Part of the journey is becoming one’s best self. I am ecstatic to share what I’ve been learning on the journey with others. Last year was filled with rewarding experiences and accomplishments from continuous learning.
If you know me, you know I love reading, writing and honing skills, knowledge and abilities that help me learn and grow. One area I want to hone is speaking Spanish. I want to become fluent in Spanish.
Like many, I took Spanish because taking a foreign language was sort of requirement in high school. That was one of the most enjoyable courses I took in high school because of my teacher. She was all the way UP! She knew her stuff. Anyway, I passed that class with flying colors, but over the years I never really had to hold any conversations with others. Even when I did, it was just saying a basic word here or there.
While I learned the basics in high school. As that old saying goes, “whatever you don’t use, you lose.” Sure, I remembered several words. It just wasn’t my native language. I never initiated conversation in Spanish either probably due to fear. However, that’s changed. Being in HR, you quickly find out the benefits of being bilingual. Plus companies nowadays seek workers who are bilingual. Spanish is increasingly appearing as a requirement for professional positions including HR roles.
Last May, I accepted a challenge to learn Spanish all over again. I searched for “free” tools to help on this wild and crazy adventure. I found this cool app, Duolingo, “the world’s most popular way to learn a language. It’s 100% free! You can even practice on your app or online at duolingo.com.
I am so excited my Spanish fluency is now Intermediate. I have increased my understand of the language tremendously even though I took a much need pause during the winter. It is amazing how much I am learning with this tool. I love learning new Spanish words.
Two features I love most about Duolingo is it allows users to set goals and the app sends a reminder every morning. It provides instant feedback on your answers to speaking, listening, translation, and multiple choice challenges including chats with bots.
While the lessons include a variety of challenges, you still have the option of turning of the audio aspect if you are somewhere you can’t talk and listen or if you don’t have headphones. You can still make significant progress with the other challenges though.
Depending on your progress or the number of points you have, you can unlock additional lessons. And the lessons includes all the words learned from previous ones you completed. I just purchased idioms and proverbs with a 1000 points earned last year in the shop.
One of the most challenging aspects for me was getting used to translating to the various voices. Yeah, users are not stuck listening to just one voice. There are several voices who sound like the real thing. Although the listening challenges allow for slowing down fast talkers, so you can actually hear each word, this feature does not always work. You have to provide an answer even when words are not clear or you can click a link to let the app know you can’t speak and/or listen right now.
Talking about some real world learning. Seriously, how many times have you overheard some one speaking fluent Spanish fast and wondered what in the world he or she said?
Oh BTW, if first Lady Trump is fluent in five languages, surely it wouldn’t hurt to become fluent in two. In addition to her native Slovenian, Melania Trump speaks four other languages: English, French, Serbian and German, according to CBSnews.com. Now that’s impresive #LifeGoals… Don’t you think?
I am looking forward to learning more Spanish in 2018. How about you? Do you speak more than one language? If so, what tools, books, websites and resources did you use to learn them? What are language are you learning?
Adios! Mantenlo 💯