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June 08, 2021


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I’ve been doing French and Danish daily for 101 days. Before that I'd intermittently used it to practice/play with French for years, often with looong looong breaks. Danish was completely new to me (thanks, pandemic-binge of "Borgen").

I’m equally thrilled, impressed, and bewildered to read that you’ve casually finished at least three courses, even with 372 consecutive days under your belt. I'm miles and miles away from such a thing. How much time do you spend each day? Do you use the free version?

More important, what is your strategy? I’ve been rigidly insisting on finishing one level of every topic, with the idea of getting through every unit and checkpoint before going back to the beginning and moving through level 2, but maybe this is the wrong approach? I have no real idea of what the rewards mean, other than gems are good and losing hearts is bad.

I am doing Greek as well! I finished it last summer, but they have drastically expanded it so I am back for more, which is slowing down my Spanish

I am wondering the same things about how you have managed to finish not one but three courses!! I have dabbled in Spanish but lost interest--my only streaks are for completion of the NYT daily crossword. Like Maria, I wonder if I am taking the wrong approach in Duo by trying to finish too many things (which gets boring since I already know a fair amount of Spanish) instead of coasting along the top and getting to some kind of test area. My daughter, who did immersion Mandarin in elementary school and continues to study Mandarin and Spanish in high school, has been doing both Spanish and Russian on Duolingo (plus occasional Italian), and I think she said she "finished" Spanish by passing a test, despite not having completed all the units. Is that how it works?

Even in the limited Spanish that I worked on, I learned a few things that I hadn't picked up in 4 yrs of HS Spanish--not just vocab, but usage things where I guess in HS they only taught us "the easy way" to say certain things. So that was interesting.

I follow some linguistics-meme social media pages where people sometimes post images of funny things that Duolingo taught them to say. Seems like Japanese and Portuguese courses are much more entertaining than Spanish as I've seen a lot of funny stuff coming from students of those languages!

As a tangent, check out the blog "Separated by a Common Language," a blog by an American linguist married to an Englishman and working at a UK university. Judging from the American flag used next to "English" in Duo, I don't think they teach UK English, but it is fascinatingly different from ours, something I have been enjoying learning my entire life as I have a bunch of British second cousins that I see from time to time (and more recently from the Great British Baking Show)!

Anyway. Do share your Duolingo strategy...and more importantly, any funny sentences that you are now able to say in Greek!

I am currently in a 689 day streak. I was using Duolingo to supplement Spanish classes I was taking. During the pandemic I used it as my practice. I have also whipped through several levels of French. I took French in high school, back when we used a chisel and a slab to take notes. It came easily to me and I really should have continued. It amazed me that French came flying back so fast when I started taking Spanish.

I love languages and find them very interesting.

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