I hope you all are doing well and staying healthy! Lots of places are opening up and are seeing the other side when it comes to this world-wide pandemic, while other places are still being hit hard. Unfortunately, it looks like the United States is still dealing with the pandemic. I know that I’m still wearing my mask when I’m in public and encourage others to do the same. Before I talk about this week’s subject, I want to quickly talk about what I’ve published this past week. Last Sunday, I published a Weekly Blog talking about Oxenfree. It’s a fantastic video game I enjoyed playing both the first time and the second time. If you haven’t played it, I highly recommend it. If you have played it, please read that Weekly Blog and feel free to talk about it in the comments. On Wednesday, I published a Poem titled “The Music of Summer” which is a simple Poem all about the sights and sounds of summer. It’s been awhile since I published a straightforward poem about nature, so if you Follow me for poems like that, this one is for you. Finally, this past Friday, I published a Writing Prompt Piece titled “Fading Color.” In the future, a man has joined a space ship with a bunch of alien species. This crew becomes concern when the colored dye begins fading from his hair and is sent to see the doctor. If you haven’t read any of those pieces, I encourage you to do so. I really appreciate all the love and support my wonderful readers send my way.
During this pandemic, many people have been stuck inside with not much to do. This boredom has lead to people taking on a variety of different things including playing video games or reading books or learning a new skill. Early in the pandemic it seemed like everyone was baking bread or playing music on their balconies. I did not become a baker or a musician during quarantine, but I did a lot of writing. On top of that, I was actually inspired by a friend of mine to relearn Spanish during quarantine. For context, my friend has been studying Japanese for a few years and is actually really good at writing, reading, speaking, or listening to Japanese. Me on the other hand, suck at learning languages. Seriously, I am terrible! I spent three years in High School taking Spanish classes and two semesters in college taking Spanish and I speak…uh… not a lot of Spanish. Like maybe Dora The Explorer levels of Spanish. But, hey, maybe this time will be different. This time I’m not stuck in a classroom learning Spanish, I’m learning it from an Owl on my phone.
So I decided that I’d spend some time and use my nervous energy to try to relearn some Spanish and for that I turned to Duolingo. Now, this is not sponsored. This is just the app I chose to use. I’m sure every other language learning app are probably pretty similar. Maybe it was all of those Duolingo Owl memes wedged in my subconscious, I don’t know. Anyway, I chose to use Duolingo and have been using it for about a month. I think I’m making pretty good progress only being a month in. I’m not even close to really knowing Spanish, but I feel like I’m reaching second grade levels of comprehension. Simple phrases, greetings, colors, numbers. That sort of thing. Really a lot of what I’ve been learning is stuff I already learned when I was in high school, but in a different way. If you took a second language course in school, you probably learned it through vocabulary and grammar rules.
So far the biggest way Duolingo has been teaching me is by showing vocabulary within a sentence or phrase. You don’t get taught the grammar directly, but through matching English to Spanish (or native langue to second language), you eventually learn when to use particular words and phrases. It’s an unique way to learn a language and I feel that it’s complimentary to what I already know. If I had to learn a new language from scratch using Duolingo, I don’t know how useful it would actually be. I mean it is free (AKA supported by advertisements), so I really can’t complain and overall I think it does a pretty good job of teaching vocabulary to me. Again, I feel like a lot of what I’m doing is digging up old memories of what I’ve been taught before. It’s helpful to use Spanish at least once every day so it is fresh in my mind. It is also important to keep in mind that these apps are what you make of them. I usually spend about twenty to twenty five minutes per day on the app completing three or four Spanish lessons. There are definitely people on the app who take it a lot more serious and probably spend hours a day. If you do that, you’ll probably learn the language way faster. I’m just taking it at a casual pace and view it as more of a fun and educational activity. I don’t think I’ll actually become bilingual, but maybe after a few months I’ll be a lot better at it. Don’t expect published pieces in Spanish any time soon although that would be a cool idea if I ever did get good enough at Spanish.
Thank you (Gracias) for reading that published piece all about my Spanish lessons on Duolingo. Maybe this will encourage others to try to learn a new language. Or maybe you are like me and you took a second language in school, but haven’t really used it since. You always have the chance to go back and try to relearn it. You never know what doors could be opened by knowing a second language. If you liked this Weekly Blog, feel free to give it a like. I also have a ton of other published pieces here on the website including Weekly Blogs, Poetry, Writing Prompt Pieces, and Pokemon Fanfiction. If you are new here, I highly recommend spending some time on my website checking out all the published pieces. You can also Follow me here on WordPress if you want to be a part of this positive and creative space I’m slowly building on the internet. I really appreciate all the support I get from readers new and old, and I’d love for you to be a part of that! No pressure though. I appreciate all the lurkers that read my stuff too!
Thank you and have a wonderful week! (¡Gracias y tiene una semana buena!)
Header Photo Credit to Duolingo’s Facebook Page
I learnt Russian for 12 years at evening classes but eventually the class no longer existed and as no-one I know in Switzerland speaks Russian so I forgot quite a lot. I then discovered Duolingo and it was very helpful in practicing my Russian. Again I have unfortunately neglected it, but duo lingo is always there to help and practice..
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That’s super cool! Thanks for sharing your experience. I couldn’t imagine trying to learn Russian