I have always wanted to learn another language. Nobody in my family can speak anything other than English. My grandfather spoke Polish, but he never taught his kids and he passed about a month before I was born so I was never able to learn from him. I took Spanish for a couple years in high school and know the basics. I took Polish in college for about a year hoping to be able to connect to my heritage (I am over half Polish). I have not been keeping up with it, mainly because I don't have anyone to talk to to practice with and not really sure where I can go to keep learning on. I know a few words here and there in Polish but everything has pretty much left my brain.
I recently discovered a new app called Duolingo. I was intrigued by this. I downloaded the app to check it out and immediately fell in love. You wouldn't believe how many different languages there are to learn. You can learn everything from the most popular like Spanish, French, Italian Polish, Chinese, etc to some you would probably be surprised to see such as Navajo, Hawaiian, Klingon, Indonesian, and so much more. This will seriously satisfy any of your language dreams.
The hardest part at first was to figure out which language I wanted to learn. My first thought was Spanish because of how prevalent it is spoke here in the US. My next thought was Polish. I already started taking it in college. I remember some of it. That should be good. I started this at first but then kind of lost interest. I felt like my heart just wasn't in it. What did I really want to learn to speak? Yes, that's it! French!
I went to Paris for a weekend on my way home from my internship in Kenya back in grad school and actually turned 25 in this city. It was a beautiful city and I think of it all the time. I yearn to go back and see the beauty. I love everything about the culture, the fashion, the beauty of the city, the beauty of the people and just felt such a connection. This is what I wanted to be connected to. I love the charm and romanticism of it all. So I started learning French.
So what is this app about?
The app gives multiple different topics to practice with. I love that it gives multiple ways to learn. You need to translate into English from seeing the French phrase, you need match the English and French words, you need to type the french phrase or word you hear, you match sounds, and you make a sentence from the words given. I love that there are so many different ways to learn that it satisfies the needs of everyone. You master that topic when you reach the end of level 5. The lessons continue to build on each other so continue to learn what you were taught.
You can pick out your goal for each day. For example, I have a goal of practicing for 15 minutes a day. That's 3 lessons. Once I complete my 3 lessons I earn coins. The coins get added up so you can buy challenges to increase your coins or can buy extra lessons. If you look at my picture above, you can see the lessons on Flirting and Idioms. I bought both those with the coins I had added up. You can have a goal for up to 20 minutes a day or you can have a smaller goal of of 5 minutes, or one lesson a day. Even though my goal is 15 minutes I often way surpass that. Once lessons are completed up to the level 5, you get rewarded with more coins.
So how much does this cost? Well that's the best part. There are two options. The first one is the free option. Yes, that's right. Free! You can learn another language for free!! The catch is that you need to watch videos throughout the lessons. If you make errors your health decreases and in order to increase during your lessons, you need to watch videos. Your health will be at full each new day but it is limited during the lessons.
The other option is to pay which is the Plus options. It is about $10 a month but you get some extra perks. You can avoid having to watch ads. You have unlimited health. You also get an extra quiz you can take to track of your progress. I have Plus option. Not having to watch videos makes learning much quicker. I also like having the extra quiz option to track my progress. They are a challenge as there are words and phrases I have not yet learned but I appreciate the challenge and I feel I am learning as I am taking the quizzes.
I feel like I am really learning alot with this app. I wouldn't say it is BETTER than having an actual teacher or tutor teaching you. One reason is that some of the words or sounds are hard to hear or understand. Another things is that I am not sure if I am saying the words and sounds correctly. There are questions that ask you to speak into the phone the phrase and it will tell you if you are correct but I think a tutor would be better to really help you really pronounce each word correctly. One on one tutors can be expensive but they will really help you learn the language most effectively. I believe this app would be a great option for you. I can't wait to see where I will be in a year. Hopefully I will still be working and learning hard and be successful in having a basic conversation with someone. Au Revoir and stay tuned!!