I do hope you are aware of this life-changing app.
#oh-no paid links, no cousin who developed the app, plus- as you will see in a moment- the hacks are entirely free- and that is exactly the reason they are considered hacks. I just like this app -I get to learn a language, feel challenged and have fun while doing it+ I get to occasionally drop a phrase in Portuguese or Italian while talking -I tell you this is such a great way to seem sophisticated.
Well-because it’s good for your brain that’s why. apparently, our brain is a muscle-thus needing workout just like the flabby arms I happen to own.
If you like traveling and discovering new cultures- that’s obvious- right? always the best idea to go to a foreign country knowing even a few words in the native language. it’s a matter of respect I think. plus people really like it when you try to speak their language, even if you sound like a 2-year-old.
The only downside to this is if you accidentally get good at it- and make the mistake of sounding fluent enough- people will answer you back, and that is a whole different category.
Because while learning a language on an App, at home, on your couch, you are relaxed, concentrated, the narrators speak slowly and clearly, resulting in you getting the (wrong) impression that you can hop on a plane and go anywhere -because you got to the “diamond league” on Duolingo.
I wish life was that simple.
As with everything else in life- you need to practice some modesty.
Because the absolutely magnificent phrase “oh! that is a shark!!” will get you as far as the local zoo, but not very far from it.
So- after establishing the modesty requirement-we can skip to the Hacks- which do not encourage slacking in your language learning- on the contrary- the hacks enable you to accomplish more lessons and not give up too soon. (and maybe slack from time to time- but only occasionally- not as a habit).
Hack #1: Add some competition to the game- preferably a sibling.
It is a known fact that sibling rivalry can get you going much faster than any other reward plan.
Hack #2: No need really to get the “Premium package”. Sorry, Duolingo- but I’ve managed just fine without paying anything. the only thing is you need to get past those truly annoying ads.
What I realized was that many times you need a 30 seconds break to let your eyes rest for a bit, so I just click the ad’s sound button, turn the phone face down on the couch, and continue listening to the classical music radio channel I listen to, and after a short break- I resume my (currently-Portuguese) studying. the catch is- the sound button is hidden quite impressively- being a white button- in its natural fauna of white surroundings- meaning you need to gear up on your David Attenborough skills and get to that hidden button before the ad gets to your brain and you’ll end up buying a car camera that films anyone that might want to scratch your car.
Hack #3: How to get “more hearts”: the way these app works is that you start each day with 5 “hearts” (don’t get all excited- this doesn’t mean you get to”spread 5 times more lovvvvvvveeeee in this world”, its just a game people). each time you make a mistake- one heart is deleted. mistake- by the way- consists of grammar and spelling too, although at the basic levels all you need to do if you forget how you say “pineapple” in Portuguese, is click on the word you forgot in the sentence you see in front of you- and the translation comes right up. (in this case being- “abacaxi-which is a great word in itself, and with a Portuguese accent it is a dream, try it).
So- if you make more than 5 mistakes- let me rephrase that- when you make more than 5 mistakes- Just click the “hearts” sign- (clue- it is shaped like the universal sign of a heart- which by all means isn’t the way an actual heart looks like, check me out on this if you really want to).
When you click on the heart sign- you’ll see 3 boxes open up the one on the right “get premium thus unlimited hearts- ignore that one (sorry Duoling) -you can also “buy” 5more hearts with the “diamonds” or whatever they are you collected along the way by achieving skills and “watching adds” (that’s the next hack-in a second) -but don’t bother – this is The ultimate Hack:
Click on the box to the left -which reads:“+1 heart-practice”.
Oh, the delight.
You get to practice -stress-free -because there is no limit to practice time- plus(!) you get a free of charge heart at the end of the practice. (!).
A free heart gets you obviously back in the game, now you can keep going, until the next time you run out of “hearts” . “practice makes perfect” (+heart).
Hack #4: the diamond button: look on the bottom sidebar– you’ll see a “house” icon, a book (which means stories- that’s the last hack) a girl(shows your achievements and your rival’s (oops- sibling’s) achievements, then the diamond- which opens to “special offers”.
The special thing is a “special ad” that you need to endure (or- as suggested in hack #2-ignore completely by muting the sound and turning the phone facing the couch. once the ad is done- you get more “diamonds”- which can be turned into more hearts- once you collect 350 “diamonds”.(as explained in hack #3).
Hack #5: The “funny “stories: with all due respect for nonrelatable sentences (just an example: “I can see your house from here”- really??? going to a different country and saying that to whom exactly?? -what really immerses you in a culture are the stories.
Sure- you can be a cynic (like me, for example) and think the stories are, well, not as funny as intended to be, (kind of “dad jokes”) but- you can also acknowledge the great exercise you get out of reading and trying to comprehend a full story in a different language than yours. (even if the story is about a kid who tells his dad he’s feeling really bad only to get chocolate from his doctor, which in my opinion raises important questions about the certain medical conduct of that kid’s doctor.
These were my top 5 hacks for Duolingo-as I said- no need to pay anything- just go practice your brain and learn a new language.
You never know when you’ll see a shark in Portugal.
Enjoy- the cooliflower.
I am not a medical/health/emotional/financial /nutrition or any other kind of expert as far as it concerns the contents of this blog, therefore anything written on the blog is not to be taken as any kind of advice, and should you choose to rely on anything I write on this blog- you are doing it at your own risk and at your own responsibility.