Sunday, June 16, 2013

Se habla espagñol

"Se habla espagñol" is the poster I saw in many store windows in U.S., indicating to non-English speakers that they can be served in Spanish inside. That's what I'll try to do myself, for those who would want to talk with me in Spanish, and not in Romanian or English. I've been trying to learn Spanish for a long time, as I like very much the sound of this language (probably because I have problems pronouncing the sound "s" and I sound similar to how it is pronounced in Spanish). I also like many writers of Spanish language, like Llosa or Marquez and it would be nice to read their novels in original one day. The problem with foreign languages is that you need to make a sustained effort over a long period of time in order to become proficient and as I will do it for fun, I may become easily distracted into something else. Not to mention that I would also like to learn a million of other things, but my time resources are more and more constrained lately :) So what makes me so confident that I will manage to learn Spanish this time? Well, it's a site called Duolingo that I discovered recently (via this blog post). Their approach is very interactive, it covers all aspects of communication (reading, writing, hearing and speaking). They also have a track record, and levels that can be unlocked only if you get a certain number of points, so it's like a quest game. And they also have a mobile application, so you can do a lesson or some exercises every time you have a few spare minutes. All this content is free and even if you are not into Spanish, they also offer lessons for German, French, Italian or Portuguese.
After all the computer languages I've studied since finishing high school (Java, C, C++, Prolog, Lisp, OCaml, Python, SQL, PL/SQL, XML, HTML, BPEL and probably more) it's nice to study a human language again :)
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