Ahh, Duolingo. The little language learning app that could.
Achieving some level of proficiency with the hope of eventual fluency in at least two other languages (namely, French and Spanish) is one of my lifetime wants and has been for quite some time. I studied Spanish in prep school and high school, and I was fairly comfortable with my abilities. However, I had effectively zero real experience with French. Everyone always recommends going and living in another country to force yourself to learn the language, but that wasn’t an option that I was comfortable exploring just yet.
I had always wanted to learn French, though. Because duh, French is just tres romantique et exotique and who doesn’t want to sound more cultured? Like they have a certain je ne sais quoi about them?
But try as I might, any French I tried to learn just wouldn’t stick. I had language learning CDs, bought books, read articles, and even considered (briefly) listening to French podcasts while I slept in the hopes that I would wake up fluent in the language a la Dexter in Dexter’s Laboratory. Then I remembered Dexter’s plight and decided against it.
Nothing was working. I had all but given up on it for the moment, until Duolingo came along.