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Duolingo: A Ducking Awesome App


Yes, this duck has been learning French, which is how I learned about Duolingo—a quackers-good app.

Things I've learned via Duck Duolingo [I'm not convinced that this exists, but the usual French Duolingo is every bit as fantastic—Star] include:

• The French for duck is canard, which I thought was very elegant, until I found out that Peacock Riley thinks "canard" is a French can-opener brand;

• As you may know, I'm a pond manager by profession—that's gestionnaire d'étang in French. I think that makes my dull-as-beak-water job sound super-ducking awesome, and perhaps suggests I drive a French Mustang.

• To swim, in French, is nager, which, unfortunately, is "anger" with a couple of letters fussed around.

There aren't many duck reviews of Duolingo out there, but the bird visibility on this app is super-ducking awesome. There's an owl named Duo who does a duck of a lot of cheery waving and offers tons of bird-couragement. Plus he looks rad in a champagne tracksuit.

Really, this app is so playful and has such delightful characters that it's a total pond party—the kind that serves marinated goldfish and duck-champagne.

Why does this duck learn more in Duolingo? Just like the best pond managers, Duolingo lets you set your own goals, rewards you for meeting them, offers all sorts of fun activities, and, according to Star Williams, who was a teacher in the UK for years, is beak-stuffed full of ducker-entiation [that's "differentiation" for humans—Star]. Apparently, that means that Duolingo will help you to win, no matter what your knowledge or confidence level. Plus, if you're quackers-good at a skill or vocab area, you can swim ahead by doing a fun test.

Now, the free Duolingo French Podcast also rocks my flappers (and like the app, it's available in other languages too). Not only does it blend English and French storytelling in a way that supports your understanding, but it's also beautifully presented by Ngofeen Mputubwele and offers stories from those who've really made a splash. Interested in hearing interviews with the guy who created a shark-shaped submarine in order to have top-secret conversations with the sharks [not quite true, but close—Star]? Or a young woman in Tunisia who kept singing her freedom song, even when it put her in serious danger? Then dive on in, beak-first.

Finally, Duolingo is so sweet and encouraging and politically inclusive that it makes my French learning blissful. [Why can't other apps be as sensitive and inclusive as Duolingo? French learning has never been so fun—and I've done a lot of it. --Star]

Plus it's TOTALLY FREE though Star Williams heartily recommends Duolingo Plus.

Check it out, ducks, and take care as you swim through this ducking ri-duck-ulous time.

Over and out,



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