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Learn a New Language Online for Free

Updated on December 25, 2017
cygnetbrown profile image

Donna, AKA Cygnet Brown is a recent honors graduate of Argosy University. She is an author of four books and a long time gardener.

Enrich your cultural knowledge by learning the native language
Enrich your cultural knowledge by learning the native language | Source

Have Always Wanted to Speak a New Language But. . .

Ever since I was a young girl, I have wanted to learn another language. I tried to learn French when I was in high school, but for some reason, I couldn't get the hang of learning that language in the style that the teacher taught. Over the years I tried numerous programs and none of them seemed to be a good fit for me.They were too pricey or too boring until I discovered Duolingo.

My Introduction to Duolingo--A Free Online Language Program

One day I was watching videos and came across a Ted Talk that talked about a new, innovative program called Duolingo. In this program, I had discovered a state-of-the-art learning method that incorporated various learning styles. This program went beyond simply teaching me another language and doing it for free. Once I had a few lessons under my belt, the program was designed to have me take what I learned and translate portions of text from the internet from English into the language I was learning.

Learn a Language Using Duolingo

Why Learn Another Language?

Have you ever wondered why you should learn a new language? Here are a few things to think about.

  • A foreign language will broaden your worldview. You'll have more cultural experience. People who have cultural experience are people who are knowledgeable about people who are different from themselves. If you know another language, you'll be more cultured simply because this would permit you to travel more and you'll know the world better. In addition, traveling to other countries in which these second languages are spoken makes traveling through these countries less stressful and more enjoyable because you know the language.
  • People who are native speakers will like the fact that you have shown enough respect to learn the language. People like hearing stories from other countries and from others, so by telling them yourself in their language may help you develop new friendships thereby increasing how well you enjoyed your immersion into the language and culture.
  • You'll discover so much. Not only will you be more open to a whole new culture, you'll be able to meet thousands of other people thanks to your extra language. No one knows where life will take us, and knowing this extra language might just make your life completely different.
  • You'll develop your mind. By learning you're exercising your brain, and so you should be faster at memorizing and doing simple mental exercises. When you learn a new language you need to put words and verbs together, which works your brain. You'll be very good at associating other things as well.
  • You should learn a new language is because it is fun. Learning a new language isn't easy, but by enjoying the experience and turning it into a game you can have fun. Like anything else, it helps to have a partner with whom you can compete with to keep one another motivated to continue.
  • Learning foreign languages can help you develop better communication skills including listening, and memory skills You'll develop analytical as well as creative skills because you are studying a foreign language.Skills such as problem solving, and dealing with abstract concepts become easier as you expose yourself to foreign languages.They improve your math and English skills and scores on tests like the SAT and GRE.
  • Knowing a foreign language gives job seekers a competitive edge. Eighty percent of new jobs in the US are created because of foreign trade. Many businesses today are looking for individuals who speak foreign languages to assist with their global economies. These businesses include, but are not limited to, law, government, business, technology, industry, marketing, medicine, and military.
  • With Duolingo, I see that I can do all of these things,and that is exciting.

Learning a Language For the Greater Good

I was excited when I learned that in as little as ten minutes per day, I could begin learning a new language using this online program Duolingo. I especially liked the idea that not only could I learn a language for free, but in the process of learning the new language, I could translate internet information from English into that foreign language..By learning a new language, I was more than simply learning a new language, I was benefiting individuals from that culture by translating internet information from English into that language. I was doing something for the greater good.

Getting Started

Duolingo is a free language learning service that I highly recommend to anyone who want to learn a language. Signing up for Duolingo is easy. Go to the site and sign up using your email, Facebook, or Google account.Then follow the signup instructions. The prompt will ask you if you want to test out for advanced placement or continue to basic learning. I took the test, but I couldn't test out.so I began with lesson one.

The program is easy to follow and uses

Making the Most of the Experience

No language learning software does anyone any good unless the individual uses that software. I found that each lesson in Duolingo takes me about 5-10 minutes to finish, so I set aside 10-15 minutes per day to work on my language skills. I added language learning to my morning routine. Every time I logged on, I redo the previous day's lesson and then I worked through the new lesson.Once a week, I extend the time spent and worked on translating a portion of text under the immersion tab. I have not reached the point yet where I feel comfortable getting into the discussion section, but I see myself doing that at once a week in the not so distant future. I am enjoying the process so much that I believe that in about six months I will be able to start a second foreign language to learn.

Learning A New Language, Progress Update

I have been learning Spanish for a couple years now. I have also started learning French and Russian. I have completed the Spanish course and have learned over fifty percent of the French. The Russian is more of a challenge because I not only have to learn a new language, but a whole new alphabet as well.

© 2014 Cygnet Brown

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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      4 years ago

      They do say learning something new is the key to staying "young"

    • cygnetbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Cygnet Brown 

      4 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      I said the same thing, teaches12345. As I see it now, better late than never!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I should have done this much earlier in life. One can only profit from the ability to speak multiple languages.

    • cygnetbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Cygnet Brown 

      4 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      That would be wonderful, Mel! I am so glad to introduce you to this wonderful program!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      4 years ago from San Diego California

      This does sound interesting. I have been thinking about working on my German skills. I already know Spanish from living so close to the border for all of these years, but I would like to broaden my horizons. Great hub!

    • cygnetbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Cygnet Brown 

      4 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      I agree with you MizBejabbers. When you think about the fact that 1.2 billion people in the world speak Mandarin Chinese, and more people speak Chinese than any other language in the world, perhaps it is time it was offered as a primary language offered in schools. (English is a distant second at 420 million, and Spanish is third.)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      4 years ago

      That is fantastic information. I've had two years of first-year Spanish (high school and college) and never mastered it. In high school I reached the point where I could read a children's book, but that is long gone, and I've found myself in business situations where I needed to speak Spanish. I may check this out.

      If I were a young person today, I would want to learn either Chinese or German, depending on my career choice. German will take you anywhere in Europe and Russia, and of course, Chinese is the new language for business. Voted up++

    • cygnetbrown profile imageAUTHOR

      Cygnet Brown 

      4 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      You should reconsider using age as a reason not to learn a new language, Bill. It helps keep your mind challenge even better than Sudoku. It is much more rewarding than angry birds or bejeweled, but I think its actually a lot fun!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All great suggestions. I don't see myself doing this at this stage in my life, but if I were younger......

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