This is Duolingo, a language-learning website/app that deserves some serious recognition. It offers over 10 languages for English speakers, as well as courses for non-English speakers around the world, and they’re in the process of adding more.
But wait, I don’t want to do any more schoolwork! Not to worry little one, Duolingo is actually more like a game. You can compete with friends, and earn “lingots” (which are basically Duolingo money) to buy power-ups, extra activities, and bonus skills - like Flirting.
I’m already taking a language, what do I need this for?
It’s not really a secret that most school language courses (in America, anyway) suck and only teach you to speak the language at about a third grader’s level. Which is why Duolingo is so freaking awesome.
Teachers can’t give every student individualized attention, but Duolingo can. If you’re not learning the way you want to or as much as you want to in the classroom, Duolingo is a really great resource. It’s easy, tailored to you, and really effective.
Duolingo tracks your progress and reminds you when you haven’t studied for a while or need a refresher on something. Already semi-fluent in a language? No problem, just take a shortcut to more advanced subjects or test out of the lesson.
The lessons start with the basics (he, she, hello, thank you, etc) and move up to harder stuff. Duolingo focuses on vocabulary first, so you can learn the language and then the grammar that goes with it - much simpler than the system most schools use. It also tracks the number of words you’ve learned and how well you know them.
And you don’t even have to write out the flashcards!
Duolingo is perfect for reviewing everything you forgot over the summer or giving you the extra help you need. And if you’re trying to learn a language on your own, it’s fantastic - you don’t have to create your own lessons. Whether you’re trying to learn your second, third, or fifth language, I seriously recommend Duolingo.
Okay, what else?
Duolingo also has discussion boards, where you can ask for help with a hard lesson, make new friends, watch for updates, and share your achievements.
Even better is the Immersion feature. It won’t send you to Spain or France, but it’s pretty awesome. Duolingo takes real articles from the internet, which users translate. You can translate articles from your native language into the language you’re learning or vice versa, which gives you more experience and makes the Internet more universal.
You can suggest new languages and track Duolingo’s progress in creating new courses. Bilinguals (older than 13) can help to create these courses. Duolingo has a long list of courses that can be contributed to, like Punjabi, Hebrew, and Vietnamese. Oh, and Dothraki, Klingon, Sindarin, and Esperanto.
And the best part? IT’S COMPLETELY FREE.
If you love languages or just want to pass French class this year, USE DUOLINGO. Download the app and practice a language while you wait for the bus instead of playing Angry Birds!
"I also did the motion capture" BC
Parineeti Chopra responds to a male reporter who claims to know nothing about periods (menstrual cycle). [X]
I started my period when I was 10 years old. But we didn’t tell my grandma for three years because she subscribed to the “old traditions”, where a woman on her period could not enter the house, not even to bathe. Where she had to sit outside in front of the house (where the whole village could be witness to her shame and isolation) for the entire duration.
My friend started her period unexpectedly while we were at our local temple (in America) for dance class. Asking around if any of the parents had pads (all of them apologized and acted like adults about it), I thought surely the front office has a first aid kit. Don’t they have pads? When we asked, not only did they not have any, when one of the women gave one from her purse, the head secretary told us “There are men who need to use the first-aid kit, ya? So we don’t keep period things there.” Not even ibuprofen (which has so many more uses than period pain).
There are girls in India and Nepal (and other places, but I just read an in-depth piece about the situations in Nepal) who have to go to the “period hut” when their period comes and not leave until its over. They can’t wash and dry their cloth pads in the daylight, so they do it at night when the pads won’t dry properly before their next use, making them vulnerable to infection.
It is incredibly important, especially in India, to break the taboo surrounding periods. Break the secrecy around an event that happens to almost every woman, every month for literally half of her lifetime. Break the hiding, break the cover-up, break the SHAME.
Just break EVERYTHING. So little girls can go to school every day of every month without feeling ashamed. So women can work every day of every month to provide for their families without being glared at. So single fathers can confidently take care of their daughters’ health. So that women can talk about how terrible their period is or isn’t and give each other advice on how to deal with it without looking around to make sure men aren’t listening.
So that Whisper doesn’t have to be called Whisper, it can be called SHOUT. It can be called PROUD. So that we don’t NEED to fucking WHISPER about our bodies and our health.
Vincent Price mugs for the camera while taking publicity photos for Roger Corman’s, “The Comedy of Terrors”.
"That’s what friends are for. The people who aren’t in your life ‘cause they’re related, or hot for you. They just LOVE YOU.”
Buffy vs. Dracula aired 14 years ago today