There’s a couple things I try to do every day: a quick meditation, rolling or stretching my legs, and getting back on track with tracking my calories. One thing that I was doing daily, for about 10 months or so, was using Duolingo to ‘learn’ French.
My plan had been to attend the Gay Games, which were held in Paris in August. I ultimately didn’t go, but even after I knew that was going to be the case, I kept with my French practice until my birthday this week.
I learned two things. One, Duolingo teaches foreign languages in a way that’s not all that compatible with how I learn. And that’s okay. I have two friends who are foreign language teachers. One uses Duolingo as homework for her students to do each week. The other doesn’t use it, since it’s only based on memorization, not actually learning the grammar rules. What I learned about myself is that I need to understand the grammar rules, just memorizing vocab and matching up nouns with the right verb form wasn’t helpful.
And two, French is a silly language. Granted, English is even worse, and I’m sure it was augmented by Duolingo’s format, but there were so many weird quirks that made no sense (and were never explained) that it was frustrating.
So I stuck it out until my birthday, and then with the new year (to me), I decided to drop French. I was never going to be fluent in it, although I did enjoy picking up a few things, and I hoped that I would have at least been able to not be completely lost while in Paris.