Sous le Parapluie

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So, if you recall….I am learning French!

Oui! C’est vrai!

I do, however, face issues with motivation on a daily basis. I’m not going to Paris. I do not know any French people. Why am I learning French?

So after I pitch a fit, chuck my French/English Dictionary on the floor, and swear to myself that Macarena-level Spanish really isn’t so bad I remember learning a language is actually very good for you.

Anne Merritt claims in her article “Why Learn a Foreign Language: Benefits of Bilingualism”, learning another language can build multi-tasking skills, hold off Dimentia, and…”you become smarter!” Guys, it literally makes your brain better!

The issue is I have no money. So while I am all about learning a language….more than one even…classes cost money. Software costs money. Plane tickets to Paris cost money. Learning a language costs money! Good news? There are free/cheap options to help you in that direction.

#1: DuoLingo.com

The Duolingo mascot tells you when you’ve done a good job, or when you’ve run out of hearts. Like you didn’t already know. The big jerk.

Offering self-guided lessons in five different languages for English speakers (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and German), you specify what language you would like to study, and go crazy.

The good news! There is also a free app for smart phones!  They break the lessons up into a logical progression. And you can laugh at the sentences they put together to cater to the lesson you are learning.

The bad news. As well-planned out as it is, languages are complicated, and sometimes you don’t always get a good explanation for grammar and syntax variation. “Now why did I need a ‘le’ instead of a ‘de’ there??!? That doesn’t make any sense! I hate everything!” (That is how my temper tantrums usually go.)

Admittedly, the system has it’s faults, and it is slow-going. But it’s a great way to get your feet wet. And in conjunction with other methods, I think it works pretty well.

But those are for another day…

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3 thoughts on “Sous le Parapluie

  1. Brilliant! I love your advice, I think it wise to stick to a bunch of key phrases, translate Harry Potter, and watch American films in French, aaaanndd these apps and we should speaking it soon enough!

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