One of the activities that have kept me busy for a few minutes each day over the last month as been learning the Italian language. I genuinely like learning a foreign language and find it challenging but not frustrating. And, when it is not for a formal class but only for self-enrichment, one can walk away from it when a break is needed. I also think that while learning Latin in high school was useful for my nursing education and career, I missed out on learning to speak in another tongue.
In the past, Duolingo was the platform selected for my language enrichment. In 2016, I became acquainted with this digital form of language learning before I took a trip to The Netherlands with my oldest son. It was helpful and fun, although I cannot remember much of what I learned now. I know I did not have the need to speak much Dutch in The Netherlands because it is a place where a lot of English is spoken anyway. I know I tried speaking it in a chocolate shop and finally reverted to English because I wasn’t being understood!
This interest in learning Italian comes from knowing my husband has Italian heritage stemming from a Grandfather who came through Ellis Island as a young man. We have talked about taking a trip to visit this country now that we are both retired. When that trip will materialize, now remains to be seen but it is still fun to learn the language. So, I turned to Duolingo again, this time for Italian.
It’s funny what one notices when studying something for fun. First, I can read the language better than speaking it. I also noticed that I probably need to augment my online learning with some old fashioned flashcards that I make myself. Writing things down has always been an essential part of my learning. This is missing when you are only required to click through webpages for questions and answers. Over the weekend, I will take some time to make the vocabulary list and some flashcards.
The Duolingo platform can be used for free, which is what I have used each time. It tracks your progress and keeps the stage you have attained. You just have to put up with some advertisements in the free version.
In the meantime, 5-10 minutes of language practice a day is fun and easy. It might be put to use in the future or it might not. In any case, I am using my mind and enriching myself with learning a foreign language.
Today is the last day to vote for your favorite photo from my 1,000th blog post celebration posted on3/15/2020. Instructions to vote are on the blog. Winner to be announced on this blog tomorrow! Thanks!