Wednesday, 22.11.2017

Duolingo Be a Cunning Linguist


So we can all agree, there are instances when it would be good to be fluent in another language (other than the one you’re reading now). You could avoid misunderstandings with poorly briefed Russian hit squads; order off-the-menu specials at Rio’s top cachaca dives; tell your favourite Swedish jokes while ice fishing with locals in Norway; or send knees trembling with whispered verses from Charles Baudelaire’s La Beauté. After all, Virginia Woolf said “language is a wine upon the lips,” and tiger, it’s your shout.

Fortunately Duolingo, a new interactive app, has you covered. By translating lines from the world wide web at your existing (or non-existent) language level, you learn new words and phrases whilst doing your civic duty. The crowd-sourced text translation platform is completely free and designed so users progress through lessons while they translate Spanish, German, French, Brazilian Portuguese or Italian web text. In addition to unlocking knowledge for millions, you can search vocab sections for new words and get translation hints whenever you get stuck. The beauty is you can learn a new turn of phrase in your favourite dialect whilst sitting in the back of a cab, killing time between meetings or waiting for your after five merlot to breath – virtually anytime you have a free moment and a thirst for…foreign tongues.

Think of it as doing your part for inter-cultural communication.



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