Have you ever wanted to learn a second language but couldn't find time to go back to school? Or do you have a child who is learning to speak a new language in school, and want to help them? I present to you Duolingo. The fun and easy way to learn a new language.
This program is free, and you can get it on iPhone or Android, and you can even use it on PC (you need a microphone, and speakers or headphones.) A girlfriend introduced this app to me, after her brother started taking Spanish in college. His professor told him about it.
When you start, you get to choose what language you want to learn. You can select from a wide range of languages such as Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Turkish, Esperanto, Norwegian Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Welsh, Hebrew,Vietnamese, and Hungarian.
After selecting the language that you want to learn, you are then able to select your daily goal, set a reminder timer, and connect to Facebook. When you've connected to Facebook, you can find or invite your friends, so you can encourage each other. You also have the option to share to Linkedin. Doing so adds a new section to your profile for languages spoken, and education.
As you complete each section, you gain XP (experience points) that help you track your progress. Once you've reached your daily goals, you can stop. or continue on. In my first day of using it, I had my XP set to 20 a day. I went well past that gaining 200xp my first day, because its so fun and engaging.
You also earn Lingots. Lingots are in app "money" that you can use to buy level enhancers, avatar items, and bonus modules.
If you are an iOS user then you have other apps available to you that Android users don't. You get access to Duolingo Duel, where you can challenge others in the language you are learning. And TinyCards, which is a flash card based app. So you can brush up/learn using flash cards. Now there is a TinyCards like app for Android but it isnt by duoLingo, its called Memrise. I have it installed but have yet to use it.
I am currently learning Spanish. For me it is a bit difficult, because I already know 'street' Spanish. So having to reteach myself is hard. The difference between street Spanish and the Spanish you learn here is, it is the proper way of speaking Spain Spanish.
Above and to the left you see a screen shot of the Spanish Skills. Each module is comprised of 4 sections, in which you learn a varying degree of the language. One thing that I found, is that sometimes when starting a new section, they will throw words at you that you haven't learned yet. Now on PC you can hover your mouse over the new word, and it gives you its meaning. I am pretty sure you can do the same thing within the app.
With the ease and fun of the app, and your daily XP requirements, you can quickly learn a new language. So far I am 6% fluent in Spanish, and I have only been using the app for 2 days at the time of writing this. So if a 35 year old guy with dyslexia can do it and remember (and spell the words) anyone should be able to.
Get it for yourself
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