After yesterday’s fiddling with the computer, it turns out that it was in fact, my own fault for the disappearing like button and nothing to do with WP. As far as silver linings go though, my technological ineptness was a good thing, as it meant I found myself mooching all over the internet in an effort to better myself and add interesting things to my CV. By that process, I came across the language site Duolingo.
Of course the word free was the big seller and taking a minute to sign up, I found a community of people that encourage learning whilst helping each other to understand those (at first) incomprehensible rules of new languages. There are a number of courses from the obvious staples of Spanish, German etc, to others which will provide a new and interesting challenge such including Swedish, Hungarian and Danish.
Being a realist, I don’t expect to learn a language solely with this site, it gives out the basics to intermediate level which according to the Common European framework of Reference and Language means that I will eventually:
…understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
Duolingo also had no ads, how does it make its money you ask? We, the language users can test our new found skills by translating stuff that companies pay Duolingo to translate, this crowd sourcing model is a decent trade off as it allows for the user to challenge themsleves with something substantial. Looking at it critically and reading the forums, there does seem to be a fairly small base of words in each language and as ever there is some contention to the use of language, but that happens in everyday life so can be excused. It’s simple and is a good basis for starting with and learning simple communication functions which will no doubt get more complex I progress.
It is a fun introduction to different way of speaking and thinking with which I hope to eventually be able to converse fluently with some of you in your native languages, especially the Americans. I’ve started with French as I did that at school and Spanish because I can but will have a working knowledge of all the languages as time goes on.
If any of you guys fancy joining me, then sign up and search for me under either my email or StetotheJ and we can learn how to say my big toe is made of cheese in multiple languages together.