When I was in college I had to take 4 levels of a language course to earn my degree. I chose ASL (American Sign Language). Although I did pass all the levels, I still don’t feel the language has truly stuck. Why is this important to me? Well, considering my degree is in communication studies, I like being able to communicate with others. If we speak different languages that can become a bit of a buffer.
I love and respect different cultures and find it fascinating that certain gestures mean different things in different countries. How one language can sound harsh and brash, while another can float in the air like a song.
I hope to continue learning various languages as it will also come in handy business wise for event planning or really any job I hold. However, with my busy schedule, who has time for classes?
Well about a year ago a friend introduced me to an app called Duolingo. It was free and you could learn the basics of 20 languages such as:
Spanish, French, Italian, Irish, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Turkish, Norwegian, Russian, Vietnamese, Romanian, Polish, Hebrew, and…Klingon! … wait…what?
Yep, it’s true you can even learn Alien! I hope their next fun language will be Elvish for all my fellow LOTR fans.
Still, how would I have time to study all of these? That’s the best part! The app works like a game I can open and play with whenever I have a free minute and it’s addicting! You choose a language to start with and the different games include writing English-the other language, the other language-English, match the word with the picture, and write the phrase you hear.
It will let you know if you made a mistake and bring that same question around again later, so you get another crack at it! You earn points when you get things right, which help you advance to the next level.
I am really enjoying the app and now I have also added duolingo.com to Google Chrome, on my laptop, so I can play it on there! I’m hoping I can learn these languages and continue learning about the cultures from which they come from as well. Do any of you have a particular language you want to learn? Why? Share in the comments below!