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Learning Foreign Languages Thread - November


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I've loved reading about your language learning adventures. During the second half of October, I got behind on nearly everything. I am enrolled in a Latin class, and have struggled to catch up. And it reminds me of getting behind in math. Everyone else has moved on, and catching up is dreadful. Ugh. The good news is that this is just a for-fun class and the only pressure is what I put on myself.

I'm continuing on with Danish and Dutch, and plan to give Norwegian some attention in November.

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Joyeux Novembre! I have continued to do at least one Duolingo French lesson daily. My streak is like 36 days long or something like that. I sure do wish I knew what all the gems and such were all about. I gathered that you have to have at least one heart in order to do a lesson and you lose hearts when you make a mistake. But I have no idea what the gems do. 

I also wondered if anyone has discovered what the Duo Plus cost is. Im not sure why they are being so evasive about that. Just tell me, for pity’s sake. 

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

Joyeux Novembre! I have continued to do at least one Duolingo French lesson daily. My streak is like 36 days long or something like that. I sure do wish I knew what all the gems and such were all about. I gathered that you have to have at least one heart in order to do a lesson and you lose hearts when you make a mistake. But I have no idea what the gems do. 

I also wondered if anyone has discovered what the Duo Plus cost is. Im not sure why they are being so evasive about that. Just tell me, for pity’s sake. 

Salut Quill!

I am doing French on Duolingo too. You must be ahead of me because I have not yet learned "Joyeux" although I can guess what it means 🙂

I wish I could help you understand the hearts and and gems thingy, mais je ne peux pas. 

I am doing the computer (individual--not competing with anybody to get to the next level-Gem) version and I only have lingots and crowns. I can't believe they take Hearts away when you make a mistake! I make mistakes all the time (mostly spelling--but I have started keeping a paper handy when doing the lessons, so I can write down the most pesky words that trip me all the time). 

I don't do Duolingo on the weekend, but my goal is to continue completing a circle a day (five lessons), taking a break with stories every now and then (I enjoy the stories best, but I need to build vocabulary before attempting the next set). I may need to slow down to process if it gets too difficult but for right now, that is my goal. 

and maybe start watching Harry Potter in French as was suggested here last month (I don't think my French level is high enough but I could try and see what happens). 

à bientôt.
 

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Salut, @StillStanding. I know a lot of French already, so that’s where I knew joyeux novembre. I haven’t gotten to emotions or even calendar on Duo. (I do not jump ahead even though I am reviewing things I already know.) 

I wonder if going on the website reflects my same progress made in the app. Hmmm....

I love watching Harry Potter movies with French turned on! I don’t know if it is helping my listening comprehension but it can’t hurt. 

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Happy November ! 

Thanks for the thread @Penguin

I am slowly learning to recognize alphabets in Urdu. Just to make life more interesting why not throw a bit of Bengali in. These two are my bucket list languages to learn because so much of poetry especially of my two favorites poets I want to read in their original form is in these two languages. I tried apps for these, printed alphabet charts, then decided to swallow my pride and get workbooks for children. Makes learning so much easier for my old brain. 

French-English bible and Spanish-English bible reading is going better. Surprisingly Spanish is going a lot easier though it is self taught and I spent 4 years of French instruction in school. But Spanish is what I am immersed in conversationally in real life and that does make a difference I feel. 

Somehow I have been also coerced into learning to read the Korean alphabet by my 4 year old girl. She loves K-pop and thinks I should be able to read books to her in Korean and translate for her. There again, I have to swallow my pride and do workbooks which makes it so much easier.

Doing maintenance routine work in Hindi and my native language. My poor brain seems like it is made up of soup mush comprising of multiple language alphabets. 

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I have just set up my first real lesson with my new Chinese italki tutor!  I'd like to focus on conversation, pronunciation, and have her answer any odd questions I may have!  I think that will work better for me for now than working through a text.  I've also been having a lot of fun with an app called Tofu Learn, which has flashcards to both recognize and also to learn to write Chinese characters.  I've apparently learned at least over half of the HSK 1 deck by using Duo already - although writing the characters is a whole different exercise than recognizing them (knowing pronunciation and meaning) - but it's a fun challenge and I think will help them stick, and also with telling them apart when more and more start looking similar!  I bought some practice paper to hand-write them too.  I also have two books I've owned for a long time that give background info on the characters with how they developed and mnemonic stories to remember them that I think I'm ready to start going through.

And, I also went a little nutty and bought two other books - one is a slim volume of "Intermediate Portuguese stories", as I'd like to work up to being able to really read it, and while looking for that I found the incredibly interesting sounding "Comparative Grammar of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French".  Oooo!!!!  This should be really helpful, as that's just the kind of thing I need - just tell me what's different!  I've had fun watching those Youtube videos someone linked of the people speaking different Latin-based languages at each other.  They really are so similar.  I finished watching my Brazilian Netflix show.  Anyone know of any other Portuguese stuff out there?

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5 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

....And, I also went a little nutty and bought two other books - one is a slim volume of "Intermediate Portuguese stories", as I'd like to work up to being able to really read it, and while looking for that I found the incredibly interesting sounding "Comparative Grammar of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French".  Oooo!!!!  This should be really helpful, as that's just the kind of thing I need - just tell me what's different!  I've had fun watching those Youtube videos someone linked of the people speaking different Latin-based languages at each other.  They really are so similar.  I finished watching my Brazilian Netflix show.  Anyone know of any other Portuguese stuff out there?

Hola Matryoshka, 

You asked for Portuguese, and I can't help with that  🙂

But you mentioned your children speak Catalan and I have just started to watch a Netflix series in Catalan so I thought I would share: "Welcome to the Family" ( you can watch it in Spanish too)--I just have started watchin it, and it is pretty funny. 

and for your Spanish--Spanish Series I have recently watch (or plan to watch soon):

"The Invisible Guardian" trilogy--I enjoyed all three. 

"Boy Missing" --in my list to watch

Spanish Movies I have enjoyed : 

Mirage

A Sort of Family (Argentinian movie)

Roma (Mexican)--I think someone already recommended this one last time

The Legacy of Bones

Offering the Storm

 

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24 minutes ago, StillStanding said:

Hola Matryoshka, 

You asked for Portuguese, and I can't help with that  🙂

But you mentioned your children speak Catalan and I have just started to watch a Netflix series in Catalan so I thought I would share: "Welcome to the Family" ( you can watch it in Spanish too)--I just have started watchin it, and it is pretty funny. 

and for your Spanish--Spanish Series I have recently watch (or plan to watch soon):

"The Invisible Guardian" trilogy--I enjoyed all three. 

"Boy Missing" --in my list to watch

Spanish Movies I have enjoyed : 

Mirage

A Sort of Family (Argentinian movie)

Roma (Mexican)--I think someone already recommended this one last time

The Legacy of Bones

Offering the Storm

 

Thanks!  Only one of my kids speaks Catalan, but I enjoy watching shows in it!  So far, I've only watched the first season of Merli (is the accent on the e or i? - can't remember!) - there are apparently 3 seasons, but for some unknown reason Netflix refuses to get the next two.  I really enjoyed the first season. My Catalan kid found and watched them elsewhere on the interwebs, but I need Spanish subtitles!  I'll look up Welcome to the Family!

Invisible Guardian is on my list to watch - is that also in a dialect?  I'll look up those movies - the only one on my radar is Roma, which I've watched and was excellent.

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10 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Thanks!  Only one of my kids speaks Catalan, but I enjoy watching shows in it!  So far, I've only watched the first season of Merli (is the accent on the e or i? - can't remember!) - there are apparently 3 seasons, but for some unknown reason Netflix refuses to get the next two.  I really enjoyed the first season. My Catalan kid found and watched them elsewhere on the interwebs, but I need Spanish subtitles!  I'll look up Welcome to the Family!

Invisible Guardian is on my list to watch - is that also in a dialect?  I'll look up those movies - the only one on my radar is Roma, which I've watched and was excellent.

Merlí 

Invisible Guardian is in Castilian Spanish, set in the Basque Country, and it is based on popular books (at least they are popular in Spain). It is not the same quality of Roma (didn't this movie win some award?), but for a Spanish movie it is pretty good. If I recollect other good Spanish movies I have watched I will let you know 🙂

I hope someone responds with good Portuguese movies for you.

 

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3 minutes ago, StillStanding said:

Merlí 

Invisible Guardian is in Castilian Spanish, set in the Basque Country, and it is based on popular books (at least they are popular in Spain). It is not the same quality of Roma (didn't this movie win some award?), but for a Spanish movie it is pretty good. If I recollect other good Spanish movies I have watched I will let you know 🙂

I hope someone responds with good Portuguese movies for you.

LOL, I seemed to remember it being set maybe somewhere in the Basque Country and thought it might be in Basque! We had a Basque exchange student one summer - she brought us all kinds of Basque stuff - magazines, a video.  Yeah, I got nothing there, lol.  I'd say it's Greek to me, but Greek is at least Indo-European...

You don't happen to know if there's anywhere else out there on the internet to watch Merlí with Spanish subtitles?? 😁   

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1 hour ago, Matryoshka said:

LOL, I seemed to remember it being set maybe somewhere in the Basque Country and thought it might be in Basque! We had a Basque exchange student one summer - she brought us all kinds of Basque stuff - magazines, a video.  Yeah, I got nothing there, lol.  I'd say it's Greek to me, but Greek is at least Indo-European...

You don't happen to know if there's anywhere else out there on the internet to watch Merlí with Spanish subtitles?? 😁   

Sorry, I don't know where you can watch the next season of Merlí with Spanish subtitles (I am assuming you tried Youtube--I saw episodes posted there but I don't know what season they belong to). 

I tried googling it (Merlí amb subtítols en castellà + temporada 2)  and I all I got this message: "this content is not available in your country." 

I googled "Portuguese movies on Netflix" and there was a ton: https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/library/list-of-portuguese-movies-tv-series-on-netflix/

but I have not watched any of them, so I can't recommend them 😉 

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Well, I'm bumping along in Spanish with dd12 and ds8 and it is fun because they both like it, most of the time. We also can feel ourselves making progress. I do Spanish during school time with them for about 20 minutes a day, five days per week. That's enough for me. I think I'll be able to speak pretty well by the time ds8 goes to high school. This is the long-slow approach.

I'm meeting with my Hebrew iTalki tutor once or twice this month. I'm fired up again, now that I have a good conversation partner. I rejoined Streetwise Hebrew on Patreon and am listening to the Hebrew language podcasts again.

For German, I listen to eat.read.sleep or something like that (a literature and food podcast), Das Coronavirus Update (you can guess that!), and Harry Potter #3 in German on Audible, depending on my mood. 

Emily

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43 minutes ago, EmilyGF said:

Well, I'm bumping along in Spanish with dd12 and ds8 and it is fun because they both like it, most of the time. We also can feel ourselves making progress. I do Spanish during school time with them for about 20 minutes a day, five days per week. That's enough for me. I think I'll be able to speak pretty well by the time ds8 goes to high school. This is the long-slow approach.

I'm meeting with my Hebrew iTalki tutor once or twice this month. I'm fired up again, now that I have a good conversation partner. I rejoined Streetwise Hebrew on Patreon and am listening to the Hebrew language podcasts again.

For German, I listen to eat.read.sleep or something like that (a literature and food podcast), Das Coronavirus Update (you can guess that!), and Harry Potter #3 in German on Audible, depending on my mood. 

Emily

Since you can speak German and read Hebrew, I'd think Yiddish would be high on the list to tackle soon! 😉

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8 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

Since you can speak German and read Hebrew, I'd think Yiddish would be high on the list to tackle soon! 😉

Actually... I was watching the TV show Shtisel (about a Haredi family) and not understanding much and then all of a sudden I understood everything. They were speaking Yiddish!

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I need to get back to doing a few minutes of duolingo Spanish on a regular basis. On the Danish language side, I finished the Danish TV series Borgen, which is sad because it was so good. There is a 4th season being made, so I'm excited to see that in the future. I'm trying out other Danish TV series on netflix, but they aren't as good. There used to be more that I really liked (Dicte, The Bridge). I don't want to watch any more of the dark, depressing murder series from Norway and Iceland. I wonder if the Swedish comic movies are still on netflix (e.g., The 100 year old man..., the one about the widower who wanted to kill himself but things kept distracting him, the one about the 'bomber' spy - it was a lot like Forest Gump in that his life touched on many famous historical situations). I wish I could remember the titles of those movies. They were really good. I watched them and figured I'd have time to re-watch them, and they went poof. 🤫

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11 hours ago, StillStanding said:

Sorry, I don't know where you can watch the next season of Merlí with Spanish subtitles (I am assuming you tried Youtube--I saw episodes posted there but I don't know what season they belong to). 

I tried googling it (Merlí amb subtítols en castellà + temporada 2)  and I all I got this message: "this content is not available in your country." 

I googled "Portuguese movies on Netflix" and there was a ton: https://www.whats-on-netflix.com/library/list-of-portuguese-movies-tv-series-on-netflix/

but I have not watched any of them, so I can't recommend them 😉 

Bummer about Merlí (such a fun show!) but thanks for the list of Portuguese stuff!  Some of it seems like gritty crime stuff I might not be so interested in, but there's a couple of sci-fi shows (I like sci-fi!), and a few others (including a movie set in France, but in Portuguese?!) that I've saved to my list!  They seem all to be from Brazil, not Portugal.  Completely the opposite where the Spanish stuff is almost entirely from Spain, with a mere sprinkling of Mexican, Colombian, and Argentinian shows...

I also stumbled upon an interesting Italian show that I added.  I really still understand spoken Italian even better than Portuguese or French, both of which I've studied more (if still not a lot).  Maybe I need to follow the ideas in that comparative grammar book and just tackle them all... (maniacal laughter here... 🤣)

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2 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

... (maniacal laughter here... 🤣)

That is how I would feel if I had to learn more than one language at a time! I am in awe of many people in this post who are learning multiple languages at the same time. I am mildly dyslexic and my brain doesn't work that way. My hat off to you ladies!

Anyway, if you like sci-fi I just thought of another Netflix movie in Spanish you can add to your list if you have not watched it yet: Orbiter 9 (I have not watched it yet, but someone recommended it to me and it is on my list).

 

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2 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

Bummer about Merlí (such a fun show!) but thanks for the list of Portuguese stuff!  Some of it seems like gritty crime stuff I might not be so interested in, but there's a couple of sci-fi shows (I like sci-fi!), and a few others (including a movie set in France, but in Portuguese?!) that I've saved to my list!  They seem all to be from Brazil, not Portugal.  Completely the opposite where the Spanish stuff is almost entirely from Spain, with a mere sprinkling of Mexican, Colombian, and Argentinian shows...

I also stumbled upon an interesting Italian show that I added.  I really still understand spoken Italian even better than Portuguese or French, both of which I've studied more (if still not a lot).  Maybe I need to follow the ideas in that comparative grammar book and just tackle them all... (maniacal laughter here... 🤣)

I just added it to my amazon cart...  I'm forcing myself to finish the Reverse Spanish Tree on duolingo before I work on the French tree again.  I want to have a really solid grasp on Spanish before I add in some French.  I had two years of French in high school, so I have a head start, but it's been a while.

Also, ASL is going pretty well.  It helps that there aren't really verb tenses in ASL and if you forget or don't know a vocabulary word you can finger spell. 😉  Dd14 will be beginning ASL 1 with me (and Dr. Vicars) in a few weeks.  I'm not sure when we'll start -- probably January.  I've already gone through his ASL 1 through 4 courses twice (once by myself, and once with ds20, dd18, and dd16).

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1 hour ago, StillStanding said:

That is how I would feel if I had to learn more than one language at a time! I am in awe of many people in this post who are learning multiple languages at the same time. I am mildly dyslexic and my brain doesn't work that way. My hat off to you ladies!

Anyway, if you like sci-fi I just thought of another Netflix movie in Spanish you can add to your list if you have not watched it yet: Orbiter 9 (I have not watched it yet, but someone recommended it to me and it is on my list).

 

Ooo, thanks - added Orbiter 9 to my list!

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So I went over to see dd19 tonight, and we realized we'd watched everything we had any desire to watch on Disney+ (except the Mandalorian which doesn't have a new episode till Friday...) and we were scrolling around Netflix and she previewed a new show, Barbarians, because it had been suggested for people who liked The Last Kingdom (which same dd and I watched together and enjoyed).  

So... it's apparently a German show!  Woot!  Dd understands quite a bit of German, but could use some practice, so this is great.  I let her turn on English subtitles, lol, which I was ignoring until... holy bananas, the Romans are all speaking Latin!  Completely all in Latin.  (And this is Rome vs. the Germanic tribes, so the Romans have almost as many lines as the Germans...)  So, I'm reading the subtitles for the Latin - yes, I can pick some stuff up from Spanish etc., but still need the help, lol.  But y'know if anyone's learning Latin and wants a show to help with their listening comprehension - who knew, I've got one for you! 😂  We watched two episodes, seems good so far, a bit gory, 'cause Romans v. Barbarians, but they're right that if you liked The Last Kingdom (or Vikings, which I hear is similar?) you'd likely like this too.  But with bonus Latin practice, lol.

Further musings and funny anecdote: I'm a bit curious if the English dubbing dubs the Latin as well?  And rather hilariously, the subtitles say 'in Latin' when the Romans speak, but when the Germans speak - in German - the English subtitles announce that the Germans are speaking... 'in English'?  Wut?

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I'm trying to change my focus onto more hearing - Listening to the exercise before looking at the words,  figuring out what is said.  only using snail pace if I have to.  Some are easier than others.  I'm reading more though.

I was reading a comment on a youtube video (music), and there was one word I didn't know . . . . neither did the search engine translator, OR spanishdict!.. . they both translated it as afraid/fear - which did not make sense given the context. . . . So, I found *another* translation site . . . . Temo is "theme". . as in, mi temo favorito.

so NEW TRANSLATION SITE:  Linguee.com

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5 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

I'm trying to change my focus onto more hearing - Listening to the exercise before looking at the words,  figuring out what is said.  only using snail pace if I have to.  Some are easier than others.  I'm reading more though.

I was reading a comment on a youtube video (music), and there was one word I didn't know . . . . neither did the search engine translator, OR spanishdict!.. . they both translated it as afraid/fear - which did not make sense given the context. . . . So, I found *another* translation site . . . . Temo is "theme". . as in, mi temo favorito.

so NEW TRANSLATION SITE:  Linguee.com

Part of the problem is that someone's being sloppy with their Spanish ... 'theme' in Spanish is properly 'el tema' - yes, it's a masculine word with an 'a' ending, a condition it shares with other words of Greek origin ending in 'ma', such as 'el problema, el drama, el trauma' etc.  So, the commenter either made a typo or spells badly.

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On 11/2/2020 at 8:49 AM, Matryoshka said:

 

I also stumbled upon an interesting Italian show that I added.  I really still understand spoken Italian even better than Portuguese or French, both of which I've studied more (if still not a lot). 

I've pretty much given up on finding lessons in Neapolitan. I know there are issues with it such as it doesn't have written rules and is mostly a spoken language. I know many Neapolitans speak Italian now. However, my great grandparents came to the U.S in 1887 so they definitely would not have spoken Italian (Italy had not been unified for long before they left). I would have loved to learn the language they spoke. It's a language recognized by UNESCO as under threat of extinction so I really wish there was a bigger push to save it. I found a few short lessons here and there, mostly on YouTube, but nothing like full lessons. 

Anyway, all that to say I will probably eventually add Italian to my languages but currently I'm being stubborn and refusing Italian because I would rather learn Neapolitan. 😄 

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18 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

I've pretty much given up on finding lessons in Neapolitan. I know there are issues with it such as it doesn't have written rules and is mostly a spoken language. I know many Neapolitans speak Italian now. However, my great grandparents came to the U.S in 1887 so they definitely would not have spoken Italian (Italy had not been unified for long before they left). I would have loved to learn the language they spoke. It's a language recognized by UNESCO as under threat of extinction so I really wish there was a bigger push to save it. I found a few short lessons here and there, mostly on YouTube, but nothing like full lessons. 

Anyway, all that to say I will probably eventually add Italian to my languages but currently I'm being stubborn and refusing Italian because I would rather learn Neapolitan. 😄 

Sounds like a similar situation to, say, Galician in Spain, although maybe even more neglected?  The regional languages in Spain were severely repressed under Franco that they have had kind of a resurgence since - hence my being able to find a Netflix show in Galician.  But I don't think it's as codified a language as, say Catalan, for which there are lots of grammar and writing books to learn from, and a reasonably sized literary tradition, and schools that teach across subjects exclusively in Catalan.  I think Galician is more a spoken language?  Swiss German, actually, is in that boat too.  Although it's barely mutually intelligible with Hochdeutsch (standard German), like much more different from standard German than any of the Latin languages are from each other (or, honestly, German is from Dutch), I don't think there's really any written tradition.  I believe the kids learn their local dialect of Swiss German (of which I believe there are many, which may be the problem with a standardized written version?) at home, then at school they learn to read/write standard German, not their native spoken language.

The Latin languages, not just the regional versions but the full-on recognized languages, are so mutually intelligible that I'm pretty sure if you learned Italian you'd understand Neapolitan, or at least find it super-easy to pick up.  I say, learn Italian now during Covid, and then when it's finally gone you'll be ready to book a nice long 'immersion' vacation in a Neapolitan speaking region; spend all your time there hanging in cafes with locals picking up the lingo! 😄 

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3 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

Part of the problem is that someone's being sloppy with their Spanish ... 'theme' in Spanish is properly 'el tema' - yes, it's a masculine word with an 'a' ending, a condition it shares with other words of Greek origin ending in 'ma', such as 'el problema, el drama, el trauma' etc.  So, the commenter either made a typo or spells badly.

Given the context of where it was posted - I would assume the commenter was a native Spanish speaker.  

 

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Just now, gardenmom5 said:

Given the context of where it was posted - I would assume the commenter was a native Spanish speaker.  

Yeah, being a native speaker doesn't eliminate typos or even full-on grammatical/spelling errors (as we all know from reading posts by native English speakers replete with both).  It's definitely el tema, not el temo.  There's a reason a number of different dictionaries didn't give you a translation for that... 

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39 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah, being a native speaker doesn't eliminate typos or even full-on grammatical/spelling errors (as we all know from reading posts by native English speakers replete with both).  It's definitely el tema, not el temo.  There's a reason a number of different dictionaries didn't give you a translation for that... 

They all drew a blank until I put the whole sentence in.  But only one figured out what it was really trying to say.

I certainly do  my fair share of typos.  Ich is really common, or at least it used to be . . . . . .   I was trying to say something the other day, and my automatic response was "kein _spanish word__". . . . uh . . wait, Kein is german, wrong language! . . . sigh.

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2 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

They all drew a blank until I put the whole sentence in.  But only one figured out what it was really trying to say.

I certainly do  my fair share of typos.  Ich is really common, or at least it used to be . . . . . .   I was trying to say something the other day, and my automatic response was "kein _spanish word__". . . . uh . . wait, Kein is german, wrong language! . . . sigh.

LOL, with all the languages in my brain, that kind of mix-up is quite common for me!  

My favorite Germlish sentence my brain popped out with was when I was living in Germany and hanging out with the two other American exchange students.  I told one to 'make the door zu!'  And she did, and it took us all a minute to realize that that sentence didn't technically make sense - but we all understood it just fine!

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So Duolingo friends, I found a new cool 'feature' in Duolingo!  I got something wrong today and I could not figure out why - they wanted an extra word/character, and it was something that had never been introduced or explained.  So, in frustration, I clicked on the little speech bubble in the red window that pops ups when you get the answer wrong - and whoa, Motherlode of good stuff!  Not only lots of people wondering the same thing, but helpful answers explaining in detail why it was wrong and what the heck the mystery/word character was and how it functioned grammatically! (It's actually a particle that changes an adjective to an adverb - which wasn't even explained in the dictionary when I looked that character up).  Wowza!  I just got another answer wrong, and found more helpful information clarifying that in the same place.  And speaking of grammar, I've started not just reading but printing out the "Tips" to refer back to - too hard to keep it all straight in my head!

And, I read the first story in my Portuguese Short Stories book, and found myself wishing I had some reading material in Chinese that was actually simple enough for me to read.  Duolingo also has online Stories in Portuguese which I have lots of fun with, but nothing for Chinese.  There are some 'Beta' ones that were shared in the Discussion forums, but they are badly done in that the vocab in the stories does not align with what is taught in the lessons, so I got nowhere.  So... googled HSK1 stories (it does appear that Duo is teaching in roughly the standard HSK 1/2/3 order) and found some HSK leveled storybooks online, with audio!  More goodies coming my way.

Distracting myself from the real world...

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On 11/5/2020 at 8:21 PM, cintinative said:

Duolingo is now forcing me to pay one lingot if I want to take a test to get out of a level of a particular module. I didn't know what to do with the lingots anyway, but this is new.

BTW, do we have a November thread or are we just using this one?

cintinative, I moved your post over here to the November thread. Sorry for the delay, but I just now saw it in the October thread. 

@Matryoshka Just in case you ever want to learn Danish:

udtale.de is a newly launched site for German speakers to learn Danish pronunciation. I saw it on Sproget.dk, which is a Danish language geek site. 

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Foreign language update: Spanish with duolingo hit a high due to an 1.5 hour wait for bloodwork. I just kept doing the duo and racked up lots of points. 😄

Danish with Netflix is going well. I re-watched the series Hjørdis, which is super sweet. I love Hjørdis, the character! I'm also watching Rita, where Hjørdis is also involved as a minor character. Rita is not as lovable as Hjørdis, but it's better than nothing. The vocabulary is much simpler than Borgen, so I use the English subtitles less.

Edited by wintermom
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1 minute ago, Penguin said:

cintinative, I moved your post over here to the November thread. Sorry for the delay, but I just now saw it in the October thread. 

@Matryoshka Just in case you ever want to learn Danish:

udtale.de is a newly launched site for German speakers to learn Danish pronunciation. I saw it on Sproget.dk, which is a Danish language geek site. 

OMG, Penguin, offering more drugs to the addict? 😉😂  Seriously, that looks really cool.  I was wondering whether to try Danish or Norwegian (with the Dane-like spelling) after I've gotten the latest two more under my belt, and then you show me this... 🤣

I'm now halfway through the Chinese tree on Duo (remembering that it's only got 6 checkpoints; most languages have almost half that many), but I'm reasonably solid on the HSK1 level vocab.  Just starting on the HSK2 deck on Tofu Learn...

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2 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

OMG, Penguin, offering more drugs to the addict? 😉😂  Seriously, that looks really cool.  I was wondering whether to try Danish or Norwegian (with the Dane-like spelling) after I've gotten the latest two more under my belt, and then you show me this... 🤣

I'm now halfway through the Chinese tree on Duo (remembering that it's only got 6 checkpoints; most languages have almost half that many), but I'm reasonably solid on the HSK1 level vocab.  Just starting on the HSK2 deck on Tofu Learn...

I've been playing around with Norwegian, and there are more learning materials available for Norwegian than Danish. The populations are roughly the same (5 million). Norwegian is more popular or has better marketing...or something. Maybe because it is more phonetic, idk.

But unless I can find a way to order Norwegian books, I'm not sure how much time I am going to invest in Norwegian right now. @wintermomDo you have a source for buying Norwegian books online?

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3 minutes ago, Penguin said:

I've been playing around with Norwegian, and there are more learning materials available for Norwegian than Danish. The populations are roughly the same (5 million). Norwegian is more popular or has better marketing...or something. Maybe because it is more phonetic, idk.

But unless I can find a way to order Norwegian books, I'm not sure how much time I am going to invest in Norwegian right now. @wintermomDo you have a source for buying Norwegian books online?

I have to admit that hearing that Norwegian is more phonetic was pulling me a bit thataway...  I was kind of getting the idea that there were more books written in Norwegian?  Or maybe that's the better marketing, and it's just that more Norwegian books get translated into English??

Can't you order Norwegian books from one of the European Amazon sites?  That's what I did with German books until they became more widely available on US Amazon...

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I've been thinking about what I really need for French. Vocabulary, idioms, and verb tense are all things I can practice by reading books and listening to the radio. But I wish I had an easy way to practice gender and prepositions. I make a lot of little mistakes when I speak, and I dont think that just exposing myself to French is enough to correct that. Does anyone know if duolingo has that kind of specific practice?

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9 minutes ago, Little Green Leaves said:

I've been thinking about what I really need for French. Vocabulary, idioms are all things I can practice by reading books and listening to the radio. But I wish I had an easy way to practice gender and prepositions. I make a lot of little mistakes when I speak, and I dont think that just exposing myself to French is enough to correct that. Does anyone know if duolingo has that kind of specific practice?

Duolingo has modules on specific things, but you can't really jump to a topic; they kind of make you do things sequentially - at the very least you'd have to test out of things to get to the module you want.

You might want to look at something like the Practice Make Perfect books; they have books that tackle specific grammar areas.  Here ya go - they have one just on Pronouns and Prepositions.

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26 minutes ago, Little Green Leaves said:

I've been thinking about what I really need for French. Vocabulary, idioms, and verb tense are all things I can practice by reading books and listening to the radio. But I wish I had an easy way to practice gender and prepositions. I make a lot of little mistakes when I speak, and I dont think that just exposing myself to French is enough to correct that. Does anyone know if duolingo has that kind of specific practice?

I agree with @Matryoshka
buti will say that getting to whatever point is appropriate in Duolingo is an excellent way to practice those things. In German I've been glad to happen to have hit affective endings just after learning about them elsewhere. The repetitive practice with a computer (as opposed to a live, kindly person in front of whom I feel slow and stupid) was exactly what I needed.

Making yourself an Anki deck would be another good way to practice the genders for sure and maybe the prepositions. There is a startup effort, though, that may be too much.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, language pals!

Through signing up for a Portuguese 'event' on Duolingo, I have stumbled across a really fun language place on the internet!  It's Spanglish Club USA on Discord, but it's got all the languages you could want!  I've tried Intermediate Portuguese (very good), Beginner Mandarin (teacher moved to fast and tried to cover too much; sticking with my italki tutor, who is fab), and just for LOLz, I just attended a Dutch conversation class!  That was super-fun and I think I need to add Dutch to my Duolingo languages after all...

They also have two hours of Spanglish (switching Spanish and English) live Zoom conversation every day.  I've been doing that just because it's fun and I've been talking to people from all over the world!

And it's all free...  this should be the link, if anyone else is interested.  @Penguin, you have to come to Dutch conversation!  Mondays at noon!

https://discord.gg/B5BNjGZd

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Three ladies from my Spanish church came to visit me on Sunday.  One of the ladies is young and completely bilingual.  They were trying to figure out if they should use her as a translator.  I convinced them that I was able to understand most of what they were saying.  My speaking ability is not nearly as good as my listening ability, so it was hard for them to gauge my comprehension level.

We had a good (outdoor, distanced) conversation for 10 to 15 minutes.  It was the most speaking practice I've had in a while.

They also invited me to a Bible study, so there will probably be more opportunities for speaking as well as listening.

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