Las tortugas beben leche.
Every now and then I say that sentence out loud. Anyone within earshot usually looks at me like I have two heads. Or, as in the case of the Mexican restaurant hostess whose native language is Spanish, laughs really hard once I explain my deal. You see, my deal is duolingo – an app I came across in 2013 (I think) and decided to revisit when I dusted off CBT.
I studied French in high school (over 30 years ago), took a community school Intro to Spanish class once, and worked for a company where I had to learn how to say ‘hello‘ and ‘may I speak to ___’ in a few different languages. I was no stranger to languages, but really had a hard time retaining them or being able to respond in a conversation [unless they were bleeeeeeeeeps]. This was especially hard when I was living in NY and people would start conversations with me in Spanish, and I’d have to muster up a no hablo.
Since my brain is a little older now, when I decided to pick up duolingo again, I chose Spanish and [try] to dedicate at least 5 minutes per day. The beauty of the app is that you can move through lessons as slowly or aggressively as you would like. I’ve found that even with my inconsistent usage of the app, I’ve retained more vocabulary and inflections en español at 40+ with phrases that seem outlandish than I did in a formal setting. Another fun part is that there’s a social aspect to it – you can learn with or compete against ‘friends’.
I’ve said it before on different platforms, but now I’m formally suggesting it here on CBT – whether you want to learn a language for work or travel, or to keep your brain cells active, give duolingo a try. Add chicksbetrippin while you’re there, too.