Tag Archives: french

One Year Duolingo Streak!

Standard
One Year Duolingo Streak!

Hi! This has been a year of very exciting milestones for yours truly. I recently achieved a 1,000 day streak of writing in a row on lifewithlilred and, today, I have reached one full year of daily practice on Duolingo! Every day, I have been working on my French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, and German and I am amazed at the progress that I have made in all of them. If you can’t tell, I am a woman who thrives with a routine and it is so exciting to see my hard work continue to pay off.

Because I have six years of experience of being taught French in high school and college, it will always be my best language in terms of speaking, reading, and comprehension. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure how speaking my other four languages would go because I haven’t had the opportunity to interact with anyone who speaks them – especially in COVID times because Johnny and I haven’t been able to travel for our honeymoon like we wanted.

That’s not to say that I haven’t noticed big improvements, though. I am always tickled when Johnny and I are watching a TV show or movie and one of my five languages is being spoken. More often than not, I can get the basic gist of what is being said and it makes me feel very proud of myself. Now, the next challenge will be figuring out which language to start learning next!

For the longest time, I have answered the “What would your super power be?” question with being fluent in every language. It has been a time consuming task to achieve this without being bitten by a radioactive spider but learning on Duolingo every day brings me one step closer to that dream. 🙂

Which language should I learn next? Which languages can you speak? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

175 Day Duolingo Streak!

Standard
175 Day Duolingo Streak!

Hello! The last time I gave an update on my Duolingo progress, I had just achieved a one hundred day streak and I finally received my badge for adding seventy-five more days to it. I am so pleased with my progress and am proud of myself for continuing to practice five different languages every day for close to half a year. I am leaving previous goals in the dust and I feel like my skills in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Czech are improving tenfold.

Thanks to Johnny gifting me Duolingo Plus for Christmas, practicing every day has become an exciting thing rather than an inconvenience because Plus gives you unlimited life. This is so handy on especially tough lessons and I don’t think I would have made it to a one hundred seventy-five day streak without it. I will most definitely be renewing my Plus subscription at the end of the year and highly recommend it.

Other than writing, learning languages is my favorite hobby and I feel good about committing myself even more to it. Similarly to how I feel after I finish a blog post for the day, I feel accomplished every time I complete my language lessons and it has really helped me shake away the pandemic boredom blahs. It’s hard to feel like there is “nothing” to do when I can go on Duolingo and learn brand new words and phrases in multiple different languages!

While I am over the moon with my one seventy-five day streak, I am nowhere close to being done yet because I will not be satisfied until I have a full year’s worth of days on my streak counter. I am almost halfway there and cannot wait to see the results of my hard work after one full year of practicing five languages. Great success!

Have you made progress on your pandemic hobbies? What is your favorite hobby? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

My Lock Down Entertainment

Standard
My Lock Down Entertainment

Hi! My lock down entertainment has mostly consisted of watching movies and TV and playing video games with Johnny as well as practicing Duolingo and reading at my leisure. Prior to the pandemic, Johnny and I already had a majority of the available streaming services and I was thankful for all of them then and I’m even more thankful for them now because we will never hurt for something to watch! Here is the latest of what we have been enjoying lately:

TV Shows:

Johnny has currently been making his way through a couple of Ken Burns documentaries and if I don’t feel like watching, then I might pop on an anime on my computer. Johnny and I recently watched Castlevania on Netflix and, despite season three not being the best, it was overall really good. My brother recommended Parasyte and Demon Slayer to me and I absolutely loved Parasyte and finished it in a matter of days! I am now working my way through Demon Slayer and plan on giving Death Note a try next.

When we are not watching our shows separately, Johnny and I love tuning into the new episodes of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Superstore, and Saturday Night Live every week. We also just binged The Mandalorian in a week! I am absolutely obsessed with The Child and already can’t wait for season three. Since The Office has been taken off of Netflix, we are watching King Of The Hill as our comedy and I am absolutely obsessed with Bobby too, lol. I am also very much looking forward to Netflix’s Sandman series which should be coming out at the end of 2021!

PS: For my fellow French speakers, La Mante on Netflix was excellent. 🙂

Movies:

Johnny and I really haven’t been watching too many movies lately. We watched Mad Max: Fury Road on Valentine’s Day at Johnny’s request and it was whatever, haha. It was just a two hour long car chase! Other than that, we watched Casablanca a few weeks ago which was fun because I had never seen it and Johnny has only saw it once. Trust and believe we said “we’ll always have Paris” like five hundred times while Johnny built his LEGO Paris skyline set. Obviously, we thought it was pretty funny lol!

Other than that, I watched a couple of French movies on Netflix in the past few months and both of them were awesome! If you like foreign films, then definitely check out Mon Frere and The Most Assassinated Woman In The World.

Reading:

The last book that I read was The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher which was not only crazy AF but fairly disturbing. I definitely needed a palette cleanser after that so I am just in the process of finishing The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley. It is a charming, weaving tale of how one little book ended up bringing together a group of unlikely friends. I only have a little over one hundred pages left so be on the lookout for a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club soon.

Duolingo:

On my last Duolingo update, I had just reached my one hundred day streak and I am currently past one twenty-five. I am so proud of my commitment to learning French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech as well as all of the progress that I have been making because I can definitely tell a difference. I also still can’t recommend Duolingo Plus enough. It is so nice to have unlimited hearts during a difficult lesson and also ad free which speeds up the process immensely.

Video Games:

For Valentine’s Day, Johnny got me Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door for the GameCube and I have been having so much fun playing it! I have been on a huge Mario kick during the pandemic and beat Paper Mario: The Origami King and Super Mario Galaxy which were both a blast. I have basically dropped off of Animal Crossing but will pop back on once they do an update for spring. You can only catch the same fish and bugs so much, ya know? Johnny and I play a lot of Diablo III together and we are also about to inherit our friend’s Nintendo 64 so we are really looking forward to that!

While going out would be nice, it’s just not safe right now. But you know what is nice for me? Ample time to watch all of the shows I never had time for, read all the books, and improve on my favorite hobbies – all while helping slow the spread of COVID-19. Enjoy your time in and make the most of it!

What has been your lock down entertainment? Which streaming service do you use the most? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

Standard
Hurray! 100 Day Duolingo Streak

Hello! One of my favorite hobbies is learning new languages and I practice French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Czech on Duolingo. Pre-pandemic, I was lucky if I could get a four or five day streak of practice going with a busy work and social schedule. Now, I am proud to say that I am on an over ONE HUNDRED day streak of practicing all five languages and I am honestly blown away by it. I also don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

For the past one hundred plus days, I have been dedicated to doing one to two lessons per language daily with Duo and it’s exciting for me because I can definitely tell that I have made great improvements. I consider myself to be quite fluent in French (I took it throughout high school and college) and I think I have made huge gains, as I can understand a majority of the French shows and movies I watch without subtitles now. I have found that my Spanish and Italian is much smoother and my vocabulary in both German and Czech has made good progress too.

I know people have talked about their hobbies to NO END during the COVID-19 pandemic but it is just so cool to me to notice substantial gains from just one hundred days of practicing for a half hour. Everything from work to social lives seems to be on a stand still right now with not much to look forward to. However, I look forward to working on my languages every day now so my skill set can continue to blossom.

Learning a different language opens up a whole new world. New friendships, new skills, new entertainment, new dream locations to travel to. Duolingo is a free app and if you find yourself overwhelmed by all of the free time we now have, then I highly recommend giving it a download. You can even treat yourself to Duolingo Plus, which will give you unlimited hearts! Learning something new is exhilarating and incorporating Duolingo into your life could be just what you need to shake some blahs away until things get back to normal. ❤

Do you know a different language? How do you practice? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 4

Standard
What Have I Been Watching? Pt. 4

Hello!! With COVID cases spiking dangerously in Ohio, Johnny and I are more hunkered down than ever. So, obviously, we have been getting a lot of use out of our streaming services of Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, and Shudder. Here is the best of what we have been watching recently:

Ils (Them):

First things first, sorry to my mom if she’s reading this because this French horror movie scared her so bad but it is one of my favorites. If you have Shudder, then you can watch Ils too. This crazy twist of a home invasion movie is what began my fondness for foreign films. I can remember when I first started learning French and I would watch this movie to practice, as the dialogue is quite limited. It felt so good to watch this several years later, completely understand it, and enjoy it just as much as the first time I saw it. Highly recommend for horror fans!

Slasher:

Johnny and I recently finished up the Canadian horror anthology Slasher and it was very good! So far, there are three seasons all with a different plot but some of the same cast members (like American Horror Story) and a fourth season is currently in the works. Slasher is equally entertaining as it is bloody and disgusting, drawing inspiration from lots of different… Well, slasher movies! I will say that season one was my favorite followed by season two, then three. However, each season was unique in its own way and it is a must for horror fans.

Letterkenny:

Another Canadian show that Johnny and I absolutely love is Letterkenny. Named after the small, fictional town in Canada the show is based in, Letterkenny follows a group of pals and all of their nonsense. From getting hammered, getting in fights, and participating in talent shows and adult spelling bees, there is literally never a not hilarious moment in this show. Each and every character is so funny and likeable in their own way but I am particularly fond of Stewart, Jonesy, and Riley! #ferda

Dancing With The Stars:

Finally, I am still going strong on watching Dancing With The Stars. Back in the day, I was an avid fan of the show but lost interest and haven’t seen it in several years. But, when I heard that Johnny Weir (one of my favorite figure skaters) was going to be competing, I was happy to step back into the ballroom.

Although I am enjoying DWTS, I am ready for it to be over lol. Don’t get me wrong, I love the performing, music, and costumes. However, I just can’t stand Tyra Banks as a hostess – she is so awful! I don’t plan on watching the next season unless there is someone who I really like on – but I am looking forward to seeing who comes out on top this season!

Which shows have you been binge watching? Do you have any movie or TV recommendations for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

Standard
There Are Good Ships, There Are Bad Ships…

You know… I think the best ships are Auntships and yes I definitely made that up on the spot, lol. This past weekend, I had the absolute joy of watching my sweet niece Miss Valerie Jane. Val Gal is almost twenty months old and she is my sister, Kristen, and brother in law, Ramon’s, little girl. Valerie is honest to god my best friend and my life has been so much happier since she was born.

Despite having Blue’s Clues on in the background for the entire evening, Val and I had the best time playing, snacking, and enjoying a pajama party while her mom and dad were at work. Between her French lessons from her auntie, reading books, putting puzzles together, working on her flash cards, and cooking in her pretend kitchen we had a jam packed Saturday night!

I love being able to see Val’s happy and silly personality continue to develop every time I see her. I swear, she is always giggling, belly laughing, and on the move and I don’t know how her parents keep up with her. Especially considering that Kristen and Ramon have five pets, as well. Three dogs named Tydus, Winston, and Platinum and two cats called Mary and Gloria (All rescued). 🙂

I know I’m biased because Val is my niece but I am just so proud of her, Kristen, and Ramon because she’s legit the best kid on the planet. In fact, I tend to not like children that much to begin with but I wish I could see Valerie every day.

Being able to go to chez Kristen and Ramon’s for an evening and do nothing but make Val laugh hysterically from the “Where’s Val? I can’t find her anywhere” game was a high point of this entire year, lol. I was so tired after caring for a constantly on the move kiddo but all I have to do is think about our “auntie and me” time together and it never ceases to put a smile on my face.

Being an auntie to lil Valerie Jane is one of the best gifts I’ve ever had and I really do think the best ships are Auntships. ❤

Are you a proud aunt or uncle? Which TV shows are the kiddos in your life obsessed with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Enjoying Improving

Standard
Enjoying Improving

Hi! During quarantine, I have been enjoying getting to practice all of the different languages that I have been learning. I have much more time to do so and have noticed how much I’ve improved thanks to the almost daily practice sessions. On Duolingo, I am taking French, Spanish, Czech, German, and Italian. I also have been LOVING practicing American Sign Language through YouTube videos.

Recently, I began taking an online ASL Zoom class taught by the fabulous Doctor Jen. Unfortunately, she stopped doing her weekly teaches and I was left high, dry, and disappointed because I have been wanting to learn ASL for forever. Especially since teaching myself a little from books was nothing in comparison to watching someone teach you.

It was important to me to find another source to continue learning ASL with because I was doing way better than I expected. And, luckily, I landed on ten twenty minute lessons of basic sign language from a guy who looks like Steve Martin AND the one guy from Whose Line Is It Anyway? You’ll see what I mean, I promise:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to this video!

Although I loved learning ASL under Doctor Jen, it’s nice to continue learning even if it is with someone different. And, thankfully, Doctor Byron Bridges is a close second! Born deaf to deaf parents, Doctor Bridges has degrees from numerous different schools and is dedicated to teaching his craft.

Not only is he brilliant, but it’s impossible to not grin from ear to ear when you see how animated and in he gets to each lesson. If you’re looking for something to help pass the time, why not give a few of these ASL classes a try? You’ll be glad you did!

Where else offers ASL classes online? Which languages do you know? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Duolingo Update

Standard
Duolingo Update

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

Duolingo Progress

Standard
Duolingo Progress

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

From Paris, With Love

Standard
From Paris, With Love

Hi everyone and TGIF! If you know Lil Red, then you’ll know that I am an avid lover of all things French. The language, the fashion, the architecture, the food – I am a huge fan of all of it and it is my dream to spend a few months there. Unfortunately, that dream hasn’t come into fruition yet, so the closest that I can get to Paris is practicing my French on Duolingo. Disappointed doesn’t even begin to cover my emotions about that!

But, the brilliant surprises of exploring a new country can take place right where you are, if you have an awesome mom, that is. Over the weekend, I was called downstairs from working on my French by my brother so that he could tell me something. While we were chatting, my mom went into my room and replaced my sad, old bed sheets and comforters with this gorgeous set:

parisparis1paris3paris2

Upon returning to my chambers, I couldn’t believe the fantastic surprise that my mom had for me. This new bed set is absolutely stunning, and it looks like illustrations and writing taken straight from someone’s travel journal. And, did I mention that my new blankies are the epitome of comfort? They are so soft but light, and are perfect for wrapping yourself in during a warm summer night.

I might not be in Paris any time soon, but at least my new bed set will take me there in my dreams! Thanks, mom! ❤

Where is your dream travel location? How do you bring some of your favorite country to your home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah