As part of my preparations to go on the Journey to Turkey this summer I have been learning some basic Turkish words and phrases. Unfortunately, Turkish is not as widely studied in the United States as some other languages like Spanish and German, which means that there aren’t as many free and reliable resources for learning. Now that’s changed, thanks to Duolingo!
For those who don’t know, Duolingo is an entirely free language learning website that uses crowd sourcing to create their courses. However, unlike other sites like memrise where anyone can make a course, Duolingo has an application process and moderators so you know the course will be reliable and accurate. Other courses currently being worked on for English speakers include Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Hebrew, Klingon, and Vietnamese. There are also tons of courses that have been made and are being made for speakers of languages other than English, such as Russian for Swedish speakers and Portuguese for German speakers.
The courses are tons of fun to complete because of the gamified process that Duolingo follows, with points, lives, levels, and an on-site currency. And, as is obvious from the picture above, they are very thorough and provide lots of practice and notes so that the learner can easily grasp concepts.
Overall, I am extremely excited to be using Duolingo to learn some Turkish before I leave to study abroad. I think having some knowledge of the language will really help to enhance my experience in Turkey, even if that knowledge is as basic as introducing myself and asking someone how they are. It will provide another level of connection in a foreign country that I am eager to explore.