My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

Duolingo

Are you bilingual? Multilingual? I can speak enough French to ask directions and order food but that’s about it. I used to be quite fluent in high school so I’d like to hone my French skills again. A colleague recommended I try an app called Duolingo. It’s a free app that allows users to learn or practice a language. I’ve been using it over the summer to brush up on my French. The app lets users set a daily goal, (I set mine for 5 minutes per day,) and then users open the app once a day and do the required amount of practice. I’ve included some screenshots below of my own practice:

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I recently completed 50 days in a row of French practice. I think Duolingo is helping me regain my confidence speaking French. On a recent trip to Ottawa I was able to speak French to service staff and hotel staff. They did understand me, even if it took me a bit longer to say it and they were very patient. Ottawa is a bilingual city and most people working in customer service are considerate of folks like me who want to practice their French.

I’d be interested to see how well the app works when the user is trying to learn a brand new language. For example, would I do well trying to learn German with no prior knowledge of it? If anyone decided to use this app for a new second language, send me a comment on what you think of the app. I’ve included screenshots of the available language training programs in the app for inspiration.

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