Sunday, February 28, 2016

Duolingo

This morning, I completed the Duolingo Irish language course.  I am quite proud of myself.  The course has 64 concepts with 2 to 10 lessons per concept.  I am still not fluent by any stretch of the imagination, but I have a much broader vocabulary, and many grammatical concepts are set.


I definitely recommend the course for several reasons:

  • it is COMPLETELY FREE with no ads, no upgrades, no offers, just free,
  • it keeps you doing SOMETHING daily, 
  • the phone app is simple enough to not become to frustrating, though I did have my moments, 
  • the website version has a lesson style explanation of the concept
  • the website version has a forum for every single exercise.  You can ask questions or check to see if the concept has been explained with just one click, 
  • it marks old lessons for review - you don't have a chance to fully forget old lessons while you do the new.

The downside to this program, or argument against it:

  • there are some concepts that are English-centric.  The Irish don't actually say that, they just translated a common English phrase for you to say, 
  • the lesson style explanation is sometimes confusing if you've been out of a linguistics class for a while and have no actual human to ask,
  • there is not enough audio, and 
  • the audio that is there is arguably non-standard.
For all the negatives, I found the overall course to be motivating and helpful.  I will continue to do the "weak skills" that it highlights for me daily.  I am also returning to "Progress in Irish" and reading "Taibhsí an Locha."

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