I spoke spanish at work today! :)
I have a Spanish surname, so I'm always having to remind the managers that I don't speak Spanish. Out of over 100 employees, we have 3 that speak Spanish. Anyways, a manager calls me over to help them with their customer. By the time I realize that he doesn't speak English the manager is ghost. I tried to cheat and use Google translate but his eyes were bad :( I was able to help him tho! And he was super nice about it. Reminded me of my grandpa. The Latinos around here as a whole are always so friendly.
Wow can imagine the joy! I find that Duolingo is helping me immensely with reading and writing but speaking is a whole different level of difficulty - guess it requires practice. The more one tries to speak in Spanish, the better one will get at linking words, getting the grammar right and remembering the right words (without having to use broken english in between). That's my struggle, but I am so inspired to see your post. :)
Es totalmente posible!!
Duolingo is definitely still worthwhile for reading and listening comprehension. I had never been to Latin American before this year and decided to dust off my tree prior to going. I only had ever completed maybe thirteen units but it definitely helped with my first trip to Costa Rica. I was there for a week and attempted to speak a bit but it helped more in identifying areas to improve my skills...which was pretty much all of them. I went back to Costa Rica maybe a month ago and was left to work with people who only spoke Spanish for a full day. When you are forced to actually communicate with no crutches your learning increases exponentially. You will think of creative ways to use the words you do know and use "Como se dice...?" a whole lot. After returning from the last trip I knocked out my tree and have been reading books to fine tune my skills. Every night I watch a Disney /Pixar film in Spanish to ingrain it in my head. What I guess I am trying to convey is that from my personal experience Duolingo is a huge tool in keeping you accountable and listening to basic Spanish. It's up to you to search out other ways to make it part of your mind. Just don't give up on it simply because it's not a one stop Spanish shop. Just find ways to listen and practice. You'd be really surprised at how much you already know.
Agree with everything you said. Duolingo is definitely the launchpad to take up language learning, and axilliary sources are needed to go the extra mile. It surely requires a lot of willpower and determination too to do exercises like watching movies in Spanish, over and above Duolingo. Kudos! My daily hour here will not take me as far as I intend to go with Spanish - need to amp it up. There are many discussions on this forum where wonderful people share their additional resources generously. :)
Congrats! That is a big step in the right direction. That reminds me of when I was in Mexico City a few months ago and needed to purchase a lock for my suitcase before checking it in. The girl in the store didn't speak a word of English so I was forced to use Spanish. I managed to get it done and actually surprised myself a bit. I can't wait to go back, since I've learned a lot more since then. Only 2 more months! :) Congrats again! Best of luck to you. Just remember that it is only a matter of time and you will be speaking Spanish.
I feel your pain. My mother never spoke Spanish to me and my sisters, either, but she seems to be a bit proud now that I'm pushing my way through the language. I also hope to visit my cousins in Tampico and Mexico City some day, so it would be nice to be more fluent when I get there.
I've been to Mexico City 3 times this year and its really no different than being in a big US city. You just have to use common sense and be careful. Theft is the biggest problem. But I hear that the border towns are more dangerous. If you took a flight, that is the safest way. Most of the crime happens when you're driving in remote areas. So once you're inside a big city, its not bad. At least that has been my experience. With that said, I've also driven out of Mexico City to other nearby towns (80-100miles out) and it was all good. I went to Ixtapan and Puebla. Puebla is a very beautiful city. It reminds me of western Europe. Very nice and relaxed. Well hope you make it there. Don't let the media scare you from going.