Duolingo Home Screen

I’m not sure when I entered this, but my profile on Duolingo is as follows

I’m an Irish guy living in Nantes who doesn’t practice French enough. I’ll learn with my kids right? 🙂

It’s pretty much true though. There are all the things we know we should do aren’t there? Read a newspaper in French / watch more TV (news) / listen to the radio / chat more in French.

I studied French in school (though I’ll use the term studied loosely). I needed a European language for my uni degree, so I went through 5 years of French and after that … FREEDOM!!! Flash forward a few years and you meet a nice girl and it’s a case of … oh it’d be great to be a bit better at this languages thing wouldn’t it? Flash forward even time and here I am living in Nantes with said nice girl now my wife and I’m getting better with French all the time, life however tends to get in the way. Work, kids, social commitments, taking photos of my dinner 😛 and so on (excuses excuses I know I know)

Enter Duolingo. It’s a little app that helps you with your language of choice. In my case that’s French. Is it perfect? No! Does it help yes or at least I like to think so. You set yourself a daily goal and you try to keep to that goal. In my case it’s just 20 experience points. I wake up early at times and I take a lesson or two or five. It’s better than not doing any French and I do notice a certain amount of confidence when I write an email.

Will you be able to learn French just by using this? No I really don’t think so but it definitely doesn’t hurt to reinforce what you already know or are studying. With the app available for mobile and tablet (iOS / Android) I’d recommend you give it a go.

Best of all? It’s free.

Questions come in a number of formats and you can hover over words to get more details.

You’ll type out the word / match up words / listen to the audio and so on.

Hints

If you’re on the main website there are even more details available with tips about the current topic you’re taking.

Combining Tenses

The lessons start rather basic however I find it all great … repetition really helps me. Is it ‘un’ or ‘une’? le / la / les? Where are the accents?

The Question Types

Should you like to, you can also create a club and challenge your friends. There’s a leader board which updates how your friends are doing that day / week / month. Using the website you’ll also be able to find the words you’ve already learned and if you keep messing up with them you’ll see where you’re strong (or not). The chocolat is strong with me!

Vocabulary

When you get a question wrong you’ll also be able to comment and ask questions or see other people’s problems and this can be very handy in cementing your understanding of where you went wrong.

Want to join the Nantes.Today club? Enter in 789WJG when adding yourself to a club in the app and lets learn together 🙂

BUT WAIT .. there’s more … interested in improving your English? You can do just that with the app if you’re a French native speaker.

Improve Your English

Link: Duolingo

There are other similar services such as Babbel which offer paid subscriptions and I’ve heard good things about. Maybe when I finish with Duolingo I’ll move onto a paid model with Babbel.