Updated: Jan 21
As I said in previous posts, I have wanted to learn German for a long time. This summer I got started on Duolingo, but then got sidetracked when the Fall semester started. At the end of December, I made the goal to do German for at least 5 minutes a day for the next 365 days. So far, I have gone 22 days straight! Duolingo helps me keep track of this. If you want to learn a new language, I highly recommend Duolingo. You can use the free version, which I do. It is so easy to keep track of your progress. I would love if you would add me as a friend and learn with me, whether its German or some other language.
Giving you this update will help me be motivated to not give up! In the end, the goal is to be able to have conversation and read in German. So far this month, I have learned a few words and phrases about the weather, family, hobbies, directions, and shopping. For example:
Es regnet heute. Wo ist mien Regenschirm?
It is raining today. Where is my umbrella?
Ich schwimme nie, aber ich lese immer.
I never swim, but I always read.
Ist der Marktplatz in der Nähe? Ja, und Kirche ist da drüben.
Is the marketplace near? Yes, and the church is over there.
Duolingo has a system of "XP", or experience points, that make it feel like a game and motivate you to continue learning. There are leaderboards where you can compete to get the most XP for the week. If you are motivated by competition, this feature is incredibly helpful. If you aren't motivated by competition with random people, then you can just ignore it!
Another help on the app is the stories they offer in the language you are learning. While most of the time is spent practicing with single words, phrases, and sentences, the story feature allows you to begin reading several sentences at a time in an interactive and light-hearted narrative. It is a fun way to improve your vocabulary and understanding of the grammar.
So far, I have averaged about 160 XP a day. I know I will take a dip at some point, but Lord willing, I won't miss a day, even if I only complete one short lesson (which normally lasts about 2-3 minutes).