Image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duolingo
My French class started again a couple of weeks ago, and I've been using this app to get some extra practice. It's very fun, and I feel it's helping me with my vocabulary. And the great thing is that it's free! I'd actually pay money for this, though.
I've been studying French for four years now, and I'm beginning my fifth. The courses at the community college aren't the same as in school, so it's slow going. We only do one one-and-a-half hour class per week, and the class runs from September to April, with a Christmas break of a few weeks.
I'm hoping to actually get good enough to actually communicate with a French person. Right now I can read French okay-ish, but the speaking part and the understanding-what-the-other-person-is-saying part is still hard, especially because the French speak so fast.
I'm not complaining, but French is the hardest language I've studied. With Swedish and German, everything made sense and felt logical. French, however, has less rigid rules and more exceptions, most of which are based on stuff like "it sounds prettier this way." Nothing is pronounced like you'd think it is, and if you figure out one grammar rule there's always a dozen others to baffle you. Studying French is 50% infuriating and 50% exhilarating.
Duolingo is a bit on the easy side for me, but on the other hand it's fun to finally see that I've made some progress. I can do this! Yay!
And it's way easier than the other stuff I've tried. I've been reading The Count of Monte Cristo in French for . . . well . . . a little over four years now. Maybe I'll actually finish it one day? At least I now know all the verb tenses now.
Here's a link to Duolingo. French is by no means the only language there, you can pick anything from Swedish to Esperanto.
Some of the examples are a bit weird, though. So far I've learned these gems:
Il vit dans une pomme.
(He lives in an apple.)
Je bois votre eau.
(I drink your water.)
Ton cochon est énorme.
(Your pig is enormous.)
(Does he talk?)
Ces sont des minutes difficiles.
(These are difficult minutes.)