Monday, December 14, 2015

You Need This Language App

My to-do list this week is an odd collection of “Replace watch battery”, “Get emissions test”, and “Finish packing for Europe”. And among all of those errands and final things, I decided that this would be a great week to start learning a new language or two*.

One of my friends introduced me to DuoLingo last week. She’s using it to keep up with her Spanish and to learn a little bit of Italian. Since my French has felt rusty lately, I downloaded the *free* app and started messing around. People. You need this

Initial reactions:
Ooh, this is fun! And fancy!
Wait…how do you do accents on this thing? Hey! No! Not that accent!
Phone: You’ve earned a lingot. Me: YAAAAAASSSSSSS
Oh, man…you can COMPETE with people!

The learning sequence is a mix of translation, listening, and speaking. For example, in my French course I write sentences in French and in English, translate phrases I hear, and speak phrases into my phone mic. There’s also a part where you match pairs, such as “mange” to “eating” and “femme” to “woman”. It’s great practice to be able to spot those pairs without trouble.

Look at all the languages they have!

In the German course I just started, the first lesson was really basic – just listening to a few vocab words and creating a very simple sentence or two. I’m excited for my next lesson (which I interrupted to write this blog, because I’m SO EXCITED to learn a language again!).

If you haven’t tried DuoLingo already, you should! It’s free, and learning a new language makes you feel like you’re winning a game. AND you tell it what language goals you want to reach, and if you don’t work on your lessons before the mid-afternoon, it reminds you to get your butt moving. Pretty awesome.

Michelle will be (hopefully) travel blogging over at, so if you’d like to know where she and her sisters are over the next few weeks, check it out!

*Note: No, this really isn’t a “great” week to learn a language, but gosh dangit, I’m going to be in Germany for 2 days and last week I knew absolutely no German! And yes, this does mean I’m going to add an Italian course later this week. BOOYAH.

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