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Language Frustrations, Multilingual Things

The 7 Stages of Learning A Language On Duolingo

Duolingo has become a synonym for learning a new language, and for a good reason. It’s fun, it’s free and their mascot is a bird that you can dress. However, every single time I start learning a new language on Duolingo I kind of go through the same 7 stages.

1. Excitement

“This is so easy and fun, and if I just do this 5 minutes a day I will be fluent in like 4 weeks”

golden globes it's so much fun GIF by Entertainment Tonight

2. Feeling of Accomplishment

Because don’t you low-key feel like a superhero when you are learning a new language?

3. Sadness

When you miss one day of your ongoing streak

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4. Confusion

Because none of the sentences you are learning make any sense.
My brain tells me it says “I am the cheese”, but the other part of my brain tells me that’s not a real sentence in any language.

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5. Disappointment

You meet a native and realize they don’t say things like “I’m washing the holy potato”

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6. More confusion

When you hit 100% fluency but you are still not fluent

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7. Acceptance

That Duolingo is just the start of your language learning journey

accept tv land GIF by Throwing Shade


All jokes aside, we love you Duolingo and we thank you for offering us free, playful tools to learn a new language <3 

What stages are still missing according to you?

Multilingual Things

12 Things That Happen When Learning A New Language

Learning a new language is basically a rollercoaster of emotions, discoveries and frustrations. No matter what language you have chosen upon, certain things are just bound to happen.

How many of these things do you recognize?

1. You get super excited when you see your target language somewhere

2. And you try to eavesdrop the conversation

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3. Sometimes you understand the words, but not what they are actually saying

4. And sometimes you understand what they are saying
without understanding the words

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5. You get low-key jealous when you see someone else who already speaks the language fluently

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6. You hate it when you try to speak the language and people reply in English

7. You do a kind of okay job when talking to someone one-on-one

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8. But as soon as you are in a group conversation between natives you are lost

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9. But at least you can impress your monolingual friends
with your newly acquired skills

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10. And you feel like a superhero when your limited skills
are finally needed somewhere

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11. You feel even better when you start dreaming in your target language

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12. And through all the ups and downs, you realize learning a language
is a never-ending battle

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Multilingual Things

English As a Second Language: Who In Europe Speaks it Best?


This article was originally shared on

English as a second language is becoming more and more competitive. Due to the weight the language carries in the modern, professional world, speaking English is fast becoming less of a benefit and more of an essential, or even basic, requirement when looking for a job in Europe.

Approximately 2 billion people study English worldwide and some countries find it easier than others to pick it up. Throughout the emerging generations of many nationalities, proficiency is almost ubiquitous as people are becoming more and more serious about language learning. For example, companies like ESL offer language courses abroad, giving people the opportunity to properly immerse themselves in a new culture.

Based on the percentage of English proficiency in the adult population, here’s the list!


10)  Belgium

The Belgian people have increased their overall English level since the 2015 figures and their hard work has bumped them up into the top 10 countries who speak English as a second language best! Welcome to the list Belgium.

9)  Poland           

With more and more Poles moving and working abroad their need to learn English has increased too. However, Polish as a language is on the rise in the UK, as Brits fall in love with Polish expats and look to learn their language.

8)  Germany    

 The Germans, with their industrial efficiency, have always had a firm grip of the English language. The modern language of the business world is English and, as German businesses are dominating the European market, the pressure on professionals to speak English to a proficient level is higher than ever.

7)  Austria       

Just beating its geographical and linguistic neighbours to the number 7 spot, is Austria. Sharing its borders with a whopping eight countries, it’s little wonder that the people of Austria have an aptitude for languages.

6)  Luxembourg            

For the very same reasons as Austria, it is hardly a shock to see this tiny landlocked country so high on the list. With heavy influences from both East and West, the country has three official languagesFrenchGerman and Luxembourgish – and on top of that, well over half of the adult population having a proficient level of English!


5)  Finland          

We start to head more to the north of Europe as we near the top of the list. Finland has a population of just under 5.5 million people, and almost 70% of its adult population speak high-level English.

4)  Norway                         

Norway is far from a surprise entry in at number four. The Norse languages also have had a huge influence on the English language after the occupation of the Vikings over a thousand years ago.

3)  Sweden        

Sweden has been knocked off the top spot and slip into third place since the 2015 stats. However, their reputation for about as near-native English as you can get, remains strong and I´m sure they’ll be back with a vengeance.     

2)  Denmark      

As approach the grand finale, the countries are becoming less and less surprising. Denmark, yet another Scandinavian country, comes in a number two. The language of the Danes is also growing in demand in Europe, but who could possibly have beaten them to the top spot in terms of English proficiency?!

1)  Netherlands              

Congratulations to the Dutch, not only on their ability to invent hilarious surnames, but also on their ability to speak the English language. Their linguistically gifted population has knocked the Swedes off the number one position…for now.

This list refers to Europe, however if it included all the countries in the world (obviously where English is not a native language) it would be almost identical but countries six to ten would each slip one place lower, as Singapore would slot in at number six.

It is unsurprising to see the top four dominated by Nordic countries – and the Netherlands. They have an increasing knack for topping lists, having very high living standardspopulation satisfaction as well as cost of livingGermany may have been Europe’s most popular country but they are maybe lower than you would have expected considering their mechanical proficiency in most things.  

Also – and I believe this to be key – in the Nordic countries they do not dub the television into their own languages. Whereas, in FranceSpain and even Germany, they translate the television into the country language, despite the majority of TV shows being American or English.

There is also a noticeable lack of southern European countries, with Austria being the southernmost point of the list.  But, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Dutch reign supreme over the non-native English speaking world. In fact, I regularly meet Dutch and Scandinavian people and assume that they, like me, are English; that’s how flawless their accents are.

Inspired to improve your English or master a new language? There are several free apps such as Duolingo, as well as YouTube channels where you can receive free lessons. With today’s resources you’ve got no excuse for being monolingual!  




Multilingual Things

15 Struggles Multilingual People Will Understand

1. People always ask you to “Say something” in another language

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2. Words are always on the tip of your tongue

3. .. or you only know a word in another language

4. You change personality multiple times a da

Yes, it has been proven that speaking different languages may actually enable you to have different personalities.

5. You accidentally speak to people in the wrong language

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6. Sometimes you get confused so much you feel like you don’t speak any language

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7. You always come up with great jokes in other languages but can’t use them

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8. People from your own country will think you are foreign because they hear you speaking in another language

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9. You are always looking for a new language to learn

10. When you hear someone speaking a language you know you immediately freak out and stalk them for a little bit to know what the situation is, and then possibly approach them

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11. You notice the mistakes made in the subtitles

12. You never know in what language to put the subtitles

13. You know people who speak only a little, but still claim they are fluent

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14. When you tell people you speak another language someone will always say
“Oh yeah, but it´s easy for you because you are good at languages”

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15. You realize that there is no finish line to learning a language