Exactly 100 days ago, I made a post about the beauty of the streak. I know this because it was on the event of my 900 day streak on my primary language learning site, Duolingo. I have now reached 1000. Worry not, I am not going to blog about Duolingo every 100 days, but 1000 seems special. There are few things beyond the most banal like eating or showering that I’ve done 1000 days in a row. I suppose 1000 is a bit arbitrary. It was still quite good at 998 or 999, but 1000 is a very satisfying number:
This one was especially satisfying as it was maintained even in periods of great change. I started off on this streak in a small front room in Brighton, maintained it traveling across the lower 48 US states and got to 1000 here in my office in Chandler drinking some truly superb Brazilian coffee from Trader Joe’s. Duolingo and language learning in this style has been one of the few constants in the last few years and it is very good to have grounding things like that. I still feel like we are settling into moving to Arizona. For instance, we just only got shoe and coat racks. We are still setting up the little details of our lives now that most of the big ones have been taken care of. Duolingo has been a constant regardless of what mad thing has been going on and that has been very beneficial to have.
Naturally there is the actual language learning, too. I feel like I have a flavor of many languages, many more than I ever thought I would know to any degree. In the last 1000 days, I have studied Danish, Swedish, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Catalan, Welsh, Guarani, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Hungarian, Romanian, Japanese and even a touch of Esperanto in addition to reviewing Italian, which I now translate professionally in addition to Spanish and Portuguese. No, I didn’t study them all to the same degree. I think I learned the most Norwegian and Catalan and I already knew some Polish and Japanese from in person classes in the past, so that has partially been review. Hungarian and Welsh are ridiculously difficult. Welsh never really clicked for me and Hungarian is taking its sweet time. Japanese is easier than I thought it would be and Guarani is just weird and cool and exotic and also easier than expected with how different it is from English or anything else I’ve studied.
Duolingo has been a truly fantastic tool, great mental exercise and the best way I have found to learn languages. Before Duolingo with its stellar method and streak concept, I did try my hand at several classes and books to learn bits of various languages over the years, but the streak means that even if I am a bit busy or not as interesed for a week or a month, I keep coming back and gradually, more goes in. Some days I just do a single Catalan review lesson, but that has resulted in me being able to read and write a decent amount of Catalan now and that was a course that I started when it came out in either late 2015 or early 2016.
Anyway, to 1000 more! 🙂