If you haven’t heard the hype yet, Duolingo is language-learning app that teaches you a language new to you as if it’s a addictive game. Launched in 2012, the app now has 8.5 million active users. Apple named Duolingo as its app of the year for 2013, the first educational app to receive the honor, and it recently became available on Android.
Spanish, Italian, German, French and Portuguese are currently available for English speakers. I decided to go with French, because I’ve already taken Spanish, Italian and Latin during my various schooling (that’s not bragging, I retained nada) and I like collecting romance languages like pogs. Plus, tons of food terminology comes from French, so I thought it might be helpful.
I’m going to refrain from any commentary on French as a language, because more than 220 million people speak it with no problem, so who am I to say anything? My apologies to all 220 million people for mangling it.
Unlike in classroom lessons from our childhood, Duolingo throws you right into the language. Full sentences. Speaking into the mic during the first lesson. La pomme est rouge. No verb conjugation charts. No vocab memorization. No vowel pronunciation lessons. Duolingo has full confidence you can figure it out on your own and it’s so rewarding when you do.
There are levels for each language and guess what? One is centered on food. And there are lots of yours and my favorite thing: photos of food.
Though, some of the phrases they have you learn are…interesting, to say the least.
WHO THE HELL EATS “SOME DIET”? Shut up, French.
Eventually, I won French Food! Unfortunately, not actual French food, but the skill that allows me to say Le chat mange du fromage et la baguette et boit du vin rouge.
J’aime le chat. À plus tard, les chats et les chiens!