Our family has a few things hanging in the horizon and as previously posted, a trip to France is among them. I visited my extended in-laws the summer before last and had a fine time, however I know it would have been tons more enjoyable had I spoken French. Quel Horror! Yes, I cannot speak French. I tried a certain well-known computer “immersion” software and while I did pretty well on the actual program, I never really retained much. My husband speaks English like an American and that is our default language when we’re together. It’s so difficult to remember to speak in French! Now, with another trip looming, I especially want to have better French skills – I fear my in-laws and cousins etc. will talk so much shit about me if I still haven’t learned – and this is where The Owl comes in.
The Owl is the mascot for Duolingo, a free webcourse with a supporting iPhone app. It’s pretty fantastic. The lessons are brief but challenging. This owl emails me daily encouragement to continue my practice:
Oh, and did I mention, it’s FREE!
I actually feel like I am learning with this program. Each lesson uses a variety of question styles and it’s very goal oriented for us competitive types. It rewards you when you do well and sympathises when you could do better.
Duolingo keeps track of your vocabulary and has an immersion section too. You can even learn with friends via email or Facebook! Duolingo currently has programs to learn German, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian too.
In the months to come, I will post about my progress, like a little lingual guinea pig. In the meantime, I will press the hubby to speak seulement francais avec moi. I want to keep the owl happy!
Hey Owl, wouldn’t it be a hoot if Mlle’s first word was in French?
The Owl says, “Oui!”