As is typical for Chatterbug students, Yosselin is a globetrotter as well as a language enthusiast. Born in Guatemala, she moved to the United States when she was nine years old and grew up speaking both Spanish and English. In 2018, she moved to Berlin to pursue a Master of Science in International Health and shortly after, began learning German and later French because #multitasking! And speaking of multitasking, Yosselin also paints, reads, hikes, dances, and will easily take you on at a mixed martial arts combat. Be warned!
You started learning German on Chatterbug and recently switched to French. Why these two languages?
I started with German because I had recently moved to Berlin and I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn the language. However, a few months after, I switched to French because I would be starting an internship that required for me to speak French. I did not know French at the time, and I was fortunate enough that French was launched right around the time I discovered I would need to learn the language. After 2 month of learning French through Chatterbug, I moved to Guinea to start my internship with an A2 knowledge of the language. Fast forward to an additional 3 months later, and I am almost at a B1 level. Today, I am successfully able to do my internship and everyday activities in French. I would not have been able to learn the language this quickly without Chatterbug, so I am very happy.
How long have you been using Chatterbug and what was your level in both languages when you joined?
I started Chatterbug towards the end of April 2019. Prior to Chatterbug, I had no experience or knowledge of either French or German.
What was your proudest German-speaking moment to date?
Ordering my meals in German. It seems like such a simple task, but once you can do it all in German it is pretty exciting.
And have you had a chance to speak French outside of Chatterbug yet?
Prior to moving to Guinea, I had been to two different meet-up events for individuals looking to practice their French. Both were interesting experiences because most people at the meetups learned French from school, self-study, or from living in a French-speaking country. I was the only who had learned French through Chatterbug. I will say that the first time I went, I was incredibly nervous. However, after about 5 minutes, I quickly became confident in my knowledge of the language.
After moving to Guinea, I began to speak, read and write in French daily. Moving to a francophone country for the first time was intimidating. However, I had already been practicing speaking through the live lessons, so I quickly thrived in the new environment.
Today, I give a lot of credit to the live lessons from Chatterbug for my confidence in speaking in French.
We think making mistakes is a great way to learn, so have you made any funny or memorable mistakes since you began studying with us?
Ohhh I have had plenty of memorable mistakes but that’s part of the process. Sometimes, the mistakes are what I have learned the most from. Some of my most memorable are from the live lessons. For example, sometimes I will get asked a question and I will misunderstand and answer something silly. When I first started, I misunderstood a question as “what is life?” instead of “what do I did for a living.” I thought, “wow, Chatterbug is getting very philosophical” so I started trying to describe the meaning of life. Hahah. Of course, that was not the question. My tutor and I both laughed for about a minute.
What's your favorite part about the platform?
I will cheat a bit on this question and say three things. I love the ability to practice speaking the language through online live lessons. I strongly believe that to learn a new language, one must practice speaking it with other people. The second is the community. I have had a chance to meet some of the Chatterbug team and they are all so friendly. It’s very easy to communicate if there are ever any problems and the ChatterNacht events are awesome! Lastly, I love the flexibility and accessibility that the platform allows. I am able to manage my schedule according to my availability and can enjoy learning a new language in the comfort of my home.
Is there anything you’d change?
Hmmm…I’m very happy with the platform thus far. However, I do hope that Chatterbug continues to expand the languages that they offer. I’ve had such a great experience learning French and German with Chatterbug, that I’d like to learn more languages through the platform.
About your experience with tutors, is it difficult to start speaking with someone you just met online?
Not really, to be honest. Most tutors are very friendly and helpful. I think it’s probably easier than speaking to someone face to face though.
And finally, would you recommend Chatterbug to a friend?
Absolutely! I recommend it to my friends and family all the time. It’s worth the try and if you are really interested in learning a language, Chatterbug is the place to start. I’ve met people who have studied a language in school or classes for months or years and, not to brag, but my level of that same language is better than that of someone who has been studying for a longer period.