This is Duolingo, a language-learning website/app that deserves some serious recognition. It offers over 10 languages for English speakers, as well as courses for non-English speakers around the world, and they’re in the process of adding more.
But wait, I don’t want to do any more schoolwork! Not to worry little one, Duolingo is actually more like a game. You can compete with friends, and earn “lingots” (which are basically Duolingo money) to buy power-ups, extra activities, and bonus skills - like Flirting.
I’m already taking a language, what do I need this for?
It’s not really a secret that most school language courses (in America, anyway) suck and only teach you to speak the language at about a third grader’s level. Which is why Duolingo is so freaking awesome.
Teachers can’t give every student individualized attention, but Duolingo can. If you’re not learning the way you want to or as much as you want to in the classroom, Duolingo is a really great resource. It’s easy, tailored to you, and really effective.
Duolingo tracks your progress and reminds you when you haven’t studied for a while or need a refresher on something. Already semi-fluent in a language? No problem, just take a shortcut to more advanced subjects or test out of the lesson.
The lessons start with the basics (he, she, hello, thank you, etc) and move up to harder stuff. Duolingo focuses on vocabulary first, so you can learn the language and then the grammar that goes with it - much simpler than the system most schools use. It also tracks the number of words you’ve learned and how well you know them.
And you don’t even have to write out the flashcards!
Duolingo is perfect for reviewing everything you forgot over the summer or giving you the extra help you need. And if you’re trying to learn a language on your own, it’s fantastic - you don’t have to create your own lessons. Whether you’re trying to learn your second, third, or fifth language, I seriously recommend Duolingo.
Okay, what else?
Duolingo also has discussion boards, where you can ask for help with a hard lesson, make new friends, watch for updates, and share your achievements.
Even better is the Immersion feature. It won’t send you to Spain or France, but it’s pretty awesome. Duolingo takes real articles from the internet, which users translate. You can translate articles from your native language into the language you’re learning or vice versa, which gives you more experience and makes the Internet more universal.
You can suggest new languages and track Duolingo’s progress in creating new courses. Bilinguals (older than 13) can help to create these courses. Duolingo has a long list of courses that can be contributed to, like Punjabi, Hebrew, and Vietnamese. Oh, and Dothraki, Klingon, Sindarin, and Esperanto.
And the best part? IT’S COMPLETELY FREE.
If you love languages or just want to pass French class this year, USE DUOLINGO. Download the app and practice a language while you wait for the bus instead of playing Angry Birds!
Coolest app I’ve ever downloaded.
This is my little brother, reading my Hawkeye issue #19. He is hearing impaired and is currently using/learning sign language as his primary means of communication. He spent his entire lunchtime pouring over this comic, so excited about his language being in one of my books! And a superhero book!
mattfractionblog, thank you for this.
(We have the entire Signing Time series too, and our lives would be poorer without it! Such a blessing.)
Hawkeye #19 was well worth the wait. I thought nothing would ever top Pizza Dog.
#19 is mostly in sign language with very little subtitles showing just how awesome the medium of comics can be.
I can freshen up your german for you, süsse Sebchen…
i’m so upset
I just realized that the reason ghosts say Boo! is because it’s a latin verb
they’re literally saying ‘I alarm/I am alarming/I do alarm!!
if it comes from the latin word, they’re actually saying “I’M YELLING!” which is even cuter
do they speak latin because it’s a dead language
so that’s cool.
this is my imperfect not-a-fluent-signer understanding but:
(based on a presentation by a deaf trans guy i was at in 2005 where he was promoting that sign)
it seems like that sign was invented and implemented by trans people over the last 10-ish years. before that the predominant vocabulary was “sex change” and then some deaf trans people were like “yo fuck that” and came up with the current sign, which starts off with the sign for “myself,” then motion that indicates both change and coming together, and ends with the closed hand held against the sternum.
and in the process it also mimics the sign for “beautiful”
and because of spatial grammar, things closer to the front of your body in ASL are generally more vital, more emphatic, more immediate, more present.
so it’s actually a case where the word coherently indicates “beauty” and “self transformation” and contains hints of the complete thought of “my self transforming, through a coming together of disparate factors, into something more real, immediate, and vital than I was before.”
so yeah. that’s just fuckin’ awesome.
and that’s just the way to express that concept now.
the Irish language has no word for ‘have’.
We do, however, have these.
I’m guessing ‘frequented by swans’ is a bad thing. It seems like it should be.
(via Valerija S. Vlasov)
dsfklsajflsjfdlk that’s the german word for kittens?
literally: “cat children”
ISN’T GERMAN A CUTE LANGUAGE
DO YOU KNOW THE GERMAN WORD FOR BAT
HOW IS THAT NOT JUST KAWAII AS HECK
My favorite is their word for bagpipes.
But then their word for skull is Totenkopf, as in Death’s Head.
So German basically has two settings, kawaii and metal, and there is no in between.
I love German.
and don’t forget mannschaft
stargazer93 said: mahi means fish in Farsi lol
oh my gosh that is the best thing. so mahi-mahi was named from freaking hawaiian using a word that also describes it in a totally unrelated language.
this is awesome.
it’s a fucking fish-fish.
Page 1 of 7