Hola, Como Estas – The Simple Way to Learn a New Language

I’ve been back in the United States for less than a month and I’m already itching to go back to Nicaragua! Are you sick of hearing about it yet? In case you missed those posts, you can see my travel diary here and watch the video here.

So listen. Here’s my thing with spanish. I was pretty good at it during my two years of classes in High School. Not fluent, but I understood the language.

I ended up marrying a very handsome Latino man (if I do say myself,) and have picked up much more of the language just from immersion; being around his family, his culture, having children . .

But here’s the most frustrating thing about it; I’m pretty fluent in understanding the language but not so great at actually speaking it. Ugh! I’m also pretty great a reading the written word. I guess I just haven’t gained the confidence to carry on full conversations.

However, being in Nicaragua for two weeks really gave me the desire to pick it back up. I was amazed by how much I was able to communicate with the natives but I want to do so more efficiently. This motivated me to become more fluent so that next time we visit I am able to fend for myself, as opposed to the husband speaking on my behalf every five seconds.

Naturally I came home, hopped on the internet, and did a quick search for the best “language learning apps.”

This is where I came across Duolingo.

And in the spirit of sharing simple living on this blog, I figured I’d share with you a simple way to learn a new language . . . for free! 

There are so many things I love about this app that I feel like I could go on about it all day, so I HAD to share with you. I mean, duh, you guys are like my real life BFFs. Anything I love, I share with you!

And p.s. the app isn’t JUST for spanish. You can also learn French, German, Italian, and tons more!

DuoLingo Courses

I think I’ll learn Italian next. S’il vous plaît?

Everyone wants to learn a new language, right? Unfortunately one-on-one lessons are often inaccessible and expensive. Duolingo allows you to learn a new language for free! Side note: not sponsored, just obsessed.

My favorite thing about Duolingo is you can set a goal. Whether you have 5 free minutes daily or 30, the app will send you a reminder every single day to spend that time focused on learning.

The best part? It doesn’t feel like you’re learning. It feels like a game! It’s fun and quite honestly addicting.

Each lesson includes a variety of speaking, listening, translation, and multiple choice challenges. It keeps you on your toes testing your knowledge in a multitude of ways.

DuoLingo Lessons


So here’s how it begins. You download the app (duh,) pick the language you want to learn, and create your profile. Once you’ve done that you can choose to start as a total newb, or you can take a test to determine how much you already know and the app will create your lessons based on that information.

Then, you begin! The app breaks the lessons down into different categories. You start with basic phrases and work your way towards foods, animals, items, time, and so on and so forth.




As I mentioned earlier, each lesson contains a variety of challenges that keep it fun. For example, during one of the challenges you will hear a phrase and then be asked to type it out in your native language. For another test you hear a phrase and are then asked to record your voice, repeating that phrase.


DuoLingo Sample

Other means of testing include translating a sentence into your native language, or matching the foreign words to your native language.

Another cool thing? You can actually link the app to your LinkedIn account. The app will keep track of how fluent you are in speaking the language and add it to your LinkedIn profile. This is obviously a good look for those wanting to take their career to the next level.

Anyways! Like I said, I could ramble on all day but I won’t. Have you used DuoLingo or any other language learning app? Leave which one you used in the comment section below and tell me how you liked it!

Adios, tara


The only language app you'll ever need DuoLingo
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