Hi! Towards the third week of March, Ohio issued a stay home order that put a name to the suggested self-isolation constantly being recommended. This means that the only times you should be out in the general public is if your work is deemed “essential” or you are shopping at an essential business like the grocery store, pharmacy, or are stopping at the gas station.
This hasn’t been too bad, because all of the nonessential businesses and restaurants have already been closed for a while so it’s not like a bunch of fun stuff instantly got taken away. Both my boyfriend and I work in fields that are considered “essential” so we are lucky enough to still be able to go to work. But, trust and believe that as soon as we get off of work, we are hunkered down in my apartment for the rest of the day.
My time in self-isolation has proven to be pretty fruitful. I love spending time with my boyfriend playing video, card, and board games and watching all kinds of good movies and shows. Recently, we got into watching Lego Masters and that has been our latest obsession in quarantine.
I also have made good on my promise to read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King and have been enjoying that greatly. And, as often as I can, I try to practice the languages that I am learning on Duolingo: French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Czech. It makes me feel good to exercise my brain after what feels like nonstop TV time and it also really helps to break up the boredom with something more mentally stimulating.
What I am most excited about during this stay at home order, however, is that the weather is finally nice enough to hike – which is still allowed! I am looking forward to being more active with walks as often as I can because I am in such a slump without being able to go to the skating rink. So, hopefully this will help decrease all of the energy I have in the evening from not doing much of anything for the past month! 😀
How have you been spending time in self-isolation? Did you set any goals for yourself to accomplish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Yo! It has been a while since I gave an update on my language learning festivities, so here we are. This past month, I have added Czech to my trifecta of languages that I have been working on with French, Spanish, and Italian. And, let me tell you, it has been about a bitch. I decided to start Czech because of my halfsies heritage with my mom being one hundred percent Czechoslovakian. And, I plan on starting German in another month or so as my dad is almost one hundred percent in his nationality.
Being fluent in French made Spanish and Italian fairly easy to work on, since the Romance languages are pretty similar. I also took Spanish from kindergarten to eighth grade and some of that (But not much!) is definitely coming back. Italian has proven to be more challenging than I thought it would be, but I finally think I am getting a better grip on it after over three months of working on it.
The real difficulty lies in Czech because it sounds SO different than any of the other languages that I am familiar with. None of the words in Czech sound anything like English, which is so helpful in my Romance languages because you can make an educated guess even if it sounds vaguely like something you have heard before. I went into Czech blind or, deaf, I should say because aside from a few random words I’ve heard from my mom and grandma, I’ve never even heard it spoken before.
But, Lil Red never backs down from a challenge and I plan to continue working hard on Czech as well as the other three languages in my arsenal. In the meantime, does anyone have any tips on learning a new language? Czech in specific? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hi! For those of you who don’t know, one of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages. I would say that I am fluent in French and, thanks to Duolingo, I have spent the past few months working on Spanish. I was going to just focus on those two languages for the time being but, then, I watched a fantastic film over the weekend called The Green Book and it was absolutely impossible to not start learning Italian afterwards!
Every day, I try to practice for at least thirty minutes between the three languages and it makes me feel so good. I love to learn and it feels awesome to gain a new skill as well as do something that makes me genuinely happy. I really do stand by the phrase that I loosely toss around on here that “knowledge is power”. Learning a new phrase in a language or a fact per day is empowering. You don’t have to be in school to continue your education and it makes it even better when you are teaching yourself.
I am so thankful for Duolingo, 1) because it’s completely free and 2) because it allows my skills to flourish. And, did I mention that it’s fun?! So much fun, that I think I will go practice my trifecta of languages now. 😀
Who else uses the Duolingo app? What languages are you learning? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hello!! So for a solid month I felt like I was completely slacking not only on Pacer, but on Duolingo, too. I was feeling super unmotivated and depressed and, damnit, I just didn’t feel like doing anything. But, now that I’m back to my normal, chipper, go getter self, it was time to get back on the horse and start making some progress again.
I’ve recently began working on my advanced French and beginner Spanish again and, I’ve got to tell you, it feels great. The mental exercise that I get from spending time with my languages daily makes me wonder why I ever stopped practicing in the first place, because I feel so good afterwards. In fact, it has motivated me to start practicing sign language again, which I took a hiatus from after having difficulty finding folks to practice with. Regardless of regular use or not, knowing a plethora of languages is an amazing skill to have, and I want to keep sharpening those skills on the daily.
I was halfway nervous to start practicing my languages again after a depression break, because I was worried that I had lost all of my knowledge in one short month. But, like riding a bike, I was able to pick up right where I left off and have since been enjoying every second of it. I’m proud that I didn’t let my anxiety about forgetting my skills get the best of me in regards to whether I should bother practicing again or not. And, even if I did forget anything, the worst that could happen is that I relearn something – and what’s the harm in that?
I’m getting back to feeling great mentally and physically after a rough past month and I am ready to continue making daily progress again just like in the good old days! 😀
Are you learning a new language right now? Who else utilizes Duolingo? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Howdy! Thanks to everyone’s recommendations to me about the Duolingo app, I have been obsessed for close to two months now. For funsies, I finally completed their French program for an enjoyable review and to sharpen my skills. Although it was tedious, it was well worth the time and effort and it felt good to finish the lessons that I started for a language that I love.
I have now moved onto Duolingo’s Spanish program and have been working on it for the past week or so. Once I complete these lessons, Spanish will be the FOURTH language that I’m familiar with, which is pretty good for an American! I haven’t taken a Spanish course since grade school, which has been over a decade ago, and I am already pleased with the progress that I have made.
My only complaint about the Duolingo app is the new update, where there are now three levels to complete per topic. I wish that they just did more extensive training on the subjects rather than having to go back to each one twice more once you complete level one. Three levels means a really repetitive curriculum, which was confirmed when I tried some of the advanced French levels only to find that it was a lot of the same thing over again.
When people ask me my level of fluency in French, I always reply with “If you transported me to Paris right now, I am sure that I would get along fine”. So, I can’t say that I will complete the additional levels for it. However, if I feel the need, I will certainly go back and give it a go. Spanish, on the other hand, will probably require all three levels of training, as I am completely unfamiliar with the language – despite eight years of it in grade school!!
Which languages are you learning on the Duolingo app? How many languages do you know and how did you learn them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hey everyone and happy Hump Day! Okay, so on a recent post that I made talking about how I enjoy learning new languages, I got so much positive feedback and some great tips. Thanks for that, by the way! Many of you mentioned the Duolingo app in your comments, and I decided to give it a go and I am in LOVE!!
Normally, when I’m learning a new language, I just like doing the tapes in my car and practicing on my own. I had heard of the Duolingo app before but never thought of giving it a try until it got such positive reviews from my readers. I am SO thankful for that, because I am enjoying it so much!! I’m working my way through the French lessons as a fun refresher and then I plan on starting Spanish within the next month.
I just can’t emphasize enough how pleased I am that you guys shared such positivity for the app with me, because I’m bullheaded enough that I would have just kept trudging through doing things my own way without it. Learning a new language is such an amazing workout for your brain and if you are interested in a great mental workout, then Duolingo is the way to go. I can now join the rave reviewers, because within a handful of days, I have become obsessed!!
How do you practice a new language? Are there any other handy language apps that you like to use? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
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