So,two entire months passed without me having access to my paid courses on busuu.com as I have mentioned in previous posts. In fact nothing has changed,I still don’t have access to the website and the alleged Premium service besides the corrections section which is great and I love it but going Premium wasn’t about me just helping the rest and nobody would pay for correcting random posts, highly unlikely.So I packed my virtual bags and I moved out to find other places and happily,I re-discovered Duolingo 3 days ago.
Yes,there was a banner in the sidebar of this blog but I was so into the busuu-thing that I never took the time to explore the options offered and,mainly,free of charge.I had to make time this week because my progress had flatlined.Duolingo has -finally- a functioning platform.It doesn’t support voice recordings.It has no voice or video chat,but there is a document section for users to translate,lots of useful links in the forum and a virtual currency which doesn’t buy garden items as in busuu but it buys time or tests for the users to take them.Which means that Duolingo is focused in providing the essential tools for basic knowledge.
I hope it stays that way
In addition,the courses are of 60-ish lessons each and each lesson has 4 or 5 parts.I begun the course in Swedish 3 days ago and I have already filled 40 pages on my notebook – I am a bit old-fashioned,I need to write down what I study 😉
The lessons are fast and short unless you are distracted as I am lately and making one mistake after the other.
Before writing this post,I checked all the above in 3 different courses,Swedish,Portuguese and Irish,in 5 levels and that alone makes Duolingo a convenient optionv for those who want to learn a language seriously, free of ads and free of charge. Quite appealing..
In the disadvantages section,I will have to say that the digital, computer – generated voice is a bit annoying.. like a sci-fi B-movie.Many times it’s echoing digital buzzes and it’s really irritating.Hopefully this will be changed soon or so I read in some random post on the Duolingo Discussion section.
I also tried Lang-8 which has no courses board,no idea about chat because it is the last I think of and functions as a language exchange platform. I think it is great. Again free of charge.But unfortunately it wasn’t made for me because i was under the impression that it required a great deal of online social interaction which isn’t my strong point. After all,even my online accounts have Asperger’s 😉 They don’t talk much and are lonely.
I also took the time to re-test Babbel,which of course, has no free version,just a trial session of one lesson unless somebody invites you to try it and it provides, in this case,an entire week( I hope they haven’t changed that) But one lesson is always one lesson and anyone can tell if the platform fits them or not so they don’t waste their money as happened to many people with the busuu platform.The prices are quite affordable still it is money that will leave your pocket to go nest to someone else’s one so think about it twice.The advantages are that you can cancel the subscription even the previous day before the due payment ( I checked that),there is a visible contact e-mail (double checked that) their support team really replies within 48 hours( triple checked that ) and their platform just rocks.
You don’t have to read silly excuses like please clean the cache and cookies in your browser so that our website works,which is totally idiotic ,it just works. There is also a tiny bit of a recording,if you have ANY kind of a headset and the last (not the latest) versions of Flash Player,then you won’t have a problem.Oh wait,there is a problem,the lessons are extremely boring.I don’t know if it was the guy(digital? ) speaking so slowly with that monotonous voice or if it was the constant repetition of the same word,I really felt like taking a nap.Don’t try teaching your children with this platform.
Personally,I choose the options that carry no price tags 😉 Invest your money in some good grammar books and a dictionary.
I am not linked in any way to the mentioned websites or the platforms and the posts are not promotional .The purpose of the posts is informative