So let’s talk about your new favorite website and app, Duolingo.
I haven’t seen anyone on my dash talking about this and that’s a fucking crying shame because Duolingo is the shit. You can use Duolingo to learn Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese. Even Dutch, if you’re feeling frisky and want to play with a Beta test (Dutch is not available on Android, but def. grabbable online for all of your language expanding pleasures).
What makes Duolingo so damn special? They make learning a new language into something they call gamefication. You earn points and you kick your friends’ asses with your mad linguistic skills.(Hell yes I’m at the top of my personal leaderboard)
No sass about my idioms being weak. Deutsche sprache, schwere sprache.
And it works. Like, really really works.
But what makes Duolingo so amazing is that its goal from the very beginning was to be a free and easily accessible ESL tool in order to make people more employable world wide. Even their English certification test (normally only $20!) is free right now!
And there are no ads.
The program is supported through the crowd-sourced translations the users do as part of the “immersion” training. You get practice, the Duolingo community talks about it and makes corrections and meshes the good work from different people together, and the final product becomes a translation Duolingo sells to keep the lights on. So to speak.
Will you sound like a native? Probably not. Will you be able to hold your own in a gramatically imperfect and probably clunky way in a normal conversation? Hey, it’s a damn sight better than where I’m at now, so I’m in. And so should you.
It’s super easy to find a way to use it. You can get it from the Apple Store and you can get it from Google Play. You can log in to the website and learn and find extras that aren’t on the app. You can… probably not use it via smoke signals, but I won’t stand in your way if you want to try, bro.
Go forth and be awesome in many tongues, my friends.