Author Topic: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016  (Read 37104 times)

dougules

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #200 on: November 22, 2017, 10:59:27 AM »
I've got a 39 day streak on Duolingo. I'm doing a few different languages.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #201 on: November 22, 2017, 01:11:49 PM »
Jumping in to this.  Considering I'm half Greek it'd make sense to learn a bit more than 'enough to get by'.

I'm on a 12 day streak on duolingo.  Listening to a few podcasts and so on.  Really enjoying it so far.

Would you mind sharing some of your resources?  I am trying to learn Greek as well.
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dougules

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #202 on: November 22, 2017, 03:07:06 PM »
Jumping in to this.  Considering I'm half Greek it'd make sense to learn a bit more than 'enough to get by'.

I'm on a 12 day streak on duolingo.  Listening to a few podcasts and so on.  Really enjoying it so far.

Would you mind sharing some of your resources?  I am trying to learn Greek as well.

I'm not learning Greek specifically, but Duolingo has Greek.  Just download the app. 

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #203 on: November 22, 2017, 10:36:46 PM »
Well I've been living in a foreign country now for about 3 months, and I've just about hit a functional fluency. How did I manage this? Well one I'm part of an organization that knows how to get people fluent fast for service work. There methodology is:

1. Live with a local for 3 months.
2. Private teacher for much of this time 2-4 per day (cheaper than you think especially for some countries)
3. A good set of grammar books (I'm doing Portuguese with Gramática Ativa 1 & 2)
4. Teach others and work with others to force vocab learning and more complex uses of language.

Following these steps, I have seen no one fail yet. (There's 1 out of 55 still struggling a little) But in 3 months we've surpassed many of the expats living here, and most of us can communicate at a high level.

For people living in the states I would suggest finding a local group to practice with. Or a fluent person that you can trade English time with.

See if you can find a private teacher. You might be surprised to find one for a $1 or 2 per hour. So you can have a French teacher from the Congo teach you online very affordablely. I can't stress the teacher enough. A good teacher should be able to get you to a speakable level relatively quickly.

Third step, find a good grammar book to supplement. I usually make the mistake of trying to learn only from a book because I'm nervous to talk, but especially when you get to more advanced topics you'll need this to help delineate the particular meanings of certain things.

Teach someone something in your new language. Prepare a lesson for the Mexican migrants to learn Spanish, share a bit of American culture with Refugees. Or maybe just share a story with your language group. This is a bit harder to do, but probably the best thing to try and start speaking fluently. Usually just being an American helps. I've had people here want me to explain Excel to them. It made me look up a ton of words and push myself in a new direction

Anyway those are my thoughts.

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Rimu05

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #204 on: January 25, 2018, 08:35:24 AM »
I've got a 39 day streak on Duolingo. I'm doing a few different languages.

Does doing different languages work for you? I find you end up mastering very little because of spreading yourself thin. Unless of course, you have full free days to yourself then you can allocate time to many. One thing, I notice though about a lot of polyglots is that they speak many languages but many are at a basic intermediate level. Now if your goal in languages is just to communicate with natives then that's not a problem.

dougules

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #205 on: January 25, 2018, 11:05:12 AM »
I've got a 39 day streak on Duolingo. I'm doing a few different languages.

Does doing different languages work for you? I find you end up mastering very little because of spreading yourself thin. Unless of course, you have full free days to yourself then you can allocate time to many. One thing, I notice though about a lot of polyglots is that they speak many languages but many are at a basic intermediate level. Now if your goal in languages is just to communicate with natives then that's not a problem.

It does spread my time kind of thin.  It's true you only have so much time so you can either learn some of all or refine one or two.  I'm kind of going somewhere in between.  I'm learning a smidge of a whole lot of languages but trying to really shave off the rough edges of my Spanish.  It all just depends on what you want to do with it. 

You can also spend more time total.  I do Duolingo for a full hour some days.  It's a hobby for me. 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 11:07:33 AM by dougules »

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #206 on: January 25, 2018, 12:20:53 PM »
So I'm half way done with the French Module in Duolingo and according to the app I'm at 53% fluency. I can recognize words that I've seen before but I don't think I'd be able to have much of a conversation with someone. I'm really hoping that as I get closer to the end that will change. Maybe I need to just start trying to talk to people in French that's probably going to be the best way.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #207 on: January 25, 2018, 01:06:22 PM »
Maybe I need to just start trying to talk to people in French that's probably going to be the best way.
This. You only get better with real practice conversations. You can't be afraid of making mistakes, you will make lots and that's how you get better.
Are there any French language meetups in your area?
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haypug16

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #208 on: January 25, 2018, 02:55:08 PM »
Maybe I need to just start trying to talk to people in French that's probably going to be the best way.
This. You only get better with real practice conversations. You can't be afraid of making mistakes, you will make lots and that's how you get better.
Are there any French language meetups in your area?

Hmm speaking a foreign language that I'm not too comfortable with to complete stranger that may be my worst nightmare ;) but it also sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #209 on: January 25, 2018, 04:02:47 PM »
Maybe I need to just start trying to talk to people in French that's probably going to be the best way.
This. You only get better with real practice conversations. You can't be afraid of making mistakes, you will make lots and that's how you get better.
Are there any French language meetups in your area?

Hmm speaking a foreign language that I'm not too comfortable with to complete stranger that may be my worst nightmare ;) but it also sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the advice.

It was/is hard for me to get started speaking to native speakers too. When I went to Peru I spoke Spanish to a few people who didn't speak English. I find that easiest. It was pretty basic, but very fun and exciting to be at least a little bit understood. The easiest time was when I was translating between my family and the cab driver, because then I didn't have to worry about the actual conversation flow, just translating the words. I did finally get stumped when my dad wanted to ask how deep the topsoil was...

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #210 on: January 25, 2018, 07:15:51 PM »
Joining in on this challenge. I spent the last few years casually studying French. For awhile, I actually felt fairly confident but unfortunately life got busy and I slacked.  Last visit to France I was like a deer in the headlights. Seriously, it felt like I had forgotten it all. Every. Single. Word.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #211 on: January 25, 2018, 07:22:28 PM »
Maybe I need to just start trying to talk to people in French that's probably going to be the best way.
This. You only get better with real practice conversations. You can't be afraid of making mistakes, you will make lots and that's how you get better.
Are there any French language meetups in your area?

Hmm speaking a foreign language that I'm not too comfortable with to complete stranger that may be my worst nightmare ;) but it also sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the advice.

This is great advice! I found a tutor on Craigslist for practice and made much more progress with her than in classes or self guided studying. You just have to GNF and make mistakes. It helped me to find someone my age or younger so it wasn't as intimidating.

Also, Tandem and Italki are two great sites that let you Skype with native speakers.

Rimu05

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #212 on: March 12, 2018, 01:41:42 PM »
So I'm half way done with the French Module in Duolingo and according to the app I'm at 53% fluency. I can recognize words that I've seen before but I don't think I'd be able to have much of a conversation with someone. I'm really hoping that as I get closer to the end that will change. Maybe I need to just start trying to talk to people in French that's probably going to be the best way.

Definitely speak to people even if your French sucks. I did and I remain one of the few people who has not forgotten the French they learned in Highschool. I have somewhat lazily maintained it, but I used to speak to strangers with no reservations. Now I just have a friend who's French.

dougules

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #213 on: March 13, 2018, 11:11:57 AM »
So I'm half way done with the French Module in Duolingo and according to the app I'm at 53% fluency. I can recognize words that I've seen before but I don't think I'd be able to have much of a conversation with someone. I'm really hoping that as I get closer to the end that will change. Maybe I need to just start trying to talk to people in French that's probably going to be the best way.

Definitely speak to people even if your French sucks. I did and I remain one of the few people who has not forgotten the French they learned in Highschool. I have somewhat lazily maintained it, but I used to speak to strangers with no reservations. Now I just have a friend who's French.

There's an app called Tandem I just recently came across.  It connects people that want to learn each other's languages.  It's generally easy to find somebody since everybody wants to learn English. 

Nancy

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #214 on: March 13, 2018, 11:36:04 AM »
I have a 179 day streak going on Duolingo. I completed the French tree and have kept it gold. Huzzah! I'm starting to learn Portuguese now, and it's loads if fun. I suspect it will take me longer since I'll also be practicing French. I keep my tree gold before I move on to the next lesson, which helps me remember. I'm not in a rush since I know that learning these languages will be a lifelong pursuit.

I need speaking practice so I'm hopefully going to attend some local language meetups.

how do you practice speaking? With people you know/meetups/apps?
How fun! I forgot about this thread. I'm still rocking my golden French and Portuguese trees. I've been practicing daily for two years. To improve my French, I started listening to the French news, and watching films in French with French subtitles. I also started going to French meetups. I'm rubbish at speaking. I get so nervous that I blank out. Funnily enough, I have an easier time fumbling my way through Portuguese. I'm not as embarrassed even though I make just as many mistakes.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #215 on: March 13, 2018, 01:34:13 PM »
Wow, old thread!  I'd forgotten about it too.  Anyone want to make a 2018 thread?

Spanish -- has basically languished.  I can still manage pretty well but I visited some of my Spanish speaking friends last fall and felt myself grasping for words and expressions too often, and my pronunciation and grammar have suffered.  I may end up going to Chile this fall, so I'd like to brush up before then.  If anyone has recommendations for apps that go to a higher level than DuoLingo, I'm all ears. Also recs for podcasts, books that aren't magical realism, and Netflix shows would be awesome.  My podcast recommendation is Radio Ambulante from NPR. I'm so-so on CoffeeBreak, some of their stuff is good, but there's too much astrophysics for me.  I've been watching some Narcos - it's ok. And trying to read Cien Anios de Soledad but it's a slog. 

Korean - ha.  I still know the alphabet decently well, pretty much everything else is gone. I've been trying to do 10 minutes or so a day between DuoLingo and Memrise.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #216 on: March 13, 2018, 09:52:45 PM »
Wow, old thread!  I'd forgotten about it too.  Anyone want to make a 2018 thread?

Spanish -- has basically languished.  I can still manage pretty well but I visited some of my Spanish speaking friends last fall and felt myself grasping for words and expressions too often, and my pronunciation and grammar have suffered.  I may end up going to Chile this fall, so I'd like to brush up before then.  If anyone has recommendations for apps that go to a higher level than DuoLingo, I'm all ears. Also recs for podcasts, books that aren't magical realism, and Netflix shows would be awesome.  My podcast recommendation is Radio Ambulante from NPR. I'm so-so on CoffeeBreak, some of their stuff is good, but there's too much astrophysics for me.  I've been watching some Narcos - it's ok. And trying to read Cien Anios de Soledad but it's a slog. 

Korean - ha.  I still know the alphabet decently well, pretty much everything else is gone. I've been trying to do 10 minutes or so a day between DuoLingo and Memrise.

I watched La Niña and El Barco on Netflix for awhile. I liked them both for learning Spanish and both stories were entertaining, until they weren't (dramalama). I should start watching them again, but there's little time for TV watching post-FIRE!

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #217 on: March 14, 2018, 06:42:05 AM »
Wow, old thread!  I'd forgotten about it too.  Anyone want to make a 2018 thread?

Spanish -- has basically languished.  I can still manage pretty well but I visited some of my Spanish speaking friends last fall and felt myself grasping for words and expressions too often, and my pronunciation and grammar have suffered.  I may end up going to Chile this fall, so I'd like to brush up before then.  If anyone has recommendations for apps that go to a higher level than DuoLingo, I'm all ears. Also recs for podcasts, books that aren't magical realism, and Netflix shows would be awesome.  My podcast recommendation is Radio Ambulante from NPR. I'm so-so on CoffeeBreak, some of their stuff is good, but there's too much astrophysics for me.  I've been watching some Narcos - it's ok. And trying to read Cien Anios de Soledad but it's a slog. 

Korean - ha.  I still know the alphabet decently well, pretty much everything else is gone. I've been trying to do 10 minutes or so a day between DuoLingo and Memrise.

I paused on Spanish but in terms of shows. Every Spanish speaker I know has recommended El Patron Del Mal. I use coffee break Spanish for podcast. I like their French version too a lot. I personally do News in Slow French although I do the advanced on that one, but I am pretty sure there is news in slow Italian and other languages.


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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #218 on: March 20, 2018, 08:47:34 AM »
So after using Duolingo for a million years, I've just learned about completing the reverse tree. Has anyone heard of this or done it? In a nutshell, you finish the French tree (if that's you're language), and then you create an account where your native language is French and complete the tree as if you are learning English.

Since I'm trying to learn French and Portuguese, and I'm further along in French, I actually started my French reverse tree with my native language as French and the language I'm learning as Portuguese. After trying it for no more than 10 minutes, I'd say it's a good challenge.

dougules

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #219 on: March 20, 2018, 10:10:30 AM »
So after using Duolingo for a million years, I've just learned about completing the reverse tree. Has anyone heard of this or done it? In a nutshell, you finish the French tree (if that's you're language), and then you create an account where your native language is French and complete the tree as if you are learning English.

Since I'm trying to learn French and Portuguese, and I'm further along in French, I actually started my French reverse tree with my native language as French and the language I'm learning as Portuguese. After trying it for no more than 10 minutes, I'd say it's a good challenge.

I'll have to try that.  It sounds like it might be a good way to keep moving.  Duolingo seems to be much better at teaching at a beginner or intermediate level than rounding off the rough edges at an advanced level. 

Nancy

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #220 on: March 20, 2018, 10:45:18 AM »
@dougules I agree. I'm at the point where I don't feel like I'm learning much keeping my French tree golden. I think I've memorized most of the answers.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #221 on: March 20, 2018, 10:53:48 AM »
  My podcast recommendation is Radio Ambulante from NPR. ....


I paused on Spanish but in terms of shows. Every Spanish speaker I know has recommended El Patron Del Mal. I use coffee break Spanish for podcast. I like their French version too a lot. I personally do News in Slow French although I do the advanced on that one, but I am pretty sure there is news in slow Italian and other languages.

I started formal Spanish lesson recently and need lots of practice with listening.  Thanks for these tips!

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #222 on: July 10, 2018, 06:22:57 AM »
Woo! Just hit 1 year on DuoLingo (for Norwegian).

I've also been speaking more and more to my son, so I'm slowly getting better at it. I'm in no rush to be fluent or anything, and when I go to Norway I'll ramp up the learning in the 3-4 weeks beforehand.
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dougules

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #223 on: July 12, 2018, 10:35:40 AM »
Woo! Just hit 1 year on DuoLingo (for Norwegian).

I've also been speaking more and more to my son, so I'm slowly getting better at it. I'm in no rush to be fluent or anything, and when I go to Norway I'll ramp up the learning in the 3-4 weeks beforehand.

Congrats.  I'm getting there myself. 

I'm curious as to how far you think you've gotten. 


So after using Duolingo for a million years, I've just learned about completing the reverse tree. Has anyone heard of this or done it? In a nutshell, you finish the French tree (if that's you're language), and then you create an account where your native language is French and complete the tree as if you are learning English.

Since I'm trying to learn French and Portuguese, and I'm further along in French, I actually started my French reverse tree with my native language as French and the language I'm learning as Portuguese. After trying it for no more than 10 minutes, I'd say it's a good challenge.

I'll have to try that.  It sounds like it might be a good way to keep moving.  Duolingo seems to be much better at teaching at a beginner or intermediate level than rounding off the rough edges at an advanced level.

This was a good idea.  It didn't seem effective at first, but I just had to get through the more basic lessons.  Another idea based on this is to learn a third language through your more advanced language.  I'm doing French for Spanish speakers so I get both at one time.  It takes a little while to wrap your head around, but it's definitely good exercise for your brain. 


I've got a 39 day streak on Duolingo. I'm doing a few different languages.

Does doing different languages work for you? I find you end up mastering very little because of spreading yourself thin. Unless of course, you have full free days to yourself then you can allocate time to many. One thing, I notice though about a lot of polyglots is that they speak many languages but many are at a basic intermediate level. Now if your goal in languages is just to communicate with natives then that's not a problem.

I have definitely scaled back now.  I've really started to focus in on Spanish and Chinese with the other ones only occasionally or learned from Spanish. 

« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 10:47:02 AM by dougules »

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #224 on: July 12, 2018, 12:08:13 PM »
I haven't stuck with anything so far. I did have one of my friends visit from overseas and I realized how much my Spanish has suffered from neglect over the last few years. My vocabulary is strong in the topics we usually discuss, but I found myself struggling to describe some of my planned projects. It was still good enough to yell at her for getting shitfaced and causing a scene though.

I haven't even touched Korean. I need to get back into things.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #225 on: July 12, 2018, 05:19:14 PM »
I'm currently visiting family and I'm so so happy I put in the effort to learn Italian. Last time I came was 5 years ago and I had taken 1 course, in the meantime I've taken another. Unfortunately I never really practice, so I'm rusty, but hardly anybody here speaks any English, so it has really come in handy. I'm not fluent by any means, and I don't even speak as well as the children, but I can understand most of what they say and they can understand me, so it's completely worth it.
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #226 on: July 13, 2018, 09:14:46 AM »
Woo! Just hit 1 year on DuoLingo (for Norwegian).

I've also been speaking more and more to my son, so I'm slowly getting better at it. I'm in no rush to be fluent or anything, and when I go to Norway I'll ramp up the learning in the 3-4 weeks beforehand.

Congrats.  I'm getting there myself. 

I'm curious as to how far you think you've gotten. 



I think pretty far. I am not finished with the Duolingo "Tree", but I don't really care. For me it's more of a mental exercise and to keep me thinking in this language daily. I think it makes a big difference!

Although I do not have many people to speak with besides my 4-year old son, so my listening and speaking skills are not amazing. Writing and reading is pretty good, though.
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #227 on: July 13, 2018, 11:05:10 AM »
Finishing the tree in Duolingo is really fun! You get a tiny duo with a graduation cap at the end.

I'm considering joining a german class that meets close to my house every saturday, it's $650 for the year which works out to a pretty reasonable per-week rate. I'm not excited about spending the money but I really need to have the accountability and time to talk to other humans again, especially if I am following through with my plan to move back to Berlin for a few months next year.

Update: I started following a bunch of German instagram stars and watching their insta-stories has been really helpful for listening comprehension.
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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #228 on: July 14, 2018, 02:42:52 AM »
I'm currently visiting family and I'm so so happy I put in the effort to learn Italian. Last time I came was 5 years ago and I had taken 1 course, in the meantime I've taken another. Unfortunately I never really practice, so I'm rusty, but hardly anybody here speaks any English, so it has really come in handy. I'm not fluent by any means, and I don't even speak as well as the children, but I can understand most of what they say and they can understand me, so it's completely worth it.

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Re: Learning or Improving at Another Language in 2016
« Reply #229 on: July 14, 2018, 06:51:41 AM »
I'm currently visiting family and I'm so so happy I put in the effort to learn Italian. Last time I came was 5 years ago and I had taken 1 course, in the meantime I've taken another. Unfortunately I never really practice, so I'm rusty, but hardly anybody here speaks any English, so it has really come in handy. I'm not fluent by any means, and I don't even speak as well as the children, but I can understand most of what they say and they can understand me, so it's completely worth it.

Auguri Poutinelover!  Benvenuto/a in Italia!  Spero che non sia troppo caldo dove sei.
Grazie! E caldo ma vado spesso alla spiaggia allora va bene :)
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