Sunday, June 17, 2012
Duolingo: Learn a language for free
Learning a second language can be an incredibly valuable skill as our world becomes more integrated internationally. Many people spend hundreds of dollars for language classes or software like Rosetta Stone. However, there are cheaper alternatives that are just as effective. Duolingo is one of them.
Like in the video introduction, duolingo is a platform for users to learn a new language while simultaneously helped integrate the languages available on the web. Their system is set up with lessons which help you master specific parts of the language until you feel comfortable to move onto the next level. In between lessons, you also have the ability to translate snippets of real online text and compare your translations with others. There is a point system to track your experience and give you a point of comparison with your friends and peers. It can certainly be competitive if you have a friend learning the same language with you and the material seems very similar to Rosetta Stone.
Unfortunately, the only languages offered so far are German and Spanish and there is a beta system for French. Later, I believe Chinese is on the list to be added. Eventually, I'm sure it will grow to include Japanese, Arabic, Russian, and many others. If you learned a language previously and have since lost touch with it, Duolingo provides a great opportunity to refresh your skills. There are questions to help with your reading, listening, and speaking.
The best part about Duolingo is that it is free, and like most other learning tools, you only get out of it what you put in. If you can get into the habit of doing a lesson a day, you're sure to make progress to mastering a new language and will be fluent before you know it. Right now, the site has a long waiting list for invites, but I have the option to invite people directly. If anyone wants to try to learn Spanish, German, or French, feel free to comment below with your email address. I only have a limited number though so let me know quickly.