I fell in love with Spanish in high school and it’s been a part of my life ever since. My roommates can attest to the fact that they frequently have to ask me to turn the television back to an English channel. A lot of my music library is in Spanish and I love finding covers of popular songs. One of my favorites is of Avicii’s Wake Me Up done in a Mariachi Style by the very talented PostModernJukebox.
Isn’t it beautiful? That’s how the Spanish language has always been to me – a prettier way to express myself (and don’t even get me started on the beauty of Italian). Not only does it roll of the tongue easily, but it’s more descriptive. For example, in the above sentences, I used love to describe my enjoyment of the Spanish language as well as the activity of finding covers of popular songs. In English, we use love to describe everything from activities we enjoy to the feelings we have for another person. Spanish does a better job of differentiating between all of this with different expressions and words for romantic love or the love for a child or even acts of charity. It makes more sense!
I could go on for days about the benefits of learning a language. It’s good for your brain and according to a study done at the University of Chicago, it can even make you better at rational decision-making! Learning grammatical structure of a new language can improve your skills in your first language because you’re forced to think about sentence organization. You also have the opportunity to connect with other people in a way that you couldn’t before. The world we live in is huge and everything is becoming increasingly global. You might as well give yourself a head start. Plus, you’ll be more attractive to employers! It’s a win-win.
Convinced yet? Check out Duolingo!
Duolingo is an incredible FREE app that helps you learn a language. The game-like approach of the lessons makes it fun and accessible. Not only do you work on vocabulary, but you also develop pronunciation and listening skills. You can connect with other users and friends to help keep you accountable while adding an element of friendly competition.
One lesson takes about five minutes which can be easily squeezed into your morning routine. Perhaps while the coffee brews? I’ve gotten into the habit of doing one lesson in the morning and one right before I go to bed. Your brain keeps processing information after you fall asleep so why not help program a new language into your head? I’ve had a few dreams in Spanish which is always interesting and makes me feel like I’m progressing.
It’s a great way to start learning a language or just hone your skills. For those a bit more advanced, it’s useful to keep it in your brain. Use it or lose it right? I’m not currently in a Spanish class so I like the daily practice to keep my language abilities from getting rusty. Regardless of your current language abilities, this is definitely an app worth checking out!