Guess What? I'm Learning To Speak Spanish, Can You Believe It?


The only time I was exposed to learning a different language was when I was in high school and took an elective class in Italian

And I have to be honest, I SUCKED.

The only reason I passed the class was because my teacher (Miss Rita Della-Porta) took a liking to me, so she always gave me an A on my report card. But truthfully, the only Italian sentence I remember learning was:

"Dove sono i libri?"

Which means: "Where are the books?"

Which is great if I'm ever in Italy with a sexy Italian man eating a dish of pasta and have to ask him where the nearest Barnes and Noble is. But other than that, I speak no Italian. 

Oh wait, I lied, and I also know how to say: "Culo del gatto."

Which means: "Ass of the cat."

Which was a phrase I used to refer to my father's mother because she was sincerely a total ASS.

She also had a scary-ass moustache. 😱

Anyway, getting back to my story...

I feel that the main reason I wasn't very good at learning a different language was because of the way it was taught. I don't do well learning something that is taught in a brick and mortar school. I learn much more effectively by learning things on my own. Which is why I love the invention of the Internet because I've taught myself so many wonderful things via searching online, and then practicing.

I've never been a school-person because back when I went to school, I found it soooo boring.

Therefore, I decided that over this summer I wanted to start learning how to speak (or at least learn how to read and hear) Spanish.

Enter...Duolingo!


And I have to say, I freaking LOVE this app because I can learn at my own pace; in the comfort of my own apartment; at anytime, day or night.

I started using it back in mid-June and am taking it slowly so that I retain what I'm learning.

What I find amazing about Duolingo is that it offers a plethora of languages.

Look at this list...


Now, I don't choose to use the app on my cell phone because at certain points in each lesson, you have vocally repeat sentences. And I don't want to be outside walking down the street screaming into my phone, "Yo soy un nino! Yo soy un nino!" ("I am a boy! I am a boy!")...


The app also teaches by allowing you to mark the correct meaning...


And writing Spanish to English...


And tapping what you hear; creating sentences...


It also corrects you when you make a mistake. My challenge seems to be knowing which nouns are masculine or feminine...


The app also celebrates when you achieve your goal by playing LOUD trumpets and rewarding you with a festive badge...


Here is an early screenshot I took of the different categories of learning, such as: travel, restaurant, shopping, and family. Currently I'm on the shopping category...


Notice how my Duolingo name is: Faustano. It's a boy's name in Spanish I found online. I think the word translates into: good luck
And as you can tell from my achievement profile, I'm not very friendly. Nor, am I a big spender...


As I shared at the start of this post, I am so loving this app and looking forward to learning more and more every week.


And I can't WAIT for the day when I finally graduate from Duolingo; wearing my cap and gown....


...and become a full fledged Spaniard, speaking fluent Spanish...


GRASSY-ASS, Duolingo!


Que tengáis todos un gran fin de semana!
X

*Spanish translation: Have a great weekend everyone!
X

26 comments

  1. Cool beans! I just signed up for French.

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  2. Bravo, Grace! And I know you're going to LOVE it as much as I do. It's really cool because you can take things at your own pace. And you can even go back and review certain categories that you may have had challenges with.

    I am sooooooo happy I decided to do this and learn Spanish. I've been wanting to do this for such a long time.

    Have a great weekend, and thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  3. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comAugust 15, 2019

    Duolingo is fun, isn't it! Good luck with the Spanish!

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  4. I am still laughing at "Culo del gatto" and your father's mother's moustache. That's hysterically funny!


    It's great that you're learning Spanish. I sure could have used that when I lived in West Texas. I only know a few Spanish curse words.
    Much like you, I never did well being taught in school and never enjoyed it. Almost everything I know is self-taught.
    I did, however, study German in junior high when I was 11 -12 years old and did pretty well.


    I made the HUGE mistake of taking Latin in high school and didn't know what the hell was going on. Latin was all Greek to me (*smile*).


    I never heard of Duolingo but it sounds fantastic. I would like to study Hungarian. I used to speak a smattering of it with my Hungarian grandmother when I was a small child. She could hardly speak English.


    Great post, Ron!

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  5. Valerie DaggattAugust 16, 2019

    I tried with Italian, and failed. I couldn't get the hang of masculine and feminine. Mind you, I think laziness was my real problem. I admire you for sticking with it, Ron.

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  6. Ron, I LOVE this in so many ways! Kudos to you for embarking on a new voyage of learning, at your own pace. I've long been an advocate of life-long learning, and I firmly believe we build our best lives by keeping active mentally, physically, and spiritually!


    Domer uses Duolingo every single day! He's doing the Spanish as well and is practically "fluent" now. He tried the Italian, but he said it wasn't for him. But he'd taken some Spanish in high school, so he rightly figured that was a good foundation.



    I've seen ads for Rosetta Stone and thought that might be a good way to go. Of course, it's more expansive, which is a drawback.


    I took FOUR years of Latin and am glad I did. It provides such a nice base for a writer! Still, nobody (not even the Church!) speaks it anymore.


    Enjoy your lessons, my friend. And enjoy the coming weekend! xx

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  7. My ex-wife also has a mustache. I need to start referring to her as Culo del gatto, too. Which, honestly, is nicer than some of the other phrases I've used to describe her over the years.

    I have contemplated learning a second language via an app, too. I probably wouldn't go for Spanish, but I've always been interested in French. Polish would also be fun because of my heritage. I'm going to think long and hard about this!

    Disfruta tu fin de semana, amigo!

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  8. It sure is, Fiona! And I am so glad I discovered it because I've been wanting to learn Spanish for the longest time.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a beautiful weekend!

    X

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  9. HA! Anytime I think of my hateful grandmother, I immediately think..."Culo del gatto!" She looked as ASS and well as acting like one. She truly was a beast! LOL!

    "I only know a few Spanish curse words."

    OMG...me too! I had so many Spanish friends when I lived in Florida, so they all taught me the curse words. Which I still remember and use!!

    "Much like you, I never did well being taught in school and never enjoyed it. Almost everything I know is self-taught."

    I think a lot of people who are creative feel the same. Creatives like to investigate, explore, and learn as we go along.

    That's awesome you learned German! Germany is a country I want to visit one day. I don't know why, but I've always been attracted to that country; especially the city of Berlin.

    I went to Catholic school for 8 years, so I know what you mean about Latin. When I was a kid, the church services were all said in Latin, not English.

    I think you would really enjoy Duolingo because it's so easy to use, it's free, and you can use it on your computer or/and your cell phone.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Jon. Have an awesome weekend!

    X

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  10. Oh Valerie, Italian is the next language I want to learn, after I master Spanish. Aren't the masculine and feminine challenging?

    I'm really enjoying Duolingo! As I shared, I'm taking it slowly, while trying to retain what I'm learning.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous weekend!

    Hope you're back feeling better.

    (((((((((((((((((( YOU ))))))))))))))))))))))

    X

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  11. "My ex-wife also has a mustache. I need to start referring to her as Culo del gatto, too"

    Bwhahahahahaha! Mark, that cracked me the hell up! Yes. "ass of the cat" it's a marvelous saying!

    Duolingo offers such a great variety of languages, I was very impressed! And you can tell from the screenshot I took, French is the second most popular language used on that site. It's cool, because you can either use it on your phone, or on your computer. And you the freedom to learn at your own pace. Honestly, I've been so enjoying this app.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent weekend! I can't believe how fast this week flew. I feel like it was just Monday!?

    X to you and Tara

    LOVED your Spanish closing!!!!

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  12. HA! I had so much fun putting this post together, Debbie!

    " I've long been an advocate of life-long learning, and I firmly believe we build our best lives by keeping active mentally, physically, and spiritually!"

    OMG....I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how you said that because I believe the same thing! And the older we get, the more we have to keep involved and active within life.

    That's AWESOME to hear that Domer uses Duolingo as well and enjoys it. WOW...he's fluent in Spanish?!? Tell him I said, "BRAVO!" After I master Spanish, I may try Italian again to see how I like it. Spanish I find is not that difficult. I find some things challenging, but overall, I'm sailing through the lessons fairly easily.

    "I've seen ads for Rosetta Stone and thought that might be a good way to go. Of course, it's more expansive, which is a drawback."

    I too also thought of looking into Rosetta Stone because other people have recommended it. But I think you have to pay for it, whereas, Duolingo is absolutely FREE!

    "I took FOUR years of Latin and am glad I did. It provides such a nice base for a writer! Still, nobody (not even the Church!) speaks it anymore."

    Yes, you're absolutely right. Latin is the base for SO MANY things. I remember going to church as a kid and hearing the entire mass in LATIN. It wasn't until the late 60's-early 70's that they changed it to English. I kinda preferred it in Latin because it felt special!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend. Have a faaaaaaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X

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  13. "if I'm ever in Italy with a sexy Italian man eating a dish of pasta and have to ask him where the nearest Barnes and Noble is." LOL! Ron, that was so funny! I also laughed at ""Culo del gatto." and your comment about your grandmother. Hysterical!

    Being Spanish, I am so proud of your for deciding to learn the language. You know, I don't speak Spanish a lot so I sometimes have to think about what I want to say before I speak to someone who is Spanish.

    I've used Duolingo to learn French and really enjoyed it. The next language I want to try is Italian because I would like to know the basics before I visit.

    Great post, Ron! I love the way you write! XO

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  14. I seem to remember Secret Agent posting about this app a few years ago. I tried it with Italian, but didn't stick with it for long. I took French for 7 years and am still fluent when reading it, though native speakers through me for a loop with their speed. I follow French Words on Twitter to provide myself with a daily dose.

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  15. You know, I think I do remember her posting something while back about this app, you're right. She also posting something about an exercising/running app too, if I'm not mistaken.

    " I took French for 7 years and am still fluent when reading it, though native speakers through me for a loop with their speed."

    I'm still very impressed that you took French for SEVEN years, that's awesome! Yes isn't that the truth, when speaking someone who is a native it's much harder because they speak so fast.

    I think overall, it's much easier (at least for me) to read a language than speak it. Even just taking this course on Duolingo, I find it easy to read Spanish when I see it in front of me.

    And good for you for French Words on Twitter! At least you keeping up with the language.

    Have a faaaaaabulous weekend, my friend. And thanks a bunch for stopping by!
    X

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  16. Hola Denise!

    HA! I couldn't resist my "sexy Italian man" comment because as you know, I think the look of Italians (men AND women) are soooooooo sexy!!!!

    Yeah, my grandmother was SUCH a culo del gatto! LOL!

    As you know, I had so many Spanish friends living in Florida for all those years, that I have always had an interest in learning the language. Plus, it's pretty much a secondary language here in America, so it's a wise thing to learn. My friend Diana (who is also Spanish) said the same thing about having to think about speaking it because she doesn't speak a lot of Spanish, unless she spends time with her relatives. Also, her husband is Mexican, so he speaks Spanish as well.

    Me too! The next language I want to learn is Italian. I love the SOUND of Italian. Also the sound of French. Such sexy-sounding languages.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a fantabulous weekend!

    X

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  17. Ron, both my husband and I laughed our asses off when we read "Culo del gatto." and you grandmother LOL! It's nice to know that someone else grew up with a grandmother then didn't like. I did too! But it was my mothers' mother. She was a beast!

    I am so happy to hear about your leaning Spanish! You go, Ron! I used that same app to learn Italian before my hubby and I went to Italy, just to familiarize myself in the basics of the language. I should have started studying in sooner because I really didn't have to enough time. But what's really great about cell phones is that they have a translation app that you can download, which came in very handy. Fortunately, a lot of the Italians we interacted with know English, so we didn't have a hard time.

    How are you enjoying this god awful heat and humidity? I can't wait for FALL and some cooler weather.
    xo

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  18. Hey there Elaine!

    My mother's mother was a doll. She was so sweet and gentle. So was her father. Big Italian man, with a sweet, soft heart. In fact, my whole mothers' side of the family was so wonderful. It was my father's side that were the BEAST! LOL!

    Yes, after I master Spanish, Italian will be my next language. Isn't it something about that app you can download on your phone? I've had so many customers who were foreigners that used that app to ask me for products they were looking for. SO COOL!

    OH. MY GOD!!!!!! Hasn't these past couple of days been the worst? And I saw on the news that this WHOLE week is going to be in the 90's!!!! I am sooooooooo looking forward to Autumn! I am SO SICK of sweating!

    Stay cool, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  19. Rob LenihanAugust 19, 2019

    "Which is great if I'm ever in Italy with a sexy Italian man eating a dish of pasta and have to ask him where the nearest Barnes and Noble is."

    I love it!

    Ron, this is so cool. I've been threatening to take Spanish lessons for years now, so this app could justo lo que hacia falta!

    I took two years of Italian in college and I can't order spaghetti and meatballs without checking an Italian phrase book!

    I have so many Spanish-speaking friends, acquaintances, and colleagues and I would just love to be able to speak with them in their own language.

    I've also heard that learning a new language is a good way to fight off dementia, and I suspect that a lot of the workers at my nursing home will be Spanish-speakers so I better start learning now! (disculpe, necesito una cuña!)

    Great post, buddy, and best of luck with this! Keep working hard and in no time at all you'll be able to say "Ass of the cat" in Spanish, too!

    Ole!

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  20. This looks like an awesome app! As much as we love to travel to Mexico, I think I'll look into this as soon as possible. I had toyed with the idea of buying some Rosetta Stone CDs, but they were crazy expensive. I know two useful phrases: dónde está el baño AND hablo muy poco español! But I do speak fluent Italian: vino per favore!! :-) All the best and hope you make it to Mexico for some serious practice.

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  21. HA! Rob, I couldn't resist because from knowing me all these years, you know how much I LOVE Italian men. Woot! Woot!

    "justo lo que hacia falta!

    Very good! And you're right, it's an ideal way to learn a language because you can take it at your own pace; studying at your own convenience.

    Same here, I have SO MANY Spanish friends that it would be great to be able to speak to them in their native tongue. Plus, Spanish is spoken so much in this country that it's getting to a point where you almost have to learn it. Especially for someone like me who works with public in retail, I'm constantly mingling with foreigners.

    I love to learn new things, because as you shared, it keeps the mind sharp and alert.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a most excellent week!

    X

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  22. Oh Lisa, it is! And I have been SO enjoying it.

    ". I had toyed with the idea of buying some Rosetta Stone CDs, but they were crazy expensive."

    OMG...yes! I priced them in Barnes and Noble several years ago and thought, "NO WAY! Too expensive!!"

    One of the best benefits of Duolingo is that it's FREE. Yahoo!

    "vino per favore" HA! That's AWESOME! And perfect for someone like me, who LOVES wine!

    And I also loved your two Spanish phrases as well because they would come in very handy!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you're having a fabulous week and avoiding this horrible heat and humidity. Gosh, I can't wait for Autumn!

    X

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  23. Umm.....temps at 100F and heat index is 104F. I'm staying inside! :-)

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  24. Lisa, I don't blame you because I've been doing the same thing. I've been getting up early and running errands before noon, but then hibernating the rest of the day. At night (after the sun starts going down), I will often take a nice long walk, just to get outdoors for some exercise. So looking forward to wearing a light jacket and NOT sweating. :)

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  25. "She also had a scary-ass moustache." Hahahaha!

    I love Duolingo. I learned some Irish (although I supplemented with another program) and Italian with it, before trips. But Spanish is the one I made it the farthest in - I got all the way through to the end! It's really a fun program.

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  26. HA! And not only did she have a scary-ass moustache, but she also smelled of Estee Lauder's "Youth Dew" perfume which was HORRENDOUS! It's smells like embalming fluid!

    WOW, I'm not all surprised but VERY impressed by how many different languages you learned using Duolingo. That's AWESOME!

    You're right, it's really a fun program. I am sooooooooo enjoying it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my Libra friend. Hope your weekend has been faaaaabulous!

    X

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