Languages – Duolingo 500

Duolingo 500 Days

I have just completed 500 straight days of learning languages online with Duolingo. Hooray!

I’ve been learning several languages for a few years now.

Duolingo Italian

I have completed the Italian and the French trees, but still pop by there most days to practice. I’m also learning German and have just started Spanish.

When you complete all the exercises at level one or with one crown then the little Duolingo Owl appears, draped in a cape of the country’s flag.

Duolingo French

Duolingo: Where you can learn such useful phrases as –

Italian: Non vedo il tuo dentrificio. I do not see your toothpaste.

I’m sure this must come up several times a day in normal conversation!

Of course, exercises get a lot harder as you progress and some things you just have to learn.

C’è qualcosa che non avrebbe voluto fare? Is there something that he would not have wanted to do?

I nipoti non le mancano. She does not miss her grandchildren. 

The second one is tricky because it kind of translates to ‘The grandchildren are not missed by her’, which is how I remember the sentence structure.

There are many other little quirks that are second nature to a native speaker, but difficult for a learner.

For fun I am also working through the reverse language tree for Italian and French. ie I am learning English as if I were a native Italian or French speaker. This gives me more of an insight into the actual learning process.

For example, assuming I am Italian, the text was:

Quanto è?

The three answer choices given were:

1. How much is it?
2. How almost does that cost?
3. How enough is that?

It is blatantly obvious to a native English speaker that the correct answer is 1, but it makes me realise how laughable the choices may be that I am struggling over, when learning Italian from English.

I’m not good at languages; French was my worst subject at school.  (Surprisingly, I was good at Latin, but since we did not have to speak it, I don’t think it counts!) 

It is best to practice something every day, even if only for a short time, rather than spending an hour once a week. You’d think I’d be fluent by now, but you’d think wrong! Still, I understand quite a bit, even if I cannot speak the language very well.

To practice something that you are not good at makes your brain work harder. It keeps the little grey cells going.

Use it or lose it!


35 thoughts on “Languages – Duolingo 500

  1. A Curious Introvert

    How wonderful you have been learning several languages!🙂 I’ve always wanted to do that and have started and quit other programs many times. Thanks to you I’m going to try again and I downloaded the app.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      Oh that’s great! I hope you have fun – cos that’s what it’s all about – like blogging. If you set small goals to begin with you’ll find it doable. For example, in Duolingo I set my daily goal as 10 XP which is achievable in say 10 minutes. 🙂
      What are you going to learn?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      Thank you 🙂
      That’s interesting about your trials with UK school languages too. I think they didn’t know how to teach French, certainly at my school. When you’re already 11 years old, you learn a language differently than when you were 2 years old. Of course, back in my day there were no language labs, free online courses or YouTube clips to help you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      Thank you very much 🙂
      I wasn’t aiming for a long streak, it just sort of happened. I set my daily goal really low, at 10XP, so it is easy. 😀
      Good Luck with your German. I find it quite hard – certainly harder than French, that I did at school, but also harder than Italian. I don’t know why!
      How are you doing?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thethingsiveseenblog

        You’re welcome 🙂 Even if it wasn’t on purpose it’s still really amazing 🙂

        Thank you 😀 I’m doing pretty good. I can talk about numbers and buildings in German now. Instead of just animals and food lol 😀
        Strangely I found German easier to speak than Irish (which I’ve been learning since I was a child). 🙂 German grammar is hard to get your head around though 😀 It’s mind-boggling at times 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. thethingsiveseenblog

        It is kind of difficult 🙂
        Haha… yeah Irish name spellings are kind of strange. But a little tip is, if there is a bh, mh or ph, it is usually pronounced like a “v” and th is pronounced softer than in English 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. anitashope

    Congratulations on continuing to learn new things. I always though it interesting the number of languages are rooted from Latin but yet the language is not spoken but highly dependent in the medical field.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      Thank you 🙂
      Yes, it it very interesting how languages relate to one another. I believe that when the Romans ‘retreated’ they left behind their language base, which is why eg Italian and Spanish are so similar. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      Thank you 🙂 I was chuffed. 😀
      Yes, it is surprising what we find we can still remember after decades.
      Tho on my trip to France as a youngster I found the guy sweeping the street spoke much better English than my French, even after 5 years of school study!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. C C Cedras

    I studied Latin for about three years in high school, then Spanish for an equal time in college. I learned French the hard way, but it was Canadian French. Still, I am not fluent in anything, but English, still. But I understand and can read a fair amount in a few languages, including Italian thanks to the Spanish. It helps when ordering food, mainly. Not much else I’m good for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      That’s interesting. 🙂 I find it surprising just how many of us did learn Latin at school. I don’t think many kids do so today.
      It’s good to have some language skills, even if only for menus, as you say! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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