I always looked up to people who speak a lot of different languages fluently. I don’t know how they do it. It is hard enough to master your own language perfectly and other languages sound and work so different sometimes. But learning a second, third or even fourth languages gives you the possibility to explore so many new parts of the world and communicate with people on a whole new scale.
I've always thought that learning a second language was an admirable trait for someone to have, and it is something I've always wanted to do for myself but always found some excuse not to make it happen.
The first time that I took a language class was in middle school where I attempted to learn the ancient and nearly dead language of Latin; probably not the best choice for someone who was getting through English class with barely passing grades.
I've always been a visual learner which leads me to believe that is why learning a second language has always been so difficult for me. Luckily, I found Duolingo, an app that breaks down all the fundamentals of learning your chosen second language, and shows you how to speak the language properly starting at the basics.
When I initially discovered Duolingo, I expected to become overwhelmed with information like so many other language learning sources. However, Duolingo keeps everything simple by only giving you a few items to review at a time.
I also enjoy that there isn't a lot going on in the app other than what you are trying to learn, so there are no distractions that can keep you from reaching your goals. There is an owl named Duo that will lead you through the app and give you a thorough tutorial when you download Duolingo; so, you'll never have to worry about flying solo when you use the app.
My favorite feature in Duolingo is having the ability to hear everything pronounced as often as I need it to be. If there's one thing I struggle with when trying to learn a language it's getting that perfect inflection when speaking.
What I find helpful and interesting about this feature is the voice will change from male to female depending on the orientation of the phrase or words being spoken. Because Spanish, my second language of choice, has so many different rules as far as the gender of a word, it helps me to retain the information when I can hear a male or female voice associated with the words.
When you download Duolingo, the first order of business is to tell Duo which language you would like to learn. After you've chosen from the vast selection of language options you will select how long you want to train every day and then it's time to get started!
You'll be met by a tree of categories that you can unlock as you progress through each lesson. As you start the app, you will be asked what level you are already at with the language you wish to learn so Duo can better choose a training method for you.
Initially, you'll learn a lot of basic words and phrases that you're probably already familiar with, however, as you progress through the training course you will start to see categories like food, travel, family and more!
Duolingo has definitely helped me feel more confident with the little bit of Spanish I do know, but I can't wait until the day that I can actually hold a conversation with a fluent speaker!
Duolingo is also a great app for kids as it's always easier to learn another language when you are still young. If you have an upcoming trip to a foreign land, or you simply want to surprise someone with the ability to speak a second language, then make sure that you train with Duolingo for the most attainable results. What makes the app even better is that you don't have to pay a dime to download!