The second Languages Newsletter is here. And above is my photo of Cologne looking towards the Dom with the magnificent Hohenzollernbrücke. I’ve just completed another video for my YouTube channel. To view, click on the link below.
What do you think of Duolingo?
Duolingo is an app for learning languages. I’ve used it myself and recommended it many times. It’s a vocab-building app that helps you to learn by providing you with quick exercises in various topics. It aims to motivate by turning the process into a game. You gain ‘lingots’ by achieving certain levels.
I’ve used it for Spanish, Irish and Dutch and will no doubt try learning some more languages with it. Duolingo has advantages and disadvantages.
On the plus side
It’s convenient – you can use it at any time on your smartphone
It’s free – making it accessible to everyone with a smartphone.
It keeps the language in front of you – It’s easy to spend a few minutes learning every day
It’s motivational – many people are motivated by its ‘gamificaton’
The words and phrases are spoken aloud.
On the negative side…
it often presents just single words that are not in context.
The sentences are often meaningless – ‘I eat before the snake’* – not very useful
It can be a bit repetitive.
But part of a set of learning resources, it works fine and I will continue to recommend it, just keep its limitations in mind.
Hamburg signs – video to be added
Here’s my first German language video in a while and for the first time I introduce the video on screen. I describe and explain some of the interesting and humorous signs I photographed on a visit to Hamburg. I mention the prejudice often found in the UK that the Germans don’t have a sense of humour. It’s a load of rubbish, of course! I also make fun of a certain British newspaper. The programme also features two native speaker voices. Click here to view
And finally, last week’s diary snippet about my new computer – in Spanish! (with thanks to José). For me it’s important to learn other languages. recently I’ve been doing a little bit of Chinese, Irish and Spanish. It reminds me of when I was in the early stages of learning German.
La semana pasada, me compré un nuevo MacBook Air. El precio normal es £949, pero pagué sólamente £854. Debido a que soy profesor, obtuve un 10 por ciento de descuento. Mi viejo ordenador fue también un MacBook Air. Tenía 4 GB de RAM. El nuevo ordenador es un poco más rápido y tiene 8 GB de RAM. Estoy muy satisfecho con mi nuevo ordenador.