For years I've wanted to learn a second language, in particular Japanese. But after flicking through some books, listening to some podcasts and even living there briefly, I've never really taken Japanese or any other language seriously.
That all changed a few days ago when I discovered Duolingo. (I'm not a shill, promise.)
Voted iPhone app of the year, I gave it a chance and a few minutes later I had learnt more French than I ever did in high school. Mind you, I was a total dipshit in high school, but it's pretty amazing nonetheless.
Basically, it gamifies the learning process. Lessons are comprised of a set of questions, and you have a limited amount of lives available. Fuck up a question, lose a life. Complete a lesson, gain XP. Earn enough XP, achieve your daily goal. It's simple, but effective. And for the first time in my life I'm actually motivated to learn a second language.
Problem is, Japanese isn't currently available on Dualingo. At the moment, there's only Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian. I'm probably more likely to travel to a Spanish speaking country in the near future, but I think the French accent is sexy so I decided to go with that.
However, I'm having some second thoughts:
- Are there similar/better learning tools available for Japanese?
- Should I Iearn Spanish instead?
- Should I just stick with French?
As far as I know, French and Spanish are much easier to learn than Japanese. But if anyone can recommend other software of has some advice I'm open to learning something else. Keep in mind, Duolingo is free. I've considered stuff like Rosetta Stone but it's too expensive.