Speaking With Confidence
The most important part about speaking in another language with confidence is not that you know lots of vocabulary and not that your grammar is perfect (those these things are important to strive for). The most important part of speaking with confidence and being understandable in another language is learning to LISTEN. You can't respond to someone if you spend all of your time thinking about a response rather than understanding what it is the person is trying to tell you. I really had this problem. When I learned to relax and worry less about what I was going to say next, I found that not only did I learn new vocabulary and forms of speaking, but I also gained trust that I could respond AFTER the person had finished saying what they wanted to say. Kids learn a language first by mastering listening, then, little by little, they begin to speak. Take time to listen when you have the listening excises on this site. Try not to use the slow down button, real people don't have one of those haha. Most importantly, don't be afraid to make real conversation. You don't hate someone for trying to speak your language, and they won't hate you either for trying to speak theirs.
You are so right and I thank you for your comment. I have a good vocabulary, thanks to Duolingo, but my understanding of conversation is lacking and for the same reasons that you mentioned. I do have a confidence issue because I'm thinking all the time of what I am going to say as well as the words to use. I am leaving for Spain in about 3 weeks for two months and plan to throw myself into the culture and language to force myself to listen more and stop worrying about what I am going to say. This being said I am a little hesitant about jumping in with both feet but your comments were at just the right thing and the right time..
How exciting! Here are things that I learned while in Spain for a short time. Vale = de acuerdo/okay. Tortilla = usually a potato fritatta but sometimes have no eggs? Patate= papas/potatoes. Zumo= jugo/ juice. Gambas = camarones/prawns/shrimp. Tinto= red wine. In Madrid, the S sounds like SH to me. So instead of Dos, it sounds like Dosh.
I have been here in Spain for about three months now and I can't tell you how much it has helped me with my language learning! You are going to have the best time! Be brave! Annnnd eat lots and lots of tapas!
wow three months. I'm going for two. I'm planning on being brave on conversation. I'm going to just jump in. I know that it will really help me. thanks for the encouragement.
Have fun in Spain!! There are heaps of podcasts and beginners movies to help with your listening. Just speak and people can fill in the grammar, more important to not speak super quietly and try your best to pronouce words. Here is my list of extra resources to check out - https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7870931
I've been watching some Spanish TV and picking up a few things around the net. Good advise on not speaking quietly and pronouncing the words correctly. I work really hard with that and I find I have to slow down on some words to make sure that I say them correctly. My biggest issue is the brain free that I get when speaking. I find that I lose the words in my mind somewhere and then I'm standing there like a deer caught in the headlights, but that will get better as the nerves calm down. thanks for the advice.
¡Buen camino, peregrino! I walked the Camino last year and it was the greatest experience! Having the ability to speak (some) Spanish made the whole trip so much more enriching for me, and I learned so much more just through immersing myself in the culture and environment. I'm happy for you! It'll be an amazing trip! I wish I was there again!
All the best!
congratulations on your walk. I walked it in 2013 and because of that walk it made me want to learn Spanish. I've taken a couple of conversational Spanish courses at the local college and completed Duo lingo and continue to review it everyday since. It is true that when I went in 2013 and knew nothing, and after a couple of months there just trying to learn as I went and picking up words and pharses I was starting to get somewhat functional. there I was in the culture everyday and it started to come easier with no fear. After I got back home there was no culture, no one to speak to everyday so I lost the confidence, but that will come back in a few weeks and this time when I get back home i'll seek out a community to get involved with. I have missed the Camino every day since I got back and look forward to returning to Spain, the people, and the culture. It is wonderful. Buen Camino.
I completely agree! Although I'm roughly at a conversational level, it still took a while before I got the confidence up to just strike up a chat with a stranger...especially a native speaker! Once I broke the ice it was much easier (and became a LOT of fun), but like you said, once I got back home, the NEED to speak Spanish disappeared along with the regular opportunities. Duolingo helps keep it in my head, but the longer I'm away from regularly speaking...and especially LISTENING, my comprehension begins to slow down and the confidence starts to backslide again. You'll do fine once you get to Spain. If you're looking for additional opportunities to learn and speak, take a look at NuLengua.com. I talk with a very nice teacher in Guatemala once a week via Skype and it's VERY reasonably priced.
'You don't hate someone for trying to speak your language' - so true! Years ago I was shy and couldn't get words out of my mouth unless perfect sentence on my mind :) After studying several languages and trying to speak them as well I am luckily over it.. YAY :)
I think you are right on about this - in one's native language and one's learning language! As a shy person listening was always my best skill. :) I loved being in language immersion classrooms because before you can speak very much at all you are listening and understanding the other language and that feels really incredible! Even with the small amount of Turkish I've picked up here I am already so excited when I hear something in Turkish and recognize the sound and can put the correct meaning to it! :)
I completely agree that listening is very important. In Duolingo, I often listen to the phrase several times, not just in the listening exercises, but also in all the exercises with audio. I listen to how it sounds, then repeat it at normal speed, then listen again, then I speak it at a slower speed while looking away to help remember how any new words are spelled.
For the listening exercises, I listen to it a normal speed, write down what I think it is, then often check it with the slow speed, make any corrections, listen to it with the slow speed again, and repeat until I think I have it correct, THEN I check it with Duolingo. In this way, I catch a lot of errors... often missing words, misspelt words, or misheard words. After that, I Iisten again at normal speed.
I learned a bit of Spanish when I was a very small child, so I have an ear for it, but it can still be difficult when people speak quickly. Don't be afraid to ask people to speak more slowly. In general, most everyone is very kind, patient, and helpful. I've learned a lot of Spanish that way. Say what you want to say as best you can. Pay attention to accent and rhythm when speaking and listening as it can make a big difference as to whether people can understand you.
Too true! People will always slow down for you and that's really important to remember. Asking people to slow down is way better than staring at them blankly after they have finished talking haahahahaha I know form personal experience.
I would say "Puede hablar mas despacio por favor?" or, can you please speak more slowly?
I say something similar, "Puedo entender mejor si usted habla mas despacio." If all of that is difficult to remember. Mas despacio por favor should work. It's likely that people will likely slow down (and possibly louder) if they hear an accent. If your pronunciation is difficult to understand, you might have to repeat yourself several times, but keep trying! It takes time and lots of practice.
Your so right!! People need to learn how to speak other languages and not just hi, bye, can i have an apple, but more fluently! And thankful Duo lingo provides an entire language FLUENTLY for free! On my old account I was learning Spanish, French and English (why English? that's my language :P ) But I kinda needed to just dig into Spanish than French...Again one step at a time
Thanks Again, Livi
Fluency is a lot to expect from a software program. Don't get me wrong, Duolingo is a great program and it's free! However, I see it as only part of what's needed to be able to understand everything that I read or hear in Spanish and French. It's already helping me to sound a bit less like a small child when I speak Spanish.
To become truly fluent, it's good to supplement Duolingo with other tools for learning, and to continue reviewing and practicing after the tree is completed. Duolingo as a first step to learn or review .
Wow, i think this will really help me learn French more effectively. Thanks for the advice! :)
I have the same problem. Whenever someone is speaking, I'm trying to form a sentence in my mind and then wondering if it's right instead of listening to them speak. I use the 'slow down' button a lot on here and then scold myself for it haha.
Yeah, it's very difficult for begginners to speak fast with native english speakers. Need to improve a lot, the people speak fast and sometimes "uniting" words, to became fluent is needed more pratices . See videos, read books, speak in skype, have a unlimited things we can do to improve (with Duoling site of course! help a lot!).