Ever since I started traveling the globe, one of my goals has been to learn and become fluent in multiple languages. I personally appreciate the foreign immersion even more when I not only understand the basics of a language but also the subtle nuances of the associated regional colloquialisms that can illustrate both the differences and similarities between various cultures dispersed around the world.
I studied Spanish for a semester or two in school, picked up basic Arabic in the military, Portuguese a few years ago and now have my sights set on German. There are at least four others that I have interest in studying but will share those another time.
I set reminders all through 2014 to study and practice daily but lacked any real focus. I also experimented w/Rosetta Stone in the past but quickly grew annoyed w/its usage of Flash for its interaction layer, specifically, the audio/microphone drivers on the desktop version for Mac (circa 2009) were poorly implemented. That implementation resulted in a broken speech recognition experience which, for the price Rosetta charged for a full 5-level course, was just too much to bear.
Fast-forward to 2015 and my enthusiasm to challenge myself via language learning has been renewed thanks to Duolingo.
This is a refreshing yet familiar take on language learning where micro lessons are infused w/gamification, social networking and cross-platform flexibility that empower you to improve anytime, anywhere. And, being able to do so for free removes any excuses I may have had for not turning my language goals into learning habits. It even inspired me to put together this cheatsheet for diacriticals so I can improve my writing skills even more.
If you have a desire to pick/brush up on one or more languages, I encourage you to give Duo a try. If you do be sure to stop by and say Hi, ¡Hola!, Oi, Hallo, etc…
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