Or, in French, “J’aime Apprendre Le Français Avec Duo Lingo!”
In high school, I took Spanish, and it was what you would expect. Basic nouns, beginner verbs, and simple conjugation. I can speak a few important sentences (Toca la guitara!) and understand the jest of certain common place situations (Donde esta el bano?). For that, I guess I am grateful.
However, when I was in high school what I really wanted to take was French. Everyone told me taking French was “not practical.” Fast forward through most of my adult life where I have never had one situation where knowing French would have come in handy and encountered multiple situations where knowing a tiny bit of Spanish did come in handy, and you know what? I still want to learn how to speak French.
The heart wants what the heart wants.
A couple of years ago I bought a book and tried to teach myself. The thing with languages is…they are designed to be spoken, and with French in particular (which is not a particularly phonetic language), hearing the language matters in the learning process. The workbook approach did not last long.
Enter Duo Lingo.
Duo Lingo is a language-learning app, and hands down, it is my favorite way thus far to learn a second language. With Duo Lingo, you get to hear, see, and speak as you learn. You can use the app on your phone or access the lessons on your computer. The platform is incredibly intuitive, broken down into small, achievable chunks, and you can learn at your own pace. Plus, there are little incintives and competitions (with yourself and others in the DuoLIngo community) that keep it interesting. I am hooked.
I engage in DuoLingo every day, and at the time of this post, I have a 131 day streak which I am quite proud of.
I am no where near fluent in French, but I do know how to say certain sentences, and am growing in my understanding of how the language works.
The craziest part is I can tell my brain is absorbing the information on a subconscious level. There will be certain lessons where I know the answer, but I’m not sure how I know the answer…it’s like my fingers start typing, and I am watching someone else’s hands. I know that sounds bizarre, but I am convinced this platform has cracked the code on how to really get a language to sink in through every sensory experience. Plus, the little owl is cute.
He always gives little encouragments. “I can tell you’re hard work is paying off!” Or, after getting several wrong in a row, “Don’t give up! Mistakes are how we learn.” Thanks, little buddy.
The basic DuoLingo platform is free, but there is also a paid platform that is ad-free. They also have a Duo Lingo podcast, which is fun if you want a challenge. I can only understand about one percent of the podcast, but it’s another layer of learning.
In the mean time, I will keep chipping away at my French, little by little, learning the language I always wanted to learn in a way that feels fun and attainable. Merci beaucoup, Duo Lingo!