Never Stop Learning!

Bonjour! Comment allez-vous ?

Ever want to learn another language? Do you have an extra 10-15 minutes per day? In this “hurry up and wait” society, how often do you have such chunks of time? Thanks to smart phone technology, we have the capability to learn a new language right at our fingertips. For the past six months, I’ve started re-learning French through a handy app called Duolingo. Here users study daily language lessons. There are so many options: French, Spanish, Irish…even fictional languages like Klingon and High Valerian!

The lessons begin at a slow pace, learning basic vocabulary, matching a word to its English equivalent, and even speaking simple sentences. Learners can utilize the free portion of this app or spend a few dollars every month for added features, like quizzes and extra chances to work through the lessons (I think a six month subscription to Duolingo Plus is around $8 per month).

Last week, I started using another app, Hello Talk. After months improving my vocabulary and confidence on Duolingo, I was ready to test my skills with a real person and connect with individuals who speak French and want to learn English. I was lucky to find a French teacher from another country. Sometimes we message in English, in French, or send audio messages to practice pronunciation. (At this point, I’m only able to send short, simple sentences in French.) Maria, my language buddy, and I have a lot in common. We discuss our classrooms, book recommendations, where we live, the weather, and of course I had to tell her all about our farm animals!

This simple act of exchanging small talk has really improved my understanding of the French language. Hello talk is a free app that offers ten translations per day. For $4.99 per month, users can utilize unlimited translations. This fee was really worth the investment! If I struggle with a message, text or audio, a translation is a click away.

I highly recommend learning a new language. In the process of messaging in French, I’ve had to ponder my own language, choosing the strongest words to communicate and searching for similarities and connections. I hope to one day visit Quebec or return to France and be able to communicate in another language.

Note: Hello talk is a social media platform. Avoid sharing any personal information.

Thanks for reading!

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