Many people probably took a few language classes at some point in their lives. That Spanish class you barely passed in high school. The language learning CDs collecting dust in the closet. For me, it was three years of French that promptly went out the window. But I recently got inspired to brush up on my skills, and the Duolingo app has turned out to be quite a find.
This free language-learning app features Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and English. It makes lessons into fun, interactive challenges. Start with the basics: learn the fundamentals by translating text, typing in words and phrases, and speaking into the microphone to check your pronunciation. Pass through each level without making too many mistakes to gain achievements.
It's easy to see how this app becomes addicting. Its format makes it feel like a game rather than work. You can even compete with friends and set goals for yourself. Plus, you can't beat a free program when you compare the cost of other language-learning courses and software tools. I can't guarantee you'll become fluent, but I picked up a few basic phrases and concepts in one night during Olympic commercial breaks, so anything is possible.
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