July 29th, 2015

Duolingo done, reactivated Babbel Dutch

Back when I was looking for something to do post-Rosetta, I signed up for Duolingo and Babbel. But then I was like, why am I paying for Babbel when I can do Duolingo for free?

Well, I'm done with Duolingo (at least for Dutch) -- I got through the whole Dutch course and then went back and got everything refreshed to all golden at the same time and honestly? Duolingo _does_ help with language learning, but there are some serious flaws in there. And having re-activated Babbel for a month, I will just straight up say that you pay for what you get. Babbel's speakers are _way_ _way_ better. I think I would have cared more if I had not been working with an actual speaker of the language.

In any event, rather than going through the main line of the beginner's course, I'm poking around at some grammar areas that I find persistently confusing. Babbel is not nearly as powerfully gamified as Duolingo, so there's a serious motivational deficit (also, no leaderboard that I can detect). This is a big deal -- the language (learning tool) you are motivated to try to use every single day probably has an advantage over the language (learning tool) you ignore for months at a time, even if it is in other measurable ways ... worse.

Today's Activities Include: it is very humid out there, new book, silliness on BI

The older Chinese ladies out walking all have fans. They are much smarter than I am. I only saw one cyclist while I was out (well, one road biker in spandex, one woman with a purse slung over her shoulder riding on the sidewalk) and a lone jogger. Plenty of people out walking, tho. I did the three mile loop this evening and it was 91 when I went out and 91 when I came back and I just got straight into the shower because that was ridiculous. Not too many bugs, tho, so that's something.

New Harmony novel out from JAK/Jayne Castle, so at least I have some suitably enjoyable and undemanding reading for a hot summer evening.

BI is still pushing the Zombie Apocalypse Theme, with Wolf Richter weighing in on the idea that Oh Noes, crashes! better get out of stocks!!! *sigh* Seriously. Pick good companies and ride it out. But ya know, each to their own. Just make sure you understand the basic idea in Seth Godin's _The Dip_ and don't bail out at the bottom.

BI _also_ has a fun little roundup on various studies/experts on the subject of when to do the deed in a new relationship.


Obvs, ignore the Brigham Young person. That's like believing those studies funded by cigarette makers that said that tobacco wasn't actually all that bad for you. I'm completely with Goldsmith: don't push, but 36 hours cumulative time in each other's company ought to do it. But don't take my advice. My husband and I knew each other as friends (without benefits) for over a decade before we got together.