duolingo

Terence, bless his coeur, swears he likes to speak French with me in spite of how badly I consistently butcher it. He tends to speak so quickly that I freeze, too flustered to keep up. (College was a loooong time ago.) But I know it means a lot to him that I try. I imagine that since it's his first language (and the one he still speaks with his dad), it activates a part of his identity that he doesn't get to dial into much otherwise. And I want to be able to give him that, if only in my very limited way.

So I've been brushing up, using iPad apps I already had, plus one I've recently downloaded: Duolingo. I'm barely into the lower levels, but I love it. It's much more interactive and fun than the other apps, and structured with goals and prizes (you can cash in points for things like new outfits for your "coach", a whistle-wearing, pep-talking owl). I do wish there were more vocal exercises, but you can get around that by just reading aloud all of the written ones. The best part is how weird and random some of the sentences are. Le requin est rouge. Ses jupes ont des poches grandes. Also, the section on alcohol is a hoot. Nous boivent beaucoup de vin rouge. Yes. Yes we do.

If you're learning a language or want to bone up on one, I def suggest checking it out - as does Slate! It's the number one recommended app for annoying your loved ones with random foreign language ejaculations.