Duolingo is where you can learn Spanish, French or German. I have picked French because of my innate fanciness, but with a click of a button I could also start studying the other two languages on the same account. There are lots (LOTS) of online exercises to work through and real world examples to translate – in fact the ultimate goal of the site is to ~*~TRANSLATE THE INTERNET~*~. Promise I’m not suddenly a paid blogger, this is just where I’m spending all my free time at the moment because learning a new language is one of my most favourite things.
Painlessly soaking a language into your head = best way to waste time. I’m finding it quite easy because of my Latin, but it’s also interesting seeing how sloppy French is in comparison with my favourite dead language. In a languages-get-lazier-over-time sort of way, that is.
That said, Duolingo isn’t a thorough way of learning French because it’s obviously more technical than Duolingo pretends it is. I often get sentences with a couple of floating letters and no idea why they’re there. Nothing’s ever explained, although you can throw a question into the wilderness and hope other users come to your rescue. Get help from other people who don’t know French? What a brilliant idea! No, mostly you must blunder along until you learn French’s rhythm. As much as I detest memorising tables conjugating verbs and stuffz for Latin, I know that I need that structure here. If only they had references to flick to whenever I wanted (WHAT DO YOU MEAN I COULD GOOGLE IT).
Plus the site looks suspiciously similar to Twitter.
Review over, I’ve gotten competitive. You can rate how well others have translated sentences and this thrills me. “NO YOUR TRANSLATION SUCKS. YOU GET A SAD FACE.” or “UGHHH THE WORD IS CLEARLY A PLURAL. PHILISTINE.” or “WELL DONE YOUR SENTENCE IS THE SAME AS MINE THEREFORE IT IS CORRECT” or even occasionally “WOWOW THAT SENTENCE IS ACTUALLY PURE GOLD“. In those situations, I may or may not use their sentence as “inspiration” in a sly act of Duolingo Translating Dishonesty.
There’s also a page that gives the top 5 users that have translated the most sentences in the last 24 hours. I’ve spent the last few hours thinking nothing but “KIMOJIMA. YOU’RE GOING DOWN“, until…
BAM. I’M #1. GOLD MEDAL FOR BECCA. TODAY I AM THE BEST AT EVERYTHING YES. I CAN TRANSLATE A LANGUAGE I DON’T EVEN KNOW BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. Okay so translating sentences doesn’t necessarily mean good translations BUT WHATEVER I’M SO TALENTED AT EVERYTHING.
Now I just have to maintain my position as Lord of French in the realm of Duolingo! RAHH.