In this post, I’m going to recommend an excellent FREE Course that you can take everywhere you go. You can practice and have fun at the same time because it’s very much like a game. You will be advancing levels in the program while you’re learning the language. They sure are doing things right because they launched their program on November 30th, 2011 and they already have 300 million registered users across the world.
It’s name is DUOLINGO! And you can access it by clicking here.
What is DUOLINGO?
DUOLINGO is a platform that includes a language-learning website and app that can be run on iPhone and Android.
The platform’s idea of learning a language is very practical. It doesn’t force you to read grammar texts to complete the course. It’s designed so you can understand the meaning of the sentences in the course intuitively, only with the images and the translation tab. Also, the mistakes that you make help you to learn, because the program marks and corrects them on the exercises that you fill in.
Languages available in DUOLINGO
DUOLINGO means that it involves two languages, in our case: our base language, English; and our target language, Italian. There is a great deal of languages available on DUOLINGO to learn thru English. At the time of this post, the languages that are available are:
- Latin American Spanish
- Mandarin Chinese
- Brazilian Portuguese
- High Valyrian
- Norwegian Bokmål
- Scottish Gaelic
If you are interested in one of these languages, you can also go to DUOLINGO through the link above to start learning them also. Your journey to becoming a polyglot may begin with DUOLINGO.
What can you find in the DUOLINGO Italian course?
Starting the Italian course, if you are not a complete beginner, you can take an exam so that they assign you to a certain level. And of course, you can just start at level 1. The course begins with some basics, some easy phrases and naming foods. It is impossible to learn Italian without thinking in delicious Italian foods. As Italians say, in their passion for good food: “A tavola non si invecchia”, that simply means: “Eating at the table with family and friends, you don’t become old”.
Each level consists in completing a certain amount of tasks. These tasks can be: translating correctly a phase from Italian to English or from English to Italian; looking at a picture and writing its name in Italian; matching English and Italian words, completing an Italian phrase, and so on.
When you fill in a task correctly, you advance. When your task is incorrect, you move backwards. You complete the level when you arrive at a finish line.
During all the process you’re constantly motivated with a cheered up sound each time you submit a correct answer. And once you cross the finish line you are awarded with points, that you can later spend buying some costumes for your DUOLINGO buddy. You can also use these earned points to enable certain special powers, or to open certain special levels. With it’s gamified structure, you’ll become a child again thinking you are playing a video game.
You can keep tracking on your daily progress by watching how many points you earned each day.
You can also view all the vocabulary you have been exposed to during all your time in the program. And these words can be discriminated by how long ago was your last exposure to them. For example, the program will show vocabulary you have recently practiced, vocabulary you were exposed to a week ago, two weeks ago, and so on.
As you complete levels, some upper levels are activated. Every now and then you have to return to some of the completed levels for a quick review, as the program simulates how words fade away in your brain after some weeks without using them. I really like DUOLINGO! I think it’s cool!
Some more features in DUOLINGO are:
You can receive amplified explanation in every phase that is submitted. There is the option to view the grammatical rules that are taking place in the phrase. Tons of examples of different uses of the words in the phrase are also explained. If you’re interested in grammatical rules, you have this option (if you’re not, don’t open the “amplified explanation” window).
In the tasks where you are required to translate, DUOLINGO permits more than one valid translation. And if you have translated a phrase and it has been qualified as incorrect, there is an option to submit to DUOLINGO for consideration. But they have been through a lot of testing and they do an excellent job in judging correct and incorrect translations.
So, there is no excuse. DUOLINGO is an excellent program and it is real fun to use. And to cap is all, it’s FREE!!! Just click here to check it out. Our DUOLINGO buddy is waiting for you to start with the training!
As a plus, we would also suggest you read this post where practical advice is given on how to smoothly incorporate Italian (or any other language you want to learn) into your daily routine. You may be surprised how much more exposure you can get to the language you want to learn. Click here to out.