On the Scent

The verb sentire in Italian is an interesting one. I’ve come across it a few times recently on Duolingo, meaning to hear. I could see how it was related to English words associated with feelings like (to) sense, sensitive, sentiment(al) etc., but found it curious that in Italian it seemed to be used only to refer to one sense. Seemed to anyway… Continue reading

Doing Dutch with Duolingo: “Excuse me, I am an apple”

A little update on my Dutch-learning adventure.

Things are still going fairly well. I can safely say that I know more Dutch than last week. If If I’m ever called upon to identify someone as a man, woman, girl, boy, or child, and whether they’re eating or drinking bread, rice, water, milk, or juice, I should be able to perform admirably.

First a look at what Duolingo does well: Continue reading

Doing Dutch with Duolingo

It seems like a long time ago when I decided to give a language-learning app a try. I’ve been busy since then, but finally this week I decided I’d download Duolinguo. I thought quite a bit about which language to choose. I knew right away that I already know enough French and Italian to make it difficult to know how much I was actually learning from the app. I thought about choosing a language as far from English as possible, but decided against this as, generally, we tend to learn languages with at least some basic similarities to our mother tongue.┬áMost Europeans will learn another European language, which mostly have some basic links with each other. Continue reading

1,000s are Using this App to Learn 10 Languages! Find out How!!

You may have come across lots of ads like this online recently. I know have, though I think that might be targeted advertising based on my interests in language. Obviously, most of the ads like this are just clickbait, but there are some language-learning apps such as Duolingo and Babbel which are quite popular and seem to be well-regarded.

I admit to being a bit sceptical about such apps, probably because if they’re really as effective as they claim to be, I’ll be out of a job! But also, having seen how much work goes into both teaching and learning a language, I find it hard to imagine a simple app could be up to the job. Here are some of the aspects of learning a language that I assume an app would struggle to provide: Continue reading