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Spending some time with the language app
I am learning French with the app Duolingo. Or, really, re-learning French. I used to know it, or some if it, but have forgotten a lot. So here I am with Duolingo.
Which is free.
I like Duolingo. It’s pretty clever and simple to use. There are some things I’ve noticed, though. You begin at Level One. Things there are fairly straightforward. For example, sometimes you have to choose among options. As in:
Tu parles…[meaning “You speak…]
Your choices are:
If you get this wrong, and choose, say, “I speak horse,” they should probably send you to Monolingo.
However, it can get complicated when you advance to Level Two. As in,
Tu habites en [You live in…]
la pauvreté [poverty]
la peur [fear]
I don’t live in Paris. Do I live in poverty? Occasionally. In fear? Always. So, I chose that. But I was declared wrong. Duolingo said, “Since you went for a free app, you must be poor and so ‘in poverty’ is the correct answer.”
At Level Three, it gets quite challenging,
Jean et Marie sont mariés. Ils se séparent. Qui obtient la garde de son perroquet, Cous-cous? [Jean and Marie are married. They are separating. Who gets custody of the parrot, Cous-cous?]
Ni l’un ni l’autre, parce qu'ils sont tous les deux incompetents [Neither, because they’re both incompetent.]
Laisse juste la fenêtre ouverte [Just leave the window open.]
Napoléon Bonaparte [Napoleon Bonaparte.]
I picked the second choice and was declared wrong, with the note: “We should probably report you to Animal Cruelty.” And: “When in doubt with a question in French, always answer ‘Napoleon.’”
I’m at Level Four now. I have to say, it’s not easy. Here’s my question of the day. Perhaps you can help me:
Si un arbre tombe dans une forêt et que personne n'est là pour l'entendre, est-ce qu'il fait un bruit ? [If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?]
Peux-tu le répéter, je n'entends pas très bien. [Could you say that again, I’m hard of hearing.]
Les bois sont beaux, sombres et profonds, mais j'ai des promesses à tenir. [The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep.]
Quelle putain de question stupide. [What a dumbass stupid fucking question.]
What do you think? I’m leaning toward the second choice.
Thank you for your time. I think that’s enough learning for today.