We are all expecting things for free nowadays. Facebook is free, Google is free, even learning English has become free. But is it reaaaaly free? Facebook collects data about you, so does google. That’s what they are after so they can use this data and sell it to businesses in order to target you better. They’ve become the ultimate big brother and Russia was certainly exposed it in last year’s US elections. 🙂
What about learning a foreign language?
Again, Duolingo is killing it. They have 200M users and, if it’s not free, it’s pretty cheap. It’s much cheaper than paying for somebody to actually spend their time and talk with you. But there is a hidden cost. It is the most valuable commodity in this world: your time! You’ve probably heard a famous mathematical equation that’s shown below:
Call me sexist, but the reason I put it here is because the time you are spending on learning with the app is the same if you tried to cross 10,000 miles by foot. Yes, you are not spending money on an expensive airline ticket, so it seems much cheaper. But, once you add up all the money you spend on food and lodging, this becomes a much more expensive option. Also, you might never get there. It’s the same with learning English. Whatever the reason you might have, why you decided to learn English, pushing the time when you finally become fluent or arrive at the destination 10,000 miles away is the time you could be doing other things. Maybe it’s just me but learning how to translate some words and phrase is not useful in starting to think in another language. As a matter of fact, I find it counterproductive.
So don’t try walking 10,000 miles, but at least take a train. Or better yet “get on the plane” – immerse yourself into the language environment by actually speaking with a native speaker. Since the invention of videoconferencing you no longer need to fly 10,000 miles to become fluent in another language. You merely need an internet connection.