Spanish for Indian

Super Duolingo - worth paying to learn Spanish?

Cover Image for Super Duolingo - worth paying to learn Spanish?
Harsh Vardhan
Harsh Vardhan

The need to grow my Spanish skills

I have been an avid Spanish learner. I have been religiously opting for Duolingo lessons. But I eventually felt the need to challenge myself further. No more just reading, writing, and speaking sentences in Spanish but something much more challenging.

Time to listen to Spanish podcasts

I started the next level, trying to understand actual Spanish conversations. Podcasts felt like the correct medium to experience that. My friends recommended watching the Narcos web series, but I felt learning Spanish from gangster culture was probably not the right move.

Duolingo Spanish podcast

I finally found the Duolingo Spanish podcast, the best source to listen to real-world Spanish. It's a combination of an English-speaking voice, who narrates stories from Latin American countries, and an actual Spanish speaker talking about the story in first person.

Failing the challenge

I initially thought that this challenge of learning Spanish from an actual conversation would be the best way. Especially since the podcast is from the same company Duolingo, from whom I have been learning the basics.

I couldn't be more wrong. Despite the slow pace of Spanish speaking in the podcast with the English narration, I couldn't understand much. Just to be clear, I didn't give up immediately. I listened to the podcast for hours. While driving, while resting, and even while pooping (excuse my language), but made no improvements.

Time to take a step back

I experienced a humbling learning moment and realized the need for a stepping stone to the podcast. I need relatively small and less complex sentences to listen to.

Duolingo Listen

Duolingo Listen - the learning step before the podcast

Duolingo Listen is that savior that has allowed me to keep my learning journey progressing on the listening aspect. This feature is a part of Super Duolingo, the paid tier of Duolingo.

Duolingo Listen

The sentences from the Duolingo listening section are more understandable. The voices accompany jumbled words. I prefer to listen to the voice without looking at the screen.

Understanding and acknowledging the uniqueness of each aspect of learning a language

Till now, I've been through the process of simply learning the language like a student. It was about writing, reading, and speaking. But listening to real-world conversations made me acknowledge the complexity of learning a language if you plan to use it in the real world.