full time artist and freelance photographer. Using my free time to study. http://typbaltimore.com

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Skye07
Skye07
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I went to Italy to study there, met some Spanish friends, made a bet I could learn Spanish over the Xmas 2012 holidays and started using DuoLingo to achieve that goal (I've read about DL months earlier though).

Now I use DL to keep my Spanish at such a level I can converse with said Spanish friends. Also started brushing up my French since I haven't used it since high school.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamFuchs

My friend started learning german on the app for fun, so i joined and chose portuguese, for competition with him, help learning spanish, and a trip to Brazil coming up in the far future

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

if u go to brazil, make sure u see a soccer game. i hear they are really good over there!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamFuchs

in fact, the trip is for the Olympics, so I'll be sure to

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Valdern

I discovered the site with the intention of learning German since it's a big part of my heritage and I plan to go to Germany at some point in the future. I'd really like to try some of the other languages too after that, especially Spanish, which I took in High School and I'm really rusty in and French, since I live like three hours from Quebec.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cowberule

I love Rammstein. <3

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mikkopatama

Two weeks ago I opened the App Store simply typed "Learn Spanish". I've been interested in learning the language ever since I heard that the pronunciation is suprisingly easy to learn for a native Finnish speaker (and it really is!). I'm also planning to apply for student exchange and if I end up moving to Spain one of my main goals will be to become fluent in the language while studying there. Luckily I have over two years to prepare. Hopefully I'll learn the main differences between Castilian and Latin American Spanish before that.

Someday I might start learning some German too and maybe some French after that. I have this dream of mastering at least 6 languages (right now I only spek two). I like to focus just on one at a time because of my pathetic time management skills.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/McLabraid

I've been wanting to learn a language for the past two years but never really put my mind to it since this year.

Story time

Originally I studied German in school(Only left last year), however I felt I missed too much by ignoring most of the classes(Wasn't interested in any languages back then). I tried to catch up within the one year, which was good idea because I got a Ordinary C3 on the final exams(Well, Good for me anyway, I thought I'd fail) HOWEVER I forgot everything because I pushed language learning aside(Regret that) Fast forward 3 months When I got in to college, I ended up becoming friends with someone very different then who I ever met before. She was Argentinian(She made me realize I never met someone from Latin America before :/ ), 27(That's like....The oldest friend I've ever had...still is) and knew 5 languages(English, French, German, Italian Spanish) I thought she learned them over her 27 years on earth but no.... She knew Italian, Spanish Italian by age 16... She made me start thinking''I'm 18 and I only know 1 language, I don't even know my native language(Irish), I should learn a language'' I also want to travel to another country and be able to just speak their language, and not having to resort to my own.

So I decided to look for material over the internet I ended up finding an article about Duolingo on Fluent in 3 months. So I decided to try it out and...I think I'm addicted...but not as addicted as Civilization V...

Story Time over

I tell good stories, don't I?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

yeah, good story.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JasonConner

Great idea for a discussion.

Personally, I have lived and worked overseas. I minored in German in college, as well as lived there (southern Germany, near Ramstein) about twenty years ago. I became conversant, but not really fluent (I could speak with someone without a great amount of effort, but my vocabulary was limited and my understanding of advanced tenses was especially limited). Since I got back to the States, I have always thought about expatriating for a few years when I was getting ready to retire - not to say that retirement looms, but it's getting close enough to start thinking about. Since my interest is primarily in the Latin American countries, I began looking for a way to learn Spanish and take advantage of the extensive Latin community that I live in, in southern Florida.

I came to Duolingo after trying Rosetta Stone, and LiveMocha both - I didn't enjoy Rosetta Stone due to my learning style, but I enjoy LiveMocha quite a bit and still use it. Mostly I use it to get feedback and practice writing, which I have taken to doing in Spanish when I can. Duolingo has taught me the basics of grammar much faster and given the ability to have simple conversations (ordering food, buying groceries, etc) in only a few weeks of constant practice with some additional vocabulary study on my end.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adesva
adesva
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I wanted to try out Ankidroid flashcards on my phone last year and decided to do it with a language. I first picked Greek or Latin, but quickly changed to French. Then, at the year shift, I jumped on a university course in French for beginners, which I decided I would study for using Duolingo. (Or, to be perfectly honest, a friend of mine in the class spoke well of Duolingo, where I just happened to be registered since earlier.)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheGandalf
TheGandalf
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I stumbled across the site around the beginning of 2013, and signed up, but wasn't really that interested. Then, around March, I suddenly decided to start learning Italian, and I really like it.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/salsalatinjazz

good. just keep a watch over minas tirith--i don't think mordor will try another offensive after the last one. just hold out until that ring is destroyed. --elrond

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ExpectCalm

In the past I just wanted to be able to get through my last year of french lessons with a respectable grade. Then I discovered this site through reddit. I love the way it teaches the language, and I am actually getting motivated to really learn the language so that I can use it later in my life.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/comradezack

I started on this site about a year ago, I think. I was just looking for a way to learn as much spanish as possible, as I live in southern California and knowing spanish is a great thing to put on a resume here, also, I want to live in Mexico in the future. I started out watching spanish lessons on Youtube, but of course, I couldn't learn much more than the alphabet, counting, and some common phrases, i'd heard of Duolingo before many times, so I decided to try it out one day, i've been using it mostly regularly since then.

I'm still at a very basic level of spanish but i've learned more in a single day on this site than I ever did in school and i'm finally able to at least construct a sentence in spanish now thanks to DL.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ji603
Ji603
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I suppose I started with duolingo a few months ago. Found it by chance on the app store, and think it's great

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roena

I live in the U.S. in a area where there is a lot of spanish speaking mexican immigrants so me knowing spanish would be a helpful asset. I am finishing up latinForChildrenPrimerC. That really has helped me. Especially as spanish is one of the romantic languages. Although if I had my wish, DL would add the gaelic languages. I would really like that. I am mostly scotch-irish. Great idea for a post!

Roena

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rawrsomecat

i really like French but I was not really that interested.. but when stumbleupon showed me this site, i tried it and it really helped me alot

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DerChemieStudent

Well, I'm a BS Chemistry student, and instead of having Spanish as my foreign language subject, I have German, and it's in my curriculum (Germany has the most contributions in Chemistry, that's why it is in the BS Chemistry curriculum). I have passed that subject and I want to master German, it is also a dream for me to go to Germany one day. :D

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeorgiaHK
GeorgiaHK
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I learn German at school and I found out about this site when it was still in Beta and signed up for an beta account straight away. Eventually I got an email allowing me to log on. Duolingo is really great for reinforcing and practising what you learn elsewhere.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Xaethon
Xaethon
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I learned German at school and finished in 2010. Forgot most of it and so came across this website and started when it was in beta. I stopped but after visiting some German friends, I've decided to return! (and use her as help with speaking and any questions, so far so good)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Alia_La_Canta

I thoroughly enjoyed the basic Italian course I took at college a couple of years ago (native speaker using BBC Talk Italian 1, for those wondering). Howeverm have had difficulty finding a taught course since then - the college has stopped teaching Italian altogether and alternative sources are not only expensive, but don't give much clue about how much progress they offer.

I want to improve my language skills to the point where I can take GCSE Italian as a distance course, with a long-term objective of being able to live and work in Italy (even being able to do so for a short time would be useful). I also took a holiday to the area around Vallelunga last November; the more Italian I learn, the better use I can make of subsequent holidays and the less I will tax locals' patience. In addition to Duolingo, I have some other Italian language books/CDs (Talk Italian 2, Dorling Kindersley Italian Advanced, a few "living books", assorted phrasebooks and dictionaries) - and a hobby where I get practise at translating things for friends.

Having many angles on the subject makes it easier to learn, which is one reason I use Duolingo despite the previously-mentioned alternate sources. Duolingo teaches in a different sequence to my other sources (animals, for example, are taught very early), and seems to be better at explaining grammar in a way I can process. I also like the accountability system integrated into Duolingo, which means I'm not tempted to "miss a day". It also forces me to learn in a quick-fire method (normally I opt for less time-sensitive learning methods), which is closer to emulating typical speaking/listening language patterns than the more passive alternatives I have.

I enjoy learning languages and got quite good at French and Spanish at school. Along the way, I learned a little bit about many other languages that Duolingo doesn't offer yet (ranging from Japanese to Turkish). Once I've solidified my Italian a bit more, I think I will explore the other languages on offer.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/coffeemomcrafts

This is a great discussion question. I love reading all your answers. "Life is a series of opportunities. Most opportunities come only once in a lifetime. An opportunity is a moving target, and the bigger the target, the faster it moves. Opportunities always come in when the doors are left open for them. Research shows that if you do not use an idea or an opportunity within three days, you will never use it. And if you use it within 24 hours, you are more likely to integrate it permanently." Harry and Rosemary Wong

DL was my opportunity to learn French and I've been loving it each and every day. This is a long time goal of mine and one I plan to keep working on for the rest of my life. I hope to someday spend time in France and be able to speak French.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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Dear Mom, Thanks for sharing that great quote from Harry and Rosemary Wong. I don't know who they are but I'll look them up. It was just what I needed to read today. I wish you good luck with your French. I have been trying to erase ever French word, verb etc. that I ever learned to make room to fill my brain with ESPANOL. Unlike a lot of these polyglots on DL, if I master one foreign language I want it to be Spanish. It opens my life to travel and living in so many different countries in Central and South America. II you are at Level 14, you're really on your way. Enjoy some brie along the way.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Charlie_Treuse

I was introduced to Duolingo during the end of my Spanish 1 class. I signed up because I didn't want to forget all my Spanish over the summer.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SophiaGucciardi

Well, I've always been interested in learning languages, I used to really learn chinese, and I did at this one school for a while before I ended up transferring to another school. When I got to middle school, my parents pushed me to sign up for Spanish, but I really don't want to learn the language because of a Spanish teacher I had for 4 years straight. I never learned anything from her, and she kind of ruined the language for me. My parents are really wanting me to learn Spanish, but at the moment, I'm trying to learn German. My moms side of the family is German, like through and through, and no one on that side (that's alive) currently knows German (they all married German) except for two of my cousins, who were exchange students in Austria a few years ago. So I figured 'Hey, German sounds good' so I started searching around for a way to learn German, and then I found this, and I've improved my German (which was made up of only swear words until recently) A LOT. I've tried a bit of Italian on here too, since my dad's very italian (his dad's from italy) and my uncle lived there for 16 years, and I have cousins over there, but I will never be able to pronounce stuff right. My uncle will always start randomly say stuff in Italian to me. I'd also like to learn Russian and Japanese. But I should really focus on German right now since I'll be starting German in school this fall.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Victoria_KH

in fact football led me to learn Spanish, my passion for learning this language started since world cup (2010) when I used to watch all Spain and Argentina matches and as lots of my favorite footballers speak Spanish, I feel I'm really interested in knowing what they say so I started to learn Spanish using a small book. also lots of people speak Spanish in the world and it's a beautiful language so I chose it as my second foreign language to learn. my sister joined duolingo recently to learn German more, she told me it has Spanish too, so I joined to improve my skills and prevent of forgetting all that I learned before, I'm still enjoying it...

4 years ago