Did you learn another language while at school? Did you retain it? Or did you – like us- forget only to wish you could remember it all. Over a year ago we both downloaded the app Duolingo and now our language journey is well on its way see what we thought below.
Have you been on holiday and tried to speak to a waiter only to forget everything you repeated day in, day out in classes at the age of 12.
Have you tried to learn another language since leaving school?
Ash tried to learn Norwegian through Linguaphone a number of years back. But the books were written in the 1950′ and the phrases were things like:
‘Good day, good sir, How is your charming lady wife? She is mighty fine on the eye’.
I kid you not. I had Norwegian friends who laughed so hard at the books and the lessons that it was clear they were something out of the archives. They taught me pieces and so my Norwegian is like Jan Mulby’s English a mix of accents some proper, some northern, some heavily accented southern.
Bob started to re-learn Spanish and Japanese, I have always been able to understand Spanish but not speak it as fluently as I would have desired, after going on holiday to Spain and being able to understand but not to talk it pushed me to get my act together. I was so happy after only a couple of weeks I had flown through the level 1’s and found I remembered more than I ever thought I had. I am still thoroughly enjoying it and hope that soon I will be fluent! Though my English seems to be deteriorating, I find myself writing in spanish or talking in broken English. Japanese I can hear and understand somewhat but want to push myself to again be fluent, I find the language beautiful and I struggled to teach myself independently but with this app I am finally getting better.
We downloaded Duolingo the language learning app. so many people have said it is good and as it is free to download it couldn’t hurt to try. Bob sailed away on a sea of Español while Ash still struggled to come to terms with remembering anything after the lesson.
After Bob finding that the languages were getting easier to understand and faster to pick up on, we both decided to try something new, so Bob started on Korean, Navajo and Hawaiian.
Ash after struggling with Norwegian, moved on to Italian.
Both of us had some history with our chosen languages and so figured they were good places to start. Again it seems Bob has an ear and a tongue for languages and Ash, well Ash struggles in any language. The first lessons went swimmingly, old phrases learned as a kid came back easy, then it all stopped and now I am struggling to remember just as I did with the Norwegian.
Bob however is now up to learning any language she can, currently swapping between, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Hawaiian and Navajo. I am loving soaking it all up and though as a kid I found languages hard, it seems now it is much easier and I can’t wait to try some of what I have learnt out in person.
Ash has been tempted with Klingon, just because it’s there, but as I don’t think i’ll be going to Klingon on holiday this year, I figured I’d hold off for now.
So now that you have an idea of what we wanted to get out of this app and our levels we should probably tell you the reasons why you should try it out.
Duolingo is a free to use, cross platform app and website it has over 36 different languages to choice from, including some fictional languages thrown in.
You pick a language, do a placement test and begin.
You start obviously at level 1 and progress all the way to level 5 per skill but there is 25 levels in total (5×5) and as you learn you unlock more skills and in some languages bonuses.
You start the day with full energy which if you get an answer wrong your life drops until ultimately you cannot complete the lesson. For every section you complete you earn diamonds/gems/lingots etc If you complete a lesson everyday you get awarded a chest which opens to reveal more diamonds ect (any amount) which you can use to unlock more levels, bonus levels or just replenish your life if you lose out.
The lessons themselves range in difficulty from putting picture to the word, writing a sentence by hand, dragging tiles to create a sentence, verbally reading a sentence or repeating a sentence, listening and then writing what you hear, you get the point.
It’s one of the more enjoyable language tools out there as it’s more like a game than just comprehension and it makes learning fun!
Have you used Duolingo? Do you want to now that we recommended it? Well download Duolingo Here.
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