The Free Language Learning App That Gives Rosetta Stone A Run For Its Money

Your solution to learn or re-learn that second language … by Nick WestScreen Shot 2014-03-18 at 9.45.23 PM

When we’re younger, it’s harder to understand why our parents force us to take piano lessons, try sports we absolute hate (I’ll still never live down the first time I got pegged with a baseball…mostly because I quit the next day), and relevant to this post, insist that we stick with learning a second language.

Our 25th year on Earth comes around, and we begin to regret not being able to drunkenly play “Deck the Halls” on Uncle Mike’s brand new Yamaha piano…because, well, sometimes being the center of attention is awesome.

That, however, is completely irrelevant.  What isn’t irrelevant is the new(ish) language app that got me caught up on French 7+ years after giving it up senior year of high school (I had taken it since 5th grade, tested out in college, and forgot it forever…)  The last few years; however, I’ve wanted to get back into the love language, but the ridiculous (for my wallet) price tag on Rosetta Stone was never a realistic purchase.

Now, I’m a few weeks into using the Duolingo app (available on iPhones & Android), and I’ve gotten refreshed on my basic present tense verb conjugations, pronouns, words that would get me by in a restaurant, past tense verbs and most of the language nuances that would generally aid my survival in a cafe while looking to order a couple-a-baguettes and un verre d’eau (drink of water (I gave up alcohol for lent, you see))…

Here’s how it works after you download the app:

You choose your language…

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You choose how hardcore you want to get about it… (It’s based on # of minutes per day (5, 10, 15, 20)
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…Your ‘coach/green owl’ then guides you and holds you accountable based on the expectations you set for yourself (I.e., it e-mails you if you’re off track)
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…Then, you begin your first exercises which consists of a variety of different learning techniques, like:

Translating sentences in a variety of different ways:
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Learning words in a very elementary manner (baby steps, my friends):
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And most effectively, speaking in the language, using your phone microphone…(This is great for practicing your non-native tongue):
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…Overall, I absolutely love the app — If you stay consistent on it, supplement in some foreign language cinema and literature, and find a friend to parler francais, (hablos espagnol, parla italiano, etc.) with, then you’ll definitely get to the point where you’ll feel comfortable speaking like a tourist on your next vacation…

Good luck, friends! (Oh, and if you decide to do the app, specifically in French, let me know how it goes!)

If you likes this then check out:

These 10 Mac Apps Will Make Your Computer Do Things You Didn’t Think Possible.


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