Duolingo is probably the most well-known language learning website out there.
It’s fun, it’s stress-free (most of the time), and it helps build a regular habit. Oh, and it’s free.
But as we mentioned on the podcast, Duolingo’s quality can vary greatly from course to course. While the gamified learning system is based on the same principles and exercises, the course design, lesson content, types of exercises, audio, etc., totally depend on each course’s creators.
For example, the ‘biggest’ languages have gained crazy hi-tech features like AI chatbots and learning from stories, while smaller languages…aren’t as lucky.
I’ll assume you know how Duolingo basically works: you slowly make your way through a tree of skills, do lessons with translation exercises, and it sends daily notifications to threaten you into practise. If you want to know my thought on the site as a whole, come join my livestream! In this review, I’m focusing on the design of the Modern Hebrew course.
Time flies, and it’s been a few months since I last spoke Hebrew on my channel. At the time, my level was still quite basic, so I relied on a script. Within these few months, I’ve made myself busy with plenty of other things—the podcast, for one—so I haven’t spent a lot of time on learning.
Nevertheless, I am now at a level where I’m comfortable speaking freely to the camera. What did I do and how did I get here?
You also get a glimpse of my new home in this video!
Only my closest, language-loving friends know this, but I’ve been dabbling quite a lot. Since my last project to learn Polish, it’s been sort of a bit of this and a bit of that…Kazakh was a bust (I admitted I was dabbling), and my serious Icelandic project lost steam because our plans for a family trip are ruined by coronavirus.
For the past month, I’ve been actively dabbling in Hebrew. I actually started a while ago, trying out the language on Duolingo, but I gave up because the sentences often had no audio. (Since Hebrew doesn’t write vowels, audio is very important.) Since I finally forked out for Glossika a month or two ago for Icelandic, I thought, why not give Hebrew a try again?
Around a month later, I took my first Hebrew lesson online.
And here I am, making it official. I’m properly studying Hebrew!
I’ll still be working on my other languages — I’m still very much in love with Polish, and I’m having fun learning Taiwanese Hokkien with my friends. But hey, it’s my focus.