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
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:
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
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
Helloooo everyone and happy Tuesday! Today, we are going to discuss ten more of my top choices on Netflix. With the always expanding amount of movies to choose from on Netflix, sometimes it can feel impossible to pick which flick to watch. Luckily, you can choose from some Lil Red Guaranteed films below for movie night made easy:
- Return To Sender: I have to say, I am not the biggest Rosamund Pike fan. I find that all of her characters are exactly the same and her performances are very flat. HOWEVER, I didn’t completely hate Return To Sender. It was a pretty intense tale of a seemingly level headed woman taking total control of seeking revenge against her recently released from jail rapist. 7/10
- The Imitation Game: If you have not seen this movie and are a Benedict Cumberbatch fan, then SHAME ON YOU. This is actually one of my favorite movies. A true story about the closeted Alan Turing who cracked Enigma during World War II. Bursting at the seams with emotion and a riveting story line, you can’t go wrong with this one.
- I Love You, Man: This movie is easily one of my favorite comedies. Featuring an all star cast Of Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, and Rashida Jones, you get to live through the cringe worthy moments of man dates as newly engaged and friendless Peter tries to find groomsmen for his wedding. Freaking hilarious and oddly heartwarming, I Love You, Man is a definite crowd pleaser.
- Meet The Parents: This used to be one of my favorites when I was younger. Early Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro are a match made in funny movie heaven. There are definitely some cringey parts in this movie – like finding out that “Greg” is really named Gaylord Focker, but it’s a lot of fun with some early 2000’s flare.
- Sing Street: I LOVE THIS MOVIE. 10/10 WOULD WATCH SEVERAL TIMES. If you are a fan of Irish cinema, good music (The Cure, anyone?), and a heart wrenching tale of the younger boy falling for the mysterious older gal then, please do yourselves a favor, and watch this movie. You’ll thank me later.
- The Little Prince: This animated flick is nowhere near as good as the claymation one featuring Gene Wilder – I’m warning you now. But, The Little Prince is one of my favorite books and this sweet retelling still does it justice.
- The Prince Of Egypt: And, speaking of animated films, this is one of the BEST animated flicks of all time. Someone, please try and change my mind. I’m not even religious and I flipping LOVE this movie. A banging soundtrack, an interesting Bible story of Moses, and visually stunning, The Prince Of Egypt rules.
- Raw: Certainly not the best French movie I’ve ever seen, but definitely not the worst, either. A young vegetarian veterinarian hopeful discovers a taste for meat after a hazing event at school. Like I said, not the best but not the worst – but, I still enjoyed it. *Shrugs*
- Changeling: As a huge Angelina Jolie fan, this movie is pure perfection. In a too crazy to be true but based on a true story … I can’t give anything away! It is a longer movie than most, but if you’re looking for a sad, shocking, inspiring movie, then tuck in for the night with Changeling.
- Creep 1 & 2: Both the first and the second Creep movies were very good. I’ll call it a horror flick even though there’s nothing too “scary” about it in the something is going to pop out and kill you sense. Shot documentary style, a lonely man lures videographers to remote locations to film his wolf mask wearing weirdness. I wouldn’t call these movies scary – but, they are definitely creepy!
Your next movie night is a go, with my above top ten selections! Turn on Netflix, grab your popcorn and blankets, and enjoy!
What are some of your top picks on Netflix? Which of the above movies do you plan on watching next? 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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